When I was a rookie by TASHIRO Masahiro - “Engineering was life-changing.”
- Tell us your early career and your rookie moments.
I started working right after high school, as I had a strong desire to start working and stand on my own feet as soon as possible. However, I didn't really find working fun in my first job, so I tried multiple different jobs.
Through trial and error, I was drawn into IT industry, which started to grow rapidly at the time. I jumped into it, and it changed my life. Despite having zero knowledge of programming, I was fortunate enough to be hired by a company and started my career as a systems engineer.
I spent every day being lectured about technological skills one-on-one by the president of the company. And I studied hard at home to be a real engineer as quickly as possible. Until this time, I had never thought I would become an engineer but it seemed to suit me more than I expected. Afterward, I started my career at ZOZO as a system engineer at logistics centers.
One of the most impressive moments I had at ZOZO is the fashion exhibition “ZOZOCOLLE” held 10 years ago.
ZOZOCOLLE was our first-ever physical event, and we created a system that fully utilized the technology we had, from the admission system to the online sales venue.
The exhibition basically went well, but we still received some negative feedback from customers on site, as there were some minor defects at the entrance. With this happened, I learnt that we did not look at the plan from the customer's point of view enough. What we did was just literally creating a system.
Since then, I have been having thoughts about engineering that could contribute to business growth. In short, I realized that I would never contribute to the growth of the company or its services without respecting customers’ feelings.
- Tell us your motto in work gained through your career.
My motto is to always think about the essence, in any situation.
For example, I talk with the staff while thinking about the essence of this communication, like I try to listen carefully to what they are thinking and what they want from me.
Needless to say that I do so when planning work tasks too, I always look back to the essence of what is the purpose of the work in the first place.
I once worked on an operational improvement project with frontline staff, and at that time, we spent time reconsidering the necessity of this operation, and started planning from scratch to come up with the best solution.
Instead of aiming for a few percent of improvement, we need to look at how to achieve results on a larger scale. In order to do this, we always have to think of the essence.
ZOZO’s real strength through a strong bond.
- Tell us your unforgettable day at ZOZO
I still remember clearly, the day of the Great East Japan earthquake happened in 2011.
The disaster has taken away a lot of lives from a lot of people. However, I saw a strong bond and unity of ZOZO through their efforts to overcome that catastrophe.
When the disaster occurred, I was in the office with the staff so we evacuated together. Although we ourselves were also in a terrifying situation, a lot of the staff were more worried about other staff working at ZOZOBASE, and started looking for what they could do to help. They looked up rather than looking down.
We also sold charity T-shirts a few days after the disaster, and we received the support of numerous business partners, and numerous messages from customers.
The sorrow never fades away, but I am truly grateful that we had peers supporting each other without the boundaries of our departments and companies.
Catching up with the demand of the time.
- How would you envision ZOZO in 10 years?
ZOZO has expanded business as a pioneer of e-commerce at the forefront. All the businesses we have worked on so far have definitely inspired other companies at some point.
Therefore, we would be always drawing attention from our surroundings regarding our initiatives towards social problems. And for sure, we need to be a leading company in society and the fashion industry.
In terms of the logistics area I manage, the system of delivery would be making a dramatic change at some point. To commit to Carbon Neutrality, the system of current delivery methods by trucks might also change.
Demands keep changing in each period. And we need to catch up with the demand of the time accurately, and build the best system for that at any time.
- In 2022, ZOZO added the statement “Explore your style. Make you delighted.” to its strategy. How do you describe “style” in your words?
Everyone may have an ideal image of themselves. And when they get closer to the ideal, it might create their “style.”
No matter what others think, it feels good to get closer to your ideal.
If you wake up in the morning and put on the clothes that make you the person you want to be, you will stay positive for the rest of the day. So I think that “style” is something that makes you feel positive about yourself.
Analogue item that collects deep thoughts.
- Tell us your essential piece for work.
My essential is a sketchbook.
Looking at the essence always comes with a lot of consideration. However, there are a lot of disruptions today we live in, where online and offline are connected all the time. As you may know, you get distracted by a sound alert from the chat system.
That’s when a sketchbook helps. Close your computer, and keep your smartphone away. and concentrate on listening to your mind with paper and pen for your thoughts. Then you come up with the ideas out of your expectation. For me, the sketchbook is like my buddy that deepens my thinking.