Senior Employee Interviews

Buisiness Amussement Games
MD Overseas Sales

Witness your own ideas transform into merchandise

I am in charge of international merchandising, and my duties mainly focus on products and prizes* related to our characters. In our work at the main Merchandising Division, we manage all aspects of preparing our merchandise: planning, production, PR, and sales. Under our umbrella, we also have the Merchandising Market Development Department, who uses the main department's resources to create new businesses. I am responsible for the markets of China, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. As such, I conduct market research to see what's trending in those regions and coordinate with other divisions to determine what products to release at what time. My duties leading up to a product's launch also include negotiating with the copyright holders, making samples, and catalogs.

*The term "prizes" is meant to describe the items you win via means like "UFO Catcher" machines or arcades.

The completed catalogs and samples that we produce are then brought to exhibitions or toy convention booths, where we work with representatives from our distributors. Then, we take orders and sales. When making prize items for our customers overseas, many of these goods are sold the same way that they are in Japan. However, for seasonal merchandise meant for Valentine's Day or Christmas, we gear up for production a year in advance, because these items have unique design changes and specifications.

After getting a boost in popularity during the coronavirus lockdown, the worldwide demand for anime and manga has hit an incredible high. Now, many iconic scenes are engraved into the memories of people around the world. Making merchandise is about turning a concept into a physical product that will allow fans to relive their favorite moments. We work with a number of departments and spare no effort in making sure each product is perfect and meets the needs of our consumers.

Using negotiation and language skills to open the door to international business

I'm from Taiwan. After graduating from a Taiwanese university, I worked in Thailand for many years before eventually coming to Japan. As a child, I've always loved Japanese games, anime, and manga. My impression of SEGA was that it handled many businesses in the entertainment industry, sharing dreams and joy throughout the world through anime and games. With my proficiency in five languages—Japanese, Chinese, English, Thai, and Taiwanese—and the negotiation skills I developed by working abroad, I knew could contribute to SEGA's overseas business affairs.

When I joined SEGA, I was pleasantly surprised by its open corporate culture, where my senior colleagues and superiors maintain close relationships with me. Proposals from new employees are treated positively and there are many opportunities to test your skills. Since then, I've come to believe that SEGA creates impactful games and products that are beloved around the world because of its many talented employees and the way its different departments flexibly collaborate together.

The joy of digging up popular IPs and finding a potential pitch

This job was my first dive into the entertainment industry, but now, I've become well-versed in anime and manga. Checking out anime and manga has become entrenched as a part of my daily life. On that note, I've learned that Hatsune Miku, "Jujutsu Kaisen", "Oshi no Ko", and "Frieren": Beyond Journey's End are explosively popular in China. I dig up IPs that have the potential to go big and make products out of them. The interesting part of my work is being able to satisfy our customers by making products that faithfully convey the appeal of the original work.

I don't do this alone; I always work closely with my team. When overseas customers give us favorable reviews, we always share this feedback with our planning and product development teams. It means a lot to us when our customers are fully satisfied and our products perform well in the market.

My work has led me to feel the same strong interest in Japanese subculture that people abroad have. The Merchandising Division is a relative new part of SEGA's business, with lot of room for growth. There are many untapped markets out there, and I'm sure that it'll be important to keep track of different regional vendors, exhibitions, and conventions within the regions and countries that I work with. Going forward, I'd like to take on the challenge of developing new markets and creating more memorable products.


9:00 AM Arrive at the office and check my emails.

10:00 AM Delegate tasks and roles between the members of my section.

11:00 AM Regular meeting with the overseas team. We share information about our external business partners.

12:30 PM Break for lunch with my team members or other colleagues at the company cafeteria.

1:30 PM Draft event proposals, quotations, and customs clearance documents in a private workspace at the office.

3:30 PM Deposit funds for sales promotion events. Supervise the progress of illustrations needed for our proposals.

4:30 PM Regular department meeting to confirm progress on each of our tasks.

6:00 PM Check my emails and respond back.

7:30 PM Work ends. I might go drinking with my colleagues or go to the gym.