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Ralf Mayer

Founder & Executive Consultant
San-Ten Consulting

Date of birth: April 4, 1971

Hometown: Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 6 (as of October 2019)

Ralf Mayer
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

The first time I came to Japan was as a project manager. My appointment in Tokyo was on a Friday and the next meeting on the following Monday was in Taipei. Therefore, I was able to spend the weekend in Tokyo. I was so fascinated from seeing only Shinjuku,that I wanted to live and work in Tokyo. After the project was finished, I applied for a position in Japan that I fortunately was accepted for.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

“In der Ruhe liegt die Kraft,” as we say in Germany,which may be be translated as “strength comes from calmness.” One should always try to stay calm in any situation and make decisions on a well-considered basis without being upset or when under time pressure. It certainly leads to better decisions, provides confidence and creates trust.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

I’m quite happy that I had the courage to quit my job and start my own business in Japan. After 15 years as an employee, it felt quite scary in the beginning to be out of the “comfort zone.” Meanwhile, the business is developing quite well and I don’t want it to be any other way.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

My goals in Japan and in life are to establish and further expand my business. I want to help bridge the cultural gap and support Japanese and foreign companies to do business together in order to create benefit for companies, countries and societies.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Some Japanese behavior can sometimes be perceived by Westerners as inflexible, slow moving or even stubborn. However, it is the way Japan works and you have two choices: getting upset or accept it. My advice in these situations would be: Stay calm and use “shōganai” (it can't be helped) more often.

Last updated: Oct 7, 2019