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'IT salaries in Japan comparable to salaries in US'
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February 04, 2008

Japan, the worlds' second largest economy for long, is characterised by industries that underline this status, be it consumer electronics, automotive or even industrial/engineering products.

So, if you're looking for challenging work enviroment, you might want to consider Japan [Images].

But are you qualified? Will language pose a problem? Will cultural differences have an impact on your work and lifestyle?

Karthik Tirupathi, an expert in in Japanese language, management and culture training, addressed these queries and more in a chat on Thursday, January 31. For those of you who missed the chat, here's the unedited transcript:

Karthik Tirupathi says,  Good Afternoon (Konnichiwa in Japanese). Welcome all and look forward to an interesting afternoon's discussion. Karthik


vvnaidu asked, Hi I would like to know how is the job market for SAP SD or SAP Business one professionals? How do we go about applying for job ?Is it mandatory to know Japanese?

Karthik Tirupathi answers, As you know the SAP market is red hot in this part of the world. SD or Business one professionals are also in good demand however since most positions in functional consulting require client interaction, it becomes imperative that you know Japanese. A JLPT Level 2 proficiency is the most common requirement. Applying for jobs is fairly easy and most popular job portals have notices for such positions. Leading companies like HCL [Get Quote], Satyam [Get Quote], TCS [Get Quote] all need many functional consultants



siraj asked, I want to know if there is Indian food and schools are available in Japan.

Karthik Tirupathi answers, Just in
Tokyo alone, there are over 150 Indian restaurants not to mention the fact that a popular dish is Curry rice (or Karey rice). However it does use pork or other meat stock for preparations and hence may not be suitable for vegetarians. Be also warned that most of tehse are fine dining restaurants and hence it tends to be an expensive affair. There is one Indian school currently in Tokyo.



shilpa asked, hi howz it for it professionals and students

Karthik Tirupathi answers, I suppose you mean living in
Tokyo. It is fairly easy to get by these days than it was a few years ago. This is due to increasingly wider usage of English and bilingual signages in most places. Travel across Japan is a breeze as always due to a world class subway and bullet train system in addition to traditional airlines



ram asked, Hazeme mashithe, watashiva ram desu. i speak little Japanese. I worked there for about 2 years. Is there any correspondence course in Japanese?

Karthik Tirupathi answers, To the best of my knowledge, presently there are no correspondence courses in
India. Language and cultural content require a very high degree of personal contact. Also, it has not proven to be successful in many parts of the world. This may be the main reason too



jackychang asked, after akio morita, Japan seems to have lost it's charisma. What do u think is japans future? Will it get saturated like US?

Karthik Tirupathi answers, It is unlikely that the 2nd largest economy in the world will come to a grinding halt. It has tremendous momentum and outsourcing to
India is just begining. The future promises to be full of excitement across all sectors



mudassir asked, How are the opportunities for Java professionals?

Karthik Tirupathi answers, Java is quite popular and in demand. Leading IT companies like TCS, HCL,Satyam are constantly looking for specialists in this sector. Embedded technology, ERP, Mainframe are other highly sought after skills. However bilingual expertise is a must here



kurukan asked, Have u ever seen Japan?

Karthik Tirupathi answers, I visit
Japan many times in a year and have numerous friends and professional acquaintances.



sunil asked, Hello Karthik, I Business Manager with 7 years of work experience in the IT industry. I was wondering if you could share some information on the IT industry and opportunities for marketing manager like me.

Karthik Tirupathi answers, Today the merging Indo-Japan sector calls for business leaders which we lack. This is a major stumbling block in outsourcing to
India. Sales, pre-sales, Business Development and Marketing professionals are MOST highly sought due to their "rainmaking" capability. As always people with superior communication skills are needed in all customer interactions



Aniruddha asked, Hi Good Afternoon.. I am a Human Resources Generalist with a Master's Degree from Mumbai University with about 25 years hands on experience. I am a New Zealand [Images] citizen,currently working with a Japanese company in Mumbai as General manager -- HR. Do I have any opportunities o work in japan based on my background? Thanks & Regards

Karthik Tirupathi answers, I think your skills would be extremely valuable in large organisations that are looking for bi-cultural managers who can effectively handle native and non-native Japanese. However in a sensitive position like this a very high degree of bilingualism is a highly desired



Cox asked, what about the IT salaries in Japan?

Karthik Tirupathi answers, Salaries in
Japan are comparable to salaries in US. Saving potential is also equally high. However like the US Japan does not have a quota for H1B visas!! It is a India friendly visa regime



itsan asked, what are the chances of small/medium IT companies making a foray in offering offshore services to japanese IT companies in the Small/Medium segment?

Karthik Tirupathi answers, It is a highly relationship oriented market where trust reigns supreme. If the client knows and trusts you at a personal level, limitations due to size can be easily overcome. This is in stark contrast to the
US market where SLA's are used to enforce compliance and realtionships are not necessarily the first step needed to start a business transaction. You will find that Japanese seek quality over size and quatity. The first order is usually a small one and slowly progresses in both volume and consequently margins



Anup asked, HI Karthik, I am Dr Anup Karnik wokig in pharma and CResearch since 7 years, Any opportunities in Pharma, Clinical Research in Japan?

Karthik Tirupathi answers, Bio tech and pharma sector is seeing a lot of M&A activities. Leading Indian companies have made mid sized acquisitions lately. It is a heartening trend to see Japanese comapnies exploring such partnerships.



Toshi asked, Sir, What are your thoughts on the long Japanese working hours? Sometimes they sit even if there is no work. Do you think Japanese meticulousness appears stupid to Indian brain?

Karthik Tirupathi answers, It is a matter of courtesy to your superiors to stay back until he/she finishes. It is more cultural and a very Asian trait in many ways. Their meticulousness is highly prized world over and is definitely not stupid. In the long run better quality (due to meticulousness) will be prove to be more cost effective as the Japanese experience has shown.



shefali asked, what major differences in work culture will an Indian manager experience in Japan

Karthik Tirupathi answers, Mainly it will be cultural difference at the work place. The work ethics of Japanese and Indians are quite good (hard working, diligent and so on). In the past few years, due to Americanisation of Indian work culture, we have become very direct and individualistic in our approach. Japanese place more emphasis on team culture and less on individual "visibility". Also punctuality and adherence to timelines is a major problems that Indians face in their cultural adjustment in this environment



VINIT asked, how the opportunities for ACCOUNTANTS in japan after passing graduate in india

Karthik Tirupathi answers, Recently we trained Indian Chartered Accountants for IT/SOX projects for a Big 3 audit firm who then went to work onsite in Tokyo. There is an estimated demand of about 15000 to 20000 CA's required due in JSOX compliance projects.



Bhaskar asked, Can you suggest me the best way of learning the Japanese Language?

Karthik Tirupathi answers, In my experience, any foreign language usually requires about 500 to 600 hours of study including Japanese. Any shortcut would usually result is reduced proficiency.



phil asked, hi, how do we apply for a job in japan and are there any education requirement like in US

Karthik Tirupathi answers, Yes, to get a visa you must have done 12+4 years of education and a degree is usually required.



DG asked, Hi Karthik! Any investment banking operation opportunities? Especially if I want a lateral shift in project financing and infrastructure advisory services? Shall expect to hear from you. Thank you!

Karthik Tirupathi answers, There is a great demand for investment banking professionals in this part of the world including
Singapore, HK and other leading financial centres. Tokyo being the largest has also therefore the greatest demand. We also see a rise in NRI relationship and India related advisory services requirement. Best of all, I have not seen a mandatory requirement to speak Japanese in this sector. I actually have known a banker who lived in Japan for 3 years without learning much Japanese. This may not have yet become a rule but it does indicate a possibility.



Aravind asked, Will there be any language problems we face there. Wat abt cost of living. Is it too costly like London [Images]. wat abt life style. Are there any gud pubs n discos

Karthik Tirupathi answers, It may amaze people to know that the Japanese language has the same subject-object-verb ordering like Indian languages. This poses a problem for for people "thinking" in English but I believe most Indians would find it easier than other nationalities to learn Japanese as a result. Cost of living mirrors that of any comparable city in US or
Europe. Night life and entertainment options are the hallmark of Tokyo as also other large cities :)



dilshan asked, How about a chance for a CA there & what salary should 1 expect

Karthik Tirupathi answers, In my personal experience a CA with 3 to 5 years experience can expect to earn JPY 7 to 9 Million in JSOX projects.



BABU asked, Is there any Limit for the number of professionals recruited in a year like the one for H1B in Japan..? Also what is the minimum requirement for getting a job in Japan? Is there any migration program available for Japan like HSMP for UK?

Karthik Tirupathi answers, NO.
Japan does not have an official annual quota and practices a visa friendly regime towards Indian professionals. In addition to being a specialist in your field, it would help if you possess 12 + 4 years of formal education.



Maggi asked, My daughter is 9 Yrs. old, which language do you suggest for her to learn right from this age, is Japanese language can be learnt easily or any other which you like to suggest

Karthik Tirupathi answers, At this age, kids can pretty much learn many languages simultaneously. Japanese being closer to structure of Indian languages would be an easier choice. Also, opportunities in this sector are just starting to explode and hence it would be a "sunrise" choice!




Karthik Tirupathi answers, For a single person typically reasonable rental would be about USD 750 - 1,000 per month and living expense another USD 1,000 to USD 1,500. Hence any additional income could potentially be saved.



Harpreet kaur asked, Hi, I have done a degree course in Japanese language and have been working as Japanese Interpreter and translater in automobile companies since last 12years. Any scope to work in Japan with this qualifications & experience? Kindly let me know. Please do reply this also. ONEGAI DESU.

Karthik Tirupathi answers, Kaur san, With this experience you should be easily able to work in
Japan! Bridge SE positions or customer facing project coordinator positions would easily be possible. I am assuming you are Level 2 proficient currently.



shilpagoody asked, hello karthik .. i am a graduate along with lots of diplomas in field of finance. I have experience of 4 years in this field.. I am getting married and as my husband is in tokyo ill be shifting there . So what to now about the job market over there in finance field and want a job

Karthik Tirupathi answers, I am sure you would have access to many openings in your field with such qualifications and experience. Try the field of internal audit and risk assessment with Big 3 firms if it interests you. They would be keen to talk to you. Whilst you are there, please sign up to learn Japanese as you will learn it very quickly being in the "environment" there. Good luck



Karthik Tirupathi says, Thank you for your active participation. I would like to wish you all the best in your careers' ahead and exploring opportunities in Japan



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