Diverta Inc was founded 13 years ago in Japan offering a Website building platfrom called RCMS.
Diverta Inc's mission to go Global was decided, hence they established Diverta Asia Sdn Bhd in Malaysia as their ASEAN Hub.
Mr Kazuyuki Okuhata, the co-founder of Huubap Pte Ltd; offering a cloud-based HR Management system interviewed Mr Takashi Suzuki, the Managing Director of Diverta Asia Sdn Bhd to learn more about how the company is handling the local business and managing employees & talent in Malaysia.
Diverta Asia Sdn Bhd acts as the HQ base in the ASEAN Region
Could you share with us on the background of the establishment in Malaysia?
We offer a website buiding platform called RCMS; which provides a solid suite of core functionalities and allows rapid building of a site; offering stability throughout which is relatively cost effective. These features have been well received with over 3,000 firms in Japan ranging from listed companies to SME's using our services.
The demand for multilingual correspondence from clients has also increased. One of our strengths is to provide a multi-language platform in Japanese, English and Chinese which was the strongest demand from our clients.
Diverta Asia Sdn Bhd was established in Malaysia as a wholly owned subsidiary in 2016 to make full use of its strengths to promote overseas expansion.
We officially launched operations in June 2017 with half of the projects being produced from our HQ in Japan side and the other half were requirements we received locally in Malaysia for new web sites.
Why did you choose to make Malaysia as the base of operations in the ASEAN region?
The main reason why we chose Malaysia is because it is known to be a multi-language country.
Since one of the core strengths of RCMS is offering multi-language support; we knew that we had to select a country where English is the main language as this would allow us to develop business throughout Asia.
The second reason was the advantage made available to us in the form of MSC status; a certifying and preferential treatment system the Malaysian government grants to overseas IT firms.
This is also a critical advantage to us as companies will receive tax exemption for up to 10 years for foreign workers such as Japanese staff.
Thirdly would be the low cost of living; which allow companies to build a business on a reasonable budget, at a low risk and make good and efficient decisions.
Since we are an IT company, another key point is the stable communications and good power infrastructure that has been established in the country.
As multi-language is one of your strength, I assume that you have a PDCA cycle when working with Japanese companies. Is there any difference with Malaysian companies?
First of all, the biggest takeaway when approaching local firms here is that the requirements from the web is different as compared to Japanese companies.
In Malaysia, smartphones are used widely in the country as compared to personal computers thus there are many firms that feel that they don't require a corporate site.
Instead, they like to utilize the power of social media sites like Facebook where they input the content on the pages there, receiving customer enquiries through direct messages. We were suprised to find many firms adopting this method.
We recognize that understanding the local differences and adapting what we have to offer to the needs of businesses in Malaysia is fairly essential.
So the approach taken by local businesses differs from what Japanese companies would do. What about your local teams? I often hear that many firms venturing overseas struggle with employee management.
We often hear that, too, but in our case, we were pleasantly surprised to have not faced such difficulties.
Currently, we have three employees whom were introduced to us through a local recruitment talent agency and we have managed to hire one Japanese employee locally. They are very conscientious; reporting to work right on time and staying focused in their work throughout the whole day.
Our employees may have previously worked with a global company; thus in that sense they do not get localized easily.
RCMS offers a full suite of functionalities which initially require some time to fully understand the system. We want the team to stick with us for the long term and develop expertise in this platform.
It's amazing to hear that you have yet to face much difficulties. Are there any particular strategies you would like to adopt?
Well, I try to communicate actively with my team so that we can work comfortably.
For example, we built ties within the company back home through a year-end party with our Japanese headquarters.
My team even traveled through Hakone in Japan together with my family. We’ve had barbecue cook-offs and team member’s fiancées have even joined in the fun as well! It's like a whole family affair.
In addition, we conducted a training camp with several engineers from the Japanese headquarters and Indian based engineers in Malaysia to integrate and have an opportunity to communicate effectively in English while sharing and upgrading their skills.
I will give staff a 15% increment from the previous position and I believe this will lead to their loyalty.
So it's through your constant attention and support as a manager that has created a good workplace for your company. In connection, how do you handle overtime and attendance management?
In Malaysia, it’s not customary to calculate overtime on an hourly basis.
This means overtime cannot be paid in hourly increments, but we still can manage it as thoroughly as we would in Japan.
That’s where we use Huubap’s KING OF TIME, which lets us track our employees time attendance, work patterns, breaks as well as leave management.
We have not had any doubts from staff about tracking arrival or departure time. I also do pay attention of my own tardiness and aim to be on time.
In Malaysia, the right to 'Time Off' is treated more seriously than it might be in Japan, so we are aware of the need to manage paid leave properly.
It was essential for us to adjust settings based on the local schedule for holidays and medical leave so we did not encounter any problems in introducing KING OF TIME to a Malaysian corporation.
I see. So attendance are thoroughly managed to ensure no discrepancy. Is there any difference with the evaluation system in Japan?
As the working environment is different compared to Japan, we cannot adopt the same system in Malaysia. We need to study it individually and have separate practices.
Currently, salaries are set according to the individual's ability and performance.
In order to maintain staff motivation, we need to have salary increments. We will be able to properly evaluate this and reward achievements based on their abilities and performance.
It is great to hear that payroll based performance setting is possible. Lastly, please share with us your future plans for overseas development?
This year we are planning to expand our sales channels by partnering with more companies in Singapore and Thailand.
Based on the fact that local companies do not necessarily have a firm idea in mind of how to use or build a corporate site; we are creating various packages tailored to local business and will use this to create new market opportunities.
In the medium term, we will use Malaysia as our base of operations as we expand throughout Southeast Asia and also aim for future expansion into North America and Europe.