Asian Tigers is an alliance of move management specialists with offices in thirteen countries throughout Asia. Nick Masee manages the Tokyo office, where he and his team of dedicated staff make international relocation easy for both families and corporations.
How long have you been in Japan?
I arrived in Japan in mid-October 1998, so last year I celebrated 10 years of living in Tokyo. It has been great.
Please tell us a bit about your company.
Asian Tigers is a household goods relocation company specializing in international transfers. Our primary customer base is corporate executives and diplomatic personnel from literally every country around the world. We provide door-to-door relocation services for anyone moving to or from Japan, either by sea or air transport, and organize everything that might be required. We tailor our service to each specific client’s needs.
What is your background and how did you arrive at your current position?
I am originally from Vancouver, Canada and have been in the international moving industry my whole career. My first big jump came back in 1993 when I was recruited by a large company to be the country manager of their Singapore operation. I spent four years there before returning to Canada for a short time. Asian Tigers recruited me in the summer of 1998 to become the Japan country manager of their newly established Tokyo office, which was an exciting prospect—coming to a new market and starting a company essentially from the ground up.
What are the Japan-specific challenges your business faces here?
I have never really stopped to think about any Japan-specific challenges we have. To be honest, I think our company has been extremely fortunate over our ten year history. We have had great success in finding very good people to work in our organization, we have fantastic local suppliers, and we don’t really face any problems that I would say are Japan-specific. I guess if I would have to think of
one, it would be that Japanese customers tend to be quite loyal so in the early days our company had to fight hard to earn chances to create new business since our competitors were all doing a pretty good job. That meant we had to be at our best constantly, and it has served us well, as our reputation year after year has continued to grow.
What kind of advice would you give to aspiring professionals?
In my business, like so many, business networking is quite important. Meeting people, creating business relationships—it is a long process, but the value from it continues to grow year after year, so investing in new relationships is important. Not everyone you meet of course has the potential to help you or your business, but over the years, some people who I suspected might not create business for me, in fact did. Never make assumptions.
What do you do in your spare time?
I am lucky to have built up a great group of friends here over the years. That is important to help blow off some steam once in a while. Many of us like to play golf, and therefore we try to get out on a course as often as possible. It is a chance to escape the concrete jungle that is Tokyo and enjoy some camaraderie. We eventually turned our passion for golf into a group called CRAFT. Besides getting out to play golf when we can, we also dedicate our time to raising money throughout the year to benefit mentally and physically handicapped children here in Japan, our way of saying thank you and giving something back.