Back to Careers Blog

Digitalization in Japan

When the COVID pandemic grounded Hiromu in Japan, it was a turning point for the digital specialist, who has found a perfect role bridging his skills as a technologist and communicator.

Before McKinsey, I had worked as a software developer all over the world. After graduating from Kyoto University in Japan, I spent time at a variety of organizations, including a global mobile social company, GREE Inc., the Institute of Medical Science, and the National Cancer Center. A colleague I worked with at GREE joined McKinsey and recruited me, and I have been here for almost three years.

I was motivated to join McKinsey because I wanted to help bring world-class technology and practice to Japan. At McKinsey, I combine my technical skills with my knowledge of Japanese culture, language, organizational issues, and communication to make a real difference and shape the market.

More than just building software

I am a digital specialist in software development and agile DevOps. I work with clients, serving as a digital translator to bridge the business and the client's technology provider and provide a chief experience officer’s (CXO) perspective around digital architecture.

While I tap my expertise as a software developer, my job is more creative than just building software. I leverage and mobilize colleagues and experts across the firm to solve clients’ problems.

By helping our Japanese clients move forward with digital, we provide them with a first-mover advantage and help the Japanese economy overall.

The pandemic changes my plans—and it’s good

Because of the lack of digitalization in Japan, I didn’t think I could serve in highly technical roles, so I preferred to work overseas. COVID changed my plans, and I was called back to Japan to work on a project for a retailer here.

It was a major turning point for me. As I worked with the client and my colleagues in Japan , I came to realize this is the right place to use my combination of technical expertise and critical thinking and communication skills.

For this project, the client wanted to create a customer-facing software product to support a new business model. I joined the project as a technology expert to help the client’s technology provider build the software within a super tight timeline that required cross-organizational collaboration. Quickly we discovered we were solving the wrong problem. It wasn’t a technical issue, but rather, an organizational issue. The business and client's technology provider were siloed. Because the business model had gone unchanged for a long time, it wasn’t flexible enough to create new business.

I worked with stakeholders within the organization to understand what was driving the challenges. I coached them on technical skills and how to collaborate with other departments and put Agile practices in place.

The results have been promising. Because we helped them address collaboration and communication issues, the organization successfully launched the product, and they have continuously improved it.

The culture of McKinsey

McKinsey is full of talented people, and connection and collaboration aren’t just an advantage here. They are necessary to ensure we are providing the best support to clients and one another. If you aspire to do something here, the firm will support you, whether that is through supportive resources, exciting learning, or mentors, or sponsors.

Find a job like Hiromu’s

About Hiromu

Hiromu contributes to open-source software development. In his free time, he DJs and coaches an American football team in Japan.