Moravia has a strong reputation for excellence in customer service driven by sites that are finely-tuned to meeting client needs, thanks to great leadership at the production level. This entry in our “People in Production” series features Jason Mao, the Director of Operations for our Asia region, who manages Nanjing office and Tokyo office.
Me: Jason, tell us a little about yourself!
Jason: I am from Heilongjiang, a northeast province of China. Now I live in Beijing and work in Nanjing. Every two weeks I go back to Beijing and stay with family for the weekend. It takes 6-7 hours from my apartment in Nanjing to my home in Beijing, where I have a 6-year-old daughter.
Me: How did you end up in localization?
Jason: My first job was as an Aircraft Designer in a state-owned enterprise. I was responsible for nose landing gear. The work itself was fine and my peers were nice, but it wasn’t quite a fit. One and a half years later, I left the company and looked for job opportunities in Beijing. It happened that a private localization company was looking for a testing engineer with experience using design software I was familiar with, so I joined the localization industry. That was 11 years ago.
Me: That’s an interesting and indirect path! What did you study in college?
Jason: I have a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Electronics from Harbin Engineering University, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Vlerick Leuven-Gent Management School. I studied for my Master’s from 2008 to 2010. It was well worth it: I learned important things, found solutions to challenges I was having in middle-management, and made lots of friends there.
Me: The MBA must help you very much in what you do for Moravia. Tell me more about your role.
Jason: I am now the Director of Moravia’s Operations in Asia. I am in charge of two offices, one in Nanjing and the other in Tokyo. My background is production heavy: I have been a test engineer, a testing team lead, and a director of a PM team.
Me: What is a typical workday for you?
Jason: I have two roles. As Director, I lead the operations in China and Japan. I work with group managers closely on existing business, discuss mid- and long-term plans, and review status of important actions. I also communicate often with other directors, C-level officers, and other functions to exchange ideas and collaborate for the benefit of both Moravia and our clients. Meanwhile, I am also the managing director of our China office. In this role, I lead General & Administration people, HR, Finance, IT, Office administration. I also work closely with them to make sure the operations runs smoothly, efficiently and continuously. Lastly, I talk to sales managers to analyze market changes and challenges, and to explore ideas for bringing in and handling new kinds of business.
Me: Wow, I bet you are very busy. So, what do you do when you are not working?
Jason: I read, especially mathematics and physics, and I am also interested in history. Whenever I’m learning something new, I tend to think about the underlying principles. I find that different things lead to the same principle in the end. What’s more, any thread will generate something helpful for your work. But when I’m at home, I spend all my time with my daughter.
Me: What is the most interesting thing you have learned recently?
Jason: Earlier this year I joined a global mobile internet conference in Beijing, and learned that in this industry the earth is synchronized – once there is something new in Silicon Valley, it will appear quickly in other places. I also found mobile is changing the world, deeper than we could have imagined it, including people’s behaviors, thought processes, buying habits, connections with others, work productivity, and so on.
Me: What do you think about technology in our industry, the types of projects you are seeing, trends?
Jason: We are always having to keep up with the latest technology. Like the Agile development model. Once it was accepted by developers, every localization company had to think about how to build Agile into localization. However, even today, there are still lots of developing companies that don’t accept Agile. As long as there comes a new technology, it will be reflected in software, apps or documentation. We are seeing these things and need to localize them, in order to help customer spread them to global users.
Me: What would you say to someone who is just starting to work in the localization industry? What are the keys to professional success?
Jason: This industry is ever-changing, so the people need to work hard and also to work smart. Then, I would say that communication, collaboration and cooperation are very important to go to next level in your career. Last thing is if a new person to the industry could become innovative and good at pushing for change, he or she will be brilliant.
Me: I couldn’t agree more! Thanks for sharing this with us.