With this section on our website we are aiming to introduce the many possibilities and opportunities Mongolia can offer despite all the negative light shed lately through the international media.
The focus will be given on the businesses run both by Mongolians and foreigners in Mongolia, on their success stories, challenges and what are their aspirations.
This time we have invited young Mongolian who works at International Strategic Development of Avex Group Holdings Inc. Avex became Japan's leading dance record company during the 1990s, and continues producing and recording some of Japan's most famous pop singers. The company also provides theme music soundtracks to many anime and a few video games through its subsidiary Avex Mode. Avex Group is mainly known in Japan because of its flagship music imprint one of the top three record labels in Japan since the Komuro period, and is currently the biggest 14.7% of all recorded music sales.
Here we aimed to bring out how is it to work in a big corporation and what aspirations Mongolian youth has in terms of personal growth and future dreams. We are introducing Bilguun Jargalsaikhan, son of a prominent author of Secret History of Chinggis Khaan novel. This is the first interview done online as our guest lives and works in Japan full-time.
You have been living in Japan for most part of your life. In one of your interviews you said that you might have become better Japanese than a native?
When one lives in another country for more than half of his age people might think that the person is almost the native of that country. It may seem that I might look more of Japanese and yes it is indeed so. I am fluent in Japanese and I have lived and worked in a globally acknowledged corporation here most of my life, but there is boundary when it comes to being a true Mongolian. My Mongolian is not less than of those living in Mongolia and my heart and mind always stays with Mongolia.
How did you start your career at Avex?
My dad influenced me a lot. He would advise me to study in Japan when I was younger. At that time he would say that learning from the Japanese would be an advantage as Japan was one of the leaders globally with its GDP growth and has already become the top country in Asia. He also would say that learning from their spirit and hard working nature might be beneficial not only for me, but Mongolia as well.
In 2001 I went to study at high school from that I entered to study at the university. By that time my dad informed me on the movie about Chinggis Khaan to be made by the Japanese and suggested me to find out and if possible to be part of it.
I have inquired about the production and was selected to work as the assistant to the producer of the film, a third year 21 years old student. Avex group was the movie investor.
What have led you to join Avex?
During the production of the movie I have been doing all the work related dealing with the producers of the actors and job related with payments. I have gained a lot from working for the movie production for the half-year starting with how to deal with people and how the work is based on mutual trust. During my work at the movie production Vice President of Avex have approached me and suggested to come to try out the exams after my graduation. After the graduation I have applied for job at Avex in Tokyo.
What are the traits gained during your long stay in Japan that helped to reach a career at a Japanese company?
My upbringing and the philosophy my parents have instilled in me are the basic traits that have helped me throughout my life, not just in living alone on Japan. I have been the class leader for 25 students in high school. My parents have always taught me to be a decent and trustworthy person with anyone and anywhere. Another thing that helped me to go through was the experience of working with my dad on his movies, which gave me confidence in dealing with others and be open-minded.
From my stay in Japan I have learned the hard working spirit, enthusiasm to go till the end and beyond and being responsible. I have been living in Japan since I was 15 and these traits have helped me a lot. I have polished my Japanese skills just within half year, which helped me to cope with cultural differences and get adjusted to the different life style quickly. Aside from missing my mom from time to time I had no difficulties living here in Japan.
How was it to climb the corporate ladder in a globally known entertainment company?
It is not easy to work in a globally acknowledged company and there are times when I lack as well. But that doesn’t stop me. I have learned from living in Japan since the age of 15 and on top of that my family principles have helped me a lot during those times when I started to feel that I am not doing good. Persistence and patience really help to achieve success in everything that one does. Of course there were moments when I wanted to quit. My mom studied in Russia, my dad studied in Poland, it is nothing impossible or unachievable at all. It is matter of personal determination and being true to dreams and aspirations.
Are there any thoughts of coming back to Mongolia and establish a business?
I have a dream to establish Avex Mongolia and help Mongolian artists and art to enter the global market and establish the proper way of doing things especially in the copyright field. But the current situation of the economic development in Mongolia is shaping its way up and during this period it is essential to learn from the already developed countries best practices and prepare for the changes. This is my personal thought and goal for the few years ahead.
Are you ready to support Mongolian performers and artists to enter the Asian market?
When one wants to enter the global market it is not the matter of just sitting there and thinking that one might have come and rescue and help. This is very traditional Mongolian way of thinking. We have to break the boundaries and climb the walls that are on our way. For example, opera singer Amartuvshin and Khusugtun are doing very good in reaching out for the hearts of their audiences, rather than focusing on the appearance. This clearly shows how Mongolians are capable and talented, but our downside as I see is that the population of Mongolia is not as big as other countries. On the other hand, many go to auditions and as many are failing them, which is not that much important.
Ethnic performances are different from what can really get to the Asian and global level. There should be bands and performers prepared like of k-pop or j-pop. The starting point is the person who is talented and willing to go beyond own limits, aside from that we need professional productions to lead those talents, while currently Mongolia lacks both.
What would be your message for the youth in Mongolia regarding choosing their career path?
Learn foreign languages: English, Chinese and if possible Japanese. It is always an advantage to be fluent in foreign languages, especially of those global leaders. On top of that one needs to process a lot of information that might be useful for their future career path. At some point the university degree might not be as crucial as one might be thinking of it. One should focus on what is the goal and put all the effort to what one is doing.
Somehow it is impossible to advise on what is good and what one should do. Simply put it will be to stay true to yourself, strive to learn and believe in what you are doing. That way there is nothing left that is impossible to achieve.
What other traits would one need in order to succeed abroad?
Many do think that it one has to be someone special or privileged to be working successfully abroad. Whereas, the truth is that there is no difference in working at your home country or abroad. It is not about whether one has been excellent at chemistry or was winning the math competitions. One needs to be a decent person and work hard towards ones dreams.
What do Mongolians lack the most?
The biggest drawback to my mind is that Mongolians like to build walls and get swayed easily by the rumors or words, rather than being rational and check for the factual information. One should believe in what one is doing whether one succeeds or not. Every experience bad or good is the lesson to learn from. It is always satisfying to think that you have put all the effort and belief even though it wasn’t a success. This is the most lacking train for Mongolians from my perspective.
Thank you and wish you success in your endeavours.
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