From Boardrooms to Bustling Streets: A Journey through Tokyo, Unveiling the Essence of Sony’s Headquarters

By Ashish Gudmalwar, Senior Engineer at Sony Research India
5th February 2024
Brijraj Singh and Sonal Dabral summarize their paper that was recently accepted at the IJCNN conference in Australia, a premier conference in the area of neural networks theory, analysis and applications.
In an insightful interview, Ashish sheds light on his enriching business trip to the Sony Headquarters in Tokyo, where he had the honour of showcasing his team’s work at the Sony Technology Exchange Fair (STEF) 2023. Beyond STEF 2023, Ashish delved into the heart of Tokyo, to soak in the vibrant culture that defines this bustling metropolis.
Interviewer: What brought about your business trip to the Sony Headquarters in Tokyo?
Ashish: In December I had the privilege of visiting the Sony Headquarters in Tokyo to exhibit our research at the Sony Technology Exchange Fair (STEF) 2023, an annual internal technology exchange meeting where Sony teams from around the globe exhibit their technological contributions to Sony Group.
The Sony Headquarters at Minato-ku, Tokyo was a stone throw away from the hotel I was staying near Shinagawa station, which made travelling back and forth in a new city very convenient. Not to mention, the public transport was easily accessible, and the locals were always ready to politely assist us.
On entering the glass facade of the towering headquarters, I observed the air of professionalism and state of the art flagship Sony products up for display in the lobby area.
At the STEF 2023 exhibition hall, we had a dedicated booth to present our work as representatives of Sony Research India. The venue was packed with fellow Sony members and experts in their respective fields, who shared their feedback and appreciation for our work. It was a fantastic opportunity to interact with Sony colleagues from across the globe, to exchange ideas and discuss future collaborations. My first experience at STEF 2023 was phenomenal.
We also had the opportunity to meet and interact with our Sony Research counterparts from the US and Tokyo.
Interviewer: Being part of Sony, a Japanese company, you got to witness the culture first hand. What were your learnings and takeaways?
Ashish: The meticulous attention to detail in design and the seamless blend of modernity with exhibits of Sony’s history at the Sony Headquarters mirrored Japan’s commitment to progress, embodying a culture where the past gracefully meets the future within the confines of the workplace. From the sincerity of my Japanese counterparts to the serene ambiance at the office, every aspect spoke volumes about the deep-rooted importance of value creation through collaboration, harmony and respect embedded in Japanese corporate culture.
After working hours, I travelled around Tokyo to soak in the culture of the city. I visited Shibuya’s iconic pedestrian crossing situated right outside Shibuya station which is the world’s busiest intersection. It was surprising to see hundreds of pedestrians navigating the intersection with such ease and discipline.
Shibuya also served as a shopping and dining hub. The streets, malls, and public places in Tokyo were adorned with vibrant lights and dazzling decoration, creating a captivating ambience.
During my trip, I observed the strong emphasis on politeness, respect and discipline which extends to all aspects of their daily life; in the office, while using public transportation, at convenience stores, in the busy shopping areas and while interacting with tourists, local citizens and elderly people.
The elderly are treated with utmost care and respect and it is common to see younger individuals offering their seats on public transportation. The citizens always maintain discipline while waiting for their turn at a grocery store or restaurant and tend to be mindful of their personal space and maintain a calm and composed demeanor in public spaces.
It is not uncommon for the locals to go out of their way to help tourists. The way they greet others by bowing reflects respect and humility in Japanese culture.
Interviewer: Having worked at Sony Research India, do you draw parallels between the work culture back home and your observations of day-to-day social etiquette in Japan?
Ashish: The culture of respect observed throughout my trip is a genuine reflection of the values held by the Japanese people. There is a consistent demonstration of consideration and a deep-seated respect for others. This is embodied in our work culture at Sony Research India. Our managers have established an environment of mutual understanding and collaboration where collective efforts are valued, and individual work is also well recognised and rewarded. Everyone here is treated with respect and kindness.
My visit to the Sony Headquarters in Tokyo left me with a feeling of pride and honour to be part of the Sony Group with its roots deeply embedded in Japanese culture and the timeless traditions that shape Sony’s global influence.
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