Fang Rui brings China and Japan closer together as a management consultant, realizing new possibilities for both countries
“I was having a conversation on the bus with an older woman,” Fang Rui recalls as she tilts her head back and smiles. “Somehow the topic of kimonos came up, and I told her I had never worn one. She invited me to her house, where she dressed me in one. It was an incredible experience.”
Originally from Nanjing, China, Fang is a senior associate at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consulting firm. Her interest in Japan led her to study its language and culture at Fudan University, Shanghai. She also attended Matsuyama University for a year as part of a foreign exchange program. “People were always friendly. I was happy to connect with other students who looked past my nationality. It was a great first impression of Japan,” says Fang.
Graduated from the University of Tokyo graduate program,where Fang Rui spent two years at the Komaba Campus.
After graduating, she enrolled at the University of Tokyo for graduate school. Two years later, a large Japanese insurance company hired her. “Japanese business interested me—the idea of global development and work styles,” Fang says. “During my six-month nesting period, I was able to experience how different departments do business. Unlike China, where internships and prior work experience are in demand, the work culture here is one where new employees are raised in the company. I feel that nurturing human resources is one of Japan’s strengths.”
The Japanese government offers Points-based Preferential Immigration Treatment for Highly -Skilled Foreign Professionals, and Fang fell into this category, which was an incentive to pursue her career in Japan. “People who come from overseas with advanced expertise, high educations, strong work experience, and high annual salaries receive relaxed restrictions on visas that allow for even their spouses to start careers,” she says. “If they need familial support for raising children under seven years old, parents may also receive residency. The long-term working environment for these workers is appealing.”
BCG’s Regional Training attended by Fang Rui and consultants from around the world.
Hoping to acquire even more experience, two years ago, Fang switched to her new position at BCG. For her, bringing Japanese and English skills to her clients as a consultant has been fulfilling.
“Clients interested in the Chinese market ask my perspective as a Chinese national,” Fang states. “That really makes my work worthwhile. I have developed relationships with new people from different cultures, and SNS services such as WeChat help me stay on top of things in China. My role is to provide fresh and useful information.”
Fang pursues new possibilities for China and Japan, using her specialized knowledge of the two countries. She explains, “Japan has technical expertise and quality brands. China offers low-cost production, as well as the largest e-commerce market in Asia. The two countries’ strengths fused could generate an economic powerhouse for business development. This brand of cooperation would serve the region for years to come. This is the future I’m working toward, hoping to develop businesses and platforms to facilitate a coalition between Japan and China.”
Fang Rui’s motto is “Take one step forward.” With her optimistic attitude, she will undoubtedly take one giant step forward to build a new and powerful alliance between the two countries.
Senior Associate, The Boston Consulting Group. Born in Nanjing, China. She has worked with clients in various industries, such as finance and consumer products, as a management consultant. Before joining BCG, she worked for a leading Japanese general insurance company. She received a BA (Japanese) from Fudan University and an MA (International Relations) from the University of Tokyo.