Episode 35

Published on:

17th Jul 2023

NEC today: working at a Japanese company in Aotearoa NZ with Mel Barber, Managing Director

You might be wondering what NEC actually does these days. We certainly were! Mel Barber, NEC New Zealand Managing Director, shares the range of activities that they are involved in and how NEC is helping to make life better with self sovereign biometrics. You will be seeing more of these applications in your daily life very soon! NEC is striving to become a global company and Mel shares what it’s like to work at an overseas office of a Japanese company and how she manages the cultural differences between Japan and New Zealand.

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In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How Mel came to be Managing Director of NEC New Zealand
  • Cool self sovereign biometric technology that is coming into use in both NZ and Japan
  • NEC's shift towards becoming a more global company
  • Mel’s strategies for asking for things and knowing when to give an out to the other party

About Mel

Mel Barber is the Managing Director for NEC New Zealand, being appointed to the position after 18 months there. In previous roles at NEC, Mel held the position of GM Field Delivery, ensuring successful relationships with a number of key customers. Mel joined NEC from Ventia where she was the Project Director for the UFB2+ project – a $120M project bringing fibre to New Zealand’s rural communities. This was a complex project from design through to commissioning with a number of key stakeholders including local Iwi and community groups. Her focus on ensuring the best outcome for communities was recognised by Ventia in 2018 with a Highly Commended award for Enterprise. This project honed her skills in leadership and ensured a solid grounding in commercial, financial and stakeholder management. Mel is a transformational leader who believes in empowering her team to achieve the key priorities of the business. She believes in bringing her authentic self to work, leading with empathy and realism.

Connect with Mel

Website: https://www.nec.co.nz/ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/nec-new-zealand-ltd/


JNZBC: https://www.jnzbc.com/ 

Jandals in Japan is brought to you by Catherine O’Connell Law and PodLaunch with Jayne

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About the Podcast

Jandals in Japan
Bringing The Land of the Long White Cloud to The Land of the Rising Sun
The best show about New Zealanders doing business in Japan, bringing The Land of the Long White Cloud to The Land of the Rising Sun
How do you build a brand in Japan and nurture a loyal customer base?
What do you need to have in your tool belt if you are thinking of coming to Japan to launch a business here?
Japan is often considered to be in the "too hard" basket but we are here to open up the black box of doing business in Japan.
We will share stories from successful Kiwis selling their products and services here in Japan.
They'll tell you their tips for success and pitfalls to avoid.
They'll share their challenges and what they did to overcome them.
They will tell you things you can't find in textbooks or on the internet.
We will also be sharing the latest intel and insights on Japan from our on-the-ground presence
And you'll hear some super business culture and other tips from us sprinkled throughout.
Grab a glass of sake and let's get into it.
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About your hosts

Jayne Nakata

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Jayne Nakata is a Southland girl who arrived in Japan in 2002, planning to stay just two years. 20 years later she is still living in Fukushima Prefecture with her Japanese husband and two children. When the triple disaster hit in 2011, Jayne made the commitment to stay in Fukushima and contribute to rebuilding the area. She is the host of the award winning podcast Transformations with Jayne, which is a favourite with international women living in Japan. She is also the double award winning podcast producer and manager for PodLaunch with Jayne.

Catherine O’Connell

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Born and bred in Christchurch, Catherine O'Connell landed in Japan in 2002, on a one year contract, and 20 years later she's planted her feet firmly in Japan. She built a wealth of business and cultural experience working at the coal face of brand-name Japanese corporates as in house legal counsel. Catherine took a leap of faith down the entrepreneurial route launching her own multi award-winning boutique law firm in Tokyo in 2018, being the first Kiwi and first foreign female to do so. She is Vice Chair of the Australian & New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan and helps businesses thrive in the Japan market delivering business insights meshed with legal instincts. Catherine is also host of the award-winning Lawyer on Air Podcast.