ARTICLE Backstage Access: Alex Lee, Director of Atomy’s Overseas Marketing Team
Backstage Access: Alex Lee, Director of Atomy’s Overseas Marketing Team
Article by Nicole Sim and Lionel Wong
Mr Alex Lee, Director of Atomy's Overseas Marketing Team
Since Atomy was founded, its success has allowed it to expand rapidly with branches in 11 countries and more on the way. But have you ever
wondered what it takes to be able to transform Atomy into a company with such far-reaching connections? Nicole Sim sits down with Mr Alex Lee, Director of Atomy’s Overseas Marketing Team, to find out what it takes to bring Atomy globally.
The moment Mr Lee Hyun-Woo walks into the room, I feel my initial nervousness dissipate. He smiles at me and offers a polite, but firm, handshake. There’s a short silence after my questions as Mr Lee carefully considers not just the question, but also his answer. He replies slowly, partly because of his determination to answer all my questions, but also partly because each word carries so much thought and consideration behind it. And as we chat, I begin to understand how this soft-spoken and humble man has proven to be so successful in his role as the Director of Atomy’s Overseas
What initially drew you to Atomy?
Well, I was initially working for a company that sold automobile components and parts. Six years ago, I had the good fortune to hear the CEO of Atomy [Mr Park Han Gill] share his concept and vision of Atomy as a company that will serve with humility. I felt that I could believe in and share these values espoused by CEO Park, and hence I decided to join Atomy.
What was it like to work directly with CEO Park Han-Gill?
In my previous company, I felt like I was just a worker, a cog in the machine. But in Atomy, it’s different. CEO Park really puts a lot of trust in Atomy’s members to develop their own working style. I have a greater sense of accomplishment and achievement. Most importantly, I also have valuable
opportunities to share my feelings and experiences with other members to help them achieve their dreams as well.
When I first started with Atomy, it was a completely brand-new experience. As a distribution company, Atomy is nothing like my previous job. I had to learn everything from scratch. Fortunately, CEO Park was very willing to guide me and help me. Although he obviously has his system of doing
things, he also allowed me the freedom to develop and fine-tune his system.
Looking forward, what are the future plans for Atomy?
To me, I see Atomy as a marketing business that connects the world. Currently, we have branches in 11 countries, and my goal is to bring Atomy to at least two new countries each year. This year , we have opened branches in Thailand and Mexico. For 2018, my team and I are looking at
expanding to Vietnam and Indonesia. In 2019, maybe China and India or Australia. Europe? Turkey? [Laughs]. A lot of countries are waiting for us.
As the Director of Atomy’s Overseas Marketing Team, what personally drives or motivates you to transform Atomy into a global brand?
When I was in my previous company, I was in-charge of liaising with overseas companies in countries. That was one aspect of my work that I really enjoyed—being able to travel overseas to work with and learn from others. I get to meet people from different countries and to learn from them;
not just learning about their culture, but learning from their culture.
Recently, with a lot of chaos and instability in our world. I believe that Atomy can help the international community by bringing hope to people. I see Atomy not being just a business, but also a way of serving and helping people by allowing them to fulfil their dreams of success through our
Having travelled around the world, what are the similarities and differences you see in different regions?
Everybody wants to be happy! [Laughs]. Everyone wants to love, and to be loved in return. They want their dreams to come true. But each country has its own culture and practices. Some countries are very open to our business model while others are very strict. So we need to learn how to
adapt to each country.
There are also great differences in infrastructure. Some countries have great infrastructure, logistics and technology, which is great for online businesses such as Atomy. In other countries, where the technology is not so advanced, it can be an obstacle to overcome.
Speaking of obstacles, you must have faced a number of difficulties in your role as Director of Atomy’s Overseas Marketing Team. Could you share with us about some of these difficulties?
I think that the most obvious struggle, in the Atomy HQ as we call it, is that of limited capacity. As we expand and open branches in more and more countries, we face challenges in providing sufficient support to our members.
For example, when we expand into a new country, we need to train and equip our members with the necessary skills. Our materials also need to be translated into the local language. Our staff not only needs to know how to speak and understand a new language, but also to adapt to the culture of each country. My team also looks at ways to help Atomy members, especially our new members, understand our unique company culture. Recently, I’ve been travelling a lot to Malaysia and Thailand to see how our members are doing, and to understand how my team and I can offer better
support for them.
So yes, it’s definitely quite a challenge to ensure that we are expanding and growing, but at the same time we ensure that we provide the support that our members will require!
Would you like to share a bit of your work schedule with our members? I’m sure that they are curious to get an idea of what goes on behind the scenes, so to speak.
Well, I spent quite a lot of time on preparing for forays into new countries. For example, we’ve already established the company’s first branch in
Vietnam, and obtained our foreign investment license there. We’ve done our product registration there, and now we’re focusing on establishing
and fine-tuning our logistical infrastructure, such as the distribution and payment systems. We do marketing and recruitment research, particularly for countries that we intend to expand to. As Atomy is a company that wants to serve with humility, it is important that we understand how Atomy can adapt to best meet the needs of the different customers in different countries and cultures.
Of course, we also look at legal aspects such as licenses and trademarks. In Jakarta, where we’re looking to set up Atomy Indonesia, we’re also
applying for licenses. This will probably take more than a year, because there are a lot of licenses to obtain!
And, as I have shared just now, a large part of my job is also supporting our established branches. My team and I develop training materials, product catalogues, as well as seminars, which we then translate into the different languages for our members in different countries.
Do you have any last thoughts to share with our members?
Rest assured that my team and I are doing our best to support your success, so just do your best!