A Glimpse into Takeshi's Journey from Onboarding in 2008 until Now

Interview with Takeshi Ishikawa, Sales Manager at INFICON Japan


In 2008, Takeshi Ishikawa made a major career change and joined INFICON. He previously worked primarily in Japanese. However, he wanted to work in a more global environment. At first, Takeshi was a little concerned about his English skills. However, INFICON provided a lot of training and support, and Takeshi was able to gain confidence in himself. The nice work environment and the opportunity for personal growth were also major reasons why Takeshi felt good about his new job. Takeshi started at INFICON as a sales employee. 

Sales Team Kansai Area, Japan

In 2017 Takeshi became Sales Area manager for the Kansai area in Japan and has now its office in Osaka, together with his employee. 


1. What attracted you to INFICON and why did you decide to join the company?

I joined the company in 2008 as a sales representative in a career change. I wanted to broaden my work experience by working in a global environment, but since I had been working for a Japanese company until then, I had few opportunities to use English, and I was quite anxious about English. Also, I had been working in a technical position before joining INFICON, and changing to a sales position required a courageous decision on my part. However, it was significant that I felt that my worries could be resolved by my own efforts after joining the company, as long as the company provided an education system that included external training and English language education and support. I also find it attractive that employees are empowered to take on challenges and that the company as a whole provides an environment in which they can work with high motivation.

2. What is your current job description?

I'm engaged in sales of measurement instruments related to vacuum technologies, like vacuum gauges or leak detectors, RGAs and so on. INFICON products, especially vacuum gauges, are widely used in manufacturing equipment for semiconductors, optical products, etc. Therefore, my daily work involves sales activities to domestic equipment manufacturers and marketing to various industries as components of manufacturing equipment. Since vacuum gauges are used in various industries, it is a good opportunity for me to meet and talk with many people. Although I do not always succeed, I try to select a model that meets the customer's needs and make a proposal that is beneficial to the customer.

3. Please tell us about the most memorable event that occurred after you joined INFICON.

I think the working environment is very impressive; as a salesperson it is very helpful to have an environment where I can work anywhere, even when I am out of the office or on a business trip, since I am provided with equipment such as PCs, iPads, and pocket Wi-Fi. In addition, there is a telecommuting system that allows me to work from home while taking care of my child on days when he or she is absent from school due to illness, which is very helpful for me. Although this is a different perspective from the work content, the working environment is impressive.

4. What are some of the challenges you face in your work?

It was not a significant challenge, but INFICON has many types of products such as vacuum gauges and leak detectors and so on, and it took me a long time to reach a level where I could propose product specifications, features, and usage methods to customers. I learned a lot from customers and coworkers, and I think those efforts are now my assets. New models and products come out all the time, and I feel the importance of keeping up-to-date on these offerings.

5. When (where) do you find your work attractive and rewarding?

When I am able to make a good proposal to a customer and the proposal develops into a new business project, I feel a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment as a salesperson. Another thing that appeals to me as a salesperson is that I have opportunities to visit various places and meet various people, including customers and dealers, through my sales activities, and I think I enjoy my job even more when I become good friends with the people I meet.

6. What kind of people would you like to have as colleagues to work with?

It may sound strange, but I think "people with horsepower" are attractive. When you are working, there are busy times and calm times, good times and bad times. I think it is important to never give up during those busy times. I want to work with people who do not give up easily during hard situations. I would also like to grow together with you so that others around me will think so too.

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