The Product Manager

Ry edited by lancee
Ry Van Veluwen

Ry is a problem solver. And with the influx of complex problems it provides, E-commerce is right up his alley. As a product manager for The Plant, Ry is in charge of guiding the quality and vision of the E-commerce platform. His passion for data and insights draws him to the metrics driven field, and he feels a great sense of accomplishment by looking at the tangible output of his work.

In Ecomm, you can add a feature and see the significant changes. As a result, customers can increase sales. I like having tangible output with the stuff that I do.

Working in Tokyo brings him additional new challenges of cultural standards and influences within the field as well.

There’s an interesting challenge that people haven’t been able to solve yet. How do you work within the confines of a modern Japanese culture to make products that are agile, fresh, unique, and moving quickly. These things are counter to standard Japanese work culture.

With many puzzle pieces to put together, the combination of Ecommerce and Tokyo seems to be the dream team of obstacles for the challenger that Ry is.

Akin to his work life, Ry has successfully solved many of the problems that foreigners face in Tokyo. His love for exploring bars and restaurants, his easy-going Aussie attitude, and his drive to meet new people has made it quite easy for him to blend into the homogenous city culture. He’s actually become quite the Tokyo nightlife connoisseur, and is the go-to person in the office for new and hip places to go to in the city.

Born and raised on a farm in a small surf town in Australia. Ry had always felt different from his surroundings.

I was a weirdo in an Australian context. I grew up in a beach town with a bunch of hippies, and I was someone who was really into design. In that community, I was considered a bit strange.

Yet his tenacious attitude and passion for his career led him initially to Hong Kong, and then to thrive in Tokyo.

Transitioning from that to here you learn the lesson that you should just do what makes you happy and look after yourself.

Ry’s passion, whether it be Ecommerce, product, photography, exploring, or partying, all play a significant part in his life, and somehow merge together fluidly to create the person he is today. As Ry would say, Do what makes you happy. And he seems to be doing just that.

Author: Kana Hihara

Illustrator: Carina Kikuchi