You have joined disguise three years ago. Tell us about your journey here.
Since I joined disguise, I have been working hard to get leading Korean companies across film, content production and AV to learn and implement disguise into their workflows. Before meeting with me, they didn’t even know about the company but, with the help of my wonderful team and partners, we have managed to establish disguise’s reputation as a high-end market-leading solution in Korea. I am so proud of how far we’ve come. There have certainly been many challenges along the way, but the market demand for disguise is growing every day and we now even have dedicated resale partners that can help end clients receive greater access to disguise technology. At the end of the day, when I get to see the final look of a production powered by disguise and share these achievements with the rest of the world, that is the highlight of my job.
What attracted you to disguise in the first place?
disguise’s ethos of working, and creating, together is what makes it special. This happens both within the company and outside, with its user community. There is a strong sense of collaboration and mutual respect here. Even though our local team is quite small, we work closely with the global team in a way where everybody’s opinion is heard and respected.
What have been your biggest achievements for disguise Korea so far?
One of my biggest ambitions from the beginning was to get disguise involved in a CJENM project. They are the largest entertainment company in Korea, responsible for internationally renowned productions like Parasite, so it is extremely rewarding to know the country’s most well-known film studio, as well as many other leading virtual production studios like VA Corporation, NP Inc, XON Studios, Dexter, WestWorld, BasicTech, Tree Top Party, Gem Media and Amberin, are now powered by disguise xR. We have also been partnering with several government agencies such as BFC, CTIA and NIPA and Korea’s leading broadcast station KBS. Seeing disguise become a mainstream solution for virtual production and xR in Korea after only three years in the Korean market is extremely rewarding.
Any new exciting plans for disguise Korea?
We’re looking to expand disguise’s reach across multiple markets so we’re talking to several medium-sized studios and national broadcast stations about disguise’s xR and virtual production capabilities. At the same time, we’re also looking to install disguise to run projection-mapped content in various theme parks across the country. Although Korea is a small country, the market potential is vast. The country is sensitive to trends and moving very fast in adopting new technology. Our government recently announced its plan to build its own metaverse, so the demand for more interactive virtual experiences is growing and our xR workflow is perfectly placed to allow studios to deliver this. I am also contacting and cooperating with several universities to train the next generation in using disguise technology.
In the past year you've gone from a team of one to managing a team of seven (and counting). Tell us a bit about the disguise Korea team.
They are a wonderful group of people and extremely fast learners! Our support specialists had no experience with disguise before joining and, in less than a year, after undergoing the necessary training and dealing with a lot of support cases from around the world, they have mastered the disguise workflow and are now able to offer senior-level support to our customers. The same goes for our Project Manager, SungHo Jeong: he has been trained up on the disguise solution system and is now crucial in helping me provide a seamless experience to both new and existing customers. Our Business Development Manager, Serena Kim, has also been working closely with our partners to roll out our local marketing and PR activities. We are now looking for Unreal Engine Developers and senior level Support Specialists to join our team and help us build our creative capabilities.
It is well known that the tech industry around the world is not the most diverse. What has been your experience as a woman leading a tech company in Korea?
As I am often the only woman in the room, it’s not uncommon to be asked to talk about my background and qualifications when meeting with new potential customers for the first time. I think it’s a matter of curiosity, with so few women in a leadership position in the tech industry here, people are naturally curious to find out what my career journey has been before joining disguise. It’s quite a fun moment when we can talk to each other.
How do you think leadership diversity can be enhanced in Korea?
I think in Korea, a great way to support more women to become leaders is through education and policies that value work-life balance for working mothers. Speaking from my own experience, it is very difficult as a working mother to secure childcare in Korea and because of this, many women often end up quitting their jobs after having children. I think as women, if we want to progress in our career, we need to be transparent with our employer about the obstacles in our way and work together closely and collaboratively to address them. Companies that are dedicated to supporting female employees should also be transparent and open about the ways they intend to break the workplace bias and explain the tangible and also feasible progress they plan to make and, finally, remove, the gender pay gap.
South Korea actually has some powerful female leaders in its history. And the same qualities they had and have proven before are also applicable to women today. Women have the wisdom, charisma and emotional intelligence to lead but also look after the ones they lead.
How would you encourage a young woman to join the Korean tech industry?
Speaking specifically for disguise, I think, if you have a passion to learn you will be warmly welcomed here. Whether it's a technical or non-technical role, if you are dedicated and meticulous while being humble, you will have a bright future at disguise.