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Finding Oneself
in Japan

Munir Y. Khoja

Marketing Department, Abdul Latif Jameel Co. Ltd.

Faculty of Science and Technology
Department of Industrial Administration
Class of 2002

Saudi Arabia

Munir Y. Khoja’s decision to go to Japan was a detour that changed his life in amazing ways.

Khoja is senior general manager of national parts marketing at Abdul Latif Jameel, which is the Toyota Group’s biggest independent distributor of Toyota group vehicles and parts in the world.

In opting to go to Japan and ultimately to TUS Khoja was taking the path much less chosen.

“In high school I thought about applying to schools in the U.S., Europe and England, but I wanted something different, something unique...and I wanted a challenge. So, I thought of Japan. It offered a lot, including that I would learn to speak a third language,” he explains.

After arriving in Japan, Khoja learned Japanese at a language school. While there he met a fellow Saudi countryman and learned of TUS. He applied to five universities but was happy to get into his first choice—TUS.

“I was looking for industrial engineering and I think at that time only six or seven universities offered it,” he says.

After entering, Khoja was relieved to find a strong support net.

“The best part of TUS for me was that one of the professors in the Department of Industrial Administration had, studied, graduated and, I think, worked in the U.S. So he knew how to deal with an exchange student and exactly what kind of difficulties I would face,” he says.

In his career of 11 years at Abdul Latif Jameel with a two-year stint with Toyota in Japan, Khoja says his TUS experience has paid off.

“The skills that I studied at TUS have been very helpful in my work, particularly in the areas of supply chain management, inventory management and decision-making skills,” he says.

If his experience so far is any guide, this will only continue to be the case in the future as well.

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