What it does: Sony is a Japanese multinational conglomerate that engages in the design, development, manufacture, and sale of devices, electronic equipment, instruments, game consoles, and software for professionals, consumers, and industrial markets.
Best known for: Today, Sony is one of the world's leading manufacturers of electronic products while owning one of the biggest music entertainment businesses in the world. As of January 2020, it ranks 116th in the Global Fortune 500 list. For gamers, the brand is known for its PlayStation line of gaming consoles.
Staff stats: 114,400 as of 2019
The good bits: Competitive base pay in most locations, topnotch technology, comprehensive benefits, flexible working hours, work-life balance, and a chance to work with talented individuals
The not-so-good bits: As a large scale company, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle even when doing exceptional work. Though there is plenty of room for advancement, getting recognised may be an issue. Insiders also complained about company bureaucracy and long hours for some roles.
In 1946, Sony was founded by Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka in Tokyo after World War II under the name Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corp. With a capital of less than 200,000 yen, the company was able to release its first product: a power megaphone. It also released Japan's first tape recorder in 1950.
During the mid-1950s, the brand launched its global expansion with another name change. By combining the Latin word for sound (sonus) and the American word 'sonny', the brand changed its name to Sony Corp in 1960. In the following decades, Sony expanded globally to the US, UK, Spain, France, and Germany.
A technological pioneer in many ways, Sony has a rich history of introducing new technologies which included Japan's first transistor radio, the world's first direct-view portable TV, the smallest all-transistor TV, the Handycam (a portable camcorder which eventually evolved into the High Definition Handycam, the world's smallest video camera) and the world's first Blu-ray disc player.
In 1979, Sony released their most iconic product – the Walkman – a small portable cassette tape player that revolutionised the way people enjoyed the music.
The company is a major player in the music and film industries, with Sony Music and Sony Pictures divisions. American label CBS became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony in 1988 before acquiring Columbia Studios and rights to its back catalogue of movies in 1989. Its gaming division, Sony Computer Entertainment, was launched in 1993. Its Playstation line of gaming consoles and their counterparts are one of the company's biggest sources of income.
Today, faced with a failing smartphone business amidst powerful competitors, Sony's Games & Network Services is the company's strongest area, driven by the success of the PlayStation 4 which by December 2018 had sold over 91.6 million consoles.
The recruitment process
The recruitment process varies from role to role, but graduates may expect an initial telephone interview with a hiring manager. Here, basic questions about the graduate's educational background, achievements and related experiences will be asked. Promising applicants will be called back for a series of two to four face-to-face panel or one-on-one interviews with HR representatives or department managers. Questions may either be behavioural or technical. Insiders described the interview process to be very casual and informal, with a majority having a pleasant experience. The process may take three weeks to three months.
A competitive base salary with fringe benefits that may include employee discounts on products, comprehensive health insurance programs and policies.
A competitive base salary with fringe benefits that may include product discounts, annual salary reviews, superannuation (paid death and total permanent disability insurance and salary continuance insurance), employee assistance program, financial advice, study assistance program, discounted corporate health plan, novated leasing options, employee referral program, paid maternity leave, and employee engagement events.
A competitive base salary with fringe benefits that may include product discounts, flexi-time, comprehensive medical and insurance coverage, and an employee referral program, among others.
Trainee software engineers receive around INR610,293 per year, software engineers around INR716,915 per year, and consultants around INR1,055,922 per year. Fringe benefits may include health insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, and comprehensive training, among others.
Sony's company philosophy is based around the concept of 'kando', or moving people emotionally and giving them the 'wow' factor. To do this, employees are encouraged to exploit their individual passions in order to design competitive products for their customers.
Kando also represents the emotional connectivity of everyone involved in the company, emphasising the bonding element that is critical for processes and operations within the firm. To uphold this, effective communication is promoted throughout the vertical and horizontal levels of the organisation, global employee surveys are conducted regularly, and employee engagement events are held to foster deeper relationships between colleagues.
The company's core values are dream and curiosity, diversity, integrity and sincerity, and sustainability. With these values, Sony believes that innovation may be achieved with diversified viewpoints are considered, while acting responsibly and in an ethical manner.
Sony's corporate social responsibility is expressed through partnerships with non-profits, employee volunteerism, and in-kind product donations. To help local communities, the company focuses on youth education, arts and culture, sustainability and the environment, helping disadvantaged youth, and disaster relief.
After fighting its way back to record profits after its biggest-ever loss of roughly USD6.36 billion in 2012, the company is in the process of restructuring (efforts in previous years included layoffs and closed divisions), and these initiatives seem to be paying off with profitability improving. While the future may not seem clear, Sony offers a variety of attractive points for graduates: great benefits and pay, flexible working hours, work-life balance, and a chance to work on the next world-changing innovation.