Rakuten: A Technology Company
Within traditional corporate environments, technology is often seen as one business tool amongst many others. At Rakuten, it is driving our business from the center. Over the years, Rakuten has devised a unique business model and commercialized a variety of products, all of which are technology-driven. This is why we call Rakuten a technology company: technology is our true nature.
Our Development Unit plays a central role in technology and is currently going through an important period of change as it is becoming global.
At the moment, more than 80% of our Development Unit hires are from outside Japan, engineers of all nationalities and backgrounds.
Englishnization leads to a global expertise.
Changing the business language to English in 2010 was a turning point for Rakuten.
Even though technology is borderless, we realized that the Japanese language has been creating barriers between Japanese companies and technologies. For example, if a new technology has been developed abroad, it will take time before it finally gets localized to Japanese and, therefore, Japanese companies are often left trailing behind. Making English the company’s official language became essential at a time where we are no longer competing in a domestic market but in a global one.
Engineers are now able to routinely perform, for example, video conferences with offices in Singapore or Canada. This new environment has been well received by engineers from outside Japan and has been one of the main reasons they decided to join Rakuten.
Creating new value to meet global standards
With engineers coming from all over the world also comes a multiplicity of visions on technology.
For example, Rakuten’s free telecommunication application software Viber was originally developed in former USSR country Belarus. Belarus went through tremendous changes in recent years and is now reputed for its High Technologies Park and numerous IT ventures. Engineers in this country are using technology to transform and shape their society. Also, perhaps the engineers who originally developed the streaming site Viki were motivated by the idea of users from all over the world enjoying the dramas they would distribute.
Always keeping up with new technology, we are developing our own unique products, building new systems and changing at a tremendous speed. At the Development Unit, by working with people from all over the world and with the most advanced technology, we feed our constant desire of intellectual stimulation. This value, we believe, is also borderless.
To become the No.1 Internet Service Company in the world
Our CEO and founder, Hiroshi Mikitani, argues that management should be familiar with technology, finance and marketing. The first source code of Rakuten was self-developed shortly after the company was founded. From the beginning of Rakuten until now and moving forward, we give the world products we developed from our own technology. This true nature hasn’t changed and, in order to keep it, our Development Unit must keep changing and evolving.
However, some aspects don’t change. Our ambition doesn’t. Our desire to change the world by always approaching product development from the customer’s eyes perspective stays. Finally, our motivation for further realizations remains through our love of technology.
Our engineers are from all nationalities with different native languages and cultures but they all share the same ambition of developing unique products. If you are interested in challenging yourself in a stimulating environment, let’s work together!