How Rakuten is planning to runtheir entire business in English? s1170178 Yuya Ito
Rakutens Global Business● Rakutens goal is to become the worlds biggest Internet service company, so Rakuten sets up global business.● Currently with the rapidly declining birthrate and aging population, Japan faces a difficult future in which it is predicted the market will continue shrinking in the long term, thus, not apply only to Rakuten, company directs attention to global market.● Rakuten is coming to market of U.S., France, China and so on continuously.
Rakutens English Strategy● Rakuten is that English will be the companys official internal language by the end of 2012.● The Rakuten groups has 6,000 employees in the world, 400 employees of them are non-Japanese.● Rakutens president Hiroshi Mikitani got an MBA from Havard University, so he speaks English very well.
Rakutens English Strategy● If corporate officer cannot master English during two years time, corporate officer will be fired.● Rakuten intends to conduct executive meetings in English and eventually have all internal documents in English.● All menus of company cafeteria are already available in English.● Mikitani says that English widely used in cyberspace and IT.
The Other Companys English Strategy● Fast Retailing will make English an official language starting in March 2012, if only Japanese employees, these employees can use Japanese in email and meeting.● In Nidec case determines whether employees can advance or not by foreign language skills of employees.
Risk to Rakutens All English● Between Japanese employees and non- Japanese employees who speak English fluently have language barrier.● Rakutens importance of English is lower than companies like Nissan and Nomura.
Risk to Rakutens All English● Company cannot supply a high-quality service because English language skills of employees are poor.● There are unique expression in only native language.● Between Japanese and English have quite different structure.● The language culture in Japan may disappear.
Improvement Plan to Rakutens All English● Japan should reform English education. – English education in Japan should spend more time such as starting to educate in English in primary school. – English education in Japan should make strong effort of English speaking skills because English education in Japan is almost reading section.● Above improvement plan may be minimally-effective.
Conclusion● Rakuten increases internationalization for becoming the worlds biggest Internet service company.● Official in-house language of Rakuten will be English by the end of 2012.● Above Rakutens English strategy have various risks attached. – Between Japanese and non-Japanese have language barrier. – Japanese may be not able to provide high- quality service.
References● JAPANTODAY, Rakutens decision on English not welcomed by everyone, http://www.japantoday.com/category/kuchikomi/view/ra kutens-decision-on-english-not-welcomed-by-everyone● DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE, English as an official language: Is it necessary?, http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/columns/commentary/T1009 17003018.htm● Rakuten Careers, Rakuten Business Model, http://global.rakuten.com/careers/business/● The Japan Times, Rakutens all-English edict a bold move, but risky too, http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20100716f1.html
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