With the revival of the sinking wireless business into a profit machine, CEO and Chairman of Rakuten Group, Hiroshi Mikitani aims to double their local e-commerce revenue to 10 trillion yen or $78.9 billion.
According to Mikitani, the relationship between e-commerce and mobile is much more lucrative than anticipated and predicts accelerated growth. He wants to become a “global platform in the true sense”.
Mikitani has earned his billion through the e-commerce platform Rakuten, where everything from edibles to decorations to vacations is sold.
By entering the telecom market, the group is eyeing exporting its business model. Although Rakuten became the 4th largest wireless service provider in Japan, it is yet to become a profitable enterprise. In fact, Rakuten suffered 194.7 billion yen in losses last year. According to estimates, Rakuten will only start making profits monthly from next year onwards.
Mikitani wants to grow the customer base by introducing a uniform subscription plan and by incorporating improved sales techniques. To achieve its target of 10 trillion yen, Rakuten wants to integrate its mobile and e-commerce business. In fact, Rakuten wireless users spending on the Inchiba online marketplace has grown 70% when compared to other wireless users.
There are rumours of a Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo collaboration, which is one of the famed fashion shows in the world. Rakuten aims to lay the foundation for a cashless payment platform for local users with their phones by incorporating their online grocery enterprise with Seiyu.
Rakuten is also developing a virtualised network model to popularise economical cloud-based software. Mitani also believes that there is a global trend of moving away from Chinese telecommunications citing privacy concerns.