Table of Contents
Hiroshi Mikitani is a prominent Japanese entrepreneur and businessman. He is the founder, CEO, and chairman of Rakuten, Inc., one of Japan’s largest e-commerce companies. Mikitani is known for his innovative approach to business and his efforts to globalize Rakuten.
Born on March 11, 1965, in Kobe, Japan, Mikitani graduated from Hitotsubashi University with a bachelor’s degree in commerce and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He worked for the Industrial Bank of Japan and the Industrial Bank of Japan Securities before venturing into entrepreneurship.
In 1997, Mikitani founded Rakuten with the goal of creating an online marketplace that could compete with international giants like Amazon and eBay. Under his leadership, Rakuten expanded rapidly and diversified its services beyond e-commerce. Today, Rakuten operates in various industries, including e-commerce, fintech, digital content, telecommunications, and more.
Hiroshi Mikitani – Biography, Early life, Family, Awards and More
Mikitani is known for his bold decision-making and his commitment to innovation. He introduced English as the official language of Rakuten to foster a more global mindset within the company. He also acquired several international companies, including Buy.com in the United States, PriceMinister in France, and Viber, a popular messaging and calling app.
Beyond Rakuten, Mikitani has been involved in various initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in Japan. He has supported startups through investments and mentoring and has advocated for regulatory reforms to encourage business growth.
Mikitani’s achievements have earned him recognition both in Japan and internationally. He has received numerous awards, including the Legion of Honor from the French government and the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure from the Japanese government.
Hiroshi Mikitani’s entrepreneurial journey and his contributions to the business landscape in Japan make him a notable figure in the country’s business community.
|March 11, 1965
|Ryōichi Mikitani, Setsuko Mikitani
|Ikuko Mikitani, Kenichi Mikitani
|Haruko Mikitani (m. 1993)
|B.Com, Hitotsubashi University
|Master of Business Administration, Harvard University
|Source of Wealth
|Online retail, Self Made
|Founder & CEO,
Rakuten, Inc. (1997-present)
Hiroshi Mikitani was born on March 11, 1965, in Kobe, Japan. He grew up in a business-oriented family, as his father was an engineer and his mother ran a bookstore. Mikitani developed an interest in entrepreneurship from a young age, inspired by his family’s entrepreneurial spirit.
He attended the prestigious Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, where he studied commerce. During his time at university, Mikitani gained a solid foundation in business and economics. After graduating, he went on to pursue an MBA from Harvard Business School, which further honed his business acumen and provided him with valuable insights into global business practices.
Mikitani’s education and exposure to different business environments set the stage for his future entrepreneurial endeavors. Armed with knowledge and a passion for business, he embarked on a path that would lead him to become one of Japan’s most successful and influential business leaders.
Hiroshi Mikitani Career
Hiroshi Mikitani’s career is marked by his remarkable entrepreneurial journey and his significant contributions to the business world, particularly in the realm of e-commerce and digital services. Here are the key highlights of his career:
In 1997, Mikitani founded Rakuten, originally named MDM, Inc. His vision was to create a comprehensive online marketplace that would rival global giants like Amazon and eBay. Under his leadership, Rakuten quickly grew into one of Japan’s largest e-commerce platforms.
Expanding Rakuten’s Services
Mikitani diversified Rakuten’s offerings beyond e-commerce, expanding into various sectors such as finance, digital content, telecommunications, travel, and more. This strategy transformed Rakuten into a multifaceted digital services company.
Mikitani spearheaded Rakuten’s global expansion efforts, aiming to position the company as a global player. Rakuten acquired several international companies, including Buy.com in the United States, PriceMinister in France, and Play.com in the UK. These acquisitions helped Rakuten establish a strong presence in international markets.
Introducing English as Rakuten’s Official Language
In 2010, Mikitani made a bold move by announcing English as the official language of Rakuten. This decision aimed to promote a more global mindset within the company and improve communication across international teams.
Investing in Startups
Mikitani has been actively involved in supporting startups and fostering innovation. Through Rakuten Ventures, the company’s investment arm, he has made strategic investments in various technology startups around the world, providing financial support and mentorship to emerging entrepreneurs.
Advocacy for Regulatory Reforms
Mikitani has been a vocal advocate for regulatory reforms in Japan to encourage entrepreneurship and business growth. He has actively engaged with policymakers and government officials, emphasizing the need for regulatory changes to foster a more vibrant startup ecosystem.
Mikitani is involved in various philanthropic endeavors. He established the Mikitani Foundation for the Recovery of Public Education in Japan to support educational initiatives. Additionally, he has contributed to disaster relief efforts, including donations to support the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
Hiroshi Mikitani’s career reflects his entrepreneurial spirit, innovative thinking, and commitment to global expansion. His leadership has propelled Rakuten to become a major player in the digital services industry, while his efforts to promote entrepreneurship have made a lasting impact on the Japanese business landscape.
Hiroshi Mikitani Education
Hiroshi Mikitani pursued his education in Japan and the United States, acquiring a solid academic background in business and economics. Here are the key details of his educational journey:
Hitotsubashi University: Mikitani attended Hitotsubashi University, a renowned institution in Tokyo, Japan. He studied commerce at the university, where he gained a comprehensive understanding of business principles, economics, and management.
Harvard Business School: After completing his undergraduate studies at Hitotsubashi University, Mikitani went on to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at Harvard Business School in the United States. At Harvard, he deepened his knowledge of business strategies, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
Mikitani’s education at both Hitotsubashi University and Harvard Business School provided him with a strong academic foundation and equipped him with the necessary skills and knowledge to embark on his entrepreneurial journey. The combination of Japanese and international business education likely contributed to his ability to navigate both local and global business landscapes effectively.
Hiroshi Mikitani Personal life
Hiroshi Mikitani, alongside his successful career, has a personal life that reflects his multifaceted interests and commitments. While specific details about his personal life may not be extensively publicized, here is an overview of some aspects:
Family: Mikitani has been relatively private about his family life. However, it is known that he is married and has children. He has not shared many details about his spouse and children publicly.
Philanthropy: Mikitani is involved in various philanthropic initiatives. He established the Mikitani Foundation for the Recovery of Public Education in Japan, which aims to support educational projects and initiatives in the country. He has also been active in contributing to disaster relief efforts and other charitable causes.
Sports Enthusiast: Mikitani is known for his passion for sports. He is a fan of soccer and is the owner and chairman of Vissel Kobe, a professional soccer team based in Kobe, Japan. Under his ownership, Vissel Kobe has made significant strides and attracted international talent, including high-profile players like Andrés Iniesta and Lukas Podolski.
Cultural Interests: Mikitani has a keen interest in promoting Japanese culture and heritage. He has been involved in initiatives to support traditional Japanese crafts and artisans. Additionally, he has emphasized the importance of incorporating elements of Japanese culture into the business world and has encouraged Rakuten employees to embrace their cultural roots.
Global Outlook: Mikitani is known for his international perspective and commitment to globalization. His decision to make English the official language of Rakuten reflects his vision of building a global company. He has also actively engaged with international leaders and organizations to promote cross-cultural understanding and business collaborations.
Hiroshi Mikitani and Rakuten, Inc.
Hiroshi Mikitani is the founder, CEO, and chairman of Rakuten, Inc., a Japanese multinational conglomerate that operates a wide range of businesses and services. Rakuten, headquartered in Tokyo, is one of the largest e-commerce companies in Japan and has expanded globally under Mikitani’s leadership. Here are some key points about Hiroshi Mikitani’s association with Rakuten:
Founding Rakuten: In 1997, Mikitani founded Rakuten, originally named MDM, Inc., with the vision of creating an online marketplace that would challenge international e-commerce giants. He launched Rakuten Ichiba, an online shopping mall, as the company’s flagship service.
Expansion and Diversification
Under Mikitani’s leadership, Rakuten expanded beyond e-commerce and diversified its portfolio of businesses. Today, Rakuten operates in various sectors, including financial services, digital content, telecommunications, travel, and more. Some notable services include Rakuten Bank, Rakuten Viber, Rakuten Kobo, Rakuten Mobile, and Rakuten TV.
Mikitani has been instrumental in Rakuten’s global expansion strategy. The company has made several acquisitions to establish a presence in international markets, including Buy.com in the United States, PriceMinister in France, and Play.com in the UK. Rakuten has also formed strategic partnerships with global brands and organizations to enhance its global reach.
Mikitani envisions Rakuten as an ecosystem that connects various services and businesses. He has fostered synergies between different Rakuten services, such as integrating Rakuten Super Points across the platform and offering cross-platform benefits to users.
Mikitani has fostered a culture of innovation within Rakuten. The company has invested in research and development, technology, and data analytics to drive continuous improvement and provide personalized experiences to customers.
English as the Official Language
In a bold move, Mikitani declared English as the official language of Rakuten in 2010. This decision aimed to promote a more global mindset and enhance communication within the company as it expanded internationally.
Mikitani encourages an entrepreneurial mindset among Rakuten employees. He empowers individuals to take ownership of their work, fosters a creative and flexible work environment, and promotes a “no-collar” approach that values skills and ideas over traditional hierarchies.
Through Hiroshi Mikitani’s vision and leadership, Rakuten has transformed into a global digital services company with a diverse portfolio of businesses. His focus on globalization, innovation, and cultivating an entrepreneurial culture has propelled Rakuten’s growth and solidified its position as a major player in the global business landscape.
Hiroshi Mikitani Award and Achievement
Hiroshi Mikitani has received several awards and accolades throughout his career in recognition of his contributions to the business world and his entrepreneurial accomplishments. Here are some notable awards and achievements:
Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure: In 2012, Mikitani was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Japanese government. This prestigious honor is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to Japan’s social and economic development.
Legion of Honor: Mikitani received the Legion of Honor, the highest civilian decoration in France, in 2013. This recognition was bestowed upon him for his efforts to strengthen economic ties between Japan and France.
EY Entrepreneur of the Year: In 2007, Mikitani was named the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Japan. This award acknowledges outstanding entrepreneurs who have made significant impacts on their industries and demonstrated exemplary leadership.
Forbes Asia Businessman of the Year: Mikitani was named the Forbes Asia Businessman of the Year in 2009. This recognition highlighted his achievements in building Rakuten into a global e-commerce powerhouse and his contributions to the Japanese business landscape.
Japan Venture Hall of Fame: Mikitani was inducted into the Japan Venture Hall of Fame in 2012, recognizing his entrepreneurial spirit and his role in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in Japan.
World Economic Forum Young Global Leader: Mikitani was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2005. This recognition identifies young leaders who have demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities and have made significant contributions to society.
These awards and achievements underscore Hiroshi Mikitani’s impact on the business world, his role in promoting entrepreneurship, and his efforts to foster global business connections. They reflect his vision, leadership, and commitment to driving innovation and growth in Japan and beyond.
Hiroshi Mikitani’s net worth was estimated to be around $6.6B.
Hiroshi Mikitani Facts
Here are some interesting facts about Hiroshi Mikitani:
Early Career in Finance: Before venturing into entrepreneurship, Mikitani worked in the finance industry. He gained experience at the Industrial Bank of Japan and the Industrial Bank of Japan Securities, where he honed his financial knowledge and skills.
English as Rakuten’s Official Language: Mikitani made the bold decision to adopt English as the official language of Rakuten in 2010. This move aimed to create a more globalized and interconnected corporate culture within the company.
Vision for a “No-Collar” Workforce: Mikitani coined the term “no-collar” to describe his vision for Rakuten’s employees. He believes in empowering individuals to take ownership of their work and encourages a flexible and entrepreneurial mindset among his employees.
Passion for Personal Development: Mikitani is a strong advocate for continuous learning and personal development. He encourages Rakuten employees to engage in lifelong learning and offers subsidies for them to pursue higher education and professional development programs.
Owner of Vissel Kobe: Mikitani is the owner and chairman of Vissel Kobe, a professional soccer team in Japan’s J1 League. Under his ownership, the team has attracted international talent and has made significant strides in the Japanese soccer scene.
Philanthropic Initiatives: Mikitani is actively involved in philanthropy. He established the Mikitani Foundation for the Recovery of Public Education in Japan, supporting educational projects in the country. He has also contributed to disaster relief efforts and other charitable causes.
Author: Mikitani has authored several books, including “The Power to Compete” and “The Rakuten Story.” In these books, he shares insights into his entrepreneurial journey, business philosophy, and the strategies behind Rakuten’s success.
Who is the CEO of Rakuten travel?
What is the net worth of Rakuten?
You may also like