Japanese Ecommerce Giant Rakuten Opens India Office. More Competition?
Japanese E-Commerce giant Rakuten has announced that they are opening up Rakuten India Development and Operations Center (RIDOC) in Bangalore India. They have collaborated with PROLIM Global Corporation, an IT consulting services company based in USA with operations in India. The RIDOC is located in the World Trade Center in Bangalore, which is known by many as the Silicon Valley of India and is the home to a large number of multinational IT companies.
So the obvious question… Are they going to launch Indian version of Rakuten online?
As of now, NO, but given their entry in India and explosively growing Indian e-commerce market, the fact cannot be discounted that they will be inclined to do it sooner rather than later.
So it appears that Flipkarts and Snapdeals of India do not have worry about Rakuten, atleast not yet!
As per the company press release, the newly opened Bangalore (RIDOC) office will play the primary role as a global development center and will also supplement Rakuten’s knowledge-base and staffing retention.
Rakuten explained that they face challenges managing their contracted or partner staff, who are often only involved on a project-by-project basis. The Indian development center will play an important role in addressing this issue by supplementing the India development operations with a Build-Operate-Transfer framework, which will help retain personnel, increase the knowledge-base and give partner staff more opportunities to support other Rakuten Group companies and projects around the world.
Rakuten already has similar development centres in China (Beijing), the U.S. (San Francisco) and Singapore.
Now, if you are not aware of Rakuten, they are Tokyo based ecommerce marketplace, which is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world’s largest by sales. In FY 2014, they had a revenue of USD 5.56 billion and employ over 10,800 people [source: Wiki].
While e-commerce is their main business, over the years they have also diversified into travel, financial and telecom services.
Rakuten has grown aggressively in last few years through number of acquisitions. In February of this year, they acquired popular mobile messaging company Viber for USD 900 million!
We will keeping a close eye on Rakuten to see how long can they resist jumping into Indian E-Commerce market…Any guesses?