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Hiroshi Mikitani (三木谷浩史)

Hiroshi Mikitani is a founder and the Chairman of Rakuten, Inc ("rakuten" translated from Japanese language means "optimism"). The company is the third largest electronic commerce company in the world and the biggest in Japan. Mikitani is the fourth in the list of the richest people of Japan and suppossed to get more profit by competing with the world's biggest company Amazon.


  • Hiroshi Mikitani was born in March, 11, 1963 in Japan. His father, Ryoichi Mikitani is an economist. His mother, Setsuko worked for a trading company after her graduation from Kobe University in Japan. His sister, Ikuko is a physician (MD in Osaka University). His brother, Kenichi has a degree in biology and studies this discipline in the University in Tokio.

  • Career

    • After graduation, he joined the Industrial Bank of Japan (IBJ), Limited, now Mizuho Corporate Bank, and became an investment banker. In 1995, Mikitani left IBJ and founded Crimson Group the following year, a consulting company, and became its President and CEO. In February of 1997, he founded MDM, Inc. (now Rakuten, Inc.) and became its President and CEO. With only a handful of staff, Mikitani successfully launched the "Rakuten Ichiba" in May of the same year. In June 1999, MDM, Inc. changed its name to Rakuten, Inc. Rakuten, Inc. completed its IPO and was listed on the JASDAQ market in April 2000. Selected by Forbes as 7th among the World's Most Innovative Companies of 2012, Rakuten is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Western Europe, and the Americas.


    • Marketplace 3.0: Rewriting the Rules of Borderless Business
    • The Power to Compete: An Economist and an Entrepreneur on Revitalizing Japan in the Global Economy


    Quotations: 5 principles of Rakuten Company to become successful:

    1. Always Improve, Always Advance

    2.Be Passionately Professional

    3. Hypothesize→Practice→Validate→Shikumika

    4. Maximize Customer Satisfaction

    5. Speed!! Speed!! Speed!!

    “Our mission is to be the number one Internet company in the world”

    “There’s no way Japan can compete globally if we can’t communicate. This is important for Rakuten, and it is important for Japan.”

    “Before HBS, I never would have considered being an entrepreneur”

    "The most significant part of my study at Harvard was that I had an opportunity to expose myself to the American entrepreneurial spirit."

    "The realisation that I too am going to die some day seemed to have awakened something deep within the core of my very being. We only have one life to live, so we should live it to the fullest. Everything in this world is mujo [in a state of flux]."


    • Rakuten , Japan
      February 7, 1997





    • He is married, has 2 children
    • Wife: Haruko - Japanese
      Haruko (an IBJ colleague) run the back office of Rakuten when Hiroshi Mikitani found it with his own money in 1997. Now she owns 11,14% shares of Rakuten (Crimson Group owns17,3% of shares, Hiroshi Mikitani owns 16,6% )
    Hiroshi Mikitani
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    Born March 11, 1963
    (age 54)
    • 1988
      Hitotsubashi University
    • 1988
      Harvard Business School Harvard Business School
    • February 7, 1997
      Chief Executive Officer


    Angelina Blotskaya

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