It takes courage to believe and invest in a futuristic idea. Rakuten took internet retail world by storm in an era where it was difficult to foresee how big online retailing would eventually become. The team believed in their idea and refused to give up. This incredible company worked hard even though everyone kept telling that nobody would purchase goods over the internet.
Rakuten was founded by Hiroshi Mikitani in 1997 and was originally called MDM, Inc. The name was eventually changed in 1999. ‘Rakuten’ is a Japanese word which means ‘optimism’. Mikitani continues to be the CEO. The idea was new and dicey. Despite that, Hiroshi was convinced to launch Rakuten after his first experience with online shopping. He purchased Japanese noodles from a small local store and his order arrived in the mail. Post this experience, he realised that online shopping would become an everyday activity within few years and decided to capitalize on the opportunity.