Rakuten headquarters in Tokyo Behrouz Mehri/Getty Images

La "tierra de oportunidades" de Japón

TOKIO – No muchas empresas con oficinas centrales en Tokio pueden hacer alarde de su diversidad. Hace veinte años, cuando fundé Rakuten como una ambiciosa empresa nueva de Internet y comercio electrónico, éramos como la mayoría de las empresas japonesas -pequeñas y dominadas por talento japonés esencialmente masculino-. Pero hoy, con más de 10.000 empleados -40% de los cuales son mujeres- de 70 países, estamos entre los comercios online más grandes del mundo. Y es nuestra diversidad lo que nos ha vuelto tan exitosos.

Hace apenas cinco años, Rakuten todavía era predominantemente un equipo japonés. Pero en marzo de 2010, en una decisión que, a mi entender, fue esencial para nuestro crecimiento posterior, anuncié la "anglonización", un plan para hacer del inglés nuestro idioma corporativo en los siguientes dos años. El objetivo era sentar las bases para una expansión global en una industria que compite agresivamente por talento experto en Internet.  

Cuando anuncié la anglonización, sólo el 10% de nuestra fuerza laboral manejaba el inglés de manera fluida. Como era de esperarse, algunos en mi equipo se mostraron aprensivos; otros, especialmente fuera de la empresa, pensaron que yo estaba un poco loco. Pero, apenas siete años más tarde, titanes del mundo corporativo en Japón nos piden consejos sobre cómo construir una marca global basada en la capital japonesa.

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