Hi, this is R-Hack editorial office.
In this “Work Style” series, we will highlight and introduce the variety of people working here at Rakuten Commerce Tech.
*The mask was taken off only for the picture.
Introducing: Segawa-san, Product Manager of Rakuten Ichiba product page development team
Today, I will introduce Segawa-san, who joined Rakuten mid-career in August 2021. She was assigned to the Navigation Group, Product Management Section, EC Marketplace Development Department (hereinafter “Rakuten Ichiba Product Manager Section”), and mainly works as the product manager (PDM) of the product pages in Rakuten Ichiba. She is from Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture, famous for its apples, and “oyaki” (wheat flour or buckwheat flour bun stuffed with red bean paste or vegetable filling) and “kuri-okowa” (sticky rice cooked with chestnuts) are her comfort food. In her previous job, she worked for a social media marketing consulting company and developed web services for social media management/analysis.
Since the development team was small, she could work on a wide range of tasks, including requirements definition, specification development, platform API research, project management, integration testing and customer support. On the other hand, she also wanted to spend more time on “creating” purely for the growth of the product, and wanted to improve her skills by focusing more on specialized areas such as requirements and specifications.
So, without further ado, let me interview Segawa-san about her motivation and the background for joining Rakuten, and her enthusiasm for working here!
A large-scale service makes it possible! Division of labor = chance to become a specialist
--Could you tell us the reason why you decided to transfer to Rakuten?
Segawa: Since Rakuten Ichiba is a large-scale service, it implements division of labor. I was attracted that the division of labor was connected to becoming a specialist in a good way, such as the PDMs being gathered in one department. By gathering people with the same role in one place, I thought that quality can be ensured by standardizing the work with a team of specialists instead of trial and error by individuals alone. I also thought that working in the team would be useful to improve my own skills.
(The members of Rakuten Ichiba Navigation Group, Product Management Section)
--I see, it was beneficial for both you and the product. Was there anything that surprised you when you joined Rakuten, or any culture gap that you felt?
Segawa: I was surprised by the amount of information when I joined! It felt like being thrown into a huge room that was packed up to the ceiling with “information drawers” all around. Various information is conveniently accessible, and a culture of information sharing is fostered, so that when you have a problem, you can quickly find a solution from the company Q&A, manuals or someone’s notes. But, I just feel that the amount is huge! I think having this amount of accessible information means that the company is that much transparent, but I think I will be overwhelmed for a while. I would like to be able to retrieve the necessary information more quickly, and also organize the information so that other members can access the necessary information more easily.
It’s not a “vending machine”, but a “market” where shopkeepers set up their stores in a square
--Please tell us what you would like to challenge at Rakuten and your vision for the future.
Segawa: First, I would like to be able to explain in my own words the raison d'etre (why) of the product I’m in charge of. Then, I would like to define requirements and specifications that will enhance the value of the experience for people using Rakuten’s services and products.
--Enhancing the value of experience isn’t easy, but it’s a worthwhile goal!
Segawa: I will find specific measures through work. However, upon joining Rakuten, I read a book written by Mikitani-san and in it, he said Rakuten Ichiba is not a “vending machine” lined with products, but a “market” where shopkeepers set up their stores in a square. I was shocked by these words, and it made me like Rakuten Ichiba even more. As the PDM of product pages, I will work on product development with the awareness of “designing the meeting place between customers and stores”.
--Finally, please give a message to those who are interested in working at Rakuten.
Segawa: Rakuten is a very good company to work for if you have goals and want to work autonomously. As for “English as the official language”, of course you need to make an effort, but I feel that the benefits are much greater when you dive in. When you’re involved in software development, a lot of primary information and useful tools are in English, so you’ll find that default English is more efficient than you imagined once you get used to it!
--Thank you for your time today! (End of interview)
This time, I had the pleasure of interviewing Segawa-san, who joined Rakuten mid-career. I’m looking forward to seeing what she does in the future as the PDM of Rakuten Ichiba. Thank you for reading this interview. There are many more departments here at Rakuten. We will continue to introduce Rakuten Commerce Tech employees with diverse backgrounds working in various departments, so if you are interested, please come back to read more!
Rakuten Ichiba is actively hiring in many other related sections in addition to the Rakuten Ichiba Product Manager Section introduced here. If you are interested, please check out the recruitment information in the links below!