Joined Rakuten Group mid-career in 2019
Department…EC Marketplace Development Department (ECMPD)
Hobby…running, hiking, enjoying time with his daughter
Hi, everyone. This is R-Hack editorial office.
MIP (Most Impressive Person) is one of the internal awards in Rakuten Group Commerce & Marketing Company Development Department, presented once every quarter to the people who contributed the most to the organization from among all Company employees.
The winner of the 4Q 2022 MIP was Misha, who is the team lead of the Rakuten Ichiba Mobile App (in Japanese only) product management team. By researching user needs and behavior and reflecting them on the search tab, he enhanced the search tab which led to a significant increase in revenue.
Misha, who has had a strong interest in Japanese culture since he was a student, came to Japan after graduation and joined Rakuten Group in 2019, now playing an active role in the company. Here is the interview with him.
--Misha, can you tell us about your hometown, Moscow?
Moscow is very similar to the capital of Japan, Tokyo. Both cities are megacities with populations exceeding 10 million. Moscow, much like Tokyo, is characterized by its dynamic urban rhythm, marked by lively streets and bustling transportation.
I specialized in the Japanese language and had a strong interest in Japan's culture. Upon graduating, I ventured to Japan planning a brief visit that was supposed to last only a few months. However, the country's allure captivated me, leading me to prolong my stay and ultimately find my first job on this island far from home.
--So, you grew fond of Japan and found a job here. Can you tell us how you came to work at Rakuten Group?
I held varied roles across several companies, including positions as a Product Manager, engineer, and technical translator.
Prior to joining Rakuten Group, I was affiliated with a car buying service company. There, I was part of a team that developed a platform to help users sell their cars at optimal prices. Coincidentally, Rakuten Group acquired this company just a month after my onboard. I am happy to say that the results of the development work I did in my previous job still live in “Rakuten Car” today.
--Please tell us about your work and team when you won the MIP.
I belong to the EC Marketplace Development Department, and I am the team lead for the Rakuten Ichiba Mobile App product management team, composed of several dedicated members. We take care of almost every aspect of the Mobile App, except for the item screens and the shops’ main screens.
We collaborate closely with other teams, like engineers, designers, QA engineers, and business units that guide strategic decisions to create an app that's not just functional but delightful to use. Our team’s mission is to help guide the shoppers through the app, making their experience as enjoyable and efficient as possible.
--Can you tell us about the “Search Tab Improvement on Ichiba App” project with which you won the MIP?
Our goal was to allow users to not only find what they were looking for but also discover products that better align with their preferences and new products. So, we conducted research on user needs and behavior and decided to enhance the search tab. The improvements led to an increase in revenue of billions of yen per month. I would say this is an example of how understanding users' needs and reflecting them in functionality can lead to substantial growth and success.
-Billions of yen in revenue per month! Amazing! Can you tell us in detail how you proceeded with the project?
We began with an A/B test on iOS to measure performance, carefully evaluating the new features and modifications. Once we confirmed satisfactory performance, we broadened the changes to reach more users, closely monitoring feedback to ensure no negative responses emerged. Fortunately, the reception was positive. Encouraged by the success, we decided to expand the improvements to the Android platform in the next release.
--How did it feel winning the MIP?
To be honest, I was caught completely off guard when the MIP team reached out to me. This was just one of many projects I've tackled in recent years. But wow, did I feel proud and grateful to have been part of something so special.
In my role as Product Manager, I worked closely with both the business and engineering teams, acting as a bridge to ensure that we maximized value for our users. Big thanks to everyone who was involved! Getting the MIP isn't just about me; it's a high-five to the whole team's hard work and dedication. Their teamwork, creative thinking, and all-out commitment made this achievement happen.
Misha brought together the business and engineering teams to achieve great results. Congratulations again on winning the MIP! We look forward to your continued success!
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