Rakuten enters B2B space in India, launches SaaS product SixthSense

Pune: Japanese internet firm Rakuten is entering the business-to-business (B2B) space in India with the launch of a software-as-a-service product, SixthSense. The code to customer observability platform has been created by the company’s development centre in India and was being used by Rakuten across its global locations over the last few years.

“India is the first market where we are launching this, given the hypergrowth we see here,” Sunil Gopinath, CEO, Rakuten India, told ET.

Over time, the company may look at taking this to other markets in the Asia Pacific region. While this is the first such product that the company is launching externally, Gopinath said that there were a few other products that were being incubated that may be launched at a later date.

The platform, which will be available on a subscription model, will help provide end-to-end visibility of the entire IT environment, from development to business operations. There is a lot of digitisation of products and business commerce that is happening in India and there is a critical need for products like this in the Indian market, said Gopinath.

“The product has matured and we have seen significant benefits to our customers. Our product launch is looking to solve for Indian IT leaders which will make it stand out and validate its quality for a global rollout,” he added.

The Indian market offers opportunities across tech startups and mid to large size enterprises for the product, making it a viable launch market. In addition to reactively figuring out challenges that come up while developing a product, the platform can also proactively find issues before they happen, he said.

With a significant increase in data generated from across the business, there is an urgent need, especially in the midst of a continuously transforming digital environment, to glean insights from data at a faster rate and with a higher ROI for businesses to stay competitive. “With our strong capabilities in data sciences and AI, Rakuten Sixth Sense will deliver on advanced capabilities that will differentiate it. I expect Rakuten SixthSense to become a significant revenue contributor within Rakuten’s global technology hubs,” said Yasufumi Hirai, group executive vice president, CIO, and CISO (chief information security officer) of Rakuten.

Rakuten runs two delivery centres in India with a strong focus on artificial intelligence, data science, e-commerce and fintech. India is the largest of the company’s nine technology hubs outside Japan, with over 1,600 employees.


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