The massive growth of IT Vietnamese company in global market – Rikkei Japan opens a base in Osaka
Article on Kahm Japan:
About the company launched by young graduates of Ritsumeikan and Keio – What is Rikkei?
April 6, 2012 – Rikkeisoft was launched by a team of only 5 people. The company name, Rikkei, is derived from the alma maters of the chairman (Ritsumeikan) and other board members (Keio). The chairman, Ta Son Tung, on one occasion had the opportunity to attend international conferences in both France and Britain while he still was studying in Japan. But Vietnamese citizens are required to get visas for both, so by the time his visa arrived, it was too late; he could only go to France. His Japanese friend, by contrast, could go to both without needing a visa. At that moment, it became apparent that Vietnam was still a poor country; this despite Vietnam being a country with a multitude of young people and many, many excellent engineers. Together with Huy, a classmate, they created a startup, Rikkeisoft, to prove that good things could be made in Vietnam and to show Vietnam’s power to the world.
Since its establishment in April, 2012, Rikkeisoft has grown into a company of more than 1200 employees. Based in Hanoi, Rikkeisoft has also been able to build development bases in Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City. They’ve received multiple awards, among them the “Sao Khue Award” for excellent software and information technology services and the “Vietnam IT Enterprise Top 50” as awarded by the Vietnam IT Association. Rikkeisoft aims to reach 10,000 employees by 2024 with 1,000 among them working within Rikkei Japan. They also aim to enable global human resource exchange and global environment building from the borders of both Japan and Vietnam.
Rikkei Inc – The Japanese subsidiary:
In 2016, Rikkei Inc was established and since then, it has grown to 120 employees. Rikkei Inc has grown dramatically since being founded and was selected as one of the “Best Venture 100” companies in 2020. In January 2020, Rikkei Inc opened a branch in Osaka.
Impressions/requests about the environment for startups in Osaka:
The Rikkei Osaka office was launched in order to strengthen relationships with customers in the Kansai area and expand its operations. They aim to reach 50 employees by the end of 2020 and have 400 by 2024. Rikkei Osaka is working with universities in the Kansai area, also active in the developing human resources, and conducting joint research. They are working to cooperate and contribute to the activities of the Kansai Vietnamese Association.
Many Japanese find it difficult to manage Vietnamese developers. There are, after all, differences in communication and culture. However, according to Osaka’s President Nakamura: “There are no differences as around me the Japanese and Vietnamese are close comrades. We value commitment with each other, so we always talk one-on-one with each other, face-to-face, so we can build a closer relationship.”
To build these close relationships, Nakamura is always careful to make the atmosphere as bright and easy to talk in as possible. Not just valusing communication through words, the office makes a point of using smiles and good gestures as effective communication methods. They want to be careful to make an environment where when something good happens, they can praise it with a huge and genuine reaction.
“Rikkei employees working in Japan, come to Japan, learn Japanese, and meet every day with Japanese customers working in the IT industry. Even if there is something wrong with their Japanese, they still have the same ideas as the Japanese do. They’re happy if they’re able to thank their customers and sad when they’re unable to achieve customer satisfaction. When Rikkei employees join a customer’s team and I get to directly receive a customer’s evaluations: That is the time I am most happy.”
Rikkei’s strength lay in the breadth of their experience within the software development industry. During the early years, they developed web systems and smartphone applications, but they were able to branch out into cutting-edge fields such as game development, business and core systems, IoT, AI and Robotics. It is these last two fields in particular that Rikkeisoft has a prominent track record with: Rikkei AI and Rikkei Robotics are specialized companies established for the purpose of strengthening their knowledge in these areas.
In addition, at the three offices in Vietnam, customers are not just able to keep in direct contact with resident and pilot development projects or human resource development for large-scale projects offshore, but also able to develop a friendly long-term relationship between the companies. Since Rikkei’s growth is for the sake of its customers, the main goal is “Growing together with the customer”.
What makes Rikkei different from other Vietnamese companies?
“Rikkei’s employees are generally young with a strong sense of vitality. They have a flat organizational structure and are actively engaged with both internal projects and events. They’re not the type to wait to be told to do something, rather being industrious and taking the initiative. This is why Rikkei’s are able to build such powerful momentum when they start something. The speed that they make decisions and solve problems is why they are appealing to me as an organization.” Words for the youth of both Japan and Vietnam Nakamura: “This is just what I want, but I would like to do more Japanese training, so that Japanese business customs and culture can be better understood. It is something that I think is very important for building a system development team.”
Even if they are staff from different companies, they’re still the same team when working on the same project. If they’re on the same team, they can help each when they’re in trouble and when they’re successful, they can be happy and laugh together. Otherwise, without these experiences, the project is repetitive work and becomes difficult.
Yet, even when times are tough, there are scenes of laughter, and if someone says something funny, the point of laughter will be the same even for the Vietnamese. It’s important that customers and team members learn to get along through such experiences, so I’d like it if somehow we could get to the point where we’re able say jokes in Japanese to each other. I hope that when they return to Vietnam, that they will bring back their experiences and memories of Japan as valuable assets.”
News on Inovation Osaka:
Rikkeisoft Vietnam was founded in 2012 by Vietnamese entrepreneurs who had studied in Japan. The company was named for both Ritsumeikan, the university that the Chairman and President attended, and Keio, the university that the other staff members attended.
In order to expand Rikkeisoft’s reach in the Japanese market, Rikkei Japan was established in 2016. It currently has more than 120 employees. On January 1, 2020, Rikkei was selected for Japan’s 100 Best Venture Companies for its success and opened a branch office in Osaka.
The Rikkeisoft Osaka office plans to build and strengthen its relationships with customers and universities, expand its activities, and engage fully in human resource development and joint research in the Kansai region. Furthermore, it is committed to cooperating with the Vietnamese Association of Kansai.
Quite a few Japanese find it difficult to manage Vietnamese developers. Certainly, there are differences in communication and culture. However, Osaka Office Director Mr. Nakamura says, “In my mind, there is no difference between the Japanese and Vietnamese staff because we are both members of the same group of companies. We value communication with our members, and I talk to employees face-to-face every day to build close relationships.”
In other words, our mission is to create a startup environment where foreign entrepreneurs who have studied in Japan and established a business in their home country, will see the value of Japan, and the Osaka and Kansai area, when they consider their next business location.
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