Inside Rakuten Insight: Ayaz Akhtar, Regional Head, Greater China

“The future opportunities we have open to us make me optimistic. Extremely optimistic.”

Today we introduce you to Ayaz Akhtar – Regional Head, Greater China. Let’s find out more about him in the below article.



Ayaz Akhtar – Regional Head, Greater China

It’s fair to say that I’ve been around the block a few times when it comes to working in research.

My career started back in 1996, while studying for my business degree as a telephone interviewer at a company called Marplan in Putney Bridge, which later became a part of another company with the initials R.I. – Research International.

Since those days, I have been fortunate enough to have worked in the largest, most innovative companies in our space in a myriad of roles, alongside some of the best minds in our industry in Europe and in APAC.

When people ask me why I joined Rakuten Insight, I usually answer that there are over 1.2 billion reasons why I joined Rakuten Insight.

Anybody worth their salt in online research of course knows the company formerly known as AIP, which now makes up a part of Rakuten Insight was one of the pioneers of quality Asian online research panels decades ago.

Since that time, we have held ourselves accountable to maintaining the high standards of data quality and project delivery, which we are renowned for around the globe.

Going back to the figure of 1.2 billion and why I joined the company, what makes our opportunity unique is that Rakuten Insight is tasked with leveraging Rakuten group membership assets, otherwise known as the Rakuten eco-system for market research purposes.

The Rakuten eco-system spans over 70 different businesses across pretty much every industry vertical you can think of. It’s not unfeasible to imagine there might come a time where no matter who you are and where you are in the world, you will interact with a Rakuten product or service at some point in your daily life.

Having access to such a diverse and unique group of research participants allows Rakuten Insight to remain at the forefront of online research.





And we have not even mentioned the opportunities that lie in the data products space yet!

As Rakuten members engage with Rakuten Group services across the many facets of their lives, massive volumes of data are generated every minute. We’re championing innovation that draws on this wealth of data to improve the online experience of all of our members.

This dove-tails rather nicely with how the online research industry is currently evolving, as we see the largest players position themselves as data driven marketing specialists. It’s no longer just about panel reach, size or profiling, the competitive advantage now lies in what 1st, 2nd & 3rd party data solutions can be offered to clients and their marketers for them to improve their ROI.

I keep hearing that data is the new oil. Well, if that’s the case then Rakuten Insight being part of the Rakuten Group is sitting pretty and the potential for the data products that we could be offering in the future is simply unlimited.

There is no other company on the planet which has our opportunity.

Rakuten in Japanese means “optimism” and I couldn’t think of a more apt meaning for our company name. The future opportunities we have open to us make me optimistic. Extremely optimistic.

Watch this space.

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