InterGlobe Technology Quotient (ITQ), a business unit of InterGlobe Enterprises, a travel technology solutions provider, has partnered with Rakuten India, the global product and innovation centre for Japanese e-commerce major Rakuten Group, where the latter will provide its technology expertise to build deep tech innovative products and solutions for ITQ in the travel domain.
The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) stating that “Rakuten will leverage deep technologies including artificial intelligence, big data, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT), to enhance the existing portfolio of ITQ, and also look at avenues to expand for growth in the travel sector”.
Sunil Gopinath, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Rakuten India, told Tech Circle, Rakuten will help ITQ build cutting-edge travel products through blockchain technology and payment technologies to begin with.
It will also build travel solutions for ITQ customers through Rakuten’s Viber, a cross-platform voice over IP and instant messaging software application, he added.
Further, Gopinath said that ITQ and Rakuten will jointly distribute Rakuten SixthSense, a business-to-business (B2B) application intelligence and testing automation software-as-a-services (SaaS) platform. Rakuten SixthSense enables organisations to have a complete view of its data across the IT systems, applications, and business impact and allows for continual improvements based on the operational findings.
“Under the go-to-market agreement, ITQ will take Rakuten SixthSense to its customers in the region. ITQ serves over 13,000 customers, including travel management companies, online travel agencies and retail agencies, in almost 400 cities,” Gopinath said.
“A post pandemic world of travel presents newer opportunities and demands afresh thinking. By joining with a deep tech leader like Rakuten, we have a great opportunity to develop and bring-to-market innovative and industry changing solutions that address some of the most pressing needs in our sector today," said Sandeep Dwivedi, Chief Operating Officer, InterGlobe Technology Quotient.
Last month, Rakuten announced the opening of its new office in Bengaluru, under its India arm, called Rakuten India, which it said is its largest office outside its home base in Japan. The 20-storeyed premise with around 3 lakh square feet of space currently accommodates 2,000 workers, and has a capacity for housing more than 3,000 employees.
Gopinath said in an interview with Mint at that time that "the company aims to hire about 1,000 new employees in India over the next two years".
The CEO further said that the new facility will operate as a product, engineering, and advanced research facility for the Rakuten Group and will enhance the company's capability for deep-tech innovation and R&D in areas such as e-commerce, fintech, content and entertainment, as well as AI in computer vision, speech, and natural language processing (NLP).