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Ring - The Business Idea Contest that Embodies Recruit’s Entrepreneurial Spirit

Never give up: How setbacks and new challenges give rise to professional growth

“Bet on Passion” is a Recruit Group value that hinges on the idea that when one person’s wild idea is backed by data, research, and a supportive team, it can become the best bet. One Recruit event in particular has historically embodied this value: Ring (formerly New RING).

Ring is an annual, new business proposal contest that began in 1982, and has resulted in some of Recruit’s most innovative and successful services, such as To an external siteZexy and Study Sapuri.To an external site Anyone, Recruit employee or not, is invited to participate and come up with out-of-the-box ideas for new lines of business, and then pitch their concepts to the Recruit executive team. In order to reinvigorate employees’ entrepreneurial spirit, the contest has evolved to include workshops and tools that help people search for teammates, draft proposals, and solicit executive cooperation.

”Ring NOTE,” distributed to employees for constructing business ideas

”Ring NOTE,” distributed to employees for constructing business ideas. It’s frameworks help employees to create new business ideas.

For over 60 years, Recruit Group has bet on the passions of its employees to spark unique growth. Events like Ring unearth the entrepreneurial spirits of Recruit employees that give rise to innovative business solutions—even in the face of failure. Yuki Sasada, who won third place at Ring 2018, exemplifies this tenacity.

"For me, failure in the truest sense means to give up. If you don't give up, you’ll never be a failure. So every time I experienced a failure or setback, I always applied the lesson I learned from it to the next project," said Yuki.

The award-winning business idea that Yuki and her teammates Yukari Hoshi and Yuri Minami proposed was a smartphone-friendly wedding planning service. The company began the next phases of the business pipeline, but decided to withdraw from the business venture in 2018.

Yuki Sasada at Recruit Co., Ltd. is thinking

Yuki Sasada

"I think management decided to withdraw from the business because the service had become too complicated and the cost had ballooned. However, when I launched the service from scratch with my colleagues, I was able to develop my leadership skills, understand the real needs of our users, and learn to optimize the power of my team. When you take on a challenge, there are many times when things go wrong that leave you frustrated. However, it is precisely when we are beaten down that we feel the urge to create a service that users will find truly useful. It is fulfilling to see your ideas come to fruition and make people in the world happy. The only way to achieve this is to employ a positive mindset and skills that allow me to make it happen.” 

Using this setback as a springboard, Yuki and her teammates took on the challenge of Ring again two years later in 2020. This time, the team’s community-centric fan base platform idea won second place.

Yuki Sasada and Yukari Hoshi are presenting their business ideas at Ring presentation

Yuki Sasada (right) and Yukari Hoshi (left) were presenting their business ideas at Ring presentation FY2020.

"Life is full of ups and downs. It’s important to overwrite failures with more challenges in the pursuit of success and a positive life. You can’t start your life over. You must pick yourself back up, work hard, and keep reminding yourself that everything you’re working toward will all be worth it one day.”

In FY2021, around 7,000 Recruit employees participated in Ring and supported the teams who submitted the proposals. 964 brainstormed ideas were drafted in total, of which 50 ideas are currently under discussion with project stakeholders.

Yuki Sasada at Recruit Co., Ltd.

Yuki Sasada

Business Development Group, Incubation Office, New Business Development Area, Recruit Co., Ltd.

Yuki joined Recruit in 2010. She was involved in the creation of Recruit ID Points and the launch of SUUMO Moving Estimator. In 2018, she and her colleagues Yukari Hoshi and Yuri Minami drafted a wedding-related service for the Ring new business proposal contest, which won third place. In February 2021, she participated in the Ring Awards for the second time, winning second place for her team’s community fan base idea. Yuki’s professional ambitions underscore her passion for creating services that wow people around the world.

Oct 15, 2021

This article is based on information available at the time of publication.