The desire of providing financial services to the general public: interview with Milize

Please tell us about your business.

Mr. Kikuchi

We are providing solutions that combine data analytics, AI, and finance. We offer a wide range of services to both businesses and individuals, including the market forecasting tool ”milize Forecast”, the market risk management tool “Acrux”, the insurance management app “miruho” and many more.

Initially, we started offering B-to-B services, but recently we are focusing on B-to-C service as well.

A few years ago,  financial institutions approached mainly high purchasing power customers, and financial services were often not very accessible to the general public. That is why Mr. Tanaka (CEO) launched “MILIZE”, with the desire of providing a wider range of financial services to the general public and, at the same time, providing a wider range of services to individuals as well.

As a part of our service, we offer “Milize Pro”, a full-fledged life plan simulation tool.

Why? For example, let’s think about life plan simulations developed by insurance companies: Their goal is to set up an insurance contract, which might not be beneficial to the user.

“Milize Pro” offers multiple options such as mutual funds and insurances. Besides, since it is designed to satisfy as many people as possible, the price is lower compared to other companies. 

What do you need to develop your business?

Mr. Kikuchi

Fortunately, the number of inquiries from our website and emails have increased, and the number of projects has also escalated as well. Therefore, we are looking to expand and increase the number of people to be a part of our team.

As part of the development process, some of the end work might be outsourced, but the core of the product is developed internally.

At the moment, more than 60% of our employees are engineers. However, due to the amount of overloading projects, we are not able to handle them efficiently as we are currently short of manpower.

In order to speed up the hiring process, we are recruiting people through job posting sites. Also, we have increased the numbers of hiring through referrals from employees: people who are from the same university or from the same country.

We also focus on the systemic aspects of the company so that employees can work actively within the company.

We have created a detailed salary table in order to be transparent in terms of payments, including salary increases based on performance.

We are always considering the best way to create a working environment that allows us to work comfortably. Last year in September, we moved to a new office, which is more cleaner and comfortable for our employees. We have also prepared high specs for our computers to meet the engineers’ needs.

Thanks to the satisfaction of our employees, we have a low turnover rate.

What are the characteristics of the people who are active in your company?

Mr. Mori

About 30% of our engineering employees are from the United States, China, Russia, Indonesia, South Korea, and other countries, but the important characteristics of the people who work for us, regardless of their race, are cooperation and their willingness to learn.

The main reason is that even if you are a highly skilled person, it is difficult to create the products that users want if you can’t communicate with people in the company.

There is no product that can be created by a single technology alone, such as data analysis, and it would be very hard if you work by yourself.

That’s why, in order to get the best of yourself and keep on learning in the company, it is important that you develop products while maintaining close communication and cooperation.

Also, for engineering, things are changing rapidly, so you have to be willing to keep on learning new things to keep up with technological progress.

Many of our products combine data analysis and finance, so knowledge outside of your field of expertise is also important. Therefore, if you think you cannot do it because it is not your field, it will be hard to assign a project to you.

Mr. Huang

The products we deal with AI, data science, and financial engineering, are all quite difficult fields, and without collaboration and the willingness to learn, we might end up doing nothing when we receive data from companies.

It is very important that you have a good sense when it comes to choosing the model to use, which parameters to adjust, or whether to think if the model is actually suitable, Therefore,  you can’t miss these two elements in order to capture some clues and make a breakthrough.

What do you pay attention to when you manage your employees?

Mr. Huang

Since we have not only Japanese but also foreign employees, as well as different age gaps, customs, and culture, we respect the individuality of our employees. How? For example, when we assign tasks, we try to give them as much detail as possible in order to be easier to understand the main point.

Also, as any company should do, we try to be open about positive things and complete negative issues on an individual basis.

Mr. Mori

I get the impression that engineers are good at executing instructions, but it is more difficult for them to read and execute things that are not expressed in words. We are conscious of communicating with each other to make sure there is no gap in the finished image.

Also, because of COVID-19, remote working has become the mainstream these days, we mainly communicate online, and it is especially difficult for us to see new employees’ personalities and expectations, so it’s a bit of a trial and error process.

Please tell us about your plan for the future.

Mr. Kikuchi

So far, we’ve done a lot of business with financial institutions. However, in the future, we plan to expand our business beyond the financial industry, using our experience from the past to attract individual users as well.

For example, our “Milize Store Strategy”, which predicts sales at the time of opening and closing a store, can be used not only by financial institutions but also by many other industries. We would like to provide a service that can be used not only in the financial industry but also in many other industries as well.

Please give a message to our readers.

Mr. Huang

My experience living in Japan started in 1999. I can guarantee you that Japanese have an amazing culture and there are almost no problems living here. It’s a paradise for many foreigners!

The only problem is that the technology is big, but the engineers are still a small amount to deal with, so if you have skills, this is your chance to come to Japan! I will be happy to work with you!


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