News / Asia

    Indonesian Entrepreneurs Use Technology to Get Ambitious

    Indonesian entrepreneurs say business ventures will help create new jobs domestically for people like these youth in Jakarta.
    Indonesian entrepreneurs say business ventures will help create new jobs domestically for people like these youth in Jakarta.
    Yong Nie

    In Indonesia's booming capital of Jakarta, it’s not just the five-star hotel lounges that are packed with businessmen talking about deals and proposals.

    The Coffee Tree cafe in Mall of Indonesia, North Jakarta is also bustling with customers. Not just any ordinary customers, that is. On a Tuesday afternoon, the cafe's patrons are mainly entrepreneurs from various parts of Indonesia scouting for business and investing opportunities in Jakarta.

    The large teak tables in the cafe are like work stations. Lying among coffee-stained mugs and French presses, are business proposals, name cards, plans and products for testing.

    At a particular table, an entrepreneur was giving a slideshow presentation projected against the cafe wall to a small group of potential investors.

    Yonathan Purnomo hails from the city of Surabaya on Java Island and has recently set up a business venture selling botanical beauty products via a direct-selling system using an online database known as Immortal.com. The range of products sold are extensive, from painless hair removal cream to water ionizers.

    Although Purnomo, 49, has not officially promoted his business widely yet, he says he already has 5,000 members in the direct-selling network, mainly housewives living in the city of Surabaya.

    With an online database and payment system using mobile phones, Purnomo says its members will be able to make orders and purchases with just a phone call, without having to attend to physical stores.

    Purnomo is among the rising number of entrepreneurs in Indonesia, which already has about 50 million small businesses. However, with the high mobile and Internet penetration in the country, Indonesian entrepreneurs are evolving into Internet-savvy business people.

    By tapping into the mobile market, the cost of starting a business are getting lower, and at the same time, small companies are able to reach out to the populous nation that is spread across islands and villages.

    According to data extracted by Mobile Money Live, a tracking system on global mobile penetration, Indonesia has one of the highest mobile penetration rates, with about 73% of its population of 240 million using cell phones. The country is also home to the second-largest population of Facebook users in the world, after the US, and fourth most Twitter account users.

    It is no wonder why Google has recently announced that it will set up an office in Indonesia and potentially pour in some $100 million of investments into the country. Some of the plans include building online linkages and leveraging small and medium enterprises from Indonesia with foreign buyers.

    A manager of a China-based mobile phone chip manufacturer, who did not want to be identified, told me “The potential is huge. We are talking about an average of 70 million subscribers for each telecommunications network here.”

    A business venture known as Go-Jek recently captured the imagination of Indonesians when it received funding and the attention of foreign companies to expand its businesses in Jakarta. Go-Jek is a motorcycle courier service that provides passengers rides on motorcycles to beat the capital city’s notorious traffic jams.

    Started barely eight months ago, Go-Jek uses its website, Facebook and Twitter accounts to draw publicity, and has over 200 reliable drivers and 80 pick-up points around the city.

    With a GDP growth of 6.1% last year, Indonesia is one of the fastest-growing economies in the Southeast Asian region. The country is also vying for a spot to be among the Brazil-India-China-Russia cluster of emerging economies that are preferred by foreign investors.

    The country saw some $13 billion poured in via foreign direct investments in 2010, as investors hunt for coal mines and other commodities-related investments such as palm plantations and metal.

    However, as fears of a global recession looms near, Indonesia needs to prop up domestic demand and investments, as well as increase job creation for its people. One of the strategies is to spur entrepreneurship among the locals.

    In a survey conducted by BBC in May, Indonesia ranked as the most favorable place for entrepreneurs, in terms of ease in starting businesses and innovation.  Although locals say there is still much to improve, especially in terms of access to start-up capital.

    Purnomo says apart from making his business a profitable entity, he says his venture will also create more entrepreneurs. “I am a teacher, and I believe in sharing knowledge with the people here,” he says.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora