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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More