Starting an early on a Thursday morning on May 26th, Kejora Group hosted an event for the DANCHAM to understand the Indonesian startup scene. We started the day with a small coffee and tea session before starting the presentation on Kejora and our ecosystem here in Slipicon Valley. Dancham is the Danish-Indonesian Business Chamber, their organization focus in strengthening Danish business here in Indonesia. The event consist of a presentation session by Andy Zain from Kejora Group and a presentation about the Indonesian digital market by Rama Mamuaya from Daily Social. The Presentation was followed with a short sharing session by founders, Arne Van Looveren, Sebastian Sieber and J. P. Ellis. After there was a panel session where attendees can ask question regarding the tech startup scene in Indonesia and digital industry in Indonesia. Lastly, we ended the session with a tour of Kejora HQ.
Boye Hartmann, CEO of Y Group Asia, opened the event before Andy Zain, managing partner of Kejora Group. During this presentation, Mr. Zain talked about the history and backgroup of Kejora Group and the different activities that is going on in our ecosystem. Mr. Zain also talked about Slipicon Valley as a rising tech community in Indonesia.
After Rama from Daily Social took over and gave a presentation on Daily Social. During this presentation, Rama started the presentation by talking about the background of Daily Social and their products. After he shared to the DANCHAM about the Internet and mobile market in Indonesia. During this presentation, Rama stated that “previously only three local that was often visited by Indonesian, however now more local sites are frequently visited. ” This meant that the local digital industry is starting to grow and embrace by the public.
“Social media, internet and mobile phone has been increasing over the year as TV consumption have been decreasing almost half the amount from approximately 5 hours in 2014 to 2.5 hours in 2015.”
Rama also highlighted the culture shift within the younger generations in Indonesia. On how the population are using internet and mobile applications more frequently compared to television. He also talked about how the digital industry is now very dynamic in Indonesia.
“Indonesians are opened to try new apps in the play store. The app market is very dynamic. Indonesians wants to be the first to experience new apps and the first to criticize the product to the public.”
Rama also talked about e-commerce and fintech being the industry that is most invested by investors. According to his research, the next big thing in Indonesia would on-demand services, advertising, e-commerce and SaaS platforms. Rama also talked about the difficulty of employers in Indonesian to recruit talent in the digital industry and how companies have to invest in fresh graduates by sending them to Singapore for training. In addition to the hardship in finding new recruits, he also mentioned about how it is also very difficult to find good founders for startups. Rama talked about Indonesia infrastructure is quite lacking in comparison to more developed countries and talked about how founders’ maturity is getting better.
After Arne, from Y Group Asia, came up to talk about his story as an entrepreneur. He talked about how he started up as a lawyer before figuring out that all along he was interested in becoming an entrepreneur. He started by raising funding from a platform called Kickstarter.
During his venture to start his startup, he went to a Malaysian incubator but then he talked to Boye and was invited to join together in Jakarta. At first, he was hesitant due to the rumours of Jakarta having bad traffic however after trying out living for a few months, he decided to stay.
When talking about the Indonesian digital market, Arne stated that “there is a huge market of individuals wanting to learn about the digital industry and a huge demand for companies to recruit people.” Due to the following, he and Boye decided to create a digital agency to help people learn more about the digital industry.
“Business in Indonesia is very bureaucratic and everything is always changing. However if you can deal with it then it is a great market for you.”
After Sebastian from Lazada came to talked about his experience as an entrepreneur. He talked about how he ended here in Indonesia unexpectedly. He talked about his start as an economy background and his experience in Proctor and Gamble. He talked about wanting to start his entrepreneur career in Singapore but due to the expensive cost he couldn’t. So he moved to RocketInternet and the company moved him to Indonesia. At first he didn’t know anything about Indonesia, although it took him awhile for him to like Indonesia. Midway he lived in Malaysia before realizing that life in Malaysia was quite boring for him and moved back to Indonesia. Here he met very interesting people, huge expat community and highly ambitious locals. After he compared the recruiting market here in Indonesia with Europe and how the activities in Indonesia is so much higher in the digital background. He talked about how the Internet and mobile users here in Indonesia is impressively very active. It was also interesting that most of the Internet users also have a Facebook account. In the city of Bandung, there is an amazing amount of Twitter users. After he talked a little about Lazada, and how it was founded by Rocket Internet.
J.P. Ellis talked about his background. As a teenager he visited Asia with his father and was interested in the community. He went to study political science and asked to go back to study in Indonesia. After graduating, he was sent by the World Bank to do research in the island of Florence. Then he worked for John Hardy. After the family sold the company, Ellis became interested in the private equity scene. After meeting Rama and Andy, he quit working for the minister Mr. Lambong and started Harpoon with Andy and Rama. After Harpoon ended, he created Compare 88.
After we started the Panel session with Mr. Zain, Arne, J.P Ellis, Rama and Sebastian. The participants asked about taxes, recruiting talent, idea creation and execution in creating a startup. The panelists talks about how the Indonesian recruitment market is not just based on money. According to Arne, he found that “there are some cases that people are moving for a 500k increase in salary, so we realize that there are other incentize that make people get poached other than money. Money is not the only incentize. Culture is the key.”
After there was a question asked about how stock-options for employees is a qualified incentive for employees, to which Arne replies that you would have to be careful with that because he learned recently that “iff you give more than 25 people, stock-options then you are considered as a public company.”
Sebastian talked about the recruitment history he had in Indonesia and stated that “the biggest contribution we make in Lazada [for the Indonesian digital industry] is the amount of the trained individuals to the digital market. We hardly poached people, we did that earlier in the beginning. Now we hire fresh grads and train them. We have stopped matching salary with others because there are always more people willing to pay even more. So now we focus on other incentives.”
Andy Zain talked about how starting a startup is quite difficult in the beginning. Especially in bringing in specialists to work as founders to create a startup. He talked about how he was able to bring specialists to join the digital industry, “at first local retail specialists are unwilling to join the tech startup scene, because we cannot match their salary. However we ask them if they would be willing to be our consultants and paying them with a consulting fee, however as the company grow, these specialists volunteer themselves to become co-founders.”
Mr. Zain talked about the need for entrepreneurs and talents to learn in the local community if not they become a foreigner to the ecosystem. We talked about ideas and whether there is a need of original idea. Most of the panelist talked about how ideas are brought from overseas and convert to become more localized. One example mentioned about how Nadiem saw how Uber was very successful however the culture in Indonesia is not very car-oriented instead it was for motorcycle, so they tweaked the idea and it became successful. Another important factor in a success for a company is not about the idea but about the execution. Using Thomas Edison example, Arne talked about how other inventors was working on the same project, however because Edison gave a better package for the execution and added the business aspect to his marketing hence he succeeded.
We closed the event with Mr. Hartmann bring the attendees to Kejora HQ to talk more about the startup ecosystem in Slipicon Valley. The attendees networked with each other exchanging name cards and were told about the Arena One Demo Day that will be hosted on June 3rd this year. It was definitely an amazing event with such a heated panel session.