We held our first meetup in 2014 in Jakarta last week. We invited Andi S. Boediman, director of Ideosource and Natali Ardianto, founder of Tiket.com and initiator of Jakarta startup community StartupLokal to the Microsoft Auditorium to discuss the country’s tech trends in 2014. Moderated by Tech in Asia blogger Enricko Lukman, our prominent guests shared their perspectives on what’s going on in Indonesia’s mobile and e-commerce industries. The two speakers then talked about the country’s investment scene and a gave predictions on what will happen in this year’s tech ecosystem.
For those who missed our free but space-limited session, we have a video (below) of the whole thing. Also, we’ve written up some of the highlights:
- Lukman started the discussion with a very brief summary of what happened in Indonesia’s tech scene in 2013, then he asked the panelists to share their highlights from the previous year. Ardianto says he saw massive growth in online transactions, showing people are now more eager to purchase on the web. Boediman backed up that claim by explaining that there’s a lot of traction in Indonesian e-commerce.
- Based on his observations, Ardianto explained Indonesian consumer behaviour. He said the good thing about Indonesia’s shoppers are that they’re very loyal. And if a startup can attract them to pay online, and they are happy with that, they will likely shop there again. Because Indonesians don’t easily trust websites, when they do they will be very loyal.
- Focusing on the mobile industry, Boediman encouraged app developers to aim worldwide instead of just the Indonesia market. He said that foreign companies are very serious about entering Indonesia, especially China. It’s too hard to only focus on Indonesia, especially with more web companies targeting this market too. Ardianto recommended e-commerce players who want to sell their products on mobile to make mobile apps rather than mobile websites. Apps mean more transactions and more searching, since apps are easier to use.
- Both Boediman and Ardianto agree that it is fine to copy and localize any successful startup out there. It is better to copy and be successful than make something new but not successful. Moreover, someday other companies will bring the successful business models to the country anyway. So before that happens, it is better for startup to copy because the market is ready.
- For 2014, both Ardianto and Boediman predict that the e-commerce industry will be huge. So they encourage everyone to just start, and not wait for an investor. Ardianto added that startups are not just about technology, they’re a business. It is more crucial to think of the network and business model than only thinking of the platform that will be used. He encouraged entrepreneurs not to worry about eating each others’ pie, because the pie is still huge. Plus, the ecosystem and market in Indonesia is ready.
- Ardianto emphasized that 2015 is going to be the year where the tech industry becomes mature. There’s only one more year to prepare for that.
Many more gems and useful data was shared at the meetup. You can check them out in the video below:
(Editing by Steven Millward and Paul Bischoff)