Indo Tekno Podcast

Alan Hellawell

A podcast devoted to covering major trends that drive the Indonesian tech scene.

Sino Indo Tekno Special: The China relationship with Helen Wong of Qiming Ventures
Jul 6 2020
Sino Indo Tekno Special: The China relationship with Helen Wong of Qiming Ventures
"Sino Indo Tekno" is a new collaboration with leading China technology authority Art Dicker and his Shanghai-based Gan Bei podcast. Sino Indo Tekno will air regularly to address the growing interconnectedness of the China and Indonesia technology worlds.In our first instalment of Sino Indo Tekno, we feature Helen Wong, Partner at leading Chinese VC Qiming Ventures. Qiming is one of China's first major venture investors into Indonesia. Helen compares and contrasts Indonesia today with the early days of the China internet, when internet platforms such as Sina and Sohu first disintermediated the media industry, while their peers eventually went on to change the face of banking, healthcare and other verticals in China. Helen sees a different evolution for Indonesia. She goes on to profile a number of China-Indonesia synergies that have emerged in the internet space, but at the same time Helen expects Indonesia to produce its own champions in areas such as AgriTech, Muslim fashion and Sharia finance.We discuss with Helen common mistakes in blindly copying China models to Indonesia. Helen also addresses major questions such as: Using China as a guide, when will the Indo subsidy wars end? Will Indonesian consumers become good paying subscribers? Will Sino-US tensions benefit the Indonesian tech ecosystem? Will the Alibaba-Tencent rivalry spill over into Indo? How will early stage Indo start-up valuations trend?Please tune this new sub-series of the Indo Tekno podcast!
Indonesia's Massive InsurTech Opportunity: Cleo Randing of PasarPolis
Jul 13 2020
Indonesia's Massive InsurTech Opportunity: Cleo Randing of PasarPolis
Indonesia has one of the world's lowest insurance penetration rates at 1.79%. This situation is set to change, dramatically...Indeed, Indonesian insurance adoption seems ready to advance rapidly behind the innovations of industry leaders such as our guest this week, Cleosent Randing, and his InsurTech platform, PasarPolis. PasarPolis and its industry peers are dealing with a totally clean slate, in that Indonesia is largely new to both offline and online insurance. Cleo details how the company has grown to its current pace of 50m policies per month, largely by removing traditional frictions to insurance adoption. For instance, a Gojek driver, Tokopedia customer, or Traveloka passenger can subscribe to any number of "micro-insurance" products with just a few clicks. This ease of insuring even the smallest of products or activities has been key to courting the digitally savvy millennial customer, on PasarPolis' way toward accessing an estimated $3b opportunity longer term. Cleo steps through a number of fascinating examples, from "contextual insurance" products with Gojek, to total loss insurance offerings on the Tokopedia e-commerce platform. in illustrating all of the barriers to adoption that players such as PasarPolis have taken down.According to Cleo, PasarPolis benefits from three clear tailwinds in driving online insurance adoption: First, a positive Indonesian regulatory stance around InsurTech has been key to educating and promoting insurance products to Indonesia's population. Secondly, the challenges that COVID-19 has thrown at the offline incumbent insurers allows PasarPolis; with a clear, complementary, partnership-oriented approach in working with Indonesia's offline insurance giants; to move products online, while also creating totally new digital solutions with its many partners. Third but not least, is the massive impact that smartphone adoption has had on the immediate accessibility, and the precise targeting, customization and pricing of insurance that individuals have as they step through through their day.We hope you enjoy this, the seventh episode of Indo Tekno!
Streaming Media in the Spotlight: Edy Sulistyo of GoPlay
Jul 20 2020
Streaming Media in the Spotlight: Edy Sulistyo of GoPlay
Indonesia seems primed to leapfrog into the online media age. With only 0.6 movie screens per 100,000 in population (or roughly 1/20th of US levels), consumption of video-on-demand has skyrocketed this year, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic has kept people at home, and offline theaters have closed their doors.This week's guest, GoPlay CEO Edy Sulistyo, believes that the premium video-on-demand platform possesses three critical elements in capturing Indonesia's elusive multibillion dollar streaming media crown:A deep commitment to cultivating premium local contentA wide array of new business models in partnering with content ownersIntense collaboration with Indonesian tech behemoth GojekThe Indonesian audience will spend a mere $84 per capita on entertainment and media in 2021. This is a tiny fraction of the $2,300 that the average American is likely to spend. As Indonesia's online media spend grows, how does one win outsized wallet share? This is a question that remained unanswered after the recent demise of two major regional streaming platforms.Edy outlined a number of important strategies. Only 35% of films in Indonesia were locally produced in 2018, versus nearly 65% in China. Edy envisions domestically produced content crossing 50% shortly, and it should climb higher as GoPlay and others work steadily to improve the quality of local programming. Key to this encouraging growth will also be the various revenue sharing models that GoPlay has refined since being founded in 2018. One of the single largest blockers to online media consumption has been a lack of viable payment options. GoPlay's surging subscriber numbers owe in large part to its tight integration within the Gojek ecosystem and the convenience of GoPay as a means of paying for content. Just as powerful is GoPlay's ability to leverage big data being generated across the Gojek ecosystem to be able to target users effectively.We hope you enjoy this, Episode 8, of the Indo Tekno podcast!
A podcast...on podcasting! Tyo Guritno of Inspigo
Jul 30 2020
A podcast...on podcasting! Tyo Guritno of Inspigo
Welcome to this week’s “podcast on Indo podcasting”. Yes, this podcast is devoted to Indonesia's podcasting industry. As we established last week with our coverage of the country's streaming video industry, online media is one of the most promising parts of Indonesia's consumer internet. This week, we continue our "Sino Indo Tekno" sub-series with partner Art Dicker of the Shanghai-based Gan Bei podcast to interview Tyo Guritno, founder of leading Indonesian podcasting platform Inspigo. During the podcast, we compare and contrast Inspigo with its counterparts in China, including the massive Ximalaya platform with more than 500m registered users. China podcasting derives revenues largely from "pay-per" content, subscription plans and virtual gifts. Tyo on the other hand expects advertising to drive Indo podcasting revenues, although early paid trials on Inspigo have also shown encouraging results. While the initial appeal of podcasting in Indonesia centered on entertainment, the COVID-19 pandemic has led many listeners to seek self-improvement programming (which is China's largest category). More uniquely to Indonesia, mindfulness has become a massive category in the stressful pandemic period. Tyo expects Inspigo to continue to deliver a broad amalgam of content, from "UGC" (user generated content) to "PGC" (professionally generated content). Successful entrepreneurs, university professors, television personalities and a range of "grass roots" personalities top the charts as hosts of both Chinese and Indonesian podcasting. Our session also included an interesting dialogue between Art and Tyo comparing "content moderation" and censorship techniques to ensure that podcasting does not fall afoul of laws and regulations in China and Indonesia.We hope you enjoy this latest instalment of "Sino Indo Tekno"!
Grab and Go: Edward Tirtanata of Kopi Kenangan
Aug 3 2020
Grab and Go: Edward Tirtanata of Kopi Kenangan
Indonesian grab-and-go coffee chain Kopi Kenangan has grown to more than 350 stores in less than three years; a scale that global juggernaut Starbucks for instance took 23 years to achieve. Kopi Kenangan's growth moreover has been achieved with consistent profitability at both the store and company levels. Kopi Kenangan Cofounder and CEO Edward Tirtanata joins the Indo Tekno podcast to walk us through the unique balancing act of blitz-scaling while preserving key elements such as company culture and customer satisfaction. Despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, Kopi Kenangan continues to grow rapidly, and profitably, at the pace of roughly 30 new stores per month. Having founded Kopi Kenangan's first outlet amidst three of its biggest competitors, Edward believes that squaring off early with competition is imperative in order to accelerate product-market fit, and ensure the ability to scale successfully. Having originally risen to popularity in its ability to offer high quality coffee at an affordable price, Edward envisions successively layering new offerings on top of the current menu. Kopi Kenangan's broader mantra is "Product is king...but distribution is God." We indeed expect the company to expand its portfolio of drink and food options going forward as one of Indonesia's most dynamic channels to the workday customer. Edward also touches upon the importance of technology; it has driven order frequency and average order value (AOV), and has been a powerful enabler in customer targeting as part of its new loyalty programs.Edward wraps up by offering the following useful advice to young entrepreneurs in the consumer tech space: do not compromise in your early pursuit of product-market fit. It is essential in managing customer acquisition costs, and in ensuring scalability longer term.Please enjoy this, our 10th Indo Tekno podcast!
Profiles in Entrepreneurialism: Bram Viktor of Hangry
Aug 10 2020
Profiles in Entrepreneurialism: Bram Viktor of Hangry
When listening to Bram Viktor's personal story of achievement as an entrepreneur, Winston Churchill's famous quote comes to mind:“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." Bram's enthusiasm and entrepreneurial vigour are indeed infectious. He self-deprecatingly attributes his unquenchable desire to build and innovate in his early years to a mix of "stupidity and self-confidence." It is however very clear that many more factors came into play in building one of Indonesia's first fintech companies, Taralite, a P2P lending SME lending platform purchased by Fintech leader Ovo early last year.Bram eventually moved on from Ovo to launch Hangry, Indonesia's first multi-brand virtual restaurant company, late last year. Bram reflects on the importance of mentors in his drive to become a better entrepreneur and better leader. Tokopedia Founder William Tanuwijaya has played such a role in Bram's career. He also describes the best VC's as those who are willing to give "a slap to our right and left cheeks to wake us up when we're not looking at things right". A good VC however is a partner who can also empathise, unlike those who might see entrepreneurial investment in a strictly transactional way.When asked what elements that tech ecosystem needs in order to to become more robust, Bram believes that participants need to become more comfortable with taking risk, and learn to treat failure, and those who fail, with "respect and admiration."Bram's final advice to aspiring entrepreneurs: 1) be absolutely dogged in your search for product-market fit, and 2) think about sharing more of the upside your company with your colleagues; it could be through a more generous ESOP plan, or by other means...but do the right thing,We hope you enjoy the first instalment of our "Profiles in Entrepreneurialism" series, whereby we seek to interview Indonesia's growing crop of serial tech entrepreneurs.
Modernizing Trucking in Indo: Tiger Fang of Kargo
Aug 17 2020
Modernizing Trucking in Indo: Tiger Fang of Kargo
Trucking in Indonesia is clearly ripe for disintermediation: annual logistics spend represents a massive 26% of GDP. The sector moreover is profoundly fragmented: 75% of trucking companies have 20 trucks or less, and a massive amount of the USD38b in annual trucking spend disappears into a labyrinth of middlemen. Tiger Fang, Co-founder & CEO at Kargo Technologies, joins us this week to discuss in greater detail this massive opportunity, and the attendant challenges that come with it.Having started his career in investment banking, Tiger early on developed an appreciation of the awesome power of "leverage" (financial leverage, technological leverage) in driving profound change into operationally intense industries such as logistics and e-commerce.  Tiger is a veteran of massive platform launches into new markets. He for instance built out Uber in Western China. At one point, provincial capital Chengdu was in fact Uber's busiest urban market globally. He also helped launch Rocket and Lazada operations into Thailand and Vietnam. Founded less than two years ago, Kargo has already deployed its "marketplace model", which aggregates supply and demand between Transporters and Shippers, initially across the dominant markets of Sumatra, Java and Bali (80% of Indo GDP) and beyond. Tiger believes Kargo to have one of the most robust R&D teams on the Indonesian tech scene, an achievement with which he credits co-founder and CTO Yodi Aditya. The two leaders view preserving a robust culture as critical to ensuring healthy growth going forward.While truckers are unlikely to become first adopters of cutting edge technology, Tiger has been pleased with uptake of Kargo's platform in Indonesia, and attributes it primarily to its effectiveness in reducing a trucker's down time, improving earnings power and, most importantly, easing working capital challenges for a sector that usually gets paid only 1-3 months after the delivery of goods.While COVID-19 has led to significant disruptions to the Indonesian trucking sector, Kargo's use of big data has been critical in creating greater market efficiency and liquidity on the platform. Tiger is particularly excited about the steady stream of "financing-as-a-service" offerings that Kargo plans to unveil over the coming months.Please enjoy this week's twelfth episode of Indo Tekno!
The Online Investment Boom: Anderson Sumarli of Ajaib
Aug 31 2020
The Online Investment Boom: Anderson Sumarli of Ajaib
Ant Financial’s IPO filing last week revealed that the Chinese fintech juggernaut currently boasts more than one billion annual active users, offering a glimpse into how utterly pervasive online financial services could become in markets such as Indonesia.Indonesia’s fintech scene indeed continues to grow strongly by most measures, and this week’s Indo Tekno guest, Anderson Sumarli, CEO and Cofounder of Ajaib, is helping to lead this charge. Ajaib is an investing platform that allows Indonesians to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and other retail financial products. The company activated 200,000+ new retail investors in Indonesia in 2019, contributing one-quarter of all new retail investors in Indonesia last year.The pandemic has moreover served to accelerate further Indonesia’s online retail investment boom. As an example, the daily average number of Indonesian retail stock investors transacting online surged by more than 82% in the four months between March 2020 and July 2020 alone, from 51,000 to 93,000 investors. The simplest and most powerful component to Anderson’s vision of longer term secular growth in online retail investment is the fact that Indonesia has the largest capital markets in Southeast Asia but perversely has one of the world's lowest investment penetration rates, at less than 1%. There is one demographic that will continue driving the searing growth in this segment: Indonesia's mobile-first, digitally native millennials. They have proven particularly responsive to new "technology-first" trading platforms such as Ajaib. Unlike their parents, this group prefers a stock broker that is branchless, fully online and "mobile-first." As a technology-intensive, asset light online broker, Ajaib is able to offer zero commissions on mutual funds, and the lowest fees in the market for stock trading.Anderson also addressed one of the most widely discussed transactions within Indonesia’s broader financial landscape this year, namely Ajaib’s acquisition of traditional securities broker PT Primasia Sekuritas, discussing plans around integrating services, personnel and other parts of the two businesses. The most alluring challenge facing players such as Ajaib remains a profound lack of financial literacy amongst retail investors. The platform has built the country’s largest repository of investment content in the Indonesian language in order to tackle this challenge. While Ajaib has an extensive roadmap of new products laid out over the next several months, its longer term mission is to leverage technology for two main purposes: 1) broadening educational initiatives around retail investing while 2) improving affordability to all.
Upending Aquaculture: Gibran Huzaifah of eFishery
Sep 2 2020
Upending Aquaculture: Gibran Huzaifah of eFishery
Indonesia is the world’s second largest producer of fish. Our guest Gibran Huzaifah and his company eFishery are out to leverage technology in order to disintermediate centuries of inefficient practices and waste that have crept into the industry.Indonesia has 3.3m fish farmers, many of whom barely scrape by. They are wedged between uneconomical fish feed pricing as their main input on one hand, and margins that disappear as they sell their fish into a labyrinth of downstream middlemen on the other hand. By implementing a group-buying scheme, eFishery can often secure 8-10% savings on the procurement of fish feed. Fish feed ultimately represents 70-90% of the fish farmer’s costs. The platform meanwhile can help the fish seller capture 25% higher product pricing by cutting out middlemen and connecting the farmer directly to restaurants and other downstream customers.eFishery has deployed tens of thousands of its IoT-based sensors as part of its “Feeding-as-a-Service" business model. The vibration-based sensors detect the movement of the fish to pinpoint when they're hungry or full. A massive amount of data is generated from both from this process of automating fish husbandry, and in assisting the farmer to buy feed and sell fish. Much of the future roadmap for eFishery lies in credit scoring and the provisioning of loans and other financial services. Gibran also discussed at length the manifold forms of collaboration with Gojek that affiliate GoVentures’ investment into eFishery has enabled; from powering payments across the spectrum to enabling the direct sale of fish to restaurants, hotels and other establishments by leveraging the Gojek fleet and the GoFood ecosystem. Longer term, eFishery sees broad business development opportunities in markets ranging from Vietnam to India, Bangladesh, and Thailand.We hope you enjoy this episode of Indo Tekno!
Hari-Hari Awal: Leontinus A. Edison of Tokopedia
Sep 14 2020
Hari-Hari Awal: Leontinus A. Edison of Tokopedia
In our new series “Hari-Hari Awal” (in English, “The Early Days”), we begin to explore companies that have emerged over the years as defining pillars of the Indonesian internet ecosystem. Our inaugural instalment follows the rise of Tokopedia from its very first days, through its path to becoming far and away Indonesia’s most dominant native e-commerce platform today. Tokopedia Cofounder and Vice Chairman Leontinus Alpha Edison joins us with a wealth of anecdotes from the company’s hari-hari awal. Now a massive marketplace with 90+ million MAU (Monthly Active Users) and roughly 9 million merchants, Tokopedia’s rise maps the evolution of e-commerce from a simple online price comparison tool to an increasingly critical driver of growth to the Indonesian economy. Leon offers a refreshingly candid account of the ups-and-downs of building a platform from scratch. From the dark days of massive database outages, to the excitement of being the first to market with new payments solutions, the Tokopedia story is one of intense humility, dogged persistence and ceaseless experimentation.Leon himself is currently largely focused on cultivating the company’s future leaders. He concludes by detailing what Tokopedia has done to support the small merchant in the midst of the COVID pandemic, offering some of the most profound examples of Tokopedia’s renowned sense of mission.We hope you enjoy Episode 15 of Indo Tekno, and our first instalment of “Hari-Hari Awal!”
Listing Domestically: Pandu Sjahrir of Indies Capital
Oct 13 2020
Listing Domestically: Pandu Sjahrir of Indies Capital
(Transkrip Bahasa Indonesia di sini)Our guest this week, Pandu Sjahrir, is one of Indonesia's best known tech investors and operating executives. Actively involved in the management of four leading companies, Pandu was also recently appointed Board Member of the Indonesia Stock Exchange (or IDX). He joins us to outline the growing attractions of IPO'ing on the IDX for Indonesia's tech start-up's. Pandu describes his main mandate as "hunting Indonesian elephants": he is actively encouraging Indo's largest tech companies to list domestically in the belief that, with such valuable precedent, the IDX will be able to eventually develop a thriving ecosystem of listed tech companies. The benefits of listing domestically to the tech entrepreneur he argues are numerous: from valuable MSCI index inclusion (and thus demand from absolutely massive pools of passive moneys), to the fiscal attractions of a 0.1%-0.5% capital gains tax, to a declining corporate income tax and the support of dual class shares.Pandu views recent recent mix shifts on the IDX over the past year as very positive: retail accounts have doubled to 3.2m and local investors have risen from 45% to 60% of market ownership. He also candidly discusses where Indo's IPO ecosystem needs to mature, in areas such as board membership, governance and transparency of reporting.Pandu also shares generously other insights from his various current roles as Chairman of Sea Group Indonesia, Managing Director of alternative asset manager Indies Capital, Founding Partner of leading early stage venture fund ACVentures, and CFO of leading mining group Toba Bara Sejahtra. The pandemic has revealed the real grit and leadership amongst Pandu's most talented entrepreneurs, and punished those with more mercenary intentions. Pandu's advice for the IPO aspirant: now is the time to consider an IPO, but be sure to prepare for scrutiny and other new challenges.
Tapping China Synergies: Benny Chen of BAce Capital
Oct 19 2020
Tapping China Synergies: Benny Chen of BAce Capital
Indonesia's and China's technology ecosystems continue to interweave and overlap. BAce Capital is a venture firm whose very mission is to connect markets such as Indonesia to China's dynamic tech eco-system. Claiming Ant Financial as its anchor LP, the firm was founded by Ant and Alibaba veterans Benny Chen and "KK" Kshitij Karundia. In this instalment of Sino Indo Tekno, Benny reflects on the many benefits that the Indonesian entrepreneur can realize in working closely with his/her counterparts in China. The founding team of BAce played key roles in higher profile Alibaba and Ant Financial investments such as Lazada and Tokopedia in Indonesia, and PayTM and Zomato in India. BAce invests in an Indonesian start-up if the partners can easily connect that company to longer term learning relationships with: 1) Alibaba and Ant Financial themselves (China's absolute leaders in e-commerce and fintech, respectively),  and 2) some of the hundreds of investee companies within Ant and Alibaba's broader ecosystems. How do companies in China scale? What are best practices in product development? What are the most powerful ways to leverage big data?  Benny profiled a number of activities that his team has arranged for BAce Indonesian portfolio companies such as Printerous and RoomMe. Learning visits to meet industry peers in China helped answer questions such as those above, while focused workshops on Chinese COVID mitigation techniques offered these companies valuable coping mechanisms for the pandemic. In his concluding remarks, Benny suggests that continuous improvements in Indonesian infrastructure and expansion in digital payments & logistics are key to driving further online growth.