Techinasia Conference 2019 Takeaways

Quick recap on attending what probably the biggest tech and startup conference in South East Asia. I only attend day 2 hence this might be short. Hopefully still useful.

Enjoy!

View from the front seat

Xendit on Running Experimentation and Hiring Practices

Moses Lo and Tessa Wijaya from Xendit shares their experience scaling startup beyond series A. Xendit itself is a payment gateway, enabling apps or website to do everything related to payments.

First interesting insight from them is their dead simple guidelines on running experimentation : 3 months, 7% growth per week. Any experimental product which consistently passing those bar will get invested more. Below the bar, project will be scraped. Nothing happened to the team, they will be assigned for something else. Any point of time, Xendit will have 3 or 4 “business as usual + 1” experiments , new product which adjacent to their current offering.

This is a good innovation practice by nurturing exploration while still budget conscious. Moses learned this from his time in Y Combinator.

Second one is their hiring practice to do trial day. Candidates applying for Xendit will have to spend one day to work with the team as part of their hiring assessment. By doing this both the team and candidates can sense whether they can fit together or not. Since interview is a bad predictor of performance, Trial Day help Xendit avoids bad hiring by test the candidates on real working condition.

OVO on Solving Problems Using Fintech

On main stage, Jason Thompson from OVO delivered quo vadis speech on where the fintech is going. It was the best presentation ive seen on Day 2. Jason gave insightful and humble presentation on OVO’s journey so far.

Three key points from Jason’s speech.

First, OVO achieved 10x growth due to strategic partnership with Grab and Tokopedia. Grab Bike & Grab Car contribute high frequency of transactions while Tokopedia drives the value of the transactions. On top of that, OVO itself boost ubiquity and reason to use by having presence in almost every shopping mall in Indonesia.

Jason Thompson, CEO of OVO

Second, answering on the skepticism on cash-back, the growth of OVO has been healthy. This is due to the growth in both users and value, is followed by growth in stored value fund. Seems like users are more comfortable to left their money in OVO balance.

Third, OVO aimed to expand beyond wallet into other financial services. Investment will be their first expansion, powered by Bareksa acquisition. Jason spent quite a time emphasizing how big investment opportunities in Indonesia while investment in adoption is still very low compared to the region.

Massive opportunities in Indonesia investment market

Lending and insurance will be next. OVO transaction data will be leveraged to make their financial services attractive for each users ( e.g credit scoring for cheaper lending and insurance).

I predicted OVO’s move to expand into other financial services back in May. Do read my analysis here. I also channeled Jason’s optimism on Indonesia investment market.

And yes, Jason also confirm OVO status as the fifth unicorn in the country.

Tokopedia on Their Next 10 Years

William Tanuwijaya interview was probably the most sought-out session in Day 2 of the conference. Main stage area was jam-packed with people, i could barely saw the stage.

William, Tokped founder versus Willis, TIA founder

Guided by Willis Wee of Techinasia himself, William talk about a decade of Tokopedia journey, key decisions thats important for growth of Tokped and also his personal growth as a founder CEO.

Three important takeaways for me.

First, asked about early decisions that has been pivotal for Tokped foundation, Willliam answer was the decision to not blindly copy global ecommerce promotion day (e.g 11.11 in China, Black Friday). Relying on big-bang promotion day to boost sales is not only unsustainable, but also many of these promotion day is out of context for Indonesian hence it doesnt bring good result. Tokopedia choose to pick promotion day on the last week before lebaran. Smart move considering most office workers already got their THR bonuses during this time. This is also a subtle jab for Bukalapak which make promotion day every single month (1.1, 2.2 and so on).

Second is about their Super Ecosystem strategy. Tokped is exploring many new things such as financial services, selling tickets and bill payment. However, William emphasized that Tokopedia will prefer collaborate with aligned partners rather than building their own. Different path from what Amazon is going where they start to develop many in-house verticals. Hence Tokped platform will be geared to be more open and William invites startups and other institutions to develop the ecosystem together.

Last and the most interesting one is his vision on Tokped next 10 years. Tokopedia next decade vision is to enable smalll business owners in rural Indonesia to have the same capabilities as national (or international) retailer. William cited that he wants store owner in Aceh can possibly make their business big without having to move to Jakarta to get better access to market. This could contribute into decentralization of economy of Indonesia and also reverse urbanization.

To realize this vision, Tokopedia will make most of their e-commerce capabilities as a services for this small business. For example, if a seller need logistic or warehousing capabilities to do overnight delivery, Tokopedia could provide it. This also goes for marketing, payment and other capabilities.

In their last impact report, Tokopedia claimed to contribute 1% of Indonesian economy. William aim to push this into 5% in the next decade.

The Curious Case of T-Cash

This is series of study case analysis that i like to write from time to time. Check out my first post on Traveloka.

This week in fintech, state-owned e-wallet provider T-CASH announced that they will transform into LinkAja. Not only the name change, the new T-Cash will be backed not only by Telkom group but also six other state-owned enterprise (SOEs) : Bank Mandiri, BRI, BNI, BTN, Jiwasraya and Pertamina. The change will be implemented late February and current T-Cash users will only need to update their app once LinkAja launched.

T-cash QR Payment feature. image credit from kanalaceh.com

Couple of interesting points from this.

Continue reading “The Curious Case of T-Cash”

Mengapa saat ini di Indonesia, startup fintech lebih banyak dibanding startup lain

Ini sebenarnya adalah thread Quora yang saya jawab beberapa waktu lalu Karena responsnya cukup bagus, saya menambahkan beberapa materi dan memposting ulang disini.

Platform Quora ini cukup menyenangkan dan saya aktif disana. Cek kesini 
untuk melihat semua jawaban yang saya tulis.

Image result for fintech indonesia
Lanskap fintech di Indonesia. Gambar dari Convergence Ventures
Continue reading “Mengapa saat ini di Indonesia, startup fintech lebih banyak dibanding startup lain”

Three Great Business Books To Start Your 2019

I cant believe how fast 2018 have been going for me. I went lot of new challenges, good thing most of them turn out quite well. In 2018, I’ve ventured into new areas at work, managed bigger team and took terrifying steps into the big financial commitment (i bought a house on mortgage). Been hell-a-lot of personal developments which was exciting and scary at the same time.

Three good books i recommend to read

Speaking of personal developments, ill share top three great books that I’ve read last year with interesting points from each. These books helped me find perspective and calmed me down during roller coaster ride. I hope this list give you ideas on what to read to start your 2019 right.

Lets go!

Continue reading “Three Great Business Books To Start Your 2019”

Vlog KomunIKASI

Jumat minggu kemarin, saya bertemu dan ngobrol dengan salah satu junior di kampus Sistem Informasi ITS dulu : Diaz Permana. Pertemuan ini sebenarnya random sekali diawali dengan saling mereply di grup Ikatan Alumni Sistem Informasi dan kemudian Diaz mengajak untuk ketemuan offline. Kebetulan, seminggu kemarin saya sedang di Surabaya untuk keperluan ekspansi Amartha. Kebetulan kedua, saya juga penasaran dengan Ternaknesia, startup agritech tempat Diaz bekerja sekarang. Maka ngopilah kita berdua di sebuah cafe di Manyar.

Yang menarik, Diaz mengajak untuk merekam pembicaraan dalam sebuah vlog. Diaz sedang membuat vlog tentang Ikatan Alumni Sistem Informasi. Dia ingin membuat konten untuk memudahkan mahasiswa SI berpikir dan merencanakan karir setelah kuliah nanti.

Ini adalah kali pertama saya merekam vlog, kegiatan yang sangat milenial, dan saya khawatir diskusi menjadi canggung. Namun Diaz berhasil membawakan sesi tanya jawab ini dengan luwes sehingga obrolan kita berdua tidak berbeda dengan diskusi  seperti biasa tanpa kamera. Wajar sih, Diaz semenjak kuliah sudah berpengalaman menjadi host dan moderator.

Simak obrolan kami berdua seputar alumni Sistem Informasi ITS, hal yang dilakukan pada saat kuliah dan hal hal lain di youtube link dibawah.

Berhubung diskusi ini terjadi secara spontan, ada beberapa tambahan informasi yang saya gatal ingin tulis disini. Tonton dulu videonya, lalu sila menyimak beberapa poin tambahan jawaban atas pertanyaan-pertanyaan seru yang di lontarkan Diaz di vlog. Continue reading “Vlog KomunIKASI”

Guest Lecturing in Information System ITS

Ive spent the whole last week working in Surabaya. The project that im working on is on expansion mode, hence i went around several areas in East Java to monitor and support that implementation. I had spare time on Friday afternoon, so i linked up with my senior in college, mas Nisfu, which is currently department head of my almamater. After few chit chat, he invited me to guest lecture in Leadership  and Communication Class. Offered such a great honor and opportunities, i didnt wait a second to say yes.

To keep my topic relevant to the class, i decided to talk about how students can better prepare themselves for job hunting. I wrote about this couple years ago here hence i just need to make slides out of it with updated content and context.

In summary, i talked about how the rising of digital ecosystem in Indonesia made these current and upcoming years the best time to be IT students. However, there are also thousands of IT graduates which will be competing for a job hence by graduation, they need to be already “job-ready”. Then i described the concept about “job-ready” (inspired by Joel Spolsky post ) and several things students can do in college to setup themselves to be job-ready.

IMG_20180323_155319 (1)

The class was amazing. It was probably the most enjoyable teaching experience i had since god know when (i teach class occasionally, so its a hyperbole). All of the student are still in their 2nd semester (2017 class). I was little bit pessimistic at first because material about jobseeking preparation probably wont be exciting for freshman students. However, i was blown away by the enthusiasm and quality of questions they asked.

These are some of the questions they came up with :

  • What is the difference between working in established companies and startups ?
  • Is this rising digital trend going to last ? what happen with job prospects when the trend fades ?
  • If i want to work for Tesla, what should i prepare right now ?

This is pretty amazing coming from second year students. Couple of times i was taken a back and need couple of seconds to digest and think for the answer. These ITS Information System millenials really exhilarates me, cant wait to meet them again someday.

Also, since i went to Surabaya on a company’s dime i also did not forget to slip in some messages from my corporate startup overlord.

Hiring_Intern.jpg
were looking for cool interns!

Were looking for students from any background who wants to experience working in fintech startup and contributing to a positive social impact. Interested ? send your cv to that email address or you can just contact me by commenting in this blog. 

In the end, teaching is really fun, i should do more of these. . Thank you mas Nisfu for the opportunity to teach. Thank you Information System class of 2017 for the enthusiasm and energy, you guys rock!.

My presentation for this class is available for download here. 

Adapting Into My New Job in Amartha

Since coming back home to Indonesia, ive been working in a fintech startup called Amartha. Amartha is a peer-to-peer lending platform targeting unbankable populations in rural Indonesia. Inspired by Grameen Bank, loan was disbursed through group-lending mechanism and all of Amartha’s mitra (lender) is exclusively women.

My time here has been great so far, the company value resonate with me , i have a good team and im learning so much day by day. However the business model, the industry and startup environment is completely new to me hence i need jam lot of knowledge just to stay afloat.

IMG_20171212_115858 (1)
Amartha’s field officer (Anis) and operation analyst (Icha) was testing Amartha Go android apps for one of lender a.k.a mitra

Another thing that forced me to learn many things at once is my double role in Amartha. I am currently responsible for Amartha Go, initiatives to optimize our loan-collection process using combination of agency model and android apps. At first, I was responsible for business direction of this initiatives. However, the product manager resigned, hence i took those responsibilities. Hence not only i am managing a strategy team, i also need to manage team of developers as well.

In this post, i will share several resources which have been helpful so far in speeding up my adaptation process. Hopefully it will be useful for you as well. Continue reading “Adapting Into My New Job in Amartha”