BUSAN -- Indonesia, which was behind other developed nations in terms of internet penetration in the PC era, is now one of the most connected nations thanks to the increasing adoption of smartphones.
Taking a selfie and uploading it in on social media before digging in at a restaurant has become some sort of ritual for many people in the nation while mobile payment solutions are available nearly everywhere.
Steven Kim, CEO of online marketing platform operator Qraved, saw great potential in the nation’s then fledgling internet realm in 2013, and jumped in the local online marketing sector.
The company, which was picked as one of the most promising 44 startups in the country last year, is currently aiming to offer lifestyle services that range from restaurant recommendation to booking services for leisure activities.
“We are now focusing on growing along with different industries, including restaurants, leisure, and shopping, while helping Indonesians make decisions in their everyday life with ease,” said Kim at the ASEAN-Korea Startup Summit on Nov 26.
“To that end, we are trying to make our services smarter and more tailored for individual customers,” he said during his presentation.
On the firm’s mobile app, for example, customers receive push notifications based on their location for discount coupons, and can use mobile stamp services as part of loyalty programs.
He forecast that mobile marketing services in Indonesia will be able to become as mature as those in South Korea within a decade, embracing not only big franchises but also small brick-and-mortar restaurants that now have little exposure in the online world.
The startup conference was held on the sidelines of the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit in Busan, held on Nov. 25-26.
“Although data about customers are piling up through the advancement of mobile technology, they are not fully analyzed and utilized by companies, both big and small, in Indonesia,” said Kim, adding the company is trying to do those tasks for its partners in the local market.
Complimenting Indonesia’s relatively open and embracive startup market toward foreign businesses, he also encouraged global entrepreneurs to give it a try to start a business in the nation with the population of 270 million -- the fourth biggest in the world.
“In Indonesia, the mentality and policies are not hostile toward foreign businessmen,” said Kim, adding “It is more like a do-it-first-and-fix-it-later mentality, while there are a lot of regulatory hurdles facing fledgling startups in South Korea.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)