President Jokowi Tells Startup Founders to Seize Opportunities by Using Technology
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo Monday (09/26) called on founders of startups to seize opportunities amid existing global crises through use of technology.
“The issue of food crisis, matters related to food in the future will snowball into a big problem that must be solved by technology. It is an opportunity,” President Jokowi said at SOEs Startup Day at the Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE) BSD City, Tangerang regency, Banten province.
According to the President, currently only 4 percent of Indonesia’s startups are in the agricultural sector, while about 23 percent and 14 percent of the startups are in the field of fintech and retail respectively.
“Do pay attention. There is a big opportunity there. On matters related to food, we’ll talk about production, distribution, and market. There are opportunities on all matters related to distribution, production, and market,” he said.
The President also stated that various commodities can be developed in the food sector.
“On food, it’s not only about rice, but there are also sorghum, porang plant, cassava, sago, and so on. So, this is a big opportunity,” he said, adding that target consumers may range from farmers, fishers, to housewives.
Not only in the food sector, but the President also called on startup companies to make the most opportunities in the health sector, for example by developing telemedicine.
“Our country has 17,000 islands, 514 regencies/cities, 34 provinces, what can we do to improve our health? We can use telemedicine in a remote manner connected through platform, through app,” he said.
President Jokowi also mentioned opportunities in the development of MSMEs, adding that of the existing 65.4 million MSMEs, only around 19 million business platforms use digital platform.
“Indeed, there are still many issues including on packaging, production quality, and production capacity. But there are only 19 million that have utilized digital platform so there is still a very large room for us to work on,” he said.
The President also underscored the rapid growth of digital economy in Indonesia – the highest in the region. The potentials of digital economy in Indonesia has jumped eightfold from around Rp632 trillion in 2020 to Rp4,531 trillion later in 2030. Meanwhile, Indonesian startups are among the sixth biggest in the world, after the United States, India, the UK, Canada and Australia.
“It means that the opportunity is huge. This is an opportunity for you especially the youth because internet users in Indonesia have reached 77 percent with around 8 hours 36 minutes use daily,” he said.
The Head of State also urged those founders of startup companies to pay attention to market needs.
“[As many as] 80 to 90 percent of startups have failed when starting business because they don’t pay attention to market needs. They should start by knowing the market needs. Second, it’s due to lack of fund. This is the use of venture capital, the use of SOEs so that the large ecosystem that we want to build can be interconnected, so that everything is properly facilitated, and they don’t fail to enter the markets, to seize existing opportunities in the country,” he said.
On that occasion, Minister of SOEs Erick Thohir stated that the SOEs Startup Day aims to introduce and bring SOE leaders closer to startup founders.
“We want SOEs not to invest directly but the venture capitalists in SOEs must assist. We don’t want SOE directors who have no experience in digital industry to invest directly without any assistance. We want this to be sustainable,” he said.
For the record, the event was attended by 150 exhibitors, 250 startup companies, and 22 SOEs.
“There are five core businesses during the SOEs Startup Day namely business matching, investor pitching, rapid mentoring, conference, and exhibition,” Erick said. (DND/UN) (FI/MMB)