How To Start A Business In Indonesia

Indonesia is considered one of the countries with the fastest growth in digital penetration, including the growth of internet users and social media. This offers a business opportunity, and has spurred many people to create mobile apps or online platforms that can internet users can use daily.

Investors are also looking to invest their capital in technology start-ups from Indonesia, and we are actually looking at a situation where there are more investment capital than there are start-ups available.

There have been many successful tech start-ups in Indonesia, and that includes both local, and more importantly foreign start-ups. These “foreign” successes include Gojek, Grabtaxi, (compare88), and many more. These start-ups are probably not as successful in their country of origin, but have shown good performance in Indonesia.

It does not take long to achieve success as businesses proceed day by day. Most take 3 to 5 years to achieve break-even point and become profitable, which is considered very fast, even before reaching 10 years of operational period.

Successful businesses in Indonesia

Seeing how there are a lot opportunities in Indonesia to build a new tech start-up, how does one create a good start-up in Indonesia?

First, you need to have to have local partners as investors or board members. They can provide the knowledge about the local market, competitors, and any legal concerns. Legal process with the government in Indonesia can be a challenge, and having a local who understands how to deal with government officials is important.


Secondly, you will need local operation and sales teams. Many business experts explain that only locals know deeply about how local businesses run, which include market maneuvers, external and internal communication, and management styles. This is because of their intimate understanding of the Indonesian culture and environment. There are many cases where businesses only consists of foreign management, they either take too long to adapt to the local business environment, or even fail completely.

Indonesia Correspondent

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