aims to be the ‘Alibaba’ of Indonesia

  • Currently No 3, aims to be the No 1 e-commerce site ASAP
  • One thrust is to get more domestic SMEs online aims to be the ‘Alibaba’ of Indonesia

BACKED by a US$500-million investment commitment from one of Indonesia’s biggest conglomerates, Lippo Group, believes it is on the right path to becoming the biggest e-commerce player in the country.
“We look at other countries like Brazil, Russia, China, and India, and the No 1 e-commerce player is always local,” chief executive officer Hadi Wenas told the press at the official launch of the company’s new office in Jakarta on Feb 10.
Hadi declined to put a timeframe on the company’s ambition, saying it should be “sooner rather than later,” while claiming that it is now sitting at the No 3 spot in terms of e-commerce market share.
“We are talking revenue here – we want to be the biggest e-commerce player in Indonesia, and we are not kidding when we say we are going to be the ‘Alibaba of Indonesia’,” he declared.
“We cannot disclose our revenue – however, revenue growth has been great for the past year since we launched the portal, always in double-digits, approximately more than 20% month-on- month,” Hadi told Digital News Asia (DNA) after the press conference.
At the launch of the portal in February 2015, Lippo Group director John Riady said that his company expected to reach US$1 billion in sales by 2017 or sooner.
He also said that in the future, 20% of the group’s retail revenue would come from the e-commerce site.
Lippo Group’s retail sector covers its Hypermart, Matahari department stores and Foodmart businesses, and DNA was unable to find a financial record that consolidates their figures.
In April 2015, Lippo Group appointed Credit Suisse and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to lead a first round of financing worth US$200 million for, a move that would help its e-commerce arm “dominate the growing domestic online retail industry,” it said in an official statement.
“For Lippo Group, e-commerce is a long-term game – we invest because we believe that e-commerce will play significant role in the future of the retail industry,” John told DNA on the sidelines of the office opening.
“ is going to be the enabler to support the group’s digital retail movement, and looking at its rapid growth, we are sure that the portal is going to be the biggest and the best in Indonesia,” he declared.
Getting SMEs to go digital
Backed by Lippo Group’s coffers, has been free to explore opportunities, especially when it comes to its portfolio.
“Not only can you find and buy Matahari’s retail products or Hypermart fresh goods on the portal, you can also order other services like movie ticket from Lippo’s theatre chain Cinemaxx,” said Hadi.
“Soon, you would also be able ‘buy’ medical packages such as check-ups or PAP smears from Lippo’s Siloam Hospital,” he added.
The portal is going to play its role in bringing more SMEs (small and medium enterprises) to the online world as well.
“ will be a catalyst for the digital economy ecosystem – we will take on as many SMEs as possible to get them to sell their products online,” said its chairman Emirsyah Satar, who previously served as Garuda Indonesia chief executive officer.
“By getting SMEs online, we can contribute to the country’s economy as well,” he added.
The company has special initiatives for SMEs under its JOA (Jual Online Aja!) campaign, or ‘Just Sell Online’ in English, which not only includes selling their products on the portal, but also e-commerce training and education workshops.
From November to December 2015, the company held roadshows in Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Bali, and recruited more than 100 SMEs, with 50 of them already actively selling their products on
“We will continue to visit more cities in Indonesia starting next month, to recruit more SMEs and add more products on our platform before the fasting month starts,” said Hadi, adding that the fasting month of Ramadhan is usually a peak time for the retail industry in Indonesia.
New ‘hoMMe,’ productivity push aims to be the ‘Alibaba’ of Indonesia’s efforts to become the biggest e-commerce player in the country would not be successful without the contribution of its employees, Hadi acknowledged.
This would entail investing in its people: Not only in terms of acquiring talents, but retaining them.
“No matter how many good products you have, how good the portal is, if there are no people behind the desk pushing for sales and promotions, working on the system and delivering, if there is no customer service … then we will be nothing.
“We built our new office with the idea of making it a second home for our employees, a place where they can work and feel comfortable – and that would increase their productivity,” he said.
The company dubs its office ‘hoMMe’ with the double ‘M’ representing MatahariMall, and its employees ‘faMMilia.’
The new office is located in Kuningan in the Central Jakarta area, taking up 1,632 sq metres at one of the Lippo Group’s newest office towers.
Heavily inspired by US tech giant Google Inc’s offices, the office is filled with bright colours and thematic meeting rooms as well as playrooms.
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“We want to make people feel more comfortable working harder and longer. We are trying to push productivity, and are not targeting to add to our headcount in the near-future,” said Hadi. currently has 300 employees with around 200 of them located at the new office, while the rest work at the company’s fulfilment centre in the Halim area of East Jakarta.
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