Code Army learning about Indonesia's start-up scene

  • Finds Indonesian start-up scene ‘exciting and full of energy’
  • Technical talent is in Bandung, Surabaya and Yogyakarta

DISPLAYING an eagerness to understand neighboring markets Zafrul Noordin, founder of gamification company Code Army, attended the leading start-up competition in Indonesia called Sparxup, from Oct 3 to 5.
His was probably the only Malaysian company there, but he was not looking for customers, although he recognizes Indonesia as a high potential market with great things happening in its start-up scene.
Instead he was there looking for a talent pool. Not for Code Army the company but Code Army the platform. And, he may have been in Jakarta but realized that the real tech talent pool in Indonesia lay not in the capitol but in the cities of Yogyakarta, Surabaya and Bandung.
“The reason those cities have larger tech pools than Jakarta is actually quite simple. They have the best tech schools in Indonesia,” he says.
Code Army wants to use the concept of Gamification [the use of game design principles in applications outside of games] to solve the problem of talent shortage that companies face.
Zafrul’s quest to understand the market in Indonesia is quickly bearing fruit as while attending Sparxup, he and his team connected with some of the tech community leaders from those three cities, and in fact, will be hosted in Bandung this week by one of the Bandung tech community leaders.
“The Bandung visit this week was planned long before we knew Bandung was a tech hub for Indonesia, but the timing really works out for us as it comes weeks after Sparxup where we met some of their community leaders,” says Zafrul.
They are in Bandung for a hackathon, Startup Asia in Bandung, where one of Zafrul’s team will be participating. Zafrul himself will be busy networking and getting to know the Bandung scene a lot deeper. “I feel it is going to be great,” he says.
Code Army learning about Indonesia's start-up sceneSomething else that excited him from a business perspective was discovering a market situation in Jakarta that he feels Code Army can come into and add value. Because the technical talent comes from outside Jakarta, large companies in the city will typically outsource work to them, but with small margins for the remote teams.
Zafrul feels Code Army can do better but needs to figure out its niche when it expands to Indonesia.
At Sparxup, Zafrul and his team sat in for all the demos from the teams that took part in the hackathon to get a sense of the flavor of the start-up scene there, and came away impressed with the energy and enthusiasm displayed. He was particularly excited over the winning team as he predicted they would win.
“ has a really simple and smart idea. It has ‘socialized’ cooking and given Gen-Ys a compelling reason to get into the kitchen and do some cooking.”
He is confident there is more such talent as the founders (pic, with Zafrul on the far right) and their food app, and wants to ensure’s gamification platform will play a key role in bringing the dispersed talent pool together on a virtual platform.

Related Stories:
Using game design principles to tackle talent shortage
The birth of an idea: Code Army marches on (Part I)
Silicon Valley’s secret sauce: Code Army marches on (Part II)
Jakarta’s Sparxup conference, startup meet and hackathon in Oct
Sparxup keynote speakers see great opportunity in Indonesia

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