New player Kravasia to push Indonesia’s Batik, Tenun craft

  • Good products, but local artisans have no access to tech, marketing
  • Niche vertical offers an edge to compete in crowded e-commerce space

 
New player Kravasia to push Indonesia’s Batik, Tenun craft
DESPITE being packed with players, Indonesia’s e-commerce space never fails to attract exciting new players. One of the latest is Kravasia.com, which aims to serve a niche vertical.
 
It launched yesterday, Sunday, Oct 2, to coincide with Indonesia's National Batik Day and aims to be the one-stop marketplace for Indonesian traditional fabric and clothing such as Batik and Tenun.
[Corrected: An earlier version had World Batik Day.]
 
For the two founders, Maulana Muhammad and Ignasius Ryan Hasim, who are on their second startup, having previously been involved with marketplace Ruangguru.com that connects teachers/tutors with students, there is no fear to competing in the crowded e-commerce sector – as long as you serve the right niche.
 
“Yes, there are many other e-commerce players in Indonesia but there is no single player that focuses on Batik and Tenun, a sector that serves as one of the major contributors to Indonesia’s creative economy revenue,” its chief operating officer Ignasius tells Digital News Asia (DNA).

Both will be hoping to apply some lessons learn from Ruangguru, namely:

  • It's about People, Product, and Profit, in that order; and
  • Go that extra mile every day and sooner rather than later, "We'll be a thousand miles ahead of our current and potential competitors."

[New paragraph added.]

According to Indonesian Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf), the creative industry has contributed around 7% to Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015 or about Rp642 trillion (US$49.2 billion), out of which which about 43% comes from the fashion and crafts sector.
 
Despite the enormous potential, both founders feel that the local artisans who produce these products, especially Batik and Tenun artisans, still have no access to technology, digital marketing, and information.
 
“When we visited a village called Kampung Batik in Central Java, we found that the two biggest problems for local artisans are the complexity of developing an online presence and the lack of promotional activities to market their products,” shares Ignasius, who had a FMCG background prior to embarking on his entrepreneurial journey.

With their Kravasia platform, two founders hope to tackle the issue and make the push to digital easier for these local artisans.
 
“We want to play a bigger role in empowering the creative industry in the country by helping local artisans and local brands to grow their business, of course by leveraging the technology. It will also help customers who want to look for specific products with a good user experience,” Kravasia’s chief executive officer Maulana says. He too has a FMCG background along with a stint as marketing manager for Microsoft Indonesia.
 
After three months of development, the platform currently has more than 50 vendors with over a thousand of products listed. Before the end of the year Kravasia will also launch its mobile application.
 
“Our target for next year is to make sure Batik from all regions, brands, and thousands of artisans will be listed on our platform,
 
“We also aspire to be the best marketplace in Asia for Batik and Tenun products by curating both the vendors and the products to provide the best shopping experience for customers. It will always be about quality over quantity,” Ignasius emphasises.
 
Local artisans and vendors will have to go through a curation process before they are allowed to use the platform.
 
“The curation process is to ensure the quality of products is at an expected level set by us to ensure high standards for our customers as well,” he says.
 
In selling online, vendors will also have their products photographed professionally, will be guided with online marketing activities, as well as have access to inventory management and worldwide shipping.
 
“We are encouraging local artisans to be proactive and register themselves on our platform. Where this is not possible, we will come directly to the local artisans and help them set up their digital presence,” he adds.
 
The self-funded startup takes 15% from each transaction on the platform, and is in talks with potential investors to raise funding.
 
Related Stories:
 
Indonesian e-commerce players face Catch-22 situation
 
Indonesia to be Asia’s next digital powerhouse: Google-Temasek
 
Amazon’s US$600mil push into Indonesia will change the e-commerce landscape
 
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