Let me start by sharing my observation on the attributes of Indonesia enterprises in general and this is mostly about the medium-large companies , state-owned, or private in Indonesia.
In terms of the chance to adopt digital technologies , those Indonesia companies have the following advantages :
- they operate in third largest market in Asia, which is projected to be the 5th largest global economy in 2030 meaning their growth potential is huge
- in terms of technology and digitalization many of Indonesia companies are basically ‘green field’. Just to give you an example: an established company with profit of around 135 million USD is just recently starting to initiate the implementation of ERP system in their operation
- those companies can focus first to win local market as the underlining battle ground before going regional and to go to the next level. While keeping their current business, they can start leapfrogging by digitalizing their major processes
- Indonesia has abundant supply of young work-force. They generally need a solid, short-term-KPI-oriented induction program to be able to play a productive role in the company since their early days
- in average, the level of awareness in the middle level leadership in those companies of the need to perform better is high. The motivation to be better is real.
On the other hand, there are disadvantages that Indonesia businesses are facing :
- equity support from shareholder(s) to support the growth sometime is not an easy game,
- at the same time access to low cost financing also not generally known,
- the well known situation of Indonesia for business and industry is the lacking of supporting industries, in whatever business line, Indonesia need to catch up in a big way to create an efficient industry ecosystem for business to be able to get all support needed to do business quickly and efficiently
- even though the number of young work force with various formal education background is high, it is relatively only low percentage of young talent in the market who really ready in terms of basic knowledge, work attitude and right skill. Likewise the existing potential talent in the company also somehow capped by the old bureaucracy and complacency that has been there so long and there is no way-out for them to break through and move forward and catching up quickly. In this situation specialized business and process development project coaching and mentoring program by business experienced coaches is therefore required to get the talent up to the level and can then play a really significant role in the digitalization of the enterprise.
The fact that the internal business processes are relatively green field and the motivation of the middle level leadership to move forward is strong, make a lot easier for companies in introducing various digital and cloud based processes provided the top leadership really want it. It can really be a leapfrog!
In my observation, some of the common simple examples in digitalizing the internal company processes and that usually can happen quickly and bring a lot of improvement among others are :
- improving meeting efficiency using various technologies like audio or video conferencing, which is actually accessible over the smartphone now, especially if the enterprises have foot print scattered in all provinces in Indonesia ; a small note, audio conferencing for meeting has just really picking up recently and gaining popularity in Indonesia and it has been able to improve meeting efficiency because in audio conferencing time punctuality is just a basic requirement and during the meeting, discussions can only happen in a very straight forward manner this goes along with the fact that Indonesia is such a vast country and that very serious traffic problem is just a day-to-day experience in big cities all around Indonesia;
- The flourishing mobile messenger group in Indonesia has really been facilitating an effective means for business coordination, people from all level are so used to it now. This has been really an effective coordination platform for all kind of business and organization.
- The use of reporting bot to produce regular reports has saved a lot of time. The use of bots in some processes in the Indonesia companies is starting now
Simple project supervision and monitoring is now done easily over a m-app not mentioning that exhaustive Project Management planning is now doable over cloud and in collaborative manner that has improved tremendously the efficiency in doing and executing a plan.
- Human capital processes can now be done on cloud and become more transparent , real time, learning and interactive. and many more.
There are cases where technologies has greatly improved the customer experience in subscribing company’s services in Indonesia. One major example would be the experience of millions of Indonesian in using the inter-city train services, from getting the ticket on the mobile -app till the ‘check-in’ process at the station as it is so convenient nowadays.
The non-cash payment at the toll gates which was recently introduced as mandatory will eventually provide a new experience for customers of smooth moving at the toll gates and as well as efficiency for the toll company.
Mobile banking in Indonesia has been massive and becoming a very common means for Indonesian people more than those in the first world countries where to many Asian looks very old school.
Not mentioning the use of Facebook and Instagram by common people on the street in Indonesia to buy and sell products from their mobile devices
Those examples of digitalizing company internal and customer-facing processes are just a fraction of the so many that we can see today in Indonesia enterprises. It has shown that people in Indonesia embrace the benefit of technologies very much and do not hesitate in using it quickly. Indonesia do not invent any of those technologies but in this digital age, technologies are created and made easy accessible as ‘generic’ medias, tools, or platforms and that it is now up to enterprise as how to use those technologies to radically transform companies to become more efficient, productive and competitive.
The top leaders of the companies must be aware of this and make the decision to engage to the new reality of digital era for enterprises
Apart from financial type of challenges mentioned above, be it equity or access to low cost debt , the rest of the major challenges in leapfrogging are business network and people upgrading. I am with my team and we are business hands-on experienced people, we love to help and see that Indonesia companies survive the disruptions threat of digitalization and even more, take the most benefit of it, to grow more, expand market and be more competitive.
Let me know if you are the leadership of Indonesia companies and interested to discuss this further.