Current affairs

Online business contributing to the achievement of Indonesia's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


The goal of the digitalization of Indonesian society

E-money in Indonesia can be divided into two types: chip-based, contactless IC cards like E-Toll cards and server-based, smartphone-application-based ones like GoPay, but server-based e-money is a special situation in Indonesia, which has developed tied to car-sharing apps like GoJek and Grab.

When I came to Indonesia more than 20 years ago, many people had two or three Nokia or Ericsson phones on the table during a meeting, and the people are so mobile gadget-loving that even if they don't have the money, they can still buy a phone in installments, so since Uber, the pioneer of the car-sharing app, entered the market in 2014, it didn't take long for the various services encompassed by livery apps like Grab and Gojek to become part of our daily lives.

Gojek, one of Indonesia's leading Unicorn companies, has developed a one-stop service called GoLife, which has evolved into a whole range of lifestyle services from ride-sharing to food delivery, motorbike delivery, moving, massage and other services, and GoPay, which is a means of payment for all of these services, from mobility to service to payment.

In providing this service, Gojek contributed to solving many social problems that Indonesia was facing.

I know it's a little late to be saying this, but GOJEK is revolutionary in that it allows you to outsource the time-consuming, costly and unproductive tasks of transportation and delivery, which used to be done all over the place, to them online, improving operational efficiency and redistributing wealth all at once.
When I asked GOJEK to deliver Bakso on Christmas Eve, they were contributing to both the economy and society by using information technology to create a new income redistribution stream while at the same time lowering the crime rate by reducing unemployment. It may seem obvious but we tend to forget what is important in business and whether there is a product or service that can contribute to society in the end.

In the midst of the corona pandemic, Indonesia's local specialty businesses and food stalls operating in a limited trade area are placed on a digital platform to support small business owners and create opportunities for the sale and consumption of domestic products, while at the same time addressing the country's weaknesses in export competitiveness due to a lack of value-added industries. It plays a catalyst role in turning the economy around by providing for its own consumption.

While some argue that domestic industry provides for increased domestic consumption, which creates jobs, the services created increase the productivity of economic actors.

And that going online has the economic effect of narrowing regional disparities, others argue that only urban areas are getting richer, which is the Jokowi administration is considered weak in its poverty-fighting, I think it's an issue that should be addressed as a welfare policy.

President Jokowi is officially promoting #BanggaBuatanIndonesia, an initiative to increase the supply and demand of domestic value-added products by bringing offline micro-enterprises online, in order to make them proud of their domestic products, and to get through the coronas together, because exports are weak Homegrown product preference movement.
The idea of a cloud kitchen is that individuals who don't have a physical store can start a food and beverage business by renting a kitchen, an online ordering system, and a set of deliveries, but isn't GoJek the only one in Indonesia that can offer these three things at the moment?

GoJek's founder Nadim Makarim's corporate philosophy is to produce start-up companies that contribute to Indonesia's development by solving many social problems and at the same time promoting new innovations, and the goal of Indonesia's digitalization is to promote economic growth and social problems, as well as fostering business entities that will support the next generation of Indonesian prosperity.

According to my friend who is in charge of business enhancement to increase sales by streamlining 60,000 BP in GoLife, the company is saturated with people who have moved on from McKinsey and other strategic consultants, and people who can do everything from strategy to delivery are very valuable. The company's philosophy is to encourage people who graduated from Gojek to start their own business and play an active role in society, just like Recruit.

The Asia DX (Digital Transformation) Initiative, which aims to contribute to the achievement of the ASEAN SDGs and reform Japan

A representative from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) spoke at a seminar organized by JETRO today.

The "ASEAN-Japan Joint Initiative for Economic and Industrial Cooperation" and the "ASEAN-Japan Economic Robustness Action Plan" were agreed upon in April and July 2020, respectively, to promote economic and industrial cooperation between the two countries.

The three frames of action plan

  1. Maintaining close economic relations (reaffirming past collaboration)
    Eliminating non-tariff barriers and simplifying trade procedures
  2. Mitigating negative impacts on the economy (cooperation in the current crisis response)
    Promote a stable supply of goods and social implementation of digital technology to sustain economic activities
  3. Promoting Economic Toughness (Co-creation for the Future)
    Strengthening the supply chain and human interaction in the industry

While the realization of these action plans will promote the economic growth of the region as a whole, it is expected to face new economic and social challenges such as coping with digitalization, industrial upgrading, correction of regional disparities, and environmental issues, as well as the 2030 In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the end of the decade, the Dialogue for Innovative and Sustainable Growth (DISG) will be held in the United States. Growth)" has been established.


The most distinctive feature of DISG is that it is based on the premise of utilizing digital technologies such as digital connectivity, open innovation collaboration to solve social issues, smart city promotion, and smart manufacturing to achieve these SDGs.

Topics discussed in the DISG

  1. Supply Chain Upgrades
    Building a Robust Supply Chain
  2. Green Innovation
    Building a Resilient Energy Structure and Balancing Environmental Constraints with Economic Growth
  3. Medical/healthcare, agriculture and food issues
    Improving health care access and rural productivity

GoJek is a business in Indonesia that uses digital technology to solve problems in order to achieve the SDGs. The Asia DX (Digital Transformation) concept is an attempt by Japan to strategically invest money, human resources, technology and know-how in ASEAN countries to create new businesses through collaboration.

At JETRO's seminar, a person from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry told me that contributing to the achievement of the SDGs in ASEAN is strategically important for Japan, and they are promoting the Asia DX Initiative, which involves investing in technology and capital to create businesses that utilize digital technology. Whether Japan has an advantage over ASEAN in the most digital technologies is becoming more and more subtle.😅