The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many small and growing businesses (SGBs) and intermediaries to adopt digital transformation. In the past year, we hosted our first-ever Digitalization Leaning Lab Series, training our members on how to create value proposition, how to define what you need to deliver digitally, and how to visualize, measure, and iterate your digital strategy with support from Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.
We featured ANDE members and their entrepreneurs in our communications series ‘Exploring Digitalization Journeys’. This blog meets entrepreneurs of Mercy Corps Indonesia, an international non-profit organization founded in 1979 that has helped people in vulnerable areas; 42 countries and has helped more than 19 million people improve their quality of life.
Rangga Septiana, the owner and co-founder of CV Jaya Niaga, a brick-and-mortar business specialized in cotton-based medical supplies
Rangga and his wife started the medical supplies business in 2013, with only Rp200.000, as their initial capital. Despite having no direct experience in medical supplies or the cotton business, Rangga moved forward and started to make his first cotton product, cotton swabs. With help from his initial mentor, Haji Adang, Rangga has learned to tackle obstacles such mold problems, change in color, as well as how to run a cotton business. To this day, Rangga has expanded his business, also produced medical cotton and gauze and served customers outside of Java Island, such as Kalimantan and Papua.
Rangga had a dream to make his business run in an ‘autopilot’ mode. In order to fulfill his dream, he tried to find business mentors and found out about MicroMentor from Facebook. Based on the advice given by 10 mentors he found on the platform, he learned that a business must have a good cash flow and constant revenue streams. However, after doing a financial checkup with his mentors, Rangga’s cash flow wasn’t doing so well.
“I found out that managing cash flow can be pretty complex. I am glad that MicroMentor helps me in navigating the problem. I have also learned to digitize my business and get to the e-marketplace,” said Rangga. Thanks to the guidance of MicroMentor’s business mentors, Rangga has experienced a 40% increase in sales. “The advice on cash flow left a deep mark for me. It turns out, once I have managed my cash flow, I can readily supply products for my customers on the same day!” added Rangga.
Despite Rangga’s success, his business was hit hard by the pandemic as well. “However, I didn’t stop. Aside from managing my business cash flow, my mentors have taught me to digitize my business and also gave me advice on how to obtain external funding”. Thanks to the business mentoring, Rangga has improved his application and has been able to receive funding from a local bank three times at about Rp300 million in total.
Rangga has found that business mentoring from different backgrounds broadened his horizon. MicroMentor has helped Rangga in reaching not only one, but 10 mentors, who have helped him in surviving and growing his business.
Rizkia Shafarini, the founder of myproperty.id, a start-up property advertising platform
Myproperty.id is a property search platform in Indonesia, established in 2020. Myproperty.id helps property providers to easily market their properties online. In addition, it helps people who are looking for property to find their dream property, whether it is a house, land, office space, and others.
“The property sector is struggling, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Older sellers, tenants, and agents are not familiar with cutting-edge, current technology. Therefore, developing a digital business that is easy to access is worth trying”, according to Rizkia.
When initially developing her business, Rizkia did everything without a team; starting from designing content, managing social media, and looking for agents, etc. Other than managing her business, Rizkia is a university student who is currently studying at two different universities. Therefore, she needs the help of a mentor to help her with the right strategy for business development.
“I am still in college, which means I don’t have a deep experience in business, especially in the property sector. I don’t have a technology background either, so I have to teach myself and implement it directly,” said Rizkia.
Through MicroMentor Indonesia, which is supported by Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, Commonwealth Bank in Indonesia, and Mercy Corps Indonesia, Rizkia was able to connect with Fariz, one of the business mentors in the platform. During the mentoring process, Fariz helped Rizkia to create strategies for developing her business.myproperty.id was successfully launched in October 2020 with more than 200 listings registered on the platform – some of them have already been sold. Her operational team has also improved rapidly with the internship strategy which Rizkia dared to use.
“MicroMentor made it easy to find a business mentor. Even though the mentor explained and taught everything from basic to advanced, they didn’t charge anything. I really like to learn new things and build relationships, especially in terms of business, that’s why I really appreciate MicroMentor,” said Rizkia.
If you’re interested in learning more about digitalization, check out our ANDE Asia Digitalization Matchmaking Expo to meet and talk to digital solutions vendors and find the right tools for your organization. See you on November 30th, 2021!