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Business  29, Apr 2014

This jewellery firm phased out its physical stores after going online

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Indonesian jewellery brand ORORI shines brighter online as its owner George Budi Sumantri talks about future plans and fundraising efforts with e27

The online jewellery market is a gold mine for ORORI, whose name is made up of ‘Oro’ which means ‘gold’ in Italian, and ‘Ri’ is short for rings.

It all started in 2000 when George Budi Sumantri, whose family dealt with jewellery sales since the 1950s, saw Bluenile, an online retailer of jewellery in the US, and was inspired to create something similar in Indonesia. However, Orori did not start as a predominantly online venture; it first began with three physical stores in 2003. Back then, the venture, founded by Sumantri and another two founders, was operating as a private company, and was only legally incorporated in 2010 as PT ORORI Indonesia.

In 2007, Sumantri finally managed to integrate both, offline and online businesses, only to go 100 per cent online by closing down the offline stores in 2012. While he declined to give specific figures as to how much the firm had earned in 2011, he told this author that online and offline channels had generated combined revenue of less than US$1 million. In contrast, Orori had generated US$1.3 million in revenue through its online platform alone in 2013.

He said, “ORORI was meant to be an online company. We opened offline stores at first because we knew that there was only a small online market in 2002 to 2012, and in 2012, when the market was ready, we were confident to go 100 per cent online.”

ORORI’s offline stores

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Often thought as a problematic market for e-commerce, Indonesia sees a majority of consumers using bank transfer as their primary way of transacting online. He added that payment issues usually occur when there is a dearth in trust between users and credit cards. “In ORORI, we overcome (that issue) by working closely with credit card (companies) by providing (an option like) instalment. By providing instalment (options), our users could have more benefits in using credit cards to pay for ORORI products,” said Sumantri.

At the moment, ORORI only services customers in Indonesia, but Sumantri said that the rest of Southeast Asia and India are places on the firm’s expansion roadmap. “India is also an interesting market for us since (it’s) the largest jewellery market in the world,” he added.

The company is also working on its mobile strategy, which will see an app being launched in Q4 this year. Furthermore, it is developing a 3D project technology for jewellery on its platform, which will engage customers on mobile devices.

To achieve its lofty goals, the firm is looking to raise US$1 million from various investors, whose names cannot be released since ORORI is bound by non-disclosure agreements. Funds will also be used for expanding human resources, and focusing on marketing, sales productivity and other business metrics. Sumantri said, “We prefer investors that have knowledge of e-commerce.”

Elaine Huang

Elaine Huang

Elaine is a fervent believer that if there ever is a zombie apocalypse, we will all be snapping away at them with our phones and posting them onto Instagram. A Mass Communication graduate of Ngee Ann Polytechnic's School of Film and Media Studies, she enjoys writing about technology and entrepreneurs. When not hashtagging her way through all sorts of trouble, Elaine is probably contemplating how to write in the third person.

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