Think an online Yellow Pages for businesses in Indonesia — that’s IndoTrading. Bootstrapped and running for about ten months now, Handy Chang, CEO and founder has unveiled that they will be kicking off a new membership package for SMEs. This will help them to get exporters to join their network of 3,000 SMEs.
Currently, they have an existent base of “gold members” who pay an annual subscription fee of about US$160. Handy, who spent three years working as a developer in Australia, said that a majority of these companies utilizing their platform are importers that targets the local market. He adds, “That is why we need a special feature for exporter so that overseas buyer will put their trust on them when it comes to transaction with our gold exporter member.” Therefore, the verification process has been designed to screen the companies that might take advantage of this system.
Raising his digital baby hasn’t been totally smooth-sailing, it seems. Handy noted that for many companies, tech-illiterate business owners tend to create websites and leave them unmaintained, all because there is no IT team or time. The Founder Institute alumnus highlights, “They also have problems because their website never bring sales for them, because they never do any promotion or SEO. This is where we are in. First, we help them to have online presence on the net, and moreover setting-up website and with their own domain name are also part of our services. Second, upon completion, their site is listed on our own Indotrading.com, then we redirect the traffic to theirs.”
Another challenge would be market education. For those outside the capital city, Handy said that many are still unaware that online marketing can boost revenue. Handy says, “Problem arises when it comes to other cities. For now in the capital city, we occupy our sales force to educate besides newsletter e-mail and campaign through Facebook.”
While competition is rife in Indonesia with regards to this vertical, Handy says that the 10-year-old Indonetwork is not their rival. “I think for now Indonetwork and IndoTrading both have their own market. As such, actually we are not competing in price or customer, because the market is huge.”
Hitting 400,000 visitors on a monthly basis with approximately 30,000 products listed on the platform, they are now looking for a co-founder who has experience in business development, marketing and branding.