#Asia 3 big questions we want answered for Echelon Indonesia

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E-commerce, regulation and VC investment. We answer all your questions related to these hot-button topics as we begin our journey to Echelon Indonesia in April 2016

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We know what you’re thinking. Aren’t you still hosting Echelon Thailand today? What are you doing focussing on future events like Echelon Indonesia?

While these questions are perfectly valid since April 2016 still seems so far away, Indonesia is a country that cannot be easily ignored. Currently, the archipelago has received the limelight and attention of various private and public industries, especially startups.

We thought it would be a good opportunity to keep a quick record of these questions now and revisit them as we move along our Echelon roadmap. Check out these questions and queries we want answered for Echelon Indonesia 2016.

1. Does the Indonesian government focus too much on e-commerce?

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In our first in-house e27 podcast, we explored the question of Indonesia being a one-trick pony in the realm of e-commerce. We’ve seen this in the proposed Indonesian e-commerce roadmap, with the government also preparing a ‘Bill of E-commerce’ to manage and protect the players of the local e-commerce industry.

We’ve also had Bank Mandiri become the latest Indonesian state-owned enterprise to jump into the tech startup scene with Mandiri Capital, its very own venture capital venture. But is too much focus? Our op-ed piece provides a scenario where certain startups from various sectors cannot gain the attention they want to because they’re not focussed on mobile or e-commerce. Should these startups-to-be stop riding the e-commerce boom? Or should the government hum a different tune?

Also Read: 3 Echelon Thailand exhibitors whose startups you need to check out now

However, if the Indonesian government does take on a different startup industry to support – what industry should it be? Or should it be all industries, as long as they’re startups? How the government plans to execute these actions is key in understanding the future contributions of the Indonesian public sector.

2. Can the government provide more laws that will accommodate rapid business growth?

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Recently, the Indonesian government has announced that it is eliminating restrictions on the number of foreign workers a company can hire. Previously, every foreign worker hired required an additional 10 Indonesian employees. Also, the government eliminated permit requirements for non-resident directors and foreigners attending work meetings and giving speeches.

Indonesia’s Financial Service Authority (OJK) has been pretty active as well in working on the Draft Regulation of Venture Capitals (VCs). The regulation will consist of 13 chapters with points related to business activities, sources of funding and sanctions. VCs will be required to actively play the role of mentor to the companies in their portfolio apart from financing them.

Despite these initiatives, are these laws helpful for different startups of various industries? Or do they play very little or no effect in some sectors, but a large part in others? Will mandatory VC mentoring provide efficient guidance for these Indonesian startups, or will the mentoring, if it is not meaningful and on point, be a distraction?

3. What actions can entrepreneurs take given the mobile and app trends we see in Indonesia?

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Image credit: Opera Mediaworks

Given that e-commerce startups are popular in Indonesia, it’s also not surprising that Indonesians tend to shop online a lot. As part of a State of Mobile Advertising report, Indonesians were found to use OLX as their e-commerce platform of choice and share a similar ‘Savvy Shopper’ customer profile as India, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Additionally, according to a recent App Annie interview, Indonesia continues to move up in application downloads, as well as having a rising population of first-time smartphone users alongside India and Vietnam. What then are the disadvantages and advantages of entering a growing mobile ecosystem in Indonesia? Are more entrepreneurs inclined to make e-commerce startups or knowing the data at this point is already too late?

But of course, if one can look at the examples of HappyFresh, Qlapa, BerryBenka, Bhinneka, Tripvisto, and the ever popular MatahariMall, raising rounds of funding seem abundant in the Indonesian ecosystem. But whether or not more Indonesian startups should ride the waves of the e-commerce boom or find other sectors to focus on remains unanswered.

Also Read: Check these 6 items off your Echelon Thailand to-do list

As we move along the Echelon roadmap, we continue to keep these questions in mind. To reward our e27 community, we are also giving a very limited and exclusive 2-for-1 deal for attendees interested in Echelon Indonesia. After all, it takes two people to have a discussion, not one, so think of it as a buy one get one deal from the e27 team to you.

Keep those questions coming, and we hope to see you in Echelon Indonesia, slated for April 2016.

The post 3 big questions we want answered for Echelon Indonesia appeared first on e27.

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