#Asia Veteran banker Arwin Rasyid: Not a great idea for banks to compete with fintech startups

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Left to right: Arwin Rasyid (veteran banker), Akshay Garg (Kredivo), Iwan Kurniawan (Modalku), Will Ongkowidjaja (Alpha JWC Ventures)

Left to right: Arwin Rasyid (veteran banker), Akshay Garg (Kredivo), Iwan Kurniawan (Modalku), Will Ongkowidjaja (Alpha JWC Ventures)

Venture capital firm Alpha JWC Ventures today held the “Next Wave of Technology Disruption in Indonesia” at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski, Central Jakarta.

The inaugural conference gathered thoughts leaders in tech sector to share key learnings, best practices, and trends, with fintech and big data being seen as the two sectors that are highly relevant for the country.

Alpha JWC Ventures Co-Founder and Managing Partner Jefrey Joe explained that while e-commerce (21 per cent) and marketplace (17 per cent) remain the top sectors where investors give most seed and Series A funding, fintech and big data are increasing steadily at 10 per cent and seven per cent respectively.

“One thing that we have learned is that, whenever a market tries to be more mature, there’ll be a single winner in the market. In Indonesia, the market is still quite open, no clear winner yet,” he said.

He also stressed that despite a lot of hype in the tech space, he does not believe that a tech bubble is going to happen soon as the investment market is still healthy.

The event brought together speakers such as:

  • Arwin Rasyid (finance industry veteran)
  • Soegeng Wibowo, Ph. D (Partner at McKinsey & Company)
  • Wishnutama Kusubandio (Co-Founder & CEO, NET Mediatama)
  • Julianto Sidarto (previously Regional Manager and Indonesia Country Managing Director of Accenture) Alpha
  • JWC Ventures’ portoflio companies Modalku, Kredivo, Mediatrac, and Sepulsa.

Indonesia’s Minister of Trade Thomas Lembong was also present to give a keynote speech.

He mentioned new government programmes that utilise technology at its center, such as a partnership with Bank Rakyat Indonesia to provide smartphones for poultry farmers.

The smartphone will empower farmers by allowing them to check real-time price on the market, preventing them from being tricked by loan sharks.

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The session on fintech began with an intriguing question: How should conventional banks see fintech startups?

“For banks operating in Indonesia, we’re in the greatest, most challenging time. Lifestyle has changed due to tech … Millenials will shape how banking operate, and they are digital-savvy,” Arwin Rasyid answered.

“The problem with banks is that they are large and heavily regulated. That’s why we welcome fintech startups as they combine both tech [innovation] and finance … Banks don’t see them as rivals, we see them as [our] complement. It’s not a great idea for banks to compete with fintech startups,” he further explained.

He also added that banks who have not make a move to mobile will soon be out of competition.

When asked about how fintech startups can work with banks to ensure security, Kredivo Founder and CEO Akshay Garg stressed the importance of openness, citing that companies should provide credit score data to anyone who needs it.

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The conversation on Big Data began with the reason why companies should embrace it:

“It helps human so that they can focus on more strategic thinking,” said Imron Zuhri, CTO and Co-Founder of Mediatrac.

Mediatrac CEO and Co-Founder Regi Wahyu added by saying, “Now data is based mainly on consumer Internet, but it’ll soon move to industrial consumer, followed by government of Internet. For example, the Ministry of Health in Singapore, they’ll be the first health ministry in the world to utilise Big Data.”

He also added that Big Data infrastructure is actually much cheaper than traditional infrastructure. However, Big Data is also not a ‘magic pill’ that is suitable for all types of business and their challenges.

Julianto Sidarto of Accenture agreed that the challenge lies with how companies are using the data.

“More companies are doing data, but they are still grappling with internal data with specific functions … [What matters is] how to translate data into something that is meaningful, and how you use it to create impact,” he said.

As sole representative from media industry, NET Mediatama Indonesia CEO & Co-Founder Wishnutama Kusubandio gave his insight on how Big Data can change how media companies operate.

“Media who can survive in the next five years are the one who can use Big Data as much as possible. Ratings have been the currency all this time … But what we believe is that, while we will still use ratings, somehow Big Data will be very useful for every content we have. Not only to distribute but also monetise,” he said.

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