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Jack Ma named ecommerce adviser of Indonesia

Reporter: Silkina Ahluwalia 丨 CCTV.com

09-26-2016 16:47 BJT

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has named Alibaba founder Jack Ma, the country's official e-commerce adviser. Many government officials and business leaders are hoping Ma will bring the same success to Indonesia as he has done to Alibaba.

Indonesia is home to more than 50 million smartphone users.

That gives companies a large opportunity to take their businesses to the mobile platform to reach a wider market.

As people's spending habits continue to shift online, Indonesia's e-commerce market is projected to reach 45 billion US Dollars in 2025, coming in third behind China and India.

In an effort to develop the sector even further, Joko Widodo chose Jack Ma to become the official e-commerce adviser to the country.

Jack Ma is no stranger to the country's e-commerce market. Last year, he bought Lazada Indonesia for 1 billion US Dollars, one of Alibaba's biggest overseas deal.

"I think Jack Ma will integrate the transformation of online shopping, Internet, payment, trade and also credit altogether. So we hope that Jack Ma will replicate his success to Indonesia," said Josua Pardede, economist.

As a new player in the e-commerce industry, HappyFresh has already secured a loyal following.

The idea sprouted out of a passion for food and a drive to revolutionize the concept of grocery shopping.

"If we think about grocery shopping, it's one of the oldest habits that we all have but if we look back 20 to 30 years ago, it hasn't changed or evolved that much," said Guillem Segarra, Senior Vice President Operations, HappyFresh.

"You still need to carry heavy stuff, you still need to be stuck in traffic, queuing. So if we look each one of these inefficiency, theres an option for us to tap some value and make lives easier for customers."

With just a tap of a finger, a personal shopper delivers fresh produce to consumers in less than one hour.

The company already managed to attract more than 60,000 active users across Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

But, with the help of the Indonesian government, they're looking to expand to more regions across the country.

"The aim of e-commerce is match supply and demand online, trying to save the physical distance but for that first you need to have access to Internet. So I think for me is first to provide Internet access to everyone, a stable fast, reliable internet connection. That would be the first challenge that all of us especially the government needs to invest on," Guillem Segarra said.

Joko Widodo is currently working to fund 1,000 local startups by 2020, offering a wide variety of resources to help entrepreneurs easily kick-start their businesses.

HappyFresh is just one example of the increase of on-demand services, proving the future is here.

Indonesia’s e-commerce market is already one of the largest in Asia. Nearly 80 percent of Internet users in the country shopped online in the past year.

A recent study shows that foreign investments can help Indonesia achieve its economic growth rate of 5.2 percent next year. With Jack Ma on board, the e-commerce sector could potentially be the new driver for that growth.

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