Yunindita Prasidya

The Ken, Staff Writer • SEA Edition

Based in Bali, Dita writes about Indonesia’s growing digital economy, including how technology is shaping the lives of young Indonesians and impacting traditional industries. She was previously a reporter at The Jakarta Post.

39 Articles published

Top Comments by Yunindita Prasidya

TaniHub vs Sayurbox: The fork in Indonesia's diverging e-grocery market

Hi Advait, these are some really good questions. And some interesting takes as well. Thanks for sharing! The two questions you’ve raised are very closely related. How customers value speed and their willingness to pay for it are two sides of the same coin, and they come down to the central question of whether there is a need for 15-minute delivery. I agree with you that the need for quick commerce is still limited for now. It makes the most sense for a particular segment of the market—the white-collar workers residing in urban areas with tight daily schedules in need of a quick top-up. I do want to point out an interesting use case that might be unique to the Indonesian market: Last month was the fasting month for the Muslim population globally. Quick commerce Astro decided to start offering 24/7 services to cater to demands during the Ramadan month for consumers in the Greater Jakarta areas. See, Indonesia hosts the world’s largest Muslim population. Compare to other Muslim-majority countries, the rate of women's participation in the country’s labour force is relatively high. And from what I know, the users of e-grocery platforms are still overwhelmingly female. Tying all those strings together, there seems to be a case to be made for quick commerce’s relevance. Especially on special occasions like the Ramadan month. I can imagine a working mother occupied with work during the day, didn’t have the time to stock up her pantry for sahur (the meal you have before fasting), finding herself in need of a quick grocery delivery at 3 AM. But of course, this is me trying to counterbalance the skepticisms that have already been elaborated in the piece. I’m also personally curious to see: a) how sustainable is the business model; b) how they compete with other “traditional” e-grocers; c) whether a startup can take this model and implement it in tier 2, 3 cities. Will keep an eye out for this.

Yunindita Prasidya

TaniHub vs Sayurbox: The fork in Indonesia's diverging e-grocery market

Hi Karthik, thanks for sharing your thoughts! Whether there’s a demand for quick commerce—your first point—is definitely something that still needs to be proven. Based on the conversations I had, it seems that even if there are demands, they are limited to urban dwellers who want to quickly top up their pantries. Think of working mothers in Jakarta in need of eggs and flour to make pancakes for breakfast, for example. I’m not of the view that the quick commerce players want to be a substitute for your weekly grocers. Their SKUs will never be large enough to compete with options available in your go-to supermarket. So the question is, let’s say there is a demand, how big is it? I don’t have a definite answer right now. Would be interesting to see some data points from the quick commerce players themselves (the growth of user basket sizes, whether they’re attracting a more diverse user base over a period of time, among others). On your second point—that’s a valid point. Especially when we’re already seeing a number of quick commerce startups folding in the US. But I’d like to give the benefit of the doubt for how things will evolve in the Indonesian market. The jury’s still out. Would love to revisit this conversation in another six months or a year :)

Yunindita Prasidya

Bank Jago's profitability dance with GoTo and P2P lending partners

Hi Navin, thanks for leaving a comment. I've checked and the number is correct. It's 13.6% as of September this year. Perhaps, for clarity's sake, the figure is for the first nine months of 2021. (We featured this in the chart.) For the third quarter alone, it's 16.3%. On the second point, I do agree with you. All the cashback programmes and other incentives given by digital banks may work to a certain extent, but there is also the likelihood of people still keeping the majority of their money in the bank they already trust. Would be interesting to see how—and whether—this will change in the near future.

Yunindita Prasidya

The many forks in the path to become Indonesia’s first social commerce unicorn

Hi Tirthadeep, thanks for your comment. That’s a good point you brought up. I also had the same question when working on this story but decided to leave that part out because it’s probably worth exploring in a separate article. But to address your question—as a disclaimer, this is mostly my personal take although some insights are based on the interviews I had—the video commerce model has yet to take off in Indonesia because: 1.) Building a video commerce platform from scratch is a lot more tricky compared to building a reseller or a group-buying platform. How do you curate the content? How do you make the livestreams relevant to buyers so that they actually make purchases? I’m not saying these are impossible to crack, but a platform with a robust ecosystem of buyers and sellers already in place has a better chance of rolling out a video commerce feature compared to a startup just starting out. In this story, I decided to focus on the newcomers. 2.) It’s important to note that Indonesia’s e-commerce adoption is significantly lower than that in China. In China, around 50% of all retail sales happen online, whereas in Indonesia, less than 10%. That means that even if an e-commerce platform decides to introduce the livestream feature, we’re not going to see sales like the ones we see in China, and that putting aside the difference in population size between the two countries. 3.) If the goal is trying to penetrate into tier-2 cities and beyond, social commerce startups have a better likelihood of success with the other two models—the reseller and group-buy. In areas where the population’s disposable income is significantly less than that in metropolitan areas, people may not gravitate toward livestream purchases to begin with as the simple act of watching the livestreams itself may take up too much of their data/phone credit. That said, I do notice several brands experimenting with livestream sales on their social media page. It’ll be interesting to see which e-commerce or social commerce platform will venture into this space in the future. Do let me know if you’ve noticed any interesting developments :)

Yunindita Prasidya

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