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No barriers, just willpower: An entrepreneur’s story of success in the pandemic

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The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, April 9, 2021  /  10:00 am
No barriers, just willpower: An entrepreneur’s story of success in the pandemic

All-in-one: The Mitra Tokopedia program allows entrepreneurs to start their very own business from the palm of their hands. (Courtesy of Tokopedia/.,)

In an era of widespread adoption of new technology, starting your own business doesn’t need all that much. A physical store in a central location and large initial capital are no longer a must, just the willpower and confidence needed to break through.

Just ask Daniel Djap Nen Kiong from Singkawang, West Kalimantan. Armed with a cellphone and joining Mitra Tokopedia (Tokopedia Partner), an offline-to-online application empowering traditional retailers, he earns the income he needs to provide for himself and his family despite the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the program, Daniel sells a range of digital products, ranging from phone credit and data plans to electricity top ups – all of which are in high demand as much of the world is working and studying online while people are confined to their homes.

“Phone credit and data plans are the best-selling products. I can sell lots of those in a week,” he said.

Daniel’s interest in joining the Mitra Tokopedia program was piqued by the attractive prices and programs offered to sellers. He was made aware of the program through social media.

Success story: Entrepreneur Daniel Djap Nen Kiong said that his sales had doubled, even tripled, after he joined the Mitra Tokopedia program.
Success story: Entrepreneur Daniel Djap Nen Kiong said that his sales had doubled, even tripled, after he joined the Mitra Tokopedia program. (Courtesy of Tokopedia/.)

The Mitra Tokopedia program was launched in November 2018, and Daniel joined in 2019. Immediately after joining, he noted the significant increase in transactions – one of the reasons being the availability of digital products offered through Mitra Tokopedia, ranging from game vouchers to BPJS payments.

“I would say that the increase is twice or thrice the amount prior to joining. There’s always a transaction each day, especially for phone credit and data plans, while bill payments are usually on specific dates,” he explained.

The benefits also extend to his customers, as they also don’t need to deal with the hassle of queueing just to pay their bills. A few clicks is all they need, anytime and anywhere.

Daniel also said that the Mitra Tokopedia app was easy to use for disabled people thanks to its secure clear user interface. The payment feature is also one of the most useful features for the 45-year-old’s business.

Daniel also sells masks alongside the digital products. While he would like to branch out into wholesale, he doesn’t have the capital yet.

Karina Susilo, Tokopedia Head of New Retail, said in a statement that Mitra Tokopedia’s ecosystem had helped millions of traditional entrepreneurs serve customers in more than 500 cities and regencies of Indonesia.

“We hope that Mitra Tokopedia can become a solution for traditional entrepreneurs to participate in the digital economy, especially during a pandemic,” she said.