Indonesia may not yet have an unmanned establishment like Jack Ma’s Tao Café in Hangzhou, China, or driverless buses like those in France and Switzerland, but the impact of digitalization on employment in the country is becoming increasingly obvious. The Jakarta Post journalist Stefani Ribka examines how the digital revolution will continue robbing people of jobs but considerably improve business efficiency at the same time.

by Stefani Ribka

Indonesia may not yet have an unmanned establishment like Jack Ma’s Tao Café in Hangzhou, China, or driverless buses like those in France and Switzerland, but the impact of digitalization on employment in the country is becoming increasingly obvious. The Jakarta Post journalist Stefani Ribka examines how the digital revolution will continue robbing people of jobs but considerably improve business efficiency at the same time. Nengsi Atmaja, the owner of photo shop Simpati Foto at Palmerah Market in Jakarta, vividly remembers she had seven competitors in the area back in 1977. Today, only two remain with, of course, far fewer attendants.  In the heyday of the 1990s, Simpati employed 10 people. Now only four remain. “People nowadays don’t print as many photos as they used to,” she says. “Everyone can see images instantly on their smartphones a...