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Jakarta Post

Bukalapak, Google join heads to improve ‘warung’ online presence

  • Made Anthony Iswara
    Made Anthony Iswara

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 8, 2019   /   07:31 pm
Bukalapak, Google join heads to improve ‘warung’ online presence Sulartono at his Warung Pintar Elsa, which was named after his granddaughter, located on Jl. Riau in Menteng, Central Jakarta. (JP/Norman Harsono)

Online marketplace Bukalapak has partnered with Google’s Google Bisnisku (Google My Business) to register 95,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) online, making them visible on Google Maps and Google Search.

Bukalapak cofounder and president Fajrin Rasyid said the low digital adoption among MSME players, especially traditional warung (stalls), had compelled them to roll out such partnerships.

As quoted by Bukalapak, recent Communications and Information Ministry data showed that only 16.3 percent or 9.61 million MSMEs had adopted technology in their business practices out of a total of 58.9 million in Indonesia.

In addition, the ministry's research shows that only 9 percent of MSMEs used e-commerce technology, while the rest relied on brick-and-mortar outlets (36 percent), internet browsers (31 percent) or social media (24 percent).

“The program will not only make it easier for internet users to know the locations of traditional warung and boost their transaction volumes, but also to introduce warung owners to the importance of technology to compete in an increasingly competitive market,” Fajrin said.

He explained that when Google users typed the word “warung” or “frozen food”, Bukalapak’s merchant partners would pop up, complete with descriptions and details of their location to make it easier for potential consumers to find the MSMEs.

But Bukalapak is not the only tech giant who has eyed small businesses in their digital ventures.

Read also: Govt, private companies push for digital transformation of MSMEs

Online marketplace Blibli.com also launched last June its fourth annual entrepreneurship competition named The Big Start Indonesia to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) go online and boost their growth.

In the last two years, other digital heavyweights like Go-Jek, Grab and Google Indonesia have launched digital entrepreneurship workshops for MSMEs in an effort to drive digitalization.

As similar measures aim to drive digitalization, the government is still pushing for digitalization to spur growth in the e-commerce industry from US$40 billion in 2019 to $133 billion by 2025, according to a recent Google-Temasek-Bain & Company projection.

Besides, McKinsey concluded in a 2018 report that helping MSMEs overcome the digital barrier was one of five pillars to growing Indonesia's e-commerce industry.