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Jakarta Post

Tech giants race to digitize ‘warung’

  • Eisya A. Eloksari

    Jakarta

Jakarta   /   Sat, September 19 2020   /  01:00 am
Fatimah, a 62-year-old owner of a small kiosk in flood-stricken Kayu Putih subdistrict in East Jakarta, wait for customers inside her kiosk on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (JP/Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman)

Homegrown tech giants are tapping into the underserved sector of warung (kiosks), as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates the digitalization of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In a country where small businesses account for more than 60 percent of the economy, warung are the nearest retail spots for many people to make small purchases of snacks or household supplies. Indonesian unicorn Gojek is the latest player to enter the race with the September launch of GoToko, an online business-to-business (B2B) platform that allows small retailers to access brand principles, give product recommendations and use Gojek to receive stock shipments, among other services. “We want brands to come on board with us to better cater to the underserved, as it is sometimes difficult to distribute goods to warung,” GoToko CEO and president director Gurnoor Singh Dhillon said during a pre...