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Indonesia’s E-commerce market – Challenges and opportunities

15 March 2013
Podcast with University of Cambridge – MBA Programme

Indonesia’s E-commerce market – Challenges and opportunities

With its booming mobile services market, Indonesia has become a big draw for global tech companies. What are the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead? Franklin Crum, Manager, Client Service of Spire Research and Consulting Indonesia shared his views on a podcast for the Judge School of Business at the University of Cambridge.

The internet and mobile phone market in Indonesia is thriving. Having a youthful population with an average age of 25 (accounting for approximately 34 percent of the entire population), and with GDP growing at 6 per cent a year, the consumer market potential is huge.

Approximately 25 percent of the total population of 63 million people has access to the internet. As Crum pointed out, it is common for Indonesians to access the internet via free Wi-Fi spots in public places through various devices including computer tablets, laptops or mobile phones.

Jeffrey Bahar, Spire’s Deputy CEO, opined that Indonesia’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure is growing at 10 to 20 percent growth annually. The government has been investing to stimulate Research & Development (R&D). Industry players are seeking to bring to market more and better mobile applications to the target market.

Despite that, basic internet capacity, connectivity and bandwidth remain a major challenge. Internet access remains unstable across many of the smaller towns and provinces amongst the 17,000 islands in the country. Other challenges include the mode of payment. Credit card penetration is still low. A well-accepted escrow account payment system like China’s Alipay does not yet exist.

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