Jakarta, IORA – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) told about his experience when he started his small furniture business in Solo, Central Java, to all the attending delegates in Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA Summit) 2017.
“Before I was into politic world about 12 years ago, I was an entrepreneur with 20 years experience in entrepreneurship. You may say I was the same as all of you,” said the President when he began his story when opening the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Business Summit 2017 at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) on Monday.
President Jokowi shared his experience on how to be success in building small business when customers always demand the business provider to work on time, to offer competitive price and be on specification. “Our costumer demands us to work on time, to give them competitive price and on specification. Honestly, I feel very convenient in this hall. Tomorrow I will spend more time will the diplomats. However, let’s see what we will have tomorrow,” said the President. The audiences welcomed his statement with delight.
President Jokowi said that something made very different compared to 12 years ago. It was the Internet connectivity which is general at present.
The Head of the Republic of Indonesia government also notices that Internet has been a mobile telecommunication facility and it is available everywhere.
“I guess all of us agree that smartphones have been exist for 10 years and become the most revolutionary products in these 10 years,” said the former Governor of Special Region of Jakarta.
The President said that sophisticated computers that were only accessed by wealthy people, are now simply can be owned by everybody.
The President also said the key for small business to be able to upgrade to the higher level was by taking part in globalization.
“Although it was a small business, I dared to hire foreign workers. I employed supervisions for few years such as from Korea, design from France, and quality support from German. I also obtained some information support fro embassies and consulates. I knew how to import machines and to export more or less 30 years ago,” said the former Major of Surakarta, Central Java.
President Jokowi understood the facts that SMEs that export their products could gain more profit as well as providing more work opportunity.
Furthermore, Jokowi told innovations becoming better and larger in quantity, supported by mobile Internet and low cost smartphone which resulted in ready-to use platforms.
“For SMEs, women and young entrepreneurs, mobile Internet is national, regional and global. Now is how to ensure people whether they are well connected through mobile and online payment system. It is not technology challenge anymore but business model challenge,” he said.
If IORA was related as a large area and to have many challenges to overcome, therefore President would like to highlight the importance of choosing the right business model.
“I had ever been a businessman. I believe that any challenge can turn to an opportunity for any businessmen,” said the President.
As a former entrepreneur, President Jokowi deeply understood that the government was demanded to provide solutions to the challenges.
“The government task is to ensure the telecommunication infrastructures are well organized therefore 3G, 4G and 5G can be accessed. Along with those are fiber optics cable for capacious bandwith transmition with efficient cost,” added the President.
President Jokowi also added, "Moreover, it has been our task, the government, to ease the problems impeding the business world such as exagerrated and aggravating regulations and permits as well as to solve corruption."
Therefore, President Jokowi asked the entrepreneur sectors, particularly the private sectors from IORA member states to entrust it to the government of Indonesia.
The President also opens broad opportunity to the IORA countries to partner with Indonesia and to bring prosperity for the people in the Indian Ocean.
“We, the government, are intended to establish close cooperation with all the honorable countries including with the private sectors of the IORA member states in order to bring the best of the cutting edge technology to the SMEs, women and young generations of IORA countries,” said President Joko Widodo. (Hanni Sofia Soepardi/Translator: AA)