Indonesia: Salim Group steps up e-commerce game, others to follow soon

Visual from Salim Group website

One of Indonesia’s largest conglomerate, and the world’s largest instant noodle producer, the Salim group, is stepping up its e-commerce game. After the company decided to enter into a 50 per cent JV with Korea’s Lotte group, for an e-commerce venture, DealStreetAsia has learnt that the Salim group recently established their B2B e-commerce venture called, IDmarco.com.

IDmarco.com, which is still run on trial basis, is the Group’s newest foray, where the company is targeting B2B e-commerce services like wholesale, among other initiatives.

This B2B e-commerce company is focussing on small and traditional stores, the hotel, restaurant and cafe’s, and on people who want to buy in bulk. It is currently also supported by the other companies within the group, in terms of network, logistic, product supply especially in FMCG and automotive parts.

“Indonesia is still a promising market for B2B e-commerce, some competitors are also targeting different market segment. So the pie is still big but less competitive”, said Salim group management in an emailed reply to DealStreetAsia .

The group is planning to add more services to the B2B e-commerce venture and will announce its official launch soon.Before this, Salim had announced that they were going to form a JV with Korea’s Lotte group by mid 2016, to create a B2C e-commerce company.While their plan got delayed, industry sources expect their JV to be operational soon.

But Salim group is not the only large player eyeing this space. According to industry expert, Hadi kuncoro, the CEO of aComerce Indonesia, an end to end e-commerce enabler in Southeast Asia, “many companies from the Fortune 500 list are also going into B2B e-commerce, as a way to increase reach and transparency in their supply chain.”

One such player, is a Telkom Indonesia subsidiary, Uoffice, which is also eyeing the B2B e-commerce platform, according to Hadi. With their large network as an added advantage, the company is looking at providing e-procurement and e-logistic services as well. The company, Telkom Indonesia has a JV with eBay, which shelters under the company, PT Metra Plasa. They currently operate Blanja.com, a B2C e-commerce platform selling variety of products like fashion, electronics, food, automative, camera etc. DealStreet Asia tried to reach out to the company, Pt Metra Plasa, who told us that they are currently only focussing on B2C operations and have not firmed any plans on B2B e-commerce yet.

While the B2C e-commerce space, is expected to see a stiff competition in future as well, with the entry of bigger players like Amazon, Alibaba backed Lazada and China’s second largest player JD.com, Indonesia’s nascent, B2B e-commerce sector, is gradually evolving to becoming one of the more promising sectors in Indonesia.

“B2B ecommerce isn’t just about buying and selling goods. Companies in Indonesia like Bizzy, also provide financing to their merchants, similar to what Alibaba group does in China. Merchants can sign up and order supplies in bulk but also access marketing collateral and digital assets that will help them sell more products, but also be more aligned with the brand,”, according to Hadi, who is currently working with brands who are seeing B2B as a platform to enable Digital Asset Management, DAM as well.

Currently, this space has seen the entry of fewer players like Mbiz and Bizzy, also supported by larger groups. Bizzy is backed by Ardent Capital and Sinar Mas Digital ventures, part of the Sinar mas group and focuses more on office supplies. Mbiz, on the other hand, is backed by the Lippo group which also runs the Matahari Mall, and emphasises more on e-procurement and e-logistics focusing on the government services. And with Salim group and Telkom Indonesia also chalking out plans for this sector, clearly it is the beginning of a trend, where big conglomerates and multinational brands are using internet and technology not just to go directly to the customers but also directly to the merchants.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.