CEO of Exabytes: What differentiates an entrepreneur?
Posted on July 09, 2019 by BLOCK71 Yogyakarta Crew
BLOCK71 Yogyakarta X Exabytes – Interview with CEO & Indonesia’s Country Manager
21 June 2019, Friday
In the first episode of our monthly Founder’s Interview series, we have invited Exabyte’s CEO, Chan Kee Siak, and Country Manager, Indra, from one of the largest web hosting companies in South East Asia, to join us for an interview session. Chan happened to be in Yogyakarta to visit the team residing in BLOCK71, to ensure the functionality of operations and to also reaffirm the direction of the team.
In this series, we will be focusing on two important driving points of entrepreneurship, which Chan puts forth succinctly. Having almost two decades worth of experience as a successful entrepreneur, Chan has much to share with us. He stresses that focus and purpose are two very important elements that every entrepreneur need to excel in their various endeavours. But right before we dwell into the elaborate aspects of entrepreneurship, we got Chan to share with us how he started Exabyte.
Meet Kee Siak
Starting humbly as a helper at his father’s hawker store in Penang, Chan enrolled into a local college at 18 years old, selling PC hardware on a part time basis to earn his tuition fees. One day, he discovered the potential of web hosting while building a website for his customer. Coupled with the knowledge that there was a lack of web hosting providers in Malaysia’s market, he decided to set up his first web hosting reseller business that was 100% online based. He realised his business was performing well, and at the age of 19, he decided to drop out of college and founded Exabytes, in 2001.
Having a purpose
What one can learn from this is the fact that problems are everywhere, it is just a matter of whether you have the courage to try and seize the right opportunity. As the pilot of Exabytes, Chan stresses that purpose is paramount and relatable to almost anybody, be it a start-up or an individual. Purpose creates a sense of direction and envisions future goals, which may in turn help prevent unnecessary confusion and misalignment between departments. He also stresses that budding entrepreneurs should not start a company just because they have friends who are doing so as well. It is important to understand what the problem is and why they are trying to solve it, before they dive deep into a start-up.
Focusing on objectives
Focusing isn’t as easy as it sounds, as we are often affected by distractions and procrastinations. An entrepreneur must be self-motivated, clear minded and ready to face challenges. Chan puts in subtly that running a business has its own perks, such as being able to travel and being able to work from home and seeing his business grow. But not being able to pick yourself up after failing is ultimately the most common reason why start-ups fail as well. He speaks of this from experience.
Learning from failure
As an experienced web developer, Chan spent his first 7 years in Exabytes growing the front end and unknowingly neglected the backend of his business, where they failed to establish a proper management of accounts. Although they managed to grasp the interests of investors over their business offering and success, they still lost the investment opportunity as they didn’t comply to a proper accounting standard. As an accounting major, I agree with Chan’s statement of “without proper accounting, a company has no proper management”. Ever since he decided to pick himself up and implement a proper accounting system, his company has been extremely successful. Under the leadership of Chan, today the Exabytes Group consists of 12 subsidiaries, with businesses ranging from web hosting to eCommerce and e-Deliveries, serving over 200,000 customers in 121 countries.
To summarise, there should be a purpose for starting a company, and it should always serve as a guiding star should there be any doubts on the direction of the company. Once purpose has been established and agreed upon, can one then choose to focus their energy on working for the company.
Some fun facts:
- Chan has only been to Yogyakarta twice and he likes the freshness of the air, the abundance of young and talented people as well as the culture rich vibes.
- Chan says that Yogyakarta is quite like Penang, and he prefers to term the city as “work life balance”.
Find out more about our Exabytes team here in BLOCK71 Yogyakarta!
CEO of Legalku: Hustling, Adapting and Self-motivating
Posted on July 09, 2019 by BLOCK71 Yogyakarta Crew
BLOCK71 Yogyakarta X Legalku – Interview with CEO
1 July 2019, Monday
On this episode of the Founder’s Interview series, we will be featuring the CEO of Legalku, Muhammad Philosophi. For the past 2 days, Philosophi was our resident speaker for 2 events, where he spoke within the realms of his expertise and conducted business law workshops involving the food and digital industry.
We gathered the impression after attending the workshops, that he was an individual that was strongly motivated and charismatic. As we interviewed him, he proved our assumptions right as he stood out as somebody with a very strong vision, courage and dedication for both himself as well as for Legalku. Both his personal and business objectives resonated well with aspiring entrepreneur like myself, and therefore I felt that the contents of this interview might be worth a read.
Philosophi was once a corporate lawyer who worked in property patenting and had the experience working in boutique law firms. During his time as a corporate lawyer, he realized he might have a greater calling after noticing how starting a business in Indonesia and getting a license was both slow and expensive. To breach this gap, he decided to leave his successful career behind and venture into his new business, in hope of solving these long and expensive bureaucratic processes in Indonesia.
His day to day role is more education centric where he hopes to educate businesses in business law, which fits in well in a developing country like Indonesia, where it is mostly saturated with Small and Medium Enterprises that are the main driving forces of economic growth in Indonesia. He is currently focusing on developing his platform’s offering to reduce the time taken for entrepreneurs to register their business(es) and hopes to expand his circle of network with the government, community leaders and incubator representatives.
Hustle & Adapt
Philosophi admits that as a startup, being willing to hustle, to adapt as well as to learn is an important trait any entrepreneur would require to sustain themselves in their pursuit of success. As a law professional, he may not be an expert in technology. However, he started learning the technology aspects first before he began to focus on building his startup. He did so to be on a strong competitive advantage with his close competitors in the industry. He admits that law can be quite hard to grasp by newbies that are trying to learn it, and there were also times when customers reject his legal certification even though the consultation was for free. However, if an entrepreneur has the persistence as well as the ability to adapt and accommodate to the needs of the market, there will always be a way to capture anybody’s attention and communicate your intention.
Drive & overcoming rejection
Being an entrepreneur is not easy, and as cliché as it sounds, Philosophi admitted that it requires real blood, sweat and tears. What drives him forward everyday is his vision for the company, the courage to provide for his family as well as his own determination to be successful. He would often face unwanted comments on how he decided to leave his secure job and start his own business. Philosophi takes this in a positive stride and says that entrepreneurship is all about persistence, endurance and vision. An entrepreneur has to believe in his own purpose, endure and persist through all the negativity and be forward looking.
This enlightening conversation with Phiolosophi, may have just proved that having all these qualities of persistence and endurance is not just a hearsay, but a must have for an entrepreneur. Having the mindset to be able to be flexible in one’s learning experience is also as important.
Some fun facts:
- His current Chief Financial Officer and Founder was once his rival in a basketball league. It was through this sport where they found a common vision and executed it to start Legalku.
Philosophi’s impression during the events in Yogyakarta:
- Yogyakarta is a very productive city that produces a lot of entrepreneurs who are humble but lack the ambition to grow big. However, he states that this is inconclusive especially because of his short stay in Yogyakarta.
- He is appreciative of BLOCK71’s efforts in creating a collaborative effort between the startup ecosystem here in Yogyakarta.
BLOCK71 Yogyakarta July Event Recap
Posted on August 03, 2019 by yog.apprentice_9007
In the month of July, we are pleased to have hosted 4 additional events in the order of the Blockchain Meetup Event, Apple Developer Roadshow X Binus, Qwords Wordpress workshop and NOC $100 pitch challenge, on top of our signature and monthly Kopi Chat events.
On the 5th July, we featured our resident start-up, Tokocrypto, a blockchain exchange company that focuses on providing consumers with an easy and simple, instant and secure platform to confidently make their transactions. Aside from striving to be the most secure platform for all consumers to transact their digital assets, Tokocrypto also aims to simultaneously educate the masses about the benefits of blockchain, and at the same time allow for the sharing of knowledge and technical expertise to champion new ideas in this industry. Our Blockchain meetup event hosted on the 5th July, was well received by a large audience, which goes to show how interesting the topic of blockchain might be and its potential application to any industry.
On the 11th of July, BLOCK71 Yogyakarta collaborated with Apple Developer Academy @ BINUS to host an information session that introduced the Apple Developer Academy which focuses on IOS application development. Successful candidates will have the privilege to attend a 9-month program at the Apple Developer Academy @ BINUS, which aims to equip participants with new skills that will help them build careers in the technology industry. Check out their Instagram to find out more : @AppleDeveloperAcademyBinus.
Taking into consideration the fact that Yogyakarta is home to the best universities and the youngest, brightest minds in Indonesia, BLOCK71 Yogyakarta collaborated with web hosting company Qwords and hosted a free workshop on website creation on the 17th of July, with the aim to educate the younger generation and to spark and stimulate the spirit of technology, internet-savviness and entrepreneurship, and make the start-up ecosystem more vibrant with the help of web. In alignment to this, we also featured Kreature, a startup founded by some of our very own NUS Overseas College (NOC) students, who have received mentorship and guidance under Qwords previously, and it allowed for a more insightful and inspiring sharing of how having the knowledge of website creation can be beneficial to aspiring entrepreneurs.
On the very same day, we were humbled to have been able to invite the CEOs and founders of Indmira, Qwords, Agradaya as well as the programme manager of NOC Southeast Asia to be a part of the panel of judges that assessed the pitching session by two of our NOC start-ups. Both start-ups, Kreature and BR3W received invaluable feedback from the judges who advised them on what to do moving forward.
On the 27th July, we featured our signature Kopi Chat Deep Dive Series, where we invited speakers from UGM, Communication and information DIY as well as Kotakita foundation to discuss about the effectiveness of smart city.
Our monthly community gathering, held on the 31st July, was organised with an aim to encourage cross interaction between start-ups and foster better relationships within the BLOCK71 community. It was also a platform for BLOCK71 to update the residents on administrative things ranging from our own programmes to new residents joining our BLOCK71 community.
Moving on in the first day of August, BLOCK71 will be having a founder’s circle meetup, inviting the founders of each start-up to join in a circle of discussion with the programme director of NUS enterprise, Mr Sazali Johari. Each month, we will have a start-up review where we will gauge the performance trajectory of a start-up and work hand in hand with them to help them discover the opportunities that may help them grow and expand their business.
On the 2nd Aug, we will be featuring Tokocrypto again, but this time it will be under our signature Kopi Chat series and the speaker will be Pang Xue Kai, the CEO and Founder of Tokocrypto. We are expecting a very interesting and inspiring engagement as the topic of discussion for this upcoming Kopi Chat series will revolve around the story of how the company was founded: From identifying the problem, to choosing, and validating the market. Stay tuned for more updates!
Here are some tips and tricks to boost up your CV
Posted on August 27, 2019 by rezaharis98_11945
In celebrating their sixth Excursion of Information System, students from Information System of Universitas Brawijaya visited BLOCK71 Yogyakarta on August 23, 2019. With the introduction by the representatives from BLOCK71 Yogyakarta, they finally know what and who is BLOCK71 as an ecosystem builders and global connecter. They also got the chance to see the working atmosphere in BLOCK71 Yogyakarta and met three of the residents; SocioTraveler, Goop, and Wonder through sharing session.
BLOCK71 is indeed a home of creative people who express their ideas through the help of technology. One of these people is SocioTraveler. The speaker encouraged the attendees that everything can be started from a hobby. Through the hobby as an avid traveler, the founder wanted to influence the customer that traveling should be impactful to the society. The team reside to BLOCK71 Yogyakarta because they believe they can expand their wings to international market, and they are able to always connect with the wanderlusts.
As they are still active students, we invited one of our residents, Goop. They were pleased to know that there is a platform to connect university through discussion, information, and community in one application.
Their visit was not merely a company visit. Our team from Wonder kindly shared the tips and tricks to boost up CV for fresh graduates or those who have not arranged any CV. There are three ways to make your CV noticeable:
Start with the latest achievement.
Always start from the newest experiences/achievements and end up with the latest ones.
Improve your English skills.
As long as your English is on Good level, keep going on! There is always time to improve your English.
Put the strongest skills you have on the top.
Are you good at HTML, UI/UX, Time Management, or so on? Just write them down so the employees know a bit of what you can contribute to the company.
Open House was Closed with a Success
Posted on November 05, 2019 by contact.stephaniemp_11954
The celebration of our first anniversary had officially been triumphant.
Friday, November 1st, 2019, marked the first year of BLOCK71 Yogyakarta as an ecosystem builder and global connector in Yogyakarta. In this one-year anniversary party, our purpose is not only to celebrate, but also to be reminded of our core goals and reasons for why we were here in the first place. Together with the representatives of respected universities in Yogyakarta, as well as government agencies and officials, communities, and our partners, we took a good look back on the past year through a series of sessions.
First was exclusive to our in-house partners; Founder’s Circle, where we shared insights and some secret keys on the chances a startup will get fundings with a key speaker from Gobi Ventures, Nadia Ivonny. The next session is the Open House - Anniversary BLOCK71 Yogyakarta, where over 100 people came together to celebrate with us. We were more than happy to see how enthusiastic the guests were, looking at how crowded our building was. Together, we went through a recap of this past one year and the future plans and prospects of BLOCK71 Yogyakarta. In this past year, we have connected 23 startups from Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. We have partnered with Yogyakarta’s most famous universities, such as UGM, UII, UKDW, and AMIKOM, as well as communities and companies like Sadasa, UXiD, Facebook Developer Circle, Indofood, and many more.
With the representatives of respected universities, government agencies and officials, and communities in Yogyakarta present, we took this party as a chance to let them know more about BLOCK71 Yogyakarta. Led by Sazali Johari, the Program Director of BLOCK71 South-East Asia, the open discussion was about the potential collaboration audience and BLOCK71 Yogyakarta served to delegate future collaborations. The discussion included BLOCK71’s programs and facilities that aimed to further boost the startups that have partnered with us and help them grow globally.
The celebration ended with our signature event; KopiChat: Deep Dive Series. In this session, we delve deeper into the startup ecosystem in Yogyakarta with key speakers the Head of Aditif, Saga Iqranegara; CEO of Gamatechno, Aditya Arief Nugraha; CEO of Wideboard & Co-Founder of Srawoeng, Gisneo Pratala; and Managing Partner of G45 Ventures, Arie Liyono and moderated by our General Manager of BLOCK71 Indonesia, Agustin Marjanti. To read more about Kopi Chat: Deep Dive Series click here.
What's up with Yogyakarta's Startup Ecosystem? A Chat with Kopi Chat: Deep Dive Series
Posted on November 05, 2019 by contact.stephaniemp_11954
In this month Kopi Chat: Deep Dive Series, we aims to unravel the growth of startup ecosystem in Yogyakarta. Together with the key speakers the Head of Aditif, Saga Iqranegara; CEO of Gamatechno, Aditya Arief Nugraha; CEO of Wideboard & Co-Founder of Srawoeng, Gisneo Pratala; and Managing Partner of G45 Ventures, Arie Liyono and Agustin Marjanti, the General Manager of BLOCK71 Indonesia, as the moderator, we delve deeper into the issues behind the startup ecosystem’s growth, how it was before, what factors supply its growth, and what could we do to compete globally in the startup market.
The discussion was opened with a bit of a biographical question on how these experts ‘dived’ into the industry. Although they started differently, there are some things and values that they agree upon. Before, the startup line-up could only take references from big corporates like Apple, Microsoft, and so on. Therefore, building a startup from scratch is not an easy task, especially when forums, incubators, and even more ecosystem builders, did not exist.
According to the explanation that has been given by all the speakers, compared to before, the startup ecosystem in Yogyakarta has taken a major turn. With Yogyakartans’ nature that is open to changes, the startup ecosystem positively develops towards a more technology-based startup. Liyono highlights how the existence of forums and ecosystem builders, such as Kopi Chat and BLOCK71 Yogyakarta, helps boost the startup ecosystem and market further. He had realised that the future of startup is digital. Another factor that boosts the growth of startup ecosystem in Yogyakarta is the opening of the branch office of startup from Jakarta since Yogyakarta is seen as a place with high productivity and high quality talents. Nonetheless, the people in Yogyakarta tend to be too lenient and easily offended, hence they oftentimes cannot handle harsh feedback that is meant for their progress.
However, the speakers also highlight that It is also important to realise that there has been a change going on in Yogyakarta. Although the culture of ‘baperan’ (lenient) is still thriving and inhibiting the advancement and the development of startup market in Yogyakarta, the people of Yogyakarta are now braver, especially the young generation, to explore many things. These things include themselves and their passion. Pratala also adds that being persistence is the key. He tells us that he was once, like any other college student, was in the wrong major. However, he was passionate about business and technology and his mechanical engineering major could not stop him from pursuing the world where he feels he belongs to, the digital startup. The CEO of Gamatechno, Nugraha, also emphasised the same thing. As he’s been in the industry for 17 years, he thinks that the key is persistence and commitment.
After recognizing these factors that encourage the growth of startup ecosystem, the next step is to consider fixing the things that need to be fixed so that local startup can join the global competition. The first is to upgrade the quality of human resources, whether it is soft skills or hard skills. No matter how advanced the technology has and will become, the human touch is still needed. The aforementioned human touch needs to be on-par with the technology, so that the desired development and expansion of the startup market will reach satisfaction. One thing that is sure to be useful in any field is English skill. It is a must to be literate in English as the competition right now is no longer between cities but the neighbouring countries.
Another thing is to counter-attack the Yogyakartans’ nature to be too lenient and soft-hearted. The speakers know that it is one of the uniquenesses of Yogyakarta, however, they do believe that in doing business, or in a professional situation, being too lenient and soft-hearted will only hinder the progress of a startup and startup market. Hence, it needs to be noted that they are not asking the people of Yogyakarta to lose their uniqueness but to employ it accordingly.
For more information about the next Kopi Chat, don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list and make sure to follow BLOCK71 Yogyakarta’s social media on Facebook and Instagram.
Let's Sum Up Jogja Startup Day 2019!
Posted on November 11, 2019 by Lautania Theora
The first week of November had been wholesome for BLOCK71 Yogyakarta.
Not only did we successfully hold the celebration of our first anniversary on Friday, November 1st, but also we arranged the biggest startup conference in Yogyakarta, Jogja Startup Day, on November 2nd and 3rd. Together with Amikom Business Park (ABP) and Amikom Computer Club (AMCC), we brought forward Jogja Startup Day hoping to provide the platform for startups, investors, and like us, incubators and ecosystem builders to connect with each other.
In Jogja Startup Day, more than 900 attendees got the chance to have a closer look into the startup ecosystem through the exhibition, talk shows, investor speed dating, gala dinner networking night, and startup pitching competition. As more than 30 startups joining the excitement, the exhibition managed to present diverse startup focuses to the audiences. Six of them are from our residents here in BLOCK71 Yogyakarta; Chapter W, Bountie, Tokocrypto, Delokal, Exabytes, and Goop.
With the same philosophy in mind, Jogja Startup Day arranged the talk shows with diverse topics. Featuring the President of Bukalapak, Fajrin Rasyid, the first talk show explored on “How to Start a Billion Dollar “Unicorn” Startup”. The second talk show delved into “Why Investors Won’t Invest on Your Startup”, where the Portfolio Manager of Salim Group, Edmund Caruli, became one of the key speakers. The rest of the talk shows also feature prominent figures of BLOCK71; Sazali Johari, the Program Director of BLOCK71 South-East Asia on “Startup Opportunity in South-East Asia,” and Danang Jeffry, Hub Manager BLOCK71 Bandung on “Reasons Why There’s no Unicorn in Jogja.” The first day went without a hitch.
There were not only startup related events, but there was also a game competition to spice up Jogja Startup Day. On the second day, Mobile Legends Jogja Startup Day Tournament 2019 took place, where one of our residents, Bountie, participated as an official partner of the tournament. This was their first collaboration and as their host, we were proud to see the enthusiasm.
Contest Against Time: Behind Bountie's First Tournament in Indonesia
Posted on December 02, 2019 by Lautania Theora
November is over, but we still cannot move on from Jogja Startup Day 2019!
As one of the organisers of the biggest startup conference in Yogyakarta, we went through many things that were indeed unforgettable. One of those is that Bountie, one of the residents here in BLOCK71 Yogyakarta, held their first tournament at Jogja Startup Day 2019. As their partner and also one of the organiser, we experienced the thrill and the excitement alongside Bountie.
In our latest interview with Bountie for our Startup Feature (have you checked it? Click here and drop a heart so we know you do!), Romi, head of Bountie in Yogyakarta, reminisced at how restless they were that week. He stated that their team initially did not have a plan to hold an event in Jogja Startup Day 2019, and it was not until 4 days before the event that they started to make preparation. “I asked Reni, the community manager of BLOCK71 Yogyakarta, to help boost Bountie’s presence in Yogyakarta a few days before we knew about Jogja Startup Day,” said Romi. Fortunately, Jogja Startup Day was around the corner and it happened just like that!
Well, not really; the committee of Jogja Startup Day 2019 was very enthusiastic about the tournament when they heard it from us, but the problem was, it was due in 4 days and so, the preparation was done in a hurry. After the preparation, they started to be even more restless. He said, “What should we do? Isn’t it too rushed? Will there be any people joining it? Those are basically the questions we have in mind.”
As the tournament was Bountie’s first event in Indonesia, it was normal that they were worried that no one would show up or join the tournament, or other things that spelt catastrophe. Even the poster was done in hours, so it could be seen how rushed things were. As their partner, we also dreaded more or less the same things. So, what we did at that time was to maximize the publication of the event and let the rest took it own course.
Contrary to our worries, the participants exceeded our expectation. With over ten groups joining the tournament, Bountie successfully added new exciting segment to Jogja Startup Day, and hence established themselves as the first E-sports match platform in Yogyakarta.
Once again, we want to say congratulations to Bountie for going strong in their first tournament in Indonesia!
Interested in finding out more about what happened in Jogja Startup Day 2019? Click here!
Supporting entrepreneurial journeys in Jakarta and beyond.
BLOCK71 Jakarta is an exciting partnership between Singapore's most established higher learning institution, the National University of Singapore, and one of Indonesia's most iconic conglomerates, the Salim Group.
Connect with us at block71.co/jakarta.