With its burgeoning internet economy, Southeast Asia abounds with huge growth opportunities in e-commerce, but the crown jewel of the region – widely-acknowledged as a particularly challenging one to navigate – is Indonesia, which has more than 260 million people and is the region’s most populous country.
One of Indonesia’s largest e-commerce players, Bukalapak, would know.
“We started in 2010 because we believed in the future of Indonesia and its digital economy,” said the online marketplace’s co-founder and president, Fajrin Rasyid, at the recent FUTR Asia Summit in Singapore.
By 2025, every Southeast Asian country is expected to have an e-commerce market exceeding US$5bn – and Indonesia alone is piped to comprise 52% of total e-commerce in the region with a market worth US$46bn, according to research by Google and Temasek.
Rasyid stressed that “online is small in comparison” to the country’ offline retail sector: a study by market research firm eMarketer, for instance, estimated e-commerce to makes up just 3.9% share of total retail in the country in 2018.