Product, Partnerships, Performance: Learnings from Mobile Growth Jakarta with Tokopedia, OVO, Gojek, Gramedia Digital Nusantara, and Branch!

The exponential growth of the Indonesian internet economy has placed the country in the top ranks for number of internet users in the world. Recent research conducted by the Association of Internet Service Providers in Indonesia (APJII) estimated the number to be 171.17 million individuals at the start of 2019. This population has increasingly made mobile its way of life — by 2022, the number of smartphone users is expected to increase by two-thirds compared to 2013. Ecommerce has particularly benefited from this rising trend, with the number of online shoppers in 2021 being projected to have nearly doubled from 2015.

The recent Mobile Growth Meetup in Jakarta brought together internet giants in Indonesia to hear their take on growth, current challenges, and opportunities in the mobile tech space.

The speakers represented some of the most promising companies at the forefront of digital transformation in Indonesia, namely Tokopedia, Gojek, OVO, and Gramedia Digital Nusantara.

The speakers:

  • Ankit Saxena, Director of Technology at Branch
  • Ayu Razumova, Chief Marketing Officer at Gramedia Digital Nusantara
  • Firdila Sari, Head of Product Development at OVO
  • Puti Ara Zena, Head of Growth at Gojek
  • Tarun Valecha, Product Manager at Tokopedia

To set the context of the discussion, it’s important to note that despite the upsurge in internet usage, the landscape in Indonesia is still rife with questions around optimizing for scale and bringing a new wave of users online.

Having completed ten years of bringing technology to the masses in Indonesia, Tokopedia’s core philosophy is grounded in innovation and its mission is to democratize commerce through technology. Tarun, a product manager at Tokopedia, highlighted that the team is constantly producing creative concepts to bridge the gap between offline and online users — most recently seen through its Semarak Ramadan Ekstra campaign, which enabled users watching content on television to enter the Tokopedia app with a shake of their mobile device. The idea was not limited to providing continued streaming ability across devices, but rather to create an interactive playground filled with content and quizzes. The campaign’s primary objective was to educate users about the shift from Tokopedia’s old identity of being a marketplace to a power app with multiple functionalities, but the true driver of success was the memorable user experiences it created.

“Your product has to solve real-life problems for your customers and then it’s your responsibility to educate them on how you do it.”

Tarun Valecha, Product Manager, Tokopedia
The Power of Partnerships

Placed in a fin-tech environment, OVO’s Head of Product Development, Firdila, shared her experience of gaining user trust in a reasonably complex industry. With goals to empower both merchants and users, the company’s initial months were characterized by resistance across the board given their industry of operation. In this scenario, they cultivated a mindset shift in their user base by activating partnerships, such as Tokopedia and Grab.

Echoing this sentiment, Ayu from Gramedia, re-emphasized the role of partnerships, most noteworthy of which is the company’s association with Tokopedia, Gojek, and OVO. Her company’s challenges in bridging offline and online channels are particularly unique, given its long-standing status of being a nationwide chain of bookstores. Coupling powerful partnerships with content, today, they have embraced their online channels not just to simplify customer journeys that trigger purchase actions but to create an immersive experience for their users through engaging content — almost reminiscent of walking into a bookstore.

Unlocking Mobile Growth Through Data

Puti, Head of Growth at Gojek, emphasized the importance of research by their performance marketing team in order to understand user personas and to serve as a reference point for future tactics for creating delightful customer journeys. Her team is continuously relying on past performance data to inform future decisions that impact the business as a whole.

“Some common themes that are being leveraged for growth in the region are O2O (Offline to Online) strategies, tapping into traditional channels such as TV using QR codes, and building a thriving ecosystem — all while being extremely data-driven.”

Ankit Saxena, Director of Technology, Branch
Scaling Mobile Growth

While app user acquisition was a hot topic of discussion, Tarun reminded the audience that marketing for acquisition and marketing for retention are two sides of the same coin and both strategies need to co-exist for a sustainable business model. In this scenario, his go-to KPIs are the foundational elements of an organic growth strategy such as ASO and SEO. The team at Gojek has tackled the question of sustainability by tying it into their team’s KPIs — while the marketing team has been focused on peak season marketing and user acquisition campaigns, the product team is consistently ramping up user experience to ensure growth doesn’t just mean a growing user base but is rather a comprehensive business strategy that propels significant and consistent advancements.

To sum it up, the focus for each of these companies is to empower users through positive impacts on their day-to-day lives and by creating win-win situations for customers and businesses alike. The plan of action that follows is to create world-class products, improve customer experiences, work with the right partners, and consistently innovate — with data driving every step.

A huge shoutout to our sponsors, Braze, for making this meetup possible!
To attend a Mobile Growth Meetup near you — and discover tips and best practices for unlocking mobile growth in your organization — visit our Mobile Growth Community Events page.