Fandy Santoso: Indonesian E-Commerce Boom, Growth Hacking, and Staying Realistic - E130

· Founder,Start-up,Indonesia,Southeast Asia,Podcast Episodes English

It’s never easy to really decide whether things are not working because we’re not working hard enough, or because we need to pivot it to something else, or because it’s just dumb idea. It’s hard to decide that, but at the end of the day I think we need to decide realistically, whether can we see this happening? Can we see things staying running in the next 3, 5, 10 years? If we have this fuzzy and blurry pictures about it, then it’s probably time to at least pivot- Fandy Santoso

Fandy Santoso is Co-founder and CEO of Giladiskon, a social buying club where 2m Indonesian members get exclusive discounts at restaurants and lifestyle retailers. Besides helping their members saving money every day, they also help retailers to get instant exposure to millions of millenials through social media. Fandy started his entrepreneurial journey in 2013 when he started an IT consulting business and have established several other companies since.

Jeremy Au: (00:30)
Hey, Fandy, good to have you on the show.

Fandy Santoso: (00:32)
Hey, thank you for having me.

Jeremy Au: (00:34)
Well, I really would love to share your story because you know we had a great conversation about Indonesia, startups, and bootstrapping the last time around, and I think this would be a great conversation for everybody to hear and learn from you.

Fandy Santoso: (00:46)
Yeah, hopefully so.

Jeremy Au: (00:50)
So, for those who don’t know you yet, how would you introduce yourself?

Fandy Santoso: (00:51)
My name is Fandy, I’m from Indonesia. I now am based in Jakarta. I’m the CEO and co-founder of a company called Giladiskon where we have the biggest community of shoppers in Indonesia and we help them to save money every day and also at the same time, we’re helping retailers to drive transactions and customers at a very low cost, sustainably, that’s basically it.

Jeremy Au: (01:15)
Great, how did you get started into business and entrepreneurship?

Fandy Santoso: (01:20)
OK, so it was back in 2013 so I was working in a bank for several years, at the time, and my brother who is based in Germany, he has an IT consulting company. He said hey, why don’t we try to set up something in Indonesia and let’s do something together. So that’s how it started as selling enterprise software SAAS, but back in the days there wasn’t any other SAAS so it wasn’t working that that great, but that’s how I started my own business back in 2013.

Jeremy Au: (01:53)
Awesome. Why did you want to do it? Was it because you were bored at work? Why exactly did you want to get into it?

Fandy Santoso: (02:03)
I don’t know. I’ve been wanting to have my own business for a while before that, but I didn’t really have any idea what to start and how to start. So, I think when my brother came with the idea, I think, hey, what’s there to lose? I talked to my boss at the time in the bank and he said, hey Fandy, you’re still young. So, worst case scenario, if your business is not running too well, you can always find another job in a bank. You still have value in terms as an employee, so you can still look for another job as a second chance, as a Plan B, if things don’t work out. So, I thought, what could go wrong. So, I just did it.

Jeremy Au: (02:46)
At that time, I totally get it because when I was setting up businesses, I always thought to myself, what can go wrong. Now that I’ve actually built a business, I know a lot of things can go wrong.

Fandy Santoso: (02:55)
Exactly! Almost everything can go wrong.

Jeremy Au: (03:01)
You built a business because you had no idea what could go wrong…which you’ve discovered, a lot of things can go wrong.

Fandy Santoso: (03:06)
Yes, definitely.

Jeremy Au: (03:07)
Yeah, so what was it like building your first business with your brother?

Fandy Santoso: (03:10)
It was tiring at the same time I learned a lot because I took marketing major in college, so I have no IT or technology background whatsoever, like nothing. And my first company we were selling enterprise software, so, when I was talking to the I.T team of my prospects I didn’t even have a clue. I didn’t know any difference between database and a server at a time. I understood nothing. It was very tough, especially in the beginnings and in the early months, but, as things started to move, it became much clearer, even though it didn’t became easier. But some things I learned it the hard way. I had to learn IT kind of terms. Those technology kind of terms and things, because if I don’t, I wouldn’t survive. I cannot sell technology product without knowing that technology in the first place. So yeah, it was fun. But it was very tough.

Jeremy Au: (04:04)
During that time, what did you learn? So, you learned that it was tough and you learned how to use technology and all these technology terms, but what did you learn about being the founder of a business in your first business?

Fandy Santoso: (04:17)
I think there’s a couple things that I learned at that time. One is that as a businessman, as an entrepreneur, really the result that you can get depends entirely on your own effort, on the amount of time, the amount of effort that you put into the business. So, I strongly believe that if we have a side business, then don’t be surprised if we’re getting a ‘side’ kind of income. If we want to get like a full-time kind of income, then you better be full time with the company too. That’s number one and number 2 is that when I started the business it was just me, myself, in Jakarta and I had to do product development and at the same time doing sales. And I figured out that we cannot really do that just by one person at the same time, because you cannot develop the product when you’re selling things and you cannot be selling things when you’re developing the product because you’re getting more and more feedback from the prospects. But at the same time okay, after you get feedback, you review it and then you redevelop like you know, put in, put the feedbacks into the development of the product, but at the same time you still need to sell the product, so it was very hard. So that’s why my first hire was an IT consultant so I could take care of the selling side more because that’s where my strength is more towards rather than the IT. And then things started moving on after that.

Jeremy Au: (05:36)
Amazing. What’s interesting is after that you left and you built up your next business and another business. So, can you tell us more about your next business?

Fandy Santoso: (05:45)
Actually, I didn’t leave the company. The company is still running until today. That company evolved into something else. So instead of selling a product to the company, we change our first company to become like a technology outsourcing company. So, where we provide the consultants here in Jakarta. But we’re getting projects from Europe, so which is basically flipped the sequence because on the earlier days, of my first company, basically my brother in Germany, but he already has his own team in his own company in Germany. So, the way it worked was that we were building the product in Germany, with a much higher wage, but we’re selling the product in Jakarta, and that doesn’t really make sense because the development cost is so much higher than the selling price. So that’s why after a couple years we just came to this a-ha moment with ourselves with my brother. Why don’t we try to flip it? Instead of building the product in Germany and selling in Jakarta, why don’t we do it the other way around? We’ll build the product in Jakarta where the wage is much cheaper and then sell the product in Germany. After we did that, it suddenly took off, which is nice. So, I have that, I got a new partner here in Jakarta and with that new partner I built other companies. But the first company is still there, still running today.

Jeremy Au: (07:03)
Amazing. What a savvy move on your part. There you are and then you decided to move on to your next company after that, could you tell us more about it?

Fandy Santoso: (07:12)
The next thing that I built…well…there are a couple things actually at the same time at the time that was back in 2015. Besides continuing the outsourcing company, I built an online cash back company similar to Shopback. I think many people are aware of so it’s called Hadiah.ME. It’s the first online cash back company in Indonesia and we did that for three years before we close it down, because we cannot compete with Shopback basically and at the same time I was also leading another team in my partner’s company to sell another SAAS application to enterprise to like banks and ecommerce. The software itself is related to, like you know, sending emails SMS, push notifications, those kinds of integrations. So, yeah, I was juggling among several things.

Jeremy Au: (08:00)
What was it like juggling all these things?

Fandy Santoso: (08:01)
Well, it’s not easy and it’s actually…if I look back, it’s probably not really recommended because we can only have so much attention. We can only have so much focus on something. So, if we divide our focus into several big things, then the result may not be as optimal as we want it to be because we’re only giving it. Say I divided my focus into three separate companies. So, basically, each one has a third of my focus. So, if I look back, I’m not surprised anymore if I’m only getting a third of the result that I was expecting, it’s not really a good thing to do. So that’s, I guess a learning experience for me.

Jeremy Au: (08:47)
Yeah, that’s so true because I think that we all think that we’re able to do multiple things. Did you feel like you could do that because you had already successfully built a business before so you felt like you could juggle more stuff? Or was it because you felt like you had to do these different things?

Fandy Santoso: (09:01)
No, not really. I didn’t think of it at the time and not even now. So, I I’ve never thought myself to have built something successful so far, but I was really juggling it because of the circumstances because I was helping my partner to set up this new SAAS company in Jakarta. So, I was helping him out. On the other hand it was me who started it myself and I was helping to run the existing company, but, thankfully, the outsourcing company, which is my first business, is pretty much, it runs by itself, so I don’t really need to spend much time on that. I juggled among the things because it’s more because I had to, at the time.

Jeremy Au: (09:42)
Interesting. What’s interesting is you start focusing on online shopping, e-commerce during this timeframe as well. So, what was drawing you to this new vertical?

Fandy Santoso: (09:52)
Well, my background is from marketing and also my partner, he has a big group also in marketing space. He has one of the leading marketing research companies so that’s why when we were discussing about OK what to build next? So, we were thinking about something that has to do with marketing and one of the key strengths of my partner is about loyalty program. But we thought that loyalty program is probably not as popular as before. So why don’t we think of something that is more similar towards the model, but something more relevant to the current time? And we thought that online cash back was something interesting that we could look into because when we started it, there was no one else that did that and ShopBack was already present in Singapore and Malaysia. I think for like a year, but they haven’t really started the market in Indonesia, so that’s pretty much how we started it.

Jeremy Au: (10:45)
So, you were doing this in the midst of what I was calling the e-commerce platform boom for Indonesia. So, what was it like back then?

Fandy Santoso: (10:53)
It was really good actually. Our second or…yeah…our second year running Hadiah.ME, we were delivering like $30 million of GMV and we were only like a team of I don’t know, less than 10 people. We don’t do marketing. We don’t do advertising at all. It’s all organic, but we were delivering like 30 million GMV. That’s just because of the hype, the boom. But as things progresses, e-commerce also became more mature and they establish new procedures, new rules with the partners and everything so, things started to decline in some way because there are more rules because they have more experience. For example. One thing that I remember at the time was Tokopedia. I think that was the first time they did the free shipping campaign and exploded so much that they lost a lot of money because a lot of people fraudulently used to campaign for personal benefits like free shipping. No limit, no terms and conditions whatsoever. So, what people did was say, you wanna…you’re moving from the island of Java to the island of Papua, which is the most eastern part of Indonesia? So, when you’re moving furnitures from Java to Papa, it’s gonna cost a lot of money, but hey, this Tokopedia is having a free shipping campaign without any terms. So, they’re basically selling product to themselves from Java to Papua and get the free shipping from Tokopedia. Because of those kind of experience the ecommerce started to learn and put in more and more boundaries and even more today, but that also affect the way we can operate with them.

Jeremy Au: (12:28)
Interesting…and it was interesting because we saw so many people start learning how to use or get on e-commerce. Do you have any funny stories from people you saw or users about how they were learning how to get or use e-commerce?

Fandy Santoso: (12:44)
Yeah, I mean I cannot recall any like interesting stories, but I mean we got a lot of inquiries regarding like how to actually use it. Because for Indonesian audience, a lot of times is that people don’t like to read. I don’t know it’s different with the Singapore, Malaysia, but Indonesians, in general, a lot of people don’t like to read, so when we’re posting something like with the how-to’s and everything people just don’t read. So, they prefer to WhatsApp us or they would send us e-mail or like you know SMS or anything and ask us how to do it instead of just reading the like 123 steps that we already provided in our websites. But yeah, that’s basically it.

Jeremy Au: (13:22)
That’s actually a very interesting story because I imagine you getting quite frustrated because there’s quite a lot of routine questions you get asked, right?

Fandy Santoso: (13:30)
Oh, yes, so much, yeah.

Jeremy Au: (13:32)
So, there you were, you said you were doing lots of GMV, etc, etc. Then you started noticing that things were starting to slow down. So, how was the team and you thinking about how to solve that problem back then?

Fandy Santoso: (13:42)
Actually, we were thinking about that. How to solve this? It’s a bit difficult for us because the way online cash back model works is that we’re really at the mercy of the ecommerce because the premise is that we’re delivering customers to the e-commerce and then they’re making the purchase in the e-commerce. They’re paying the products in the e-commerce and e-commerce have all the data, all the shipping information, all the payment information and everything and they have the freedom to either approve or reject any transactions that we bring to them and they can set the commission rates. So, everything is basically on their side so we bear all the risk in this transaction. That’s why we thought we’d discuss internally with my team. We thought to ourselves, I wouldn’t want to be in this kind of business for a long time because the results of our hard work may not be rewarded because of things outside of our control. Because, say, we managed to like increase our conversion rate, increase our traffic and. Everything but at the end they simply changed one point of their rules and they can just reject 50% of our transactions and back out, wipe out our GMV and Commission revenue therefore. So that’s why we thought we need to do something else. We need to make our own product where we don’t depend ourselves in someone else because if we have that kind of circumstances it’s a bit hard, because like I said before, we may work as hard as we can, but we may not get anything or enough reward for that. It’s being controlled by someone else too much.

Jeremy Au: (15:20)
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense because you’re basically building something that’s an extension, or like a you’re powering and you’re benefiting from the platforms, but these platforms honestly can throw you off by either closing the transactions in terms of regulations, or they can just copy you, right? So I, you know, I kind of know where this story goes. But what did your team figure out on this one?

Fandy Santoso: (15:43)
So that’s why we started different thing which is Giladiskon, which is our own company. Our current company right now. So, we launched our own product in the form of subscription model. So, we launched this back in 2019, April 2019 where the product itself is an annual subscription where our users, our members can enjoy unlimited amount of vouchers from our merchant partners in Indonesia, so that’s our definition of having our own product because that way we can decide their own future in a way. Because we can set our own price, we can, like, you know, manage our conversion. We don’t need anyone’s approval for that. All we need to do is just generating the traffic and also acquiring the merchants and we can get the results ourselves. So that’s actually the result of that discussion of the issue.

Jeremy Au: (16:35)
And what’s been interesting, of course, is that as you build it up yourself, you’re building out this community and platform, what were some of the things you learnt about building out your own community because there is this your own users who are really coming for you and your brand rather than for someone else. So, what was that learning process like?

Fandy Santoso: (16:54)
To be honest, in Indonesia I don’t know again in other countries, but in Indonesia, brand loyalty is pretty much non-existent because customers prefer like cheaper price or bigger discounts rather than like in certain brand or certain e-commerce. So, most of the times what we would do is we always do some kind of experiments. Because with that kind of mindset from the customers where they’re not loyal to any brand, we need to figure out how to make them stay in our platform. So, the way we did this is that by offering like deals in terms of cheaper annual subscription for premium members and also, we acquire merchants who we think that our members would like to have. Yeah, that’s the most things that we did. But we did a lot of experiments, either in the minor details or also on the bigger scale.

Jeremy Au: (17:47)
Yeah, makes a lot of sense. How does your team work with experiment? Do you work on weekly sprint, monthly, how do you think about experimentation from an internal perspective?

Fandy Santoso: (17:58)
We did sprints before, but nowadays we don’t do it like you know too formally, but during our weekly team meeting I would ask to each of my team members like you know what experiments have you done in the past week and what are you guys planning to test on the following week and also on monthly basis, we also have a meeting with everyone in company like you know, together, new ideas - Overall, what we can do in the future where we can do better or how we can make more money. Like you know from our existing source of income or if we can make another source of revenue and new ones or new market. So, we do that on weekly or monthly basis. We don’t do it too formally, but we’re trying to make it like a part of our culture.

Jeremy Au: (18:41)
Here you are and obviously you’re building out this business as very focused on dining, retail, so on and so forth and, obviously, COVID happened for the entire world. So, could you share about how your team kind of reacted and adapted to the pandemic and what you saw?

Fandy Santoso: (18:58)
OK, so since most of our clients and partners revolves around FnBs, we got hit pretty bad. So, on the month of March, April, May, and June, it was things were very rough. So, the way we adapted to such conditions is that several things. The first one is, like many other companies we have pay cuts for everyone because we committed to our team members that we are trying our best not to let go of anyone. But if we want to do that, we need to have pay cut together so we’re doing it together. That’s number one and number 2, we actually enforce the experiments even more since pandemic happens, and this is not only on the minor details, but also on a major level where we’re trying to build. Like, you know, we experimented with new business models. So, for example, we tried copying Slickdeals kind of models in the in US, we’re trying to copy it in Indonesia, but it didn’t really work well. We did that for a couple months, but we saw that the traction was not really there. So why we drop it. We also tried selling groceries ourselves. I think a lot of companies also tried that, pivoted to that, selling groceries online. We also tried several other things, but we really enforce the focus to experiment on new things even more after the pandemic. But, obviously, the team well, we were a bit anxious at the time, but now we’re getting better. Actually, our pay cut is getting lower and lower and hopefully we can get to like you know, full amount again soon sometime soon.

Jeremy Au: (20:32)
What was it like for you and all the founders…I guess it sounds like a documentary now…but going through the pandemic, do you remember what it was like going through like the lockdowns and, I don’t know, the communications between founders and yourself and the team about how to adapt and evolve to the pandemic?

Fandy Santoso: (20:52)
Our office is one big thing because our office lease actually expired on June 2020, so at the time we already make some down payments to a new space in a coworking space in Jakarta. A nice once, which I was really looking forward to. We paid like several months up front, but then the pandemic happens, so our existing office at a time runs out on June and then since we cannot continue with the new office that we have paid up front because we could no longer afford to pay that kind of rent with our current revenue level because of the pandemic, it dropped significantly so we could no longer afford that. So that’s why we decided to scrap that altogether, so everyone started to work from home back in I think April last year. So, it’s been more than a year. To be honest, my team was not really surprised they’re actually a bit happy about it because some of them who have children already, they can spend time with their children all day long while still doing their work. We did some minor adjustments in terms of communications, in terms of the frequency of the meetings, how we do the meetings and we would do like monthly sync up calls with all the company members on monthly basis online. We did some new things, but majority wise there wasn’t that much to be adapted in terms of communication.

Jeremy Au: (22:11)
When you think about that, how did you manage your stress and your own personal dynamic because there you are, you’re leading the team through change, negotiating the lease, and the place and you’re doing experiments. How does the founder take care of himself, any advice?

Fandy Santoso: (22:29)
Having a discussion partner really, really helps. For me, fortunately, there are two of us, so me and Steven. So, Steven is my partner the CT of the company and Steven is actually my college friend, which I knew already from back in 2004. So, we’ve known each other for quite sometimes. By having him, I can always give him a call if there’s anything that I want to discuss about, like anything about the lease, about how we communicate with the team, about the like, the dropping revenue, what should we do? Blah, blah, blah and based on my own personal experience when I was finding my first business where there was no one to talk to, that was a much, much tougher situation, so I think that having a discussion partner be it you’re your own partner or like you know, a community of founders that probably he has. Like for example, I have this community of Alibaba e-founders, which I’m a part of so that also helps because we have this WhatsApp group which sometimes, we talk about things sometimes. We also do an online meet up to talk about things we can share about where we’re struggling with and everything. I think that helps because entrepreneur is kind of a solitary journey. Sometimes we cannot even talk to our spouse because they don’t really have the same passion as ours, obviously. So, we cannot really talk about business really in detail with a lot of people, so I think having that kind of people around us is really important.

Jeremy Au: (23:56)
What topics would you recommend people to be talking about with their discussion partner, whoever they are…and who is this discussion partner as well?

Fandy Santoso: (24:04)
It can be anything to be honest, it could be the challenges. Obviously, you cannot just talk about this with anyone as to be someone that you really trust. Sometimes probably your mentor, someone that you look up to, so it can be your mentor, it can be your actual business partner, it can be like you know some friends who have their own business or even better if they have like a circle of founders that they have, that’s I think the best case scenario, because we can share about things in our company and then they can share things about what happens in their company and we can get some ideas from them and they can get ideas from us and that kind of thing, the topic, it can be of anything we can even talk about we’re stressed about something, what should we do? If you guys have that kind of friend that is really helpful.

Jeremy Au: (24:49)
So, one of the friend groups I know that you’re part of is the Alibaba E-founder Fellow Group, right? Can you tell us more about how you joined this group and what was the experience like?

Fandy Santoso: (24:59)
I was part of batch two, the first from Southeast Asia back in 2018. I was referenced to by my friend to register and participate in the program. We spent three weeks, two to three weeks in Alibaba. In Hangzhou. We became friends with a lot of founders, especially those in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. We tried to support each other when someone came to town. We try to set aside some time to have dinner with them and talk. Just have fun in general. But it’s also a place where I can also ask questions regarding businesses like you know what we’re facing in business, practical questions for example – Hey, you guys, I never hired another executive level person before, you guys have any tips for that…or anything. Basically, anything because some of them have much much bigger businesses than mine. So, they have a different set of experience so I can always ask them about that. But we don’t meet that often these days, but the WhatsApp group is always alive and we can talk about anything there.

Jeremy Au: (26:06)
Any fun memories from this trip and community?

Fandy Santoso: (26:09)
Well karaoke and everything like you know it’s a bit wild when we were in Hangzhou, but it was fun and I think the friends that we made in that community is really, really high quality kind of friends. We can support each other and we can connect to each other through partnerships. We do that all the time so sometimes people who are from Malaysia who wants to enter Indonesia market. They can ask about the Indonesian market to the individual founders and vice versa. So, things happen between the founders through the community.

Jeremy Au: (26:38)
Awesome. Well, everybody loves karaoke, right? So, Fandy, you know what’s interesting is that, obviously, you’ve gone through quite a few interesting tough times, pivots, and transitions. So, I was wondering if you could share with us a time when you had to be BRAVE?

Fandy Santoso: (26:56)
Yeah, I think there are two moments. One is to start my first business. Because at the time I was married for several months, not even a year. Married, I had to consider about the future of my family about like you know, having kids and everything, and by having unstable income. So, what should we do? What should we plan, but thankfully my wife is a working full time, so at least one of us is earning a stable kind of income, so at least if things go wrong for my side, we still have some things from my wife’s side. So, I think deciding to jump to start our first business is one of the moment that I recall to require bravery. Number two is to close down something. Because I think we all have egos. It’s never easy to admit that what we’re building is not working and we have to close it down. And we need to move on. And it took me some time because there were several businesses in smaller scale, which I started also with partner during the time that didn’t work out which we have spent quite amount of money. We invested in several people and like event sponsorships and everything but, things didn’t work out at the end, so we have to scrap it and just move on and I think that also requires bravery to admit that this is not working, but we cannot dwell in this forever. We need to move on to something new and then like start it immediately. I think those are the two moments I recall.

Jeremy Au: (28:29)
I’m glad that your wife has been supportive during this transition. I think my wife has also been very supportive all through my two startups and has been very patient with me and my ideas. One more interesting thing I’d like to ask you is you talk about being able to close something down. That’s something that’s a really tough process for a lot of founders, right? Because it’s hard to tell the difference between I’m not trying hard enough versus if I try hard enough this is going to change…to…this is a bad idea, right? So, how do you suggest people should think about that?

Fandy Santoso: (29:05)
I think we just need to be realistic with ourselves in some cases, exactly like you said, it’s never easy to really decide whether things are not working because we’re not working hard enough, or because we need to pivot it to something else, or because it’s just dumb idea. It’s hard to decide that, but at the end of the day. I think we need to decide realistically, whether can we see this happening? Can we see things staying running in the next 3, 5, 10 years? If we have this fuzzy and blurry pictures about it, then it’s probably time to at least pivot…at least pivot. If we’ve tried everything we can with this with the new pivots and everything. If it’s still not working out. Then it’s probably time to close down shop because I think one thing one factor that may lead to company closing down simply it’s time because sometimes, we are ahead of the time we’re building something that people don’t need yet. People may need it in the next 5-10 years, but people don’t need it now and therefore it’s not selling. Well, it’s not working out and we need to close it down, but we need to be realistic with ourselves.

Jeremy Au: (30:17)
Being realistic, that’s tough, right? Have you ever been that person for someone about being realistic or how do you help them be realistic, I guess? Or, what’s the process, because sometimes as founders, we’re always hanging out with other people, right? It’s not just whether it’s our business, but it’s also brainstorming new ideas, new experiments, how do you be a friend, I guess, and be realistic as well?

Fandy Santoso: (30:47)
Okay, for me, I think there are two things. The first one is how much have we tried to pivot these things? How often do we experiment new things on this business? Have we tried changing the product slightly or have we tried probably reaching a slightly different market? Or you probably change the pricing, or like you know, I don’t know if it’s a physical product, have we changed the packaging or the way we might get the product. Have we changed many, many times with this product? If we have, then the second thing that we need to consider is that our personal circumstances. Do we have the time to really spend more on this product, if we say we’re single, we’re still in our early 20s, we don’t have anything else to do, basically, probably we can give it another shot, another 2, 3, 4, 5 years, probably? But if we’re already in mid 30s or like late 30s early 40s, we have kids already. You know things are not working out. Probably we have less of a time limit, so I think I would think about it from those two perspectives.

Jeremy Au: (31:57)
Wow, that’s very realistic and I can imagine it’s a tough spot for a lot of folks to be in, right?

Fandy Santoso: (32:04)
Yes, definitely.

Jeremy Au: (32:05)
I’m 40 years old and I still have lots of time, right? It’s just what you’ll hear me say in a couple of years.

Fandy Santoso: (32:12)
Yeah, it’s always, never easy to admit that we’re building something that’s failing, right?

Jeremy Au: (32:15)
Yeah. It’s never easy when it’s failing, it’s never ever, ever easy when you’re succeeding. It’s hard all the way. Yeah, well, Fandy, thank you so much for coming on the show. I’d like to paraphrase the three big themes that I heard from you today and thank you so much for sharing.
The first, of course, is thank you so much for sharing your own professional journey from how you left banking to become a founder of your first company with your brother and then, frankly, like you didn’t know how hard it was going to be, so that’s why you founded it. No idea, then you discovered it the hard way and then you still kept going, which is very inspiring. You knew how hard it was this time around and you still kept going to build up a new business. The second part, I really appreciated was you sharing, of course, what it was like tackling e-commerce in Indonesia in the early days and I think there’s so many people in Southeast Asia from Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, all discovering e-commerce at around the same time, and it was interesting to hear about the user stories they experienced and some of the challenges that your team had to make in terms of discussing about how much you want to partner, collaborate, or be independent from the major online ecommerce retailers, which is interesting. And the third thing is, thank you so much, obviously, for the founder tips and advice on how to be realistic, which is a sucky phrase but being realistic about what the timeline is, the resources needed, the dynamics and how to take care of yourself and be present, not just of being realistic about who you are as a person. But, also, how to be supportive as a friend and colleague and fellow founder as well.

Fandy Santoso: (33:56)
You’re welcome, thank you for having me.