• 1AES : Journey to ASEAN, Perceiving Wider, Deeper, and Faster

    This is a story of me and my partner, Aldy, and our experience in one of 1AES satellite event. The event is called Asean Startup Campus Accelerator Lite, a joint effort from Watch Tower and Friends, and Maybank, held from 16-20 November 2015. This story is not about places to visit or things to buy in Malaysia–no, seriously, if you’re looking for that information, kindly check a travel blog. (Thank you very much).

    Well, to begin with, there were 3 teams which hailed from Indonesia, and it was an amazing coincidence that all teams were coming from Yogyakarta, and specifically from a very same university, the Gadjah Mada University (GMU). Hats up for GMU !

    I consider it is important to tell you how we’ve gotten the opportunity to free travel. For the most part, it was bordering on miraculous as we initially didn’t truly believe that we’ve got the chance. You see, the roadshow was held in Jogjakarta in the evening of November 2nd, and the announcement of the roadshow was in the morning of the exact same date. The submission deadline was on November 5th. We practically have only 3 days to formulate our idea, let alone submitting it. Thankfully, we’ve pulled it. We received the winning announcement on November 10th, after dzuhur. It was a really super-accelerated event! Lessons to be learned? Don’t be afraid of taking chances. On that point is no failure, just feedback.

    Okay, for the next part, let’s talk about the overview of the ASEAN market. It’s big, and is highly diverse. Which means, even if a particular approach is working in one country, there’s no guarantee that it’s going to work with others. An example: The market share of WhatsApp is not so big in Vietnam, despite its popularity in Indonesia or Malaysia. (This can be considered as a valid example, as the one who remarked this is our Vietnamese acquaintance, Mr. Truong Tuan Dung). The implication is that in Indonesia, our ideas may enjoy a proverbial “roller coaster track”.
    Yet, in this context, there are actually many temptations to leave Indonesia. There are two reasons. First, in Indonesia, few people are eager to invest in ideas. The reason? Lack of courage. Second, in my opinion, it is uncommon in Indonesia to witness a local company being funded by the government to send their employees to learn in an international workshop. As far as I know, this sort of “free travelling chance” is exclusively available in Malaysia, handled by the MATRADE.

    Well, that’s my long story cut short. I want to tell you about some of the interesting people that I’ve met during my trip to Malaysia, but that’s for another story.

    To wrap it up, allow me to say this: Undertaking a journey is always be a blessing, regardless of the destination. Like they say, chance encounter is sometimes better than choosing encounter.

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