Event Recap: Market Expansion Indonesia by Greenhouse and DBS Bank

An event sharing insights on what it takes to expand to Indonesia

On 7 November 2019, Greenhouse and DBS Bank Indonesia organized Market Expansion Indonesia: Compliance, Recruitment, and Funding, a series of panel discussions with insights for startups and SMEs kickstarting their expansion in Indonesia.

This event was aimed to help businesses expand in Indonesia through information about Indonesia’s incorporation regulations, recruitment, and funding landscape. As such, the discussion was divided into the market entry panel, recruitment panel, and a fireside chat on funding.

Below, you’ll find our recap of the major points in all three sessions.

Indonesia is making efforts to simplify market entry

Market Entry Indonesia | Image 1

The panel discussion on market entry was moderated by Drew Calin, CEO and Co-Founder of Greenhouse, and featured:

  • Alvin Christian, Managing Director of TMF Group Indonesia
  • Miguel Latorre, Managing Director of Vistra Indonesia
  • Rieke Caroline, Founder & CEO, Kontrak Hukum

According to points from all three speakers, Indonesia has made significant progress to make it easier to do business in the country. This is in line with the government’s ambitions to attract more investments into Indonesia, as described by Alvin Christian. Alvin recounted, “In his second term, President Joko Widodo aims to improve Indonesia’s economy from the 16th largest ranking in the world today to 5th place in 2045.”

As such, the government is already planning new ways to simplify the process of doing business. Alvin continued, “To achieve this, the government is implementing various improvements and efforts to streamline policies and procedures to facilitate doing business in Indonesia, such as implementing the OSS (Online Single Submission) system, simplification of the number of licenses and permits needed to operate a business, and ongoing discussion on labor law reformation.”

Recruiting top talent in Indonesia

The panel discussion on recruitment was moderated by Ingrid Chai, Senior People Manager of Greenhouse, and featured:

  • Ben Ewbank, Director of Michael Page Indonesia
  • Ken Ratri Iswari, Founder & CEO of Geekhunter
  • Yuliana Dewi, Head of People of Fave

As Southeast Asia’s largest economy with a relatively young population of 260 million, Indonesia offers a significantly large talent pool. However, it’s getting more difficult to attract qualified talent. Many businesses focus on increasing salary offers to attract talent, but the speakers indicate that this might not be a sustainable way to hire employees.

This means that companies will have to offer things other than monetary value in order to attract and retain the talent they need. Ken Ratri Iswari also stated, “Today, many companies use hiring strategies beyond just salary value. They personalize their hiring strategies according to the candidates they are after.”

Getting funding in Indonesia

The fireside chat on funding in Indonesia featured:

  • Joe Zhang, Principal of TNB Aura
  • Alexander Lukman, COO of Ralali.com

This discussion focused on the funding and startup landscape in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, and how startups have effectively entered and scaled in these markets from international headquarters.

Specifically, the two speakers shared insights on funding from both the venture capital and startup side.

Joe Zhang stated, “The factors seen by venture capitals in giving funding will vary according to the startup’s stage of growth. For example, in the seed stage or prior to launch, investors will assess the startup team’s experience. Meanwhile, after the startup has been launched, investors can already have metrics like the number of users that can be assessed.”


Greenhouse is always excited to partner with individuals and groups who aim to share insights or support businesses in expanding to Indonesia.

If you want to discuss partnership opportunities with Greenhouse, you can visit our contact page.

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