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Digital business answers people’s demand for simple transactions

Sep 30. 2016
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By THE JAKARTA POST

ASIA NEWS NETWORK

JAKARTA

MIKHAEL Gaery Undarsa, co-founder of online ticket booking site tiket.com, has said his business was established in response to people's wish for a simple way to book travel tickets.

Sharing his experience at an event hosted by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta on Thursday, Gaery said his website was not a new business model but improved on the conventional method of purchasing tickets.

“When I was in Jakarta in 2011, I planned to go to Singapore and spent about three hours calling several travel agents to ensure ticket prices, flight schedules and so on,” Gaery said.

He further said one of his friends from Medan, North Sumatra, wanted to go to Tegal in Central Java in the same year and was confused about how to reach the town. His friend had to check flight schedules to Jakarta and ongoing flights from Jakarta to Semarang, the capital city of Central Java, after which he had to find transportation from the city to Tegal.

Learning from his and other people's experiences, he established tiket.com in 2012 to offer tickets for domestic and international flights from various airlines. Within just two years, he said, up to 35 per cent of passengers purchased tickets via the site.

Gaery then expanded his business by offering train tickets to destinations in Java that could not be reached by plane.

To respond to the use of the smartphone increasing, tiket.com reached smartphone users by upgrading its services with a mobile application in January, after which it reported a 400 percent growth rate as of September with approximately 15,000 bookings per day.

CSIS department of economics head Yose Rizal Damuri said the digital economy was a business evolution in which the conventional method had been developed into a digital method to meet market demand.

He cited an example of Japanese insurance company Tokio Marine, which expanded into the digital business by cooperating with local mobile provider Docomo in 2011. The company launched vehicle insurance that was valid for only a few days.

The insurance, Yose said, could be used by those who wanted to drive vehicles belonging to other people so they would be insured against accidents.

“What is sold is the same product, but they know when and how to sell it in this [digital] era,” |Yose said. To cope with the current business trend, he said, the government should work with businesspeople to prepare necessary regulations to avoid problems in the future.

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