The Australia-Indonesia Centre welcomes two new industry fellows

The Australia-Indonesia Centre is strengthening its expert base with the appointment of two new Fellows in the field of digital economy.

Both from the University of Western Australia, Dr Sebastiaan van Doorn and Dr Arnold Japutra have deep knowledge of the fast-growing and dynamic nature of Indonesia’s digital landscape.

“Indonesia has witnessed an impressive rise in large e-firms, and hosts a burgeoning start-up sector and a broad range of incubator and accelerator programs”,  said Dr van Doorn.

Indonesia is home to several of the world’s newest tech unicorns with e-commerce and service companies such as Bukalapak, Tokopedia, Gojek, OVO and Traveloka. It also supports about 2000 digital start-ups.

Profile: Dr Arnold Japutra

According to Dr Japutra returns on investments for digital enterprises are comparatively high.

“Indonesian performance in the digital sphere must be viewed in relation to the relatively modest investments when compared internationally, ” he said.

The country has a young demographic with a high level of digital readiness and usage in areas such as transport, banking, communication, e-commerce and healthcare.

Its internet economy is in excess of US$40 billion (2019) and has sported growth numbers around 40% since 2015.

Profile: Dr Sebastiaan van Doorn

According to Dr Japutra “Indonesia is a two-speed marketplace when it comes to digital innovation”.

“Roughly one-third of the population is well connected, are above average users of digital content and services and are highly educated,” he said, and rural areas are less well connected but “could catch up as internet connectivity increases to an estimated 90% by 2025.”

The researchers are working on an AIC rapid project to determine whether COVID has forced a shift in  Indonesia’s listed (IDX) firms towards digital innovation to deal with new problems, or sideline the technologies due to other pressures.

“We focus on digital efforts in product and customer centric approaches and intend to uncover how incumbent firms may excel in the digital sphere,” said Dr van Doorn.

The study will look at indicators such as the digital skills of employees, digital training, the use of digital consultants and government aided support programs.

Picture of Helen Brown

Lead, Communications and Outreach
The Australia Indonesia Centre

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