But it wasn’t always so. In 2014 the then 33-year-old Indonesian had to make the most painful decision any entrepreneur faces: Closing his start-up venture, Alikolo – a consumer-to-consumer market platform in the new but busy e-commerce industry in Indonesia.
Taniwan is refreshingly candid about the five lessons he learned from his unsuccessful venture. A real optimist, he sees his failure as a valuable experience that would eventually be his springboard to success.
1. Take your timeTaniwan is a software engineer by education and has had a previous business remodeling cars in his hometown of Medan. He decided to go into e-commerce because it seemed like the hottest thing in Indonesia at that time. He knew so little about the business -- “At first I thought it was just about finding sellers and selling things.”
Now, Taniwan is taking his sweet time fine tuning Afforia. “It’s still under development. I will launch slowly.”
2. Be differentAs Taniwan learned the hard way, the e-commerce scene in Indonesia was so crowded that it was difficult to make one organization distinct from the rest. He realized he needed to position himself uniquely. But the one question he found he could not answer was this: “If you sell the same product also carried by Lazada or some other big player and you offer it for the same price, why should I buy from you?”
Afforia will not be as common. It will serve as a private marketplace where only the serious buyers and sellers can meet.