How Startup Indonesia Adapt To Coronavirus

Nora Setiawan

May 26, 2020

It has been 1,5 months since Indonesia reported its first confirmed COVID-19 infections. Yet, it continues to soar, sending fear, anxiety and concern through the country, especially those who live in infected areas. Indonesian president, Joko Widodo declares COVID-19 is a national disaster. However, he has not locked down the country, yet he applied the Large Scale Social Restriction (PSBB) policy to maintain physical distance. The government sees how the coronavirus outbreak impacts on the Indonesian people and the economy. Many businesses have faced the potential of losing revenue due to the outbreak. On the other hand, the startup in Indonesia have adapted their services for users who are spending time at their homes.

The COVID-19’s Impacts on Indonesia’s Startup Company

The pandemic indeed takes an effect all around the world and almost all industries. This also makes an impact on startups funding. The venture capital firm surveyed 139 investors to measure their perspective on this outbreak. Quoted from, 83% of respondents are already seeing the negative impacts on their investment plans, while 62% expect the startups will take effect of the pandemic for 1 or 2 years.

TaniHub Group’s CEO, Ivan Arie Sustiawan explained that agriculture e-commerce is getting higher on the transactions by 15%-20%. The high demands are for fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, and other ingredients to maintain the body’s immune system.

The PSBB policy also has affected the P2P lending Modalku. The company said to reschedule payments and to adjust loan services both limit and tenor. Per March 2020, Modalku has transmitted 1.750.506 loans worth Rp13.49 trillion.

What Startup in Indonesia Do During The Pandemic?

Last March, Grab, Tokopedia, and OVO donated IDR 1 billion each as a call to the public to fight against the coronavirus together. The donation has been distributed to help supply personal protective equipment (APD) to the medical professionals through the National Disaster Management Agency (BNBP).

A state-owned mobile wallet startup, LinkAja has collaborated with to raise money for 55.000 personal protective gears for health workers, including hazmat suits, N95 masks, medical safety goggles, shoe covers, latex gloves, and surgical gloves. The donation will be distributed to five coronavirus referred hospitals.

According to CNN Indonesia last March. In Singapore, the senior leaders of Grab will take salary cuts off up to 20% to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 as it rapidly spreads across Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, Grab Indonesia will not follow, but they agree to donate IDR 160 billion or US$ 10 million.

Grab Indonesia is also working with the Health Ministry to provide free online COVID-19 screening service on its platform GrabHealth powered by Good Doctor. The service allows people to check their COVID-19 status by filling out the questions through the Grab application. It will be connected to the doctors 24 hours a day, allowing the users to screen anytime they need. Grab hopes the screening services will prevent the coronavirus from spreading further, as people will not need to go to hospitals, which they already were overwhelmed by the infected patients.

How Are The Startup in Indonesia Adapting To This Pandemic?

Blibli, one of Indonesia’s e-commerce platforms has focused on adjusting the operational services. They practise contactless shipping, and the procedure applied to all their logistic partners. They also maintain product availability by limiting the products at merchant partners.

Indonesia’s online transportation, well known as Gojek, have put social distancing between the drivers and customers for their food delivery services. Grab Indonesia is doing this as well, and the Grab drivers need to take some additional measures to protect their health. Also, their drivers are equipped with face masks and hand sanitizers.

Both Gojek and Grab, especially on their food services have put contactless delivery service and contactless drivers, supported by quick automatic messages on their chat’s feature. This feature is created to remain social distancing and reduce physical distancing for the users. They also suggested their customers use non-cash payments.

How Is Grab Helping Their Users?

Grab Indonesia has teamed up with The Health Ministry to provide a special service for COVID 19 screening. As mentioned above, you can connect to the doctors 24 hours, if you feel unwell or unsure about your condition. With this service, it will help the public to identify their risk level. Once you consult the doctor, he will give you the recommendation in line with the ministry’s COVID 19 protocol to see the result. The online screening also prevents the virus from spreading further, as you would not need to go to the referred hospital.

If using the service, you would receive medical recommendations from doctors regarding your health condition. If your screening is mild to low risk, the doctor would recommend you for a self-quarantine. However, if the results show a high risk, the doctor would suggest going to the nearest hospital. The Health Minister would update regularly the COVID 19 news on its application. The health consultation service on the application is free of charge though.

The Donations From Startup in Indonesia

On the other hand, Tokopedia has opened donations for COVID 19 medical workers through Tokopedia Salam. They have been working together with,, Human Initiative, and others. You can also donate while purchasing the items on its application, by giving Rp5.000 from each transaction, it will be donated to the medical workers.

The outbreak surely has hit hard the startups businesses, however, some companies have their potential to be profitable, yet some others are not. Businesses are actually can prepare to survive the crisis by having a Business Continuity Plan. Planning ahead is important for any business, especially in the event of a crisis or a disaster. Business Continuity Plan is essential for managers to drive their companies to overcome hardships caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

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