Yesterday, together with the launch of e27 Luminaries, we have looked at the list of engineers, developers, and product managers that have played a great role in growing their companies throughout the pandemic. Through the platforms that they have worked on, they were able to make a difference, not only in their companies but also in the Southeast Asian tech startup ecosystem.
Now, we are moving on to the next stage of bringing innovation into the market: business development.
There are many different elements in business development. According to Investopedia, business development includes activities such as sales, strategic initiatives, business partnerships, market development, business expansion, and marketing. It plays a crucial role in getting a disruptive product out there, and eventually, bringing change to the ecosystem.
Here is a list of business development professionals at e27 Luminaries:
Andre Widjaja, Chief of Business Development at GudangAda
As one of the company’s earliest hires, Widjaja has played a crucial role in building the sales and business development team, setting the foundation for further expansion. He is spearheading the company’s business development to support business growth through customer acquisition and market outreach.
Recently, GudangAda announced a US$25.4 million Series A funding round. The company said that it has a full market coverage of FMCG wholesalers in Indonesia, and it is now targeting seven to ten per cent of the nation’s large retailer base for their next phase of growth.
Raunak Mehta, Chief Commercial Officer at Igloo
According to Igloo, Mehta played a crucial role in the company’s success. To date, the company has entered into 20 successful business partnerships since 2016 and will be expanding its partnership to 50 by 2021, across key markets such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
“Despite the uncertainties posed by the pandemic, Raunak was able to snag swift and decisive wins for Igloo, securing partnerships with the region’s largest insurance, telecommunications, e-commerce, travel and financial services companies such as Allianz, Cigna, MSIG, Sompo, Shopee, foodpanda, Bukalapak, Telkomsel, Blibli, Fabelio, RedDoorz, Union Bank of the Philippines, Mobifone and Loship to name a few; to launch lifestyle-focused products such as COVID-19 insurance, personal accident, phone screen protection and transit insurance for its partners and their customers.”
Christine Kombong, Business Development Executive at Jala Tech
Jala Tech explains that during the pandemic, the shrimp farm owners that they are serving are struggling to monitor their farms due to travel restriction. This situation was made worse with the farm owners’ lack of understanding on how to use technology.
“Facing this issue, Christine and the team concept the Smart Farm programme … that engages farmers to work as a community and assist them in adopting the technology, also educate farmer with the best aquaculture practice. As a result … the programme also improves five to 10 per cent of farm productivity by lowering the 10 per cent of feed consumption and increasing the survival rate from 70 per cent to 75 per cent.”
“Because of the success of the programme, she got the opportunity to pitch it to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. In 2021, the government is taking this programme and willing to implement it in several locations across Java.”
Jonathan Bryan, Chief Marketing Officer at KoinWorks
According to KoinWorks, the uncertainty brought by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to customers holding on to their cash and delay investing. But Bryan was able to handle the situation by focusing on a segmented promotion programme to re-maximise the marketing budget, and improving the company’s relationship with the media.
He also initiated the innovation in one of KoinWorks’ investment products, KoinRobo, to answer the needs of the users and people in Indonesia.
“Through those initiatives, Jonathan successfully gained user trust to keep investing and contribute to the growth of the total purchase of KoinRobo by up to 90 per cent in December 2020.”
Aleksandra Hessel, Head of Business Development at The Nurturing Co
Hessel joined The Nurturing Co in early 2020, a little after the circuit breaker measure being implemented in Singapore.
“We would spend almost an hour with each team for the next few months, sharing and learning as she settled into her role. When Phase 3 started, she really started to step up. As a key person in a small team, Aleks has had to carry a lot of the weight of helping grow our Singapore customer base, across retail, F&B, hotel and corporate customer bases. Leaning into her own networks to help drive brand awareness and trust.”
“She is amazing at promoting the values of our company … We were extremely lucky to have her join us at such a key moment, and she is key to our future success here in Singapore and elsewhere.”
Jenn Lim, Business Development Manager at TurtleTree
As one of the earliest team members in the company, Lim has seen TurtleTree grow from a handful of team members to 25 full-time employees. Her contribution has helped TurtleTree to win various recognition from both investors and the startup ecosystem in general.
“She helped to build a structure to the company at the start and is active in developing the business. Her contribution has brought us to win the Temasek Liveability Challenge, which is key to exposing the company on a global platform. Following that, we also participated in the Entrepreneurship World Cup and emerged at the top.”
Carmelita Lumempouw, Marketing Manager at Quincus
As a marketing manager, there are several initiatives that Lumempouw has started. She also helped the company win several accolades, from ORIGIN Innovation Awards 2020 for Jonathan Savoir as Founder of The Year, 2020 Women in Supply Chain for Katherina Lacey (Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer) and several HRD Awards Asia 2020.
“She also successfully implemented #QuincusTalks, a monthly webinar series that covers supply chain, logistics, tech and, most recently, creating spaces for females in supply chain.”
Sujinun Jutakorn, VP of Sales at Xendit
In March, Xendit announced a US$64.6 million Series B funding round that the company intended to use to expand its digital payments infrastructure service.
Starting off in 2014 as a P2P lending platform, Xendit evolved into a payments infrastructure company that enables businesses to accept digital payments without the need to implement integrations with individual providers. It has since expanded its services to include services such as fraud detection, lending, and tax management.
Xendit claims it processes more than 65 million transactions, amounting to US$6.5 billion in payment value annually.
Joanna Chua, Business Director at Sqreem Technologies
During the pandemic, Sqreem Technologies was able to secure partnership with the government of South Africa to provide real-time contact tracing and communication system. The partnership was meant to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Channel Sqreem, their platform, can track an individual using their mobile device ID without needing to know personal information of the device owner.
The e27 Luminaries is an initiative by e27 to celebrate the unsung heroes of the SEA startup ecosystem. Discover these notable companies and individuals here.
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