Shinta W. Dhanuwardoyo, CEO & Founder – Bubu.com, Angel Investor
Shinta’s passion lies in helping the tech-startup ecosystem in Indonesia and she spends time as mentor/advisor to a number of startups in the country including angel investing. Her mission is to make sure Indonesia will not only become a market, but a key player in the digital industry of the world.
As the CEO and Founder of Bubu.com, Indonesia’s leading digital agency and Co-Founder and President of Sqeeqee.com, the world’s first “social networthing” platform, a “social commerce platform”; she recalls how her lack of knowledge on information technology was never a hinderance to what she is today. Her tryst with IT began during her undergraduate degree in architecture in the United States, in which she had to create architectural drawings with the Macintosh computer. Her interest & passion towards the Internet thrived during her MBA and she applied to be a supervisor in the University computer lab, which in turn granted her a 75 percent reduction in tuition fees, as well as a monthly salary.
Shinta returned to Indonesia in 1995 and worked for a management consultant, but continued to pursue web design for which she also learned to code HTML and creating websites thru the Internet. That was how Bubu.com was founded, she recalls; “it started as of one of the earliest web development company in Indonesia”.
Today Bubu.com has evolved into the country’s leading digital media agency developing cutting-edge digital, social media, and mobile strategies. In early 2000’s, Shinta was involved in many startups from Free emails company for schools, Political News portal up to Lifestyle Entertainment portal and these lasted only for a couple of years and had to close them all down since Indonesia was not ready for online business back then. Subsequently, he co-founded SVATA (Silicon Valley Asia Technology Alliance), a nonprofit organization designed to bridge the flow of ideas and foster collaboration between the tech industry in Indonesia and the region, and that of Silicon Valley.
As the Head of The Permanent Committee for Digital business, e-Commerce and Startup development at The Indonesian Chambers of Commerce (KADIN), Shinta shares with team ABT, some of the interesting facets from her professional journey.
Who is your greatest inspiration & why?
Sheryl Sandberg. I have been blessed and lucky enough to meet her a number of times already. It is such an honor, meeting someone like her since I admire her tenacity, boldness and long term vision. Despite being one of the most powerful women in the business world, she stays humble and willing to support others. While we couldn’t have her at our bi- annual tech event IDByte 2017, she was kind enough to show her support and sent us this video on women empowerment for our IDBYTE tech event: https://youtu.be/sIFKtt3cXWE
Tell us more about Bubu.com and its business model.
Bubu.com is now a Full-Service cutting edge Digital Agency that is focused on performance and data driven. We are working with various brands, individuals, multinational and local companies, helping them to build their digital brand awareness and strategize their digital media campaigns. We are one of the pioneering internet companies in the country and now we are one of the leading local digital agencies supporting clients like Manchester United, Cigna, Garuda airlines and many more.
Do you feel privileged as a Woman Entrepreneur?
I think the best thing about being a woman entrepreneur for me is that I can inspire other women to pursue their entrepreneurial endeavors. I am always happy when I get to meet women with innovative business ideas, who are willing to take the steps to becoming an entrepreneur. It is not easy being an entrepreneur but I believe it is very rewarding at the end.
Tell us about some of the challenges you face and how did you overcome them
Definitely, competition amongst digital agencies is fiercer now that before, so Bubu has to keep on innovating and creating out of the box and beyond the wall solutions for our clients. However, this is a challenge that is actually exciting for us and it is what keeps us going. Now our digital agency is moving towards performance based and data driven solutions and promoting the platform for Indonesian startups.
There are so many innovation opportunities out there, and this really excites me as an entrepreneur. In Indonesia for example, businesses now understand the importance of digital and are not afraid to take a creative and innovative approach to their digital strategy. There is still a talent deficit that prevents us from excelling compared to other countries in the region. Undoubtedly, there are many positives to attract tech giants to Indonesia. Our vast market and digitally savvy population are not going unnoticed. Regardless, Indonesia can’t just be another market, standing in the shadows of China or India. Indonesia needs to be a digital player – and a competitive one at that.
We just need to produce more high skilled programmers/developers to support the growth of Indonesia’s digital economy. To achieve this goal, our tech entrepreneurs, especially developers, must amp up their skills and knowledge in order to compete.
Whats your most cherished milestone?
I must say creating our bi-annual tech event IDBYTE and Bubu Awards have been a great milestone for me and for my company, Bubu.com.I started IDBYTE with a mission to put Indonesia on the digital map of the world and making it to be one of the most impactful digital/tech event in the country. It has brought the brightest minds in digital and tech together since 2011 to share their keenest insights on the state of modern tech, the industry’s latest advancements and trends, and the innovations that are on the horizon and poised to strongly impact the global and regional digital landscape in the immediate future.
Therefore, since its conception in 2011, IDByte has become an exclusive platform for digital and tech practitioners, and is at the forefront of championing digital development in Indonesia. We have had the most high caliber speakers speaking on our stage, which no other tech conference in Indonesia has offered before, and our exclusive audience mainly consists of C-level executives from various industries in the region.
What does success mean to you?
Success for me is the ability to learn from every failure I have made. And from that journey is when I am able to find the purpose of my life and living it. I believe in helping and supporting others, by making a difference in the community and even the world .Sounds cliché but I want to leave that legacy.
Where do you see yourself 3 years from now?
I will continue my mission in putting Indonesia on the digital map as one of the key global players in the tech/ digital ecosystem.