Asian boy uses smartphone

Google goes big on plans for internet proliferation in Indonesia | Source: Reuters

How Google is helping Indonesia go digital

INDONESIA has about 133 million Internet users, says Statista, which makes it the fifth largest population of Internet users in the world. This, despite the fact that half the county is yet to connect to the Internet shows how big an opportunity it is for budding tech-entrepreneurs and SMEs brave enough to embrace digital solutions ahead of the curve.

Google, who sees themselves as a partner to the country’s Internet penetration and digital proliferation of services, is making significant efforts to educate citizens on the benefits of adopting technology as a way of life.

In a recent blogpost on the subject, Caesar Sengupta VP, Next Billion Users Team, said:

“Indonesia already has a thriving internet economy and a bustling startup scene, home to four of Southeast Asia’s eight unicorns, but we’d like to do more to help supercharge and grow with it. So, to help Indonesians build the next great startup, we’ve already trained nearly 60,000 Indonesians on mobile app development, toward our goal of reaching 100,000 developers by 2020.”

To ensure small businesses get special attention, Google launched the Gapura Digital initiative. Sengputa points out that the initiative has managed to reach out to and train more than 40,000 small business owners in 10 cities.

The search-giant is making efforts to facilitate access to the Internet for Indonesian citizens through other initiatives as well.

The Jakarta Post reported last year that Google Station, which delivers high-quality public Wi-Fi via local partners was to be introduced in the country to boost internet access.  Service, per the local news bureau, was to be launched in Jakarta, followed by Surabaya, Denpasar and Bandung, and then to other cities.

Further, to boost mobile engagement, Google launched Youtube Go in Indonesia in September last year.

The Android app is expected to provide a rich experience to users with a poor internet connection through reduced data consumption.

“This app was designed according to the needs of Indonesians, especially those living outside of Jakarta,” said Fibriyani Elastria, Google Indonesia Marketing Manager, per another article in The Jakarta Post.

Given the efforts that Google is making, now is the time to act for Asian or international businesses thinking about setting up a digital presence in Indonesia. Whether it is an e-commerce establishment, an e-learning, or anything in between – Indonesia can prove to be a very exciting market in the near future.