Meet Indrasto Budisantoso, the young entrepreneur from Indonesia who is championing the paperless reimbursement concept in Southeast Asia.
Human Asia caught up with him to conduct this exclusive interview.
Where did the name “Jojonomic” come from?
The “nomic” comes from Economics. Generally, people’s perception on everything related to finance are complicated, difficult, and troublesome. That’s why we put “Jojo” in front. People’s perception when they hear Jojo is that it sounds friendly, approachable, and easygoing. So we combine the two. Also, we want a name that is universally acceptable to everyone’s ear.
You have two platforms, JojoFinance (for personal finance) and JojoPro (for business). Which is your main product?
We focus more on JojonomicPro now, as a B2B SaaS for mobile expense reimbursement solution. Currently we treat JojoFinance as a free product that anyone could use to be more financially literate.
Tell us briefly about Jojo Personal Finance. How would one benefit from using this app?
One would be able to control and manage all their expenses on one online platform.
Tell us more about JojonomicPro. What’s the benefit for a business using this platform?
JojonomicPro would help employees and Finance teams in corporations save up to 70% of time required to do expense reimbursements, compared if done manually with paper or Excel. This is based on testimonials from our customers which could be seen on our YouTube channel.
Aside from the productivity increase from the time saving, companies could gain monetary savings from reduced fraudulent activities thanks to the fraud detection feature on JojonomicPro. One study shows that the monetary savings from using JojonomicPro is around US$400 per employee per year, far greater than the cost of using JojonomicPro.
Where is your target market?
We have started within Southeast Asia and will expand globally when the time is right.
Given the different tax and other monetary laws applicable in each country, is there a limitation on users in different countries ?
Unlike Accounting/Tax/HR systems that need to comply with various monetary laws in different countries, expense reimbursement procedures are pretty straight forward. Right now all currencies in the world are already supported by Jojonomic, and for major currencies there are automatic conversion facilities.
Who would be your greatest direct competitor?
I would say our greatest competitor at the moment is the manual reimbursement system using paper and Excel. There are already major players in the developed countries. We want to conquer this space in the developing world.
What differentiate Jojonomic from competing platforms?
We have specific features that are uniquely created for the developing countries. As we know, developing countries are mostly still a cash based society with low bank account ownership and credit card penetration. We are also integrated with major financial players in the region.
Does Jojonomic provide financial advice?
We provide training and assist in the setup process during deployment at large enterprises. However we try to minimize our touch point as much as possible to ensure scalability.
Is there a social impact thinking behind your business philosophy? For example, you plant a tree for every new account.
I want the philanthropy seed to be planted in the company from very early on, even before we have any revenue. Speaking of philosophy, I believe that everything in the world is about being in balance. When we take, we need to give back as well.
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Biggest obstacle facing Jojonomic right now ?
Getting the word out there, that there is a way to do expense reimbursement in a non-manual way — named Jojonomic.
Tell us more about yourself.
My entrepreneurship instincts actually sparked quite early ever since I finished my undergraduate studies. I had a software house, opened a movie rental shop, started a pharmacy, had a restaurant, and exported Indonesian handicrafts overseas.
I have only worked for big corporations after I had obtained my MBA at INSEAD. That’s when I worked for BCG and Groupon. But I’m very happy being back as an entrepreneur now.
The reimbursement pain point is something that I personally experienced during my tenure at BCG and Groupon. During my time at BCG, I needed to spare a half to one hour each week to conduct expense reimbursement input, which I considered the most boring half hour of the week.
Then during my time at Groupon, where I oversaw 150 people, I needed to manually sign and approve a thick stack of papers each month. I noted that there was no serious provider offering a solution to this dilemma in South East Asia.
What’s a typical day for you?
I typically wake up quite early before sunrise when I could spend a bit of time to freshen up my soul and do some light exercise. Then I would check my schedule of the day, get breakfast, and head to wherever first my schedule is.
At precisely 9.20AM Jakarta time every morning, everyone at Jojonomic will have a daily huddle. If someone is not at the office they will have to dial in through a video call. The daily huddle will only last for 10 minutes, and everyone gets 10 seconds to express how they are feeling today and what they need from other people that day.
The rest of the day will never be typical with different things and challenges each day, which I love. Whenever possible I try to have dinner back at home, though is hard sometimes.
Define what success is for you.
My life philosophy is as simple as being a good person, being better each day. My favorite quotes related to entrepreneurship is: “Failure is a good thing, fail often and quick.”
Who do you admire the most?
What’s your favorite book?
A lot actually, with various themes. Related to startups, I love “Behind the Cloud, by Marc Benioff”. At the moment I’m reading “Soul Awareness, by Anand Krishna”.
Your hobby outside of Jojonomic?
I love driving long distance to the country side, to see places where not many people have discovered.
Advice for young, aspiring entrepreneurs?
As in my favorite quotes: Failure is a good thing, fail often and quick. So if you see something is not working, don’t continue.