Manufactur Hub Startup ‘Imajin’ and Its Efforts to Encourage Indonesian Makers
The startup industry in Indonesia is no longer just a matter of e-commerce, ride-hailing, and fintech verticals. Startup actors are increasingly exploratory to work on innovations in other verticals that have so far escaped the public’s attention.
In fact, there are problems that can actually be solved with technology. One of them is manufacturing, an industry that is closely related to the characteristics of production costs and the use of large-scale machines.
In Indonesia, it seems that there are not many startups in the manufacturing industry. However, startup Imajin has a vision to become a manufacturing hub through innovation so that it can encourage domestic makers. Especially welcoming the government’s big agenda towards Making Indonesia 4.0.
For information, Imajin is a startup platform provider that brings together demand and supply in the manufacturing industry. Imajin was appointed by the Ministry of Industry (Kemenperin) as Indonesia’s manufacturing hub in 2020.
Imajin is also one of the selected participants in the Startup Studio Indonesia accelerator program by the Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo) in 2021.
The Initial Idea Of Imagination Innovation
Chendy talked about his interest in the mechanical world. He works for a manufacturing solutions company from Singapore, but based in Malaysia.
According to him, he has learned many things from neighboring countries because the manufacturing industry there is much more advanced than Indonesia, especially in terms of efficiency and productivity.
This experience encouraged Chendy to develop an innovation in the manufacturing industry. Here, he met two other Imagin co-founders.
At that time, Imagin had just been established as a private company offering engineering consulting services in the fields of analysis, efficiency, and productivity in 2015.
In addition, Imagin also develops related solutions, such as design and analysis. The focus is on middle-upper companies in Indonesia that are considered to have awareness of efficiency and productivity.
In the 2018-2019 period, Chendy cs began to develop a platform that could bring together related business actors in the manufacturing industry. By pivoting to a new business model, he and his team began to adopt a growth culture as a startup.
“Apparently our client needs a local manufacturing vendor who can work on a product. They already have a standard, but it’s difficult to realize the product. From here, we thought we should create something because we often get requests like this,” he said in a virtual session.
Overall, Imajin has three business models, namely (1) a platform to bring together business actors in the manufacturing industry, (2) project financing, and (3) a marketplace to supply raw materials. The three services were launched in stages.
In the first model, the new Imagin focuses on connecting manufacturers of fabricated metal, automotive, household appliances, and packaging. Imagin has also partnered with 250 verified vendors from small and medium manufacturers.
As an example of the work process, if there is a request for a perfume bottle order, the user just uploads the design to the Imajin website. Then a partner that fits the criteria and needs will appear.
“We are aware that the pain point is not only connecting clients with manufacturing factories, but also with small business owners, such as welding workshops or lathe workshops. It is impossible for them to get jobs online, let alone from platforms. We want to help them find work too,” he said.
In addition, he sees the need for manufacturing production in Indonesia sometimes takes a long time. Therefore, Imagin has a real-time dashboard to monitor work progress.
After launching the platform, Imagin added new services last year to accommodate the financing needs of its partners. This service is project financing that helps manufacturing partners to process product orders.
Imajin partners with four financial institutions to provide financing through a project financing scheme. Within three months, Imajin has disbursed Rp500 million in project financing. Chendy revealed that Imajin received requests for project financing of up to IDR 10 billion from partners.