Qlue Business Opportunities in the Pandemic Period
As a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic, the business world in Indonesia is entering a new economic crisis. Many businesses took a beating on business and experienced a decline in sales in the +62 republic.
Amid that misery, a new opportunity is precisely experienced by Qlue, a startup company (startup) smart city solution with artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
Rama Raditya, Founder and CEO of Qlue, admitted that he was conducting a roadshow led by PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk (Telkom) to several regions to offer smart city solutions relevant to Covid-19 prevention activities.
As a startup injected by the Telkom Group, Qlue follows a bundling package offered by Telkom to several local governments. At present the Provincial Governments of Central Java and East Java are reportedly interested in using the service package.
Telkom Group has been one of Qlue’s major investors since February 2019. At that time through Series A funding, Telkom entered through MDI Ventures. Another big investor Qlue is GDP Venture (Djarum Group).
According to Rama, the government segment indeed tends to increase at the moment in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. However, actually this compensation from the decline in the corporate segment was affected by Covid-19.
Currently the demand for the Qlue corporate segment tends to decrease, because many malls do not operate or are closed due to large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) policies. Understandably, Qlue’s clients are mostly property and real estates companies, such as Sinarmas Land and Alam Sutera.
Product Diversification and Targeting SME Segment
In addition to ‘with’ the Telkom Group, the startup pioneered by Rama and Andre Hutagalung in 2014 also tried other strategies to grow this year.
Through product diversification strategies, Qlue will widen market segments and solution users. Not only limited to the government and corporate segments.
In a short time, Qlue will release AI services to a new segment, namely Indonesian small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This service will be different from the services offered by other startups in the SME segment such as Warung Pintar or Bukalapak.
“Our services in the MSE segment have differentiation including a focus on AI, security, data analytics, etc. In general, Qlue focuses on SME internet of things (IoT),” Maya Arvini, Qlue’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), said.
According to Maya, during the Covid-19 pandemic, it encouraged many people and businesses to go digital, including the SME sector. With a wider market segment, from corporations to SMEs, AI and IoT technology will also be increasingly popular and widely used by all business/industry sectors in the country.
“But this is also a challenge for AI at the same time. Disruption will certainly occur, so AI must start to the SME segment, even to all industries, including retail and factories,” Maya said.
2020 Target and Qlue Health
The award-winning “Best M-Government Service Award” from the 2019 World Government Summit in Dubai is targeting business revenue to increase 50-70 percent this year. Despite challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Rama was quite optimistic based on last year’s financial track record.
Last year, Qlue recorded business growth above 50 percent from the previous year. The number of clients also grew 89 percent to 85 clients both government and corporate agencies.
“Qlue is quite agile even though there is a coronavirus crisis. Because we are diversifying products that encourage new needs for smart city solutions in Indonesia. This is one of Qlue’s revenue growth strategies, besides targeting the government and corporate segments,” the winner of the system management information at Strayer University, USA, said.
Rama believes that smart city solutions, which are Qlue’s core business, will continue to grow in line with the growth of urban communities in the country. As a techno entrepreneur, this condition stimulates him to think more creatively by creating smart city products/solutions that have high demand in the market.