Founder’s Diary Episode 6 – Covid-19, The Catalyst of Smart-City Visions
SIAR.Com, Jakarta — In our sixth episode, we talked about how smart city technology can create innovations to help government and private companies in formulating effective and efficient operations post Covid19 or what we called as transition era to the new normal. As the conversation went super interesting, we decided to split the documentation into three segments and this is our first segment talking about how Covid-19 has become the catalyst of Smart-City Visions. For the other segments, you can find the link below the full article.
Speaker and Company Introduction
We were joined by two special speakers, RaMa Raditya, the Founder and CEO of Qlue and Clarissa Leung, Co-Founder and CEO of Seekmi.
Rama Raditya (Rama) is the Founder and CEO of Qlue. He was inspired to establish Qlue as there was no effective platform for citizens to report social and environmental problems directly to the government. He started Qlue to be a communication platform between the government and its citizens, and encouraged the governments to be more communicative, transparent, and inclusive to respond to the citizens complaints or feedback.
Qlue itself is now a comprehensive smart city provider in Indonesia. With a broader mission than when it first started, Qlue now aims to accelerate positive changes worldwide and has developed various cutting-edge solutions based on AI, IoT, and mobile workforce technology to help both government and private companies to be more effective and efficient in running their business and operations.
While Clarissa Leung is a Canadian Electrical & Computer Engineer. After her MBA at Queen’s University in Ontario and after two successful tech start-ups in Canada, Clarissa ventured to Indonesia in 2014. Clarissa founded the company after facing a major dilemma in 2014: “Who do I call when my AC breaks?” and within one year after that question, she founded and built Seekmi.
Seekmi is now considered as the leading on-demand platform in Indonesia, specializing in on-demand home and office services, delivered straight to the customer’s doorsteps. With over 20,000 Seekmi certified technicians that are required to pass the Seekmi Academy training and certification program, made in collaboration with national and international technical associations, Seekmi centers itself on quality, striving to ensure that each and every order is completed to the highest standards.
Covid-19 Speeds Up Smart-City Visions
According to RaMa, Covid-19 as we know it has become the world pandemic that means that the disease has prevalent over the world and definitely requires changing of behaviour from the citizens. During this crisis, RaMA agreed that this is the time when smart-city technologies play a more tangible important role in helping the government takes data driven decisions to cope with the pandemic based on the real situation on the ground.
“I would say Indonesia is competing with other countries in terms of leveraging smart city solutions even prior to the crisis. I agree that the crisis has brought more people in believing the need for a smart city solution and to act faster. However, in general I think the government has been very open and supportive in terms of promoting smart city technologies to build a smart nation,” shared Rama.
He added that he found an interesting experience when Qlue’s team showcased their product in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress in 2019. “We learned that our technology is competing and quite complete compared to other exhibitors from around the world. However, there is one special thing that has been recognized by all participants who visited our booth that Indonesia’s smart city technologies and solutions are way beyond because of its citizens’ participation,” added RaMa.
To become a smart nation, a country needs to modify the people’s behaviour to align with a greater good and Qlue believes that it requires trust between the citizens and the city and eventually with the nation. Therefore Qlue is proud with where Indonesia is right now regarding its smart city visions.
In this case, Clarissa agreed that actually Indonesia has done a good job in embracing technology to its people’s daily lives. She shared that in Canada, she has not really seen that the citizen maximized the usage of technology to support their daily lives.
“This is why Indonesia is an exciting place to be if you are in the technology space, where technology helps users automate processes and replace manual works. At Seekmi, we have seen our customers changing their behaviours too. As we are in the service industry, where it is very traditional and requires a lot of pen and paper works, we have seen our clients become very keen to digitize their processes. Especially with the quarantine mode and social distancing order, we try our best to continue to help our stakeholders (both clients and our manpower) with the help of technology; we digitize all our operational side,” shared Clarissa.
With Seekmi, Clarissa hopes that the service industry will also see a significant change to eventually help a much faster adoption in smart city, IoT and smart sensors.
A Startup Perspective in Seeing New Opportunity
“Startups always look to evolve, change and revolutionize. This is what we are always doing at Seekmi. We monitor things, how people or businesses are changing. What products do they need right now and at different times? This is where we realize that the behavioural changes give us an opportunity,” answered Clarissa when asked about what was Seekmi did in handling crisis.
“During the transition to the new normal, there is this big fear from the citizens in going back to work, entering their office buildings, public transportation and other places that they haven’t been in two months. To help the government and building management managing this fear from their audiences, we launched our newest service which is a disinfecting service in only 1,5 weeks,” shared Clarissa.
“This opportunity has brought us a very exciting experience that we are now working with big e-commerce to promote this disinfecting service and reaching out more building managements to provide safety to their audiences,” added her.
“This is an example that as a startup we can be quickly capturing an opportunity and offering new services to the clients. As I mentioned earlier, we’ve also done a lot of changing in our operation side as we are now fully automating our payment and become fully paperless,” told Clarissa.
RaMa also realized that there is a change in his clients’ concerns during the crisis. “It used to be around pollution, traffic jams and others but today it is definitely different and since Qlue has already had end to end smart city solutions, we can address the new concern pretty quick as well,” shared RaMa.
Qlue believes that smart-city platforms and solutions will help the government to effectively reduce the spread of COVID-19 by leveraging data and AI-based sensors. With Qlue’s citizen reporting app, everyone – starting from the heads of neighborhood units (RT), the lowest community organization in the country, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), informal sector workers, or even workers who have been laid off by their companies – can report a lot of information to the government in a real-time and accurate manner.
“As we always focus on social impact, we found that there are so many opportunities for us during the crisis to bring a greater social impact to the clients. We also enable the government to use CCTV as an automatic sensor to detect and analyze crowds,” shared RaMa.
“Our latest product is Qlue Thermal. Like Clarissa has said, a lot of people are anxious in going back to the new normal. We implement AI and IoT technology to automate the process of body temperature checking that also creates a safer environment for our on-ground security personnel,” added RaMa when asked about their newest initiative that launches during Covid-19 period.
At the end of the day, both parties agree that smart-city technologies will help the government to effectively reduce the spread of COVID-19 by leveraging technology automation, data and AI-based sensors. COVID-19 is inevitably and it will encourage a transformation in leading Indonesia into becoming a smart nation. (Natashia)
As mentioned earlier, if you want to visit our other segments, please visit: Founder’s Diary Episode 6 – Startup Perspective: B2C vs B2B vs B2G and Founder’s Diary Episode 6 – Seekmi Highlight: How Seekmi Sees Competition also Founder’s Diary Episode 6 – Qlue Highlight: From Jakarta Smart City to the Next Level
Foto : SIAR