Willam Tanuwijaya

William Tanuwijaya – “Dream as high as the sky so that if you fall it’s still among the stars”

William Tanuwijaya, a name that most millennials look up to. His product, Tokopedia, has empowered  10 million entrepreneurs so far and served more than 100 million monthly active users across Indonesia. Despite being born to an ordinary family, his dream was not ordinary at all. Not only did he successfully build one of the biggest e-commerce companies in Southeast Asia, but William has also helped many other businesses grow and gave space to many new entrepreneurs in the growing startup market.

Tokopedia has a mission to democratize commerce through technology. Its vision is to build a Super Ecosystem where anyone can start and discover anything. To this day, Tokopedia has empowered millions of merchants and users across the marketplace and digital goods, financial technology, and payment, logistics, and fulfillment.

The Early Days

Despite his recent success, his early life was not so easy. Born in Pematang Siantar, North Sumatera, on November 18, 1981, he decided to pursue higher education in Jakarta, Indonesia, leaving all of his memories behind in Pematang Siantar to get a better education and fight for a better future for him and his family.

William was not your typical startup founder who graduated from Stanford, Harvard, or any Ivy League university. He took an undergraduate at Bina Nusantara University (BINUS), majoring in computer science. His four-year journey on campus was not easy. In his second year, he had to take up a part-time job in order to support his father, who fell sick and needed medical treatment. His first job was as a computer operator at an internet cafe, monitoring and maintaining the internet cafe’s computers and systems. No one saw how his first job would be the first baby step into the digital world he would come to dominate. 

Journey of Life

After he graduated, William worked in several big IT companies in Jakarta before thinking about his next big idea. Listening to problems is how a startup company is made – in order to find an innovative solution. William often heard issues related to scams on the internet that his close relatives were experiencing. Because of this, on February 6, 2009, Tokopedia was born.

Willam, with his close friend, Leontinus Alpha Edison, started to develop Tokopedia.com. It needed more than six months since the initial founding to launch the website platform. But in 2010, the world was not used to startup companies yet. Luckily, Tokopedia got funding from several of Willam’s close connections, such as the boss from his former workplace and other small investors. 

With all of the limitations, William Tanuwijaya’s mission and effort to grow Tokopedia to the next level paid off as the Indonesian company got more funding from the big league, such as East Ventures in 2010, and Softbank in 2013. This budget gave William an enormous amount of Indonesia’s biggest e-commerce companies’ capital to grow and later on being one of the biggest e-commerce companies in Indonesia alongside Shopee, BukaLapak, and Lazada. 

Every day it’s easy for us to find 1001 reasons for “can’t”, but the truth is, we only need one reason to be able to. When we wanted to start Tokopedia, the biggest challenge was about building trust. Even at one point, I met an investor and he gave me a piece of advice, “don’t be too grandiose about our dream” – at that point, I met my purpose in life. The past cannot be changed, but the future is in our own hands. I remember Soekarno Hatta (Founding Father of Indonesia) gave a speech, “Dream as high as the sky so that if you fall it’s still among the stars” It has not been 100 years since we were independent, it will be very sad if we lost our freedom to dream.

- William Tanuwijaya

Tokopedia Today

Tokopedia’s 8th Anniversary (2017), Announcing US$1,1B new funding.

Today, Tokopedia is on the top ladder of Indonesian e-commerce platforms alongside Shopee. Their future is quite promising with giant funding across the world to the point where Tokopedia has crowned a unicorn startup company with US$2,8 billion funding as of right now, backed by 13 huge investors, including Google, Alibaba, SoftBank, and Sequoia. Tokopedia has created more than 5000 jobs across all of Indonesia, naming its employees “Nakama”.

Other than that, Tokopedia has collaborated with BTS and Blackpink,  two of the top figures in the Korean entertainment industry at the same time. 

Written By

Juandi

Juandi is a content writer for ASEAN Youth Organization, where he publishes content related to ASEAN country’s relations and events. He was born in the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, and has lived most of his life there. At 20 years old, he is currently studying at one of Indonesia’s top universities, Tarumanagara University, majoring in Business Accounting. He is currently working for one of the top esports startup companies in Singapore, IMPLS Entertainment.

Yu Young Jin

Yu Young Jin on International Women’s Day: “Many incredible women deserve to be recognized.”

Charli is one of the few who decided to make a bold move into the world of journalism. She was the former reporter at Asian Boss, a channel covering all kinds of conflicts, stories, bringing people’s voices together and bridging cultural gaps between Asia and the West.

We sat down with Yu Young Jin (Charli) and talked about her past as a Korean-Canadian who moved to Canada, and later worked in several Korean companies in the media industry. Other than that, she expressed her view on international women’s day and gender equality these days.

Interview with Charli

ASEAN Youth: Can you tell a little bit more about yourself?

Charli: I’m currently a graduate journalism student at Northwestern University. 

ASEAN Youth: Tell us more about your childhood, and did your family have a journalism/media background?

Charli: I moved to the US when I was three years old and spent my childhood there. When I was nine, I moved to Canada. My father studies media, so my career interests sort of followed his. He’s been a great inspiration to me in pursuing my dreams. 

ASEAN Youth: Does journalism have been something that you always want to do?

Charli: Yes, I’ve always been interested in journalism. I loved to write as a kid and took a notebook and pen with me everywhere I went. I started writing for my high school paper, and naturally, that passion grew into what it is now. I love to write and learn about people. Journalism was the perfect way to combine my interests. I’m finding out new things about the world every day. 

ASEAN Youth: Back to your college life in UC Berkeley, as a Korean who pursue college in the US, how does that shape you into becoming who you are right now? 

Charli: I loved my time at UC Berkeley. There were people from all walks of life with diverse backgrounds, and it made me realize that the world was so much larger than I had known. I think my time made me love learning about different cultures and industries, and I think it was a large stepping stone for my personal growth and maturity as a young adult.

One of Charli’s Work at Asian Boss
(Source: Youtube)

ASEAN Youth: Walk us through your first intern experience, Is there any moment that you remember until today? 

Charli: I remember at my interview, my boss told me that he liked my creativity from my portfolio and resume. I had never thought of myself as creative, and now that I think about it, that interview gave me a lot of confidence to write or create stories in my own unique voice rather than trying to copy someone else. 

ASEAN Youth: How about your time in The Korea Times? How did it feel to be a part of one of the oldest newsletters in South Korea? What do you remember from your time in The Korea Times?

Charli: I interned at The Korea Times throughout my last year of college. I absolutely loved my experience there. It was the first time I felt like an official journalist, and to know that I was contributing to a larger community was so rewarding. I had a wonderful boss who gave me a lot of creative control over my stories and I consider her as one of my most respected mentors. The Korea Times was my first experience in a traditional newsroom and I had such a great time there, it never felt like work. I was always so excited to be there.  

ASEAN Youth: How’s working in Asian Boss? Tell us more about your current position and the work there.

Charli: I actually don’t work at Asian Boss anymore; I officially stopped working there in January to focus on my graduate school studies. But I worked as a writer and reporter for a year, and it was a great eye-opening experience. It was my first time working for a video-based media company, so I got to learn an entirely new set of skills. Everyone worked extremely hard, and each video was a team effort.

ASEAN Youth: If you can turn back the time, what skills do you want to learn sooner? And why?

Charli: I would like to learn more about camera work. I know the basics, but am not confident yet to shoot a documentary by myself. I realized that learning to operate a camera is extremely useful in today’s media environment, and it would have been nice to know more about it. 

ASEAN Youth: Do you feel that the current society has a gender equality mindset? 

Charli: I think that while there has been significant progress in identifying gender inequality in today’s society, there is still much work to be done. Unfortunately, change takes a long time, and I think we’re still transitioning to become more educated on this issue. I am hopeful, though, that if enough people share their experiences dealing with inequality or discrimination (not just relating to gender but also race, religion, sexual identity, etc.), then there will be enough momentum to stimulate progress. 

ASEAN Youth: Is there anything you want to say about International Women’s Day?

Charli: I am all about supporting women in their endeavors and hope that women all over the world will feel empowered on this day. There are so many incredible women doing outstanding work, and they all deserve to be recognized.

ASEAN Youth: How do you maintain the motivation to continue your journalism work?

Charli: Like any career, journalism has its obstacles. But knowing that I can share people’s stories and use my voice to shed light on issues, I’m passionate about has kept me motivated. It’s an honor to have a platform and voice to spread awareness to a broad audience. Not everybody has that.

ASEAN Youth: What is something that has always been your principal in creating high-quality content across your work? 

Charli: People are affected and influenced by what they see on the news or in the media. I would never want to spread fake or unsupported facts and give people the wrong information. I think that this helps me take responsibility in making sure I do my research and produce high-quality content. 

ASEAN Youth: With these experiences, is there something you want to say to everyone who is currently pursuing a journalism career or chasing their dreams?

Charli: It takes a lot of work and a little bit of luck (for journalism and other career paths). But if you’re doing it for the right reasons, then you’ll find a way to make it work. Take every obstacle as an opportunity to grow or learn something new, and have the confidence in yourself to take risks and go for what you want.

Interview conducted by Juandi

Juandi is a content writer for ASEAN Youth Organization, where he publishes content related to ASEAN country’s relations and events. He was born in the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, and has lived most of his life there. At 20 years old, he is currently studying at one of Indonesia’s top universities, Tarumanagara University, majoring in Business Accounting. He is currently working for one of the top esports startup companies in Singapore, IMPLS Entertainment.

10000 hours

Do you really need 10,000 hours to be good at something?

If you really want to be good at something, it will take 10,000 hours to master those skills.

In line with Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour theory, Bill Gates did 10,000 hours of coding sessions before establishing Microsoft. The Beatles played for 10,000 hours in small bars across the country before they were famous. But the real question that no one is asking is – how much of an expert do you truly need to be?

From a largely unknown music band to a world-famous ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’-worthy pop group, it may take The Beatles 10,000 hours. But is 10,000 hours really necessary?

Let’s take an example: playing the guitar. It certainly does not need more than 10,000 hours to learn to play “Jason Mraz – I’m Yours” with four chords. In fact, many pop songs use the same four chords.

Example Image

In short, you do not need 10,000 hours to be good at something.

1. The first reason for misconception is that people tend to give up easily. Research shows that someone with zero knowledge can learn the guitar’s four chords in just around 20 hours of practice. The biggest limitation is not time or intelligence level – but psychology. Many people give up before taking the first step of their journey.

It’s true that the length of time actually required will range from person to person. Research shows that in the chess world, to claim the Master’s status, some people need only 728 hours, but others will need more than 16,120 hours to do the same thing. Research shows that many variables can affect how fast a person can absorb knowledge, such as gen factor, talent, and selecting the best learning method.

Therefore it’s not about the quantity of hours but the quality.

2. The second misconception is to study for 10,000 or more without learning from your mistakes. People who do not take feedback seriously and improve on it = 10,000 hours of wrongdoing = becoming an expert of misconduct.

So to conclude, 10,000 hours is just a number – nothing more. To become good at something, don’t get intimidated by the number of hours of practice you have to put in. Focus on deliberate practice: learning from your mistakes and being intentional with how you improve. Find shortcuts or ways to simplify the task (such as learning the four main guitar chords to play many songs). And soon enough, you’ll have mastered the skill of your dreams 😉

Written By

Juandi

Juandi is a content writer for ASEAN Youth Organization, where he publishes content related to ASEAN country’s relations and events. He was born in the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, and has lived most of his life there. At 20 years old, he is currently studying at one of Indonesia’s top universities, Tarumanagara University, majoring in Business Accounting. He is currently working for one of the top esports startup companies in Singapore, IMPLS Entertainment.

Atta Halilintar

Top 4 YouTubers across Southeast Asia You May Want to Know

Lately, the industry has been more separated into two sides, the conventional and the modern one. Everyone can become an artist or influencer with the power of social media. The entertainment industry has been moving to a more practical solution such as social media, which gained more attention towards the young generation. 

With that being said, ASEANYouth.net has prepared a comprehensive list of some of the top Southeast Asian YouTubers you may want to know if you want to keep up to date with the latest trend and activities around the world!

Atta Halilintar
YouTube: https://youtube.com/c/AttaHalilintar/

Born in Riau, Indonesia, Atta Halilintar is one of the most successful Indonesian artists coming from Youtube. To this date, he has more than 26 million subscribers on Youtube. Often seen wearing his trademark headband and sunglasses, Atta mostly posts vlogs, interviews with celebrities, and celebrity house tours. He often includes messages about not giving up and describes how he built his career from zero. 

Since elementary school, Atta has been actively involved in helping the economic burden of his family by selling many kinds of food in his school, from bread, sandwiches, and even kid toys. By the age of 11th, he sells various tech stuff such as phone cards, phones, and successfully opened a phone store by himself. His success continues as he gets his first one million Rupiah (~US$71,216) when he was still 13 years old.

JianHao Tan
YouTube: https://youtube.com/jianhao/
 

JianHao Tan is a Singaporean YouTuber, actor, and radio personality. Widely known in Asia, he posts funny and motivational videos on his channel. He usually pokes fun at locals, delivers relationship advice, and empathizes with students. A graduate of United Nations International School of Hanoi, Tan is a multitalented personality. His acting and comedic skills are brilliant and so is his way of presentation. Tan also owns a social media advertising agency that specializes in video and content production. A former army man, the Singaporean YouTuber has now built a career for himself as a social media influencer across various platforms. 

JianHao Tan (born 14 June 1993) is a Singaporean YouTuber and the chief executive officer of Titan Digital Media. As of 2 June 2020, he has more than four million subscribers on YouTube and close to 650,000 followers on Instagram. Throughout his YouTube career, he has collaborated with various Singaporean content creators such as Dee Kosh and Ryan Sylvia. In an interview with 8 Days that was published in 2018, JianHao shared that he made a six-digit annual income from YouTube alone.

Ranz Kyle and Niana Guerrero
YouTube: https://youtube.com/c/nianaguerrero/

Ranz Kyle is a well-known Filipino dancer and internet sensation famous for his self-titled channel on YouTube. He is also popular for being one half of the dance duo ‘Ranz and Niana’, the other half being his step-sister Niana Guerrero. He is also a member of the dance troupe Chicser. Born in San Juan City of Philippines, Kyle first came into the limelight after posting his dance video on Chris Brown’s song ‘I Should’ve Kissed You.’ He then went to become a YouTube star with a fan base of over 4.2 million subscribers (as of May 2018). 

The young dancer is incredibly popular on other social media platforms as well. He has accumulated over 2.2 million and over 712k subscribers on Instagram and Twitter respectively. In addition to these, his Facebook account has more than 4.5m followers. A graduate of Don Bosco Technical College Mandaluyong, Kyle is currently living the life of his dreams. He is already enjoying a successful career as a dancer and an internet sensation. Apart from his professional endeavors, he makes it a point to spend some quality time with his family members.

Uncle Roger
Name

The latest one is one of the most popular among the Asian people overseas. Uncle Roger or goes by the name of Nigel Ng is a Malaysian comedian who goes viral lately. One of the most popular videos by him is his comments on BBC’s food presenter’s style of cooking rice. 

The 29-year-old went viral globally for his portrayal of Uncle Roger, a middle-aged Asian man reviewing an egg fried rice video. At the beginning of 2021, he had amassed over 157,899,974 views on his YouTube channel, 1m followers on Instagram, and 97.7k followers on Twitter. He currently has 3.18m subscribers on his YouTube channel.

Hawker Centre

Hawker Centre – A Place We Call a Second Home

What do you first imagine when you think of Singapore? Maybe you will think of the iconic lion statue in Merlion Park, Marina Bay Sands, and a paradise for foodie travelers who want to try various Asian foods. A place that is undoubtedly a must for those of you who want to taste a variety of foods, of course, is the Hawker Centre.

Hawker Centres has been a part of Singapore’s life day-to-day basis, becoming one of  Singaporean well-known cultures and heritages. In short, the Hawker Centres is an open-air complex and food court most commonly found in Singapore. They are typically found throughout the city-state, located near public housing estates or transport hubs (such as bus interchanges or train stations).

What Can We Find at Hawker Centre?

It houses many stalls that offer various food from different immigrant groups who settled in Singapore since the 1960s, from Malay, Chinese, Indian, and various other types of food. A typical Hawker Centres comprises numerous food and drink stalls and a shared seating area. There is an old saying that  “If you haven’t come to a Hawker Centre, you haven’t really gone to Singapore.”

Several Hawker Centres in Singapore had been running for more than decades, passed on from several generations who still maintain the standard, quality, and originality of the food they serve. Even some of them still serve the customers in their retirement age. One of them is Grandma Leong, who owns Nam Seng Wonton Noodles. 

Grandma Leong

Grandma Leong

Grandma Leong (Source: SingaporeBestFoods)

Even in her 90s, she wakes up every day at 4.30 AM to buy some ingredients at the wet market. Although she hires employees to help on the cooking side, she insists on working on some miscellaneous tasks. Grandma Leong may be old, but her memory is not at all. She could remember up to 10 orders at a time, which proves that her memory remains sharp. 

As her stalls get more popular, she needs to adapt to it. Until now, she can serve customers in 3 languages. “Nĭ hăo, Hello, Nei seung sik mat ye? What do you want? Nǐ xiǎng chī shénme?” as she demonstrates speaking in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese at the same time. Grandma Leong is one of the legendary chefs at Hawker Centres who has survived more than 60 years serving customers. “I’m not that fierce. If I’m fierce, how can I be here for 60 years?” she said. 

Hawker Centre is where many hawkers offer various foods, from Chinese, Malay, Indian, Thai, and many more. Some of the stalls are even older than Singapore’s independence age. Many old stalls have been passed to the younger generation while still maintaining the food’s originality & the way it cooked. 

“From being a street-side stall on Sago Street before 1983 to the present day hawker stall at Chinatown Complex Food Centre, Ah Sau has been serving my favorite Ikan Bilis Yong Tau Foo breakfast since I was born!”

- Yip Yew Chong, Artist

Thomas

One of them is Thomas. A third-generation hawker at Koh Brother Pig’s Organ Soup in Tiong Bahru Market. This stall has been around since 1955. When his grandfather decided to retire, he decided to take over the booth so that the legendary stall remains. “One of the main reasons I decided to take over this business is because my grandfather started this from a pushcart. It is 63 years of hard work. I think it’s really a waste to let it go, so I decided to take it over.”

Hawkers United

2020 is certainly not a friendly year for hawkers. The anticipation of COVID-19 from the Government of Singapore resulted in a drastic decrease in visitors to the Hawker Centres. This difficulty gave rise to the Hawkers United movement – a Facebook group under the name of “Hawkers United – Dabao 2020 -” created by Melvin Chew, a hawker at Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck. His goal is to help hawkers and customers to connect and arrange takeaway food orders and home delivery.

Hawkers United

Hawkers United (Source: Vulcanpost)

“Covid causes a lot of changes in our local hawkers and food and beverage industry. A lot of businesses closed down because of COVID-19. But at the same time, more hawkers start to realize the importance of engaging technology, digitalize systems during the pandemic, and so forth.”

- Melvin Chew

According to Melvin, after many hawkers and customers joined the group, it has saved many hawkers and made them still in business through this unprecedented time. To this date, the group has more than 270 thousand hawkers and customers who want to connect and discover new foods.

He pointed out that positive strength by all hawkers can help and lead us to overtime this pandemic. “If everyone is united by obeying laws and personal hygiene, then we will be safe, and the pandemic will end soon. .. Be united and help each other without any food politics and selfishness..” he added.

Hawker Centres is not just a place to eat. Still, a community of all Singaporeans, young to old, from unemployed to bosses, local and tourist – all come together in this place to share laughter and stories, and will certainly be a memory in the future. Many celebrities or even politicians pick this “community dining room” to meet local people and enjoy the typical Singaporean food taste.

celebrities & politicians are enjoying hawker cultures

Some world-class celebrities & politicians are enjoying hawker cultures. Top row (left to right): Justin Trudeau, Gordon Ramsay. Bottom row (left to right): Joe Biden, Hugh Jackman. (Source: MSNews)

The vibrant Hawker Culture in Singapore that we enjoy today results from the support of many – the hawkers, community groups, organizations, Government, and Singaporeans who patronize them. Together, they have helped make the Hawker Culture in Singapore an integral part of Singapore’s living.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong states that the hawker centre is a community dining room that is a unique part of its heritage and identity. For that, this lion city is intensively promoting this Hawker Culture. Pledge your support here for the nomination of Hawker Culture in Singapore for UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage today!

“If you haven’t come to a Hawker Centre, you haven’t really gone to Singapore.”

Hawker Centres has been a part of Singapore’s life day-to-day basis, becoming one of  Singaporean well-known cultures and heritages. In short, the Hawker Centres is an open-air complex and food court most commonly found in Singapore. They are typically found throughout the city-state, located near public housing estates or transport hubs (such as bus interchanges or train stations).

Until now, there are more than 110 Hawker Centres across Singapore and will increase over time as the Lion City actively pushes the hawker culture to become a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Hawker Culture is very much associated with its Hawker Centres, which serve as important social spaces for community interaction in this half-sized Los Angeles city. 

Written By

Juandi

Juandi is a content writer for ASEAN Youth Organization, where he publishes content related to ASEAN country’s relations and events. He was born in the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, and has lived most of his life there. At 19 years old, he is currently studying at one of Indonesia’s top universities, Tarumanagara University, majoring in Business Accounting. He is currently working for one of the top esports startup companies in Singapore, IMPLS Ent.