Erick Thohir, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN)

State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) strategy to support acceleration of digital ecosystem

From the perspective of Erick Thohir, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN)

What is the government strategy/roadmap to strengthen the digital economy sector to support the country’s economy?

As more than 70% of the total population are internet users, Indonesia is on the list of countries with the most startups. State-owned Enterprises (BUMN) have driven a third of the country’s economy and are responsible for leading and making necessary breakthroughs in the future. Today, technology and digital adoption has been implemented in nearly all industrial clusters, including Telkom that is now operating with data center network, cloud, and fiber optic to support local business activities. Also, in collaboration with Freeport, Telkomsel has initiated the first 5G Mining in Southeast Asia. 

On top of that, we encourage all BUMN to commit to digital transformation towards Industry 4.0 by implementing INDI 4.0 for BUMN assessments. Undoubtedly, it takes strong commitment and partnership with universities, public and private sectors, both domestic and overseas, to undertake all initiatives in the journey of digital transformation.

In addition to transformation through corporate actions, each and every BUMN must meet the target of being digital ready with a minimum score of 3.5 out of 4.0. We keep encouraging them so that 20% of the total employees across Ministries and BUMN are digital ready while preparing for utilizing e-government in the entire Ministry of BUMN and corporations by the end of 2022.

Indonesia will take advantage of the demographic bonus in 2030. How do you encourage the readiness of digital talents to help boost digital economy growth?

In less than 10 years, the demographic bonus will be the main accelerator for achieving the vision of 2045 Golden Indonesia. However, we still need to prepare  for readiness and acceleration. We prioritize talent development to produce quality human resources through a vast range of reskilling and upskilling programs. Other measures that engage talent transformation in the Ministry of BUMN is encouraging inclusive millennial leadership in strategic positions of BUMN. Naturally, we also provide mentoring to ensure the continuity of the initiatives implemented by their predecessors. 

We are currently preparing multiple strategies and facilities to stimulate creativity and digital innovation for the younger generations. For instance, we are mapping the impact of technology disruption on job function in BUMN 2030 and developing strategic initiatives to prepare for the future jobs. We have established digital leadership as one of the 10 main competencies of BUMN leaders. Moreover, we have created a movement of #AkselerasiGenerasiDigital, a collaborative movement to develop talents, innovation, startups, and soonicorns (soon to be unicorn) for accelerating the advanced ecosystem for the digital economy.

With the current strategic initiatives and talent readiness, we hope to produce young generations who are capable of recognizing business opportunities, creating productive workforce in the digital era, being a pioneer or trendsetter rather than simply followers in digital industries and making Indonesia a technology sovereignty.

What sort of potential collaborations could be established between the government and startup players to accelerate economic recovery?

The government, through the Ministry of BUMN, continues its efforts in the establishment of the startup ecosystem and accelerating the birth of new unicorns in Indonesia. One of the initiatives for funding local startups is Merah Putih Fund (MPF) led by five Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) BUMN, namely Mandiri Capital Indonesia, BRI Ventures, MDI Ventures, Telkomsel Mitra Inovasi, and BNI Ventures. The other purpose of establishing MPF is to show support for startup companies in Indonesia.

In the first phase, MPF is advocated by five BUMNs, i.e., Telkom, Telkomsel, Bank Mandiri, BRI, and BNI. In the second phase, MPF will engage other BUMNs and private companies based in Indonesia to participate as investors.  

To obtain MPF-mediated investment, you must be of Indonesian citizens, with the company’s operation domicile  in Indonesia, and it must also be in the growth stage with a clear IPO timeline that must be undertaken in Indonesia. Besides Merah Putih Fund, we currently have Indonesia Digital Tribe to boost the potentials of digital-ready talents and digital entrepreneurs as the initiatives of the Ministry of BUMN through BRI, Bank Mandiri, Telkom Indonesia, and The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Kemendikbudristek), as well as Narasi.