It all started with less than 10 employees back in 2000. Biznet—Indonesia's leading fibre-optic operator, providing telecommunication and multimedia services such as Internet, data centres and cable TV—has been growing significantly over these past 16 years. Adi Kusma, Biznet's President Director, is the mastermind behind this success and the company now boasts around 70 branches in Indonesia and some 2,000 employees.
Until now, he has stuck with his vision of creating faster Internet connections nationwide. Adi, who is a graduate industrial and manufacturing engineer from Oregon State University, shares with us the founding story of Biznet, his best accomplishments, the potential of the tech business, and the importance of young entrepreneurs and startups to do something they love, and just focus.
Indonesia Tatler (IT): How has your company developed since it launched until now?
Adi Kusma (AK): Today, at 16 years of age, there are some 200,000 lines servicing Indonesia in 70 cities. And Biznet also spans across Indonesia with 16,000km of cables.
IT: In your 16 years of running your business, what is your most notable experience?
AK: I think that my everyday experiences in Biznet are the ones that I remember the most. I build networks on a daily basis, growing a company while also becoming a man: from zero to hero, basically. Indonesia has a need for high-speed Internet, and we would like to provide this service to all the people.
IT: What are your best accomplishments in Biznet?
AK: I’m proud to announce that, right now, Biznet is also servicing small-scale cities such as Kudus, Kediri, Jember, and similar towns, to provide a better Internet experience for all Indonesians. Through the Internet, we hope that people can be more developed, in terms of business, education, and in many other areas. We are also launching the Biznet Festival, a music festival to promote the company.
IT: You providing telecommunications and multimedia services like Internet, cable TV, cloud computing, and data centres, so what is the main focus of your business, and the biggest in terms of revenue?
AK: The Internet has always been the main focus for this company. But, of course, the Internet cannot live alone. Television has also become a part of Internet, as a complementary side service almost. With a great deal of commitment, Biznet would like to grow more and more, aligning with the growth of technology. So probably in 10 or 15 years from now, Biznet would lead the tech services industry in Indonesia.
IT: What about the potential of cloud computing and cable TV?
AK: Cloud computing is the new opportunity in Indonesia. The growth has been good, and good management is key to maintaining this. As for cable TV, nowadays it has shifted from analogue services to a more digital-based service. In the future, streaming will be very popular.
IT: What is the main challenge you face in growing your business?
AK: Capturing the market. Youngsters are starting to shape the market with their own unique and different tastes. Also right now, digital businesses are evolving: everyone can be a content creator. For Biznet, we have to target the right segment with the right service. That is how Biznet survives such shifts.
IT: Why do you do what you do right now?
AK: It is an everyday journey for me. With this job and in this field, I get to go to the many cities and towns in Indonesia. Meeting new, exciting and different people with their own characteristics and cultures inspires me. You have to love what you do for success.
IT: In your opinion, what are the key elements and secrets to running a successful startup company?
AK: As of today, we can see that everyone wants to start something. For young entrepreneurs out there, to create your own company, you should start with your hobby or doing something you love. Focus and do not think about the business first.
You can then start thinking about the business around your hobby—that’s how you start a community. For example, if you like sport, in particular, skateboards say, then do something about it. Focus and don’t forget to share the experience with others. You can’t handle too many things at once, which is why you will need another person, or a great team, to share the journey and experience.
Read more about Adi Kusma in the June 2016 edition of Indonesia Tatler.
Photo by Heri B. Heryanto
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