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“In 2010, when I first got back from Canada, there was virtually no online booking platform although our tourism industry has a great potential,” Gaery Undarsa said about founding tiket.com. “No one was trying to develop such a platform; can you imagine how hard it was to book a ticket to, let’s say, Singapore? You would have to call the travel agency back and forth to find the best option.” Today, tiket. com helps its users to book tickets and experiences: transportations events, hotels, vacation rentals, workshops, and many more options around Indonesia. It is one of the biggest online travel platforms in South East Asia, employing more than 1,000 people with sales at the billions of dollars.

However, developing one of the first start-ups in Indonesia was quite a challenge for Undarsa and his partners, Dimas Surya and Wenas Agusetiawan. “We had to build everything from zero starting from payment platform to booking solution and everything else,” he said. Another challenge that his team had to face was the lack of trust from airline companies. “Airlines found it hard to have confidence in us because the tiket.com team had no one with backgrounds in the airline industry, which is true. However, we know what the customers want and how to bridge their demands with the airlines.”

To be the most customer-centric company is tiket.com’s long-term vision since the very beginning. “We invented a system to let customers compare prices easily. Back then, it would take time and effort to do so.” Moreover, Undarsa also strives to make tiket.com a pioneer in everything that it does. “We first started the company in 2010, but nobody heard about tiket.com until 2017. During its first years, compared to our competitors, we struggled hard and needed to be conservative due to limited funding, but the tables turned in 2017,” Undarsa said. “We downright had no money and were at the brink of collapse, but together we managed to reach a point of lift-off and became even more competitive today.”

Having gone through a lot since founding tiket.com, Undarsa said that one of the things keeping the company going is the optimistic outlook his team has. This attitude has become more paramount than ever since the pandemic put a pause on the travel industry. “We see the pandemic as an opportunity to reset everything, and to be the number one once we bounce back. For the time being, tiket.com is focusing on product development and customer care to be more effective and efficient.” One of the latest features is the flexible booking date and cleanliness guarantee; another one is access to tickets for Covid-19 testing at major airports to help travellers fly safely and healthy.

Having board members with a positive vision of the future is not the only key for the travel company to survive the ups and downs 2020 had brought. “Company culture is very crucial, be it the core values company or what the employees believe in,” he said. “At tiket.com, we believe in three Fs: fast, which means speed is number one; flexible with your idealism and take a closer look at the market; and friendly to the customers and our partners.” At the end of the interview, Undarsa stressed the importance of appreciating the process. “Getting tiket.com to its place as one of the biggest all-in-one ticketing platform is not an instant process. There were failures and setbacks, but I believe that everything happens for a good reason, and I can learn from every mistake that I have made.”