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Daily Markup #637: Dagangan prioritizes community trust to accelerate Indonesia’s rural economy

Ching Yee Ho



Credit: Dagangan

Build trust, build economies 

  • “[Dagangan] ignited an old dream to spend more time and contribute to my country; to create concrete and real impact,” said Ryan Manafe, Co-founder & CEO of the 500-backed social rural commerce company.
  • This dream is to transform Indonesia’s rural economy, where over 80% of the country’s population reside today. By 2025, 68% is projected to live in cities — a shift that will leave the rural economy behind.
  • Dagangan is addressing this disparity today by leveraging technology and community to empower underserved rural small business owners with greater access to materials and opportunities outside their area, allowing them to in turn provide basic necessities at affordable prices to the country’s rural dwellers. 
  • The team has successfully established a tech-enabled hub-and-spoke model that allows them to work closely with community leaders who can cascade information to the rest of the community, as well as establish a reliable platform that provides quality goods and services quick — essentially building a network based on trust, an important quality for rural communities.
  • Meet Mrs Herlina, one of Dagangan’s loyal users from Magelang, Central Java. She shares that Dagangan has helped her to expand her product range, sell it at competitive prices, and attract more customers, leading to a 3x increase in daily sales to more than IDR 1,500. In just two years, she has expanded her store space, and purchased a car for business transportation needs.
  • What makes Dagangan different? They are operating in areas not typically served by most mainstream e-commerce platforms, and the team has reached 17,000 villages in rural Indonesia in the last 2.5 years.
  • This approach is certainly working, and they have the growth to show for it! Dagangan’s hubs have grown by 200% to over 40 hubs. The Dagangan team has also tripled in size in the last 12 months. The growth the company has brought to rural areas has even led to the creation of over 300 jobs!
  • And Dagangan is showing no signs of slowing down. By the end of this year, the team aims to cover the whole of Java island, and is looking to expand to Kalimantan and Eastern Indonesia within the next 12 months while quadrupling their team.
  • Read the full story on e27.

Ching Yee Ho