Ahmad Zaky Talked on How to Start a Startup

Written by Student Reporter, Deo Fernando (Entrepreneurship 2021)

Unlike other conventional businesses, startups have different challenges. Startup is synonymous with high risk because a startup fights with the status quo through a unique technological approach that makes it difficult to manipulate by competitors but has a great opportunity for growth. Founder of one of Indonesia’s unicorn startups, Ahmad Zaky revealed this in Business plan and Feasibility course of the Entrepreneurship Study Program, that was held on Thursday (06/02/2020) at the SBM Jatinagor campus.

The lecture also became the first moment of Zaky who has officially become one of the teaching team member of the course. Known as Founder of Bukalapak, Zaky is famous for his diligence in building startups and high innovation to solve social problems through business. Talked about “How to start a Startup”, Zaky opened with the definition of startup that distinguish it from other businesses.

“Startups grow 3 to 4 times each year, and a startup must have the characteristics of multiply growth indeed. If a business has only a small growth experience then it is not a startup. In building a startup, there is a phase that is called Death Valley, wherein this phase 90% of startup startups will fail, but if they can go through this phase, the startup will grow exponentially.” said Zaky.

A common pattern that occurs if startups to penetrate the market is an intuitive counter, where the services or products offered different in reality. Like the initial story of Bukalapak, Zaky said that in the beginning Bukalapak was established the online penetration in Indonesia was still very small, and people didn’t trust to shop online. “It used to be the most online person through an internet cafe (warnet) like now with a smartphone. In the past, when we offered cooperation to front traders in malls, they refused because at that time consumers were indeed busy shopping directly in stores and they felt it was not too important to use our services, and when we offered traders in the back of the mall they sell a little new to want, and from a small thing that’s Bukalapak growing big as it is today.” said Zaky

Speaking of how to generate startup ideas, Zaky gave several criteria that must be included: size and growth of the market, unique, 10 X better than others, Mission, Timing, authentic, easy to explain, and use it by yourself. After generating ideas, the next important process is to do product-market fit. The idea that we have set or chosen is not necessarily accepted by the market, it is necessary to have a market fit product to conduct market testing where this process is marked by the success characteristics: word of mouth, sticky/loyal customer, a lot of visitors, and lowe acquisition. And if after the market fit product does not get a good response, then we can do a pivot and always iterate until our products/services are accepted by the customer.

Apart from the product or service aspect, the thing that also needs to be considered is the internal team itself. We must be able to build a strong team where chemistry is among the teams and in a startup ideally the number of founders ranges from 2-3 people besides, we must ensure that each team has the competence and real worker / executor.