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The Story of Maetrika
Selected Facts on Indonesia













The Story of Maetrika

In early July 1997, Indonesia experienced a financial crisis marked by the weakening of the Rupiah against the U.S. dollar. This crisis triggered a chain reaction in the joints of community life and the country. The political and social conflicts occurred on a national scale, making Indonesia as a high-risk country for investment.

Such predicament was once analyzed and booked by Adam Schwartz. In his book “Indonesia as a Nation in Waiting, Adam shared his analysis that Indonesia as a country had little hope to carry on. During that time, Indonesia faced a more complex situation that was different from other crisis-impacted Asian countries in the region.  Hampered by the uncertain political climate, Indonesia was clouded by the occurrence of riots and demonstrations with violence. It was very difficult for the country to revive. The Indonesia’s 30-year-old political system and economic foundation were destroyed in a sudden time. 

2008, ten years later, the country was still in existence and has ever since built a stronger economic foundation with more democratic political system. The rise of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sectors in Indonesia have greatly contributed to the country’s economic growth.  In addition to the country’s more stable and stronger currency, the market appraisal at Indonesia Composite Stock Index has shown a remarkable increase. There have been significant appraisal gains in the capital market from money market instruments such as stocks and government bonds. 

Not only is Indonesia’s economy continuing to grow, but the world’s largest archipelagic and fourth most populous nation is in the process of transforming into becoming one of the world’s major economic players along with Brazil, Russia, India and China.  Comparing to neighboring countries such as Thailand and the Philippines or India, Indonesia’s political climate is more conducive to democracy. In fact, Indonesia is now the most democratic country in Asia.  

The Indonesia’s stronger economy was tested in the wake of global economic downturn in late 2008. The country was much better prepared than when it was hit hard by the 1997 monetary crisis. Learning from the crisis’s invaluable lesson, both state and private sectors managed to maintain the country’s sovereign credit rating.

Despite all the country’s progress, there is one thing still glaringly missing, namely the development of human capital. The past crises led to a significant increase in the number of unemployed individuals from Indonesia’s professional class, many of whom were forced to become entrepreneur. Thank for the government’s economic deregulations, many of these entrepreneurs have achieved a success.

The founder of Maetrika had the opportunity to meet with some successful entrepreneurs discussing challenges faced by many promising entrepreneurs in the country. Through many meetings, it was concluded that unlike their counterparts in the West and the East (especially China and India), Indonesian entrepreneurs do not have a robust supporting system.

In recent years, we have seen a number of major private equity players opening offices in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. However, their primary focus has been about buying and selling energy, mining and oil concessions. The importance of new and fast growing entrepreneurial class in Indonesia has unfortunately been overlooked.

One crucial aspect in the realm of entrepreneurship is creativity. There are a lot of highly talented individuals with various skills who can potentially contribute to bring Indonesia’s entrepreneurship to the next level. To achieve such goal, we need someone(or an institution)to help spearhead the infrastructure development of the country’s new entrepreneurial class. Acting as the partner to nurture and grow companies since they are still in embryo, Maetrika is determined to work at the sharp end of the spear to find lasting solutions of challenges still faced by many entrepreneurs today.