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Tyovan Ari: The IT Protégée

Posted on November 5, 2013

I started my business illegally. It didn’t stop me from doing business with  the government.

Few years ago (then only a scholar in high school) I was a hacker. With an untold love for computer science (at first) it wasn’t all clear that now, at 20 years, I would be a millionaire. Passion funneled through viable and profitable opportunities is a fundamental tool for success. I know a little something about it. It is the only constant between the 17 year old boy who started his business in Indonesia illegally, and the 20 year old industry leader who is still technically running his business illegally.

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Lawfully, only those above 21 years can start a business in Indonesia. However, coming from the inner city of the small island of Java and moving to Jakarta (the capital city of Indonesia) for university, I was quickly exposed to the opportunities of entrepreneurship in South East Asia. My first “business” (I say so because I didn’t actually make any money from it) was an online portal for local news and information about other businesses in the community. It was not long after its inception that people began to approach me to create websites for them. This became the founding moments of Vemobo. In retrospect one could conclude that the first company was a marketing tool for the current. But, no matter the argument, my personal vindication of the path of success is that: without profitability, the business idea is not worthwhile.

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Vemobo is a broad based online applications company: providing services which range from website development to security solutions. Twenty-two people are employed by the company, with a majority of its clients being large corporations and local governments. Without a doubt my favourite (and perhaps most fulfilling) accomplishment is the project that the company created for the office of the Presidency in Indonesia. The achievement came with much conceptualizing and strategizing of the way that we want the company to be perceived. As an entrepreneur I quickly had to learn about creating a brand, furthermore, one that was seen as valuable, especially over its competition.

From my experience, I might conclude the following steps to making your brand stand out in this crowded online market:

-          Make a product for your portfolio that will serve as an effective marketing tool that will set you apart from the growing market of competitors. Think of it as a marketing campaign. The idea could be used to gain traction in the market, to get people to constantly think and talk about you.

-          Only create the products that your customers are happy with. Consumers talk. If they are talking about you, the least what you could do is make sure that it is all good news, and lastly

-          Follow your passion. However, make sure that the path that you are led to is profitable. If not, find another.

My company has only been existence for three years. This is only my beginning. What is yours?

All the best,

Tyovan Ari