EMPOWERING SMES THROUGH SOCIAL COMMERCE
How social commerce platforms like Evermos empowers MSMEs and grow
Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises or MSMEs are the backbones of Indonesia's economic growth. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the sector, but there is always a way to get back up. One of them is through mutual collaboration.
The following figures, courtesy of the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), paint the picture of the importance of MSMEs in the country: The number of MSMEs in Indonesia now stands at 64 million, contributing to 99.9 percent of all businesses. MSMEs account for more than 60 percent of GDP and employ more than 90 percent of the workforce.
Various groups are still encouraging small businesses to grow and thrive despite the negative outlook of things. Evermos is one of them. It is an economic empowerment platform with a network of local MSME products. The social commerce company was started in Bandung in November 2018 by Muhammad Ghufron, Arip Tirta, Iqbal Muslimin, and Ilham Taufiq.
"We want to build a collaborative economy in Indonesia by setting up a platform that connects local MSMEs with customers on the supply side and resellers with customers on the demand side. It's good for everyone to work with MSMEs, resellers, and customers because they all benefit from working together," said Ghufron, Evermos CEO.
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"With this mutual cooperation economic platform, Evermos can build a new economic system that is more fair, inclusive, and interconnected than the one we have now; Evermos can establish a new economic system that is more fair, inclusive, and cohesive."
Evermos focuses its service on Indonesian Tier 2 and 3 cities. They have a network of resellers who sell goods from small businesses in those cities to their clients. It now has more than 75,000 active resellers in Indonesia, spread across 504 cities and regencies, and they all work together. The firm has also worked with more than 500 Indonesian brands, whose products are sold across the country through its network of resellers.
Last year, COVID-19 affected 29.12 million workers, according to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), with 2.56 million jobs lost. This issue spurred Ghufron and his friends to act and build Evermos.
"We actually came up with this platform because we saw a lot of people who were out of work at the time. ... We want to help them make money. There are also many small businesses in this country, making it even more interesting. ... We combined the two together so that they could both benefit from it," Gufron explained.
Ghufron thinks that becoming a reseller is a good way to make money. They can run a business without money. Evermos has made it easier for people who want to become resellers and sell things online from the beginning. Its platform has been used to sell hijabs, Muslim clothes, books, and other items on social media. According to internal data, the top 20 percent of resellers make Rp 2.5 million in commissions every month.
Evermos plans to have one million professional resellers in the next five years. To support that, the team offers numerous different services and training to help people become one.
The company also presently recruits 500 local brands and aims to establish 10,000 partner brands in five years. Evermos believes it will be able to boost its turnover by 10 percent to 20 percent at that time.
"Of course, not all small businesses can join our platform. MSMEs who have already joined have been thoroughly checked by the Evermos team to make sure they meet our requirements," said Ghufron.
Evermos has been able to raise money from investors three times since it was founded. These extra funds will be used to hire more people and grow the business at Evermos in the future.
Ghufron said that he is still concentrating on business opportunities in Indonesia rather than venturing into overseas markets. "The domestic market has a lot of potential, so there is no development plan. Our long-term business objective is to expand globally, with a focus on South Africa," Ghufron said, and he believes that his team is capable of doing so.
"Our team is solid. .... Our company's ups and downs are not a concern," he said. "We continually strive to improve what was previously lacking."
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