A group of Indonesian investors started a new micro retail company to help local street vendors improve and connect their kiosks through integrated technology.
Indonesia’s East Ventures investment group have created Wartung Pintar – the “smart kiosk store”. For a one-off fee of USD 5,000 from the vendor, Warung Pintar provides an entirely new, connected kiosk. With initial feedback including a five-time increase in vendor revenue, the group knew the idea was worth expanding.
There are now twelve Warung Pintar street vendors in Jakarta, with more on their way. Although currently available only in Jakarta, the team behind the connected kiosks is planning to expand the idea throughout the country. Each pre-fabricated stall comes with a range of features. For example, a digital point-of-sale system, a charging station, surveillance camera, LCD television, refrigerator, stove and set of dispensers. All the technology that is included in the kiosks helps vendors stay safe. It furthermore helps convert more contacts into sales and better meet the expectations of an increasingly connected community.
The social impact of the project has generated much interest. The initial round of Warung Pintar’s seed funding was oversubscribed. The management team says that although the company is not yet making money, it is exploring ways in which brokering relationships and helping other businesses connect with vendors could be made profitable.
The move towards circular economies continues to strengthen. Projects helping local entrepreneurs get connected are as varied as the communities they serve. In New Delhi, Whats App is being used to put consumers in direct contact with farmers for orders of fresh produce that are delivered within hours. In Mumbai, Bluetooth beacons are being used to help small businesses compete with online retailers by alerting smartphone users as they pass by. What would help ensure that optimum sustainability is built into such schemes?