B2B business in Indonesia is all about TRUST, said Joseph Aditya – Ralali.com’s CEO

Ralali.com, a B2B E-commerce startup focuses on industrial supplies, MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operational) equipment, tools and materials, recently raises seed funding from early stage venture fund East Ventures. Ralali immediate addressable market are companies in the sectors like manufacturer, contractor, facility/building maintenance and automotive which is estimated over 500,000 businesses in Indonesia. B2B and industrial business in Indonesia is probably an unrevealed domain for outsiders. Let’s have a look at what Joseph shared here and you might find some helpful insight. 

Joseph at Ralali's office

Why the name Ralali? and how did you come up with this idea?

I have some background as an industrial supplier for more than 8 years and I see that businesses (customer) need to be efficient when making decision to purchase industrial equipment in term of time and money. So I did a survey, would they be happy if there’s such a portal that can aggregate all the information like one stop shop on industrial equipment with good price, all of them said yes! So I decided to create Ralali.com

The name ‘Ralali’ means ‘remember’ or ‘not forget’ in Javanese (local dialect), and I thought it would be good to have such short name and have a positive meaning for a domain. I want everyone remember us when they think of industrial equipment.

Can you share some details about Ralali?

Ralali.com was launched in July 2013 and has been growing rapidly with strong repeat orders from its customers. Ralali.com works with 80 brands to supply over 15 product categories from hardware tools, material handling, electrical, lighting, security equipment, navigation tools, test measurement, power tools, safety equipment, pneumatics & hydraulics, environmental equipment, lubricants, automotive equipment, machine tools and medical devices.

How big is this industrial market in Indonesia?

I don’t have the exact data on how big it is, but Indonesia domestic market is huge and Indonesia is at a very growing economic state at the moment. Continued economic growth tied with low labor costs have helped Indonesia to grow as an attractive destination for manufacturers.

Some illustration, there are more than 80 industrial areas with more than 30000 manufacturers and around 130000 construction companies in Indonesia that could be our target market.

What are the top cities of industrial market in Indo?

Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan, Cilegon, Balikpapan.

Why do the companies need Ralali?ralali office

“We are trying to simplify the procurement process by providing one stop shopping site on industrial tools and MRO product, because normally procurement is not from technical or engineering background”,

Usually, these products are physically big and cost much money, so people might prefer offline meeting and check the product, so how can you deal with this behavior?

Most of the customers already know what they want to buy actually. Some of the products are from big brands and quality assured, so they don’t really need to check out the product. Normally they check out our company via phone to make sure our company is legit.

How can customers know your website? What are some of the most effective channels?

They found us thru internet and also we have offline store in the heart of industrial supplies centre of Jakarta which gives us good exposure. Best effective channel would be referral from customers.

In B2B business, people usually come to industry fairs and expos, how about Ralali?

We partner up with the exhibitors on expo because basically they are the one who has the product. We help them promoting their products thru our online network.

What should people know when they do networking in Indonesia to get more B2B clients? Do they need to hang out after work? In other countries, people go out for a drink, but most Indonesian Muslim can not drink, so what are the alternative options?jo black

They need to hang out or join with associations related with their B2B business I think.

What are the common factors your customers concern before making a buying decision?

The common factors that customers concern before making a buying decision is trust. B2B is all about trust, once they trust you they will repeat buying.

How to gain trust in Indonesia? 

There are some ways to gain trust in Indonesia:

  • Have a legal entity or registered company
  • Good respond in customer service, delivery, etc
  • Our local store that easily can be found
  • Give money back warranty

How can customers pay? do they pay online or will pay when they receive the products at Ralali’s offline store?

Well we provide some of alternatives to make it easy. They can COD in our offline store or they can just do bank transfer. B2B do not normally pay online like using credit cards as far as I know.

Why offline store?ralali-store

Our business differs from typical E-Commerce where customer’s order quantity and value are relatively small and the transactions are done through the websites. Our order value is much higher than average e-commerce basket size and customer trust is a big issue we need to address. We introduce order-and-pickup, where customer order via website and pickup/pay via offline store. It works pretty well.”

How long does it take to finish one transaction?

Well it depends, some of them can take only 1 day but some may be longer up to a 2-3 weeks. But normally average would be 4-5 days.

What is your most challenging works? online or offline?

At this stage, Indonesia is still at early adopter stage for online. We need to educate the market how our business can help them to be more efficient in term of time and money. Trust is still big issue in Indonesia especially business is more sensitive on this.

What is your plan for next six months?

I am planning to build more solid infrastructure, launching new website with better features and also strengthen our business process especially logistic so that we can cover the whole Indonesia. Hope everything will go as planned and resulted to more sales :)


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Minh Bui is a seasoned eCommerce veteran from both Southeast Asian startups and corporates in online commerce and offline retail chain as well. He's also an avid Asia explorer and love to enjoy local foods and learn cultural differences in Asia.

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