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Founders' Stories: Rama Dhonanto

Sportdeca is undoubtly a rising star among the e-commerce industry. Founded by Andreas Thamrin and Rama Dhonanto, these two individuals broke through all odds when they were acquired by Migme, a social network company. But you would probably know this fact already. However did you know that Shopdeca, Sportdeca and Migme Indonesia are all residents of Kejora HQ? Because of this joyous fact, our Kejora Team was able to get a hold of one of Sportdeca's co-founder, Rama Dhonanto. Read more to know about Rama's startup journey and advices in running a business in the e-commerce industry.


Starting from a fun start: Can you recall one of the most craziest/funniest things you have done for your startup?

Our craziest moment since the creation of our startup is when we were launching Sportdeca. Can you imagine, we only had 5 weeks to launch an E-commerce with 500 products? We didn’t even have the name yet [for our startup] for the first week.


Is there any of your loved ones that you would like to mention that was there for you since the very beginning?


The [Shopdeca] team and my family are a few people I would like to mention for bringing me to where I am today. Their faith and support have been the best motivational driver ever.


What was the hardest part of your journey in order to get to where you are currently?


Finding the right people is one of the most exhausting process in building a business. Working in this competitive sector where great talents are hard to find is quite challenging.


If you were to go back to the past and advise a teenager you, what will you advise yourself? [In terms of mental or physical wellness tips, startup tactic tips, or what would you like to change about the choices you’ve made]


"Start early, fail early, and learn early. "


I was a slacker on my early 20s, enjoying corporate money for too long and didn’t even realize that I missed opportunities to start my startup until I was 27.


Can you tell us the story of the journey you had in creating your startup?


I met with Andreas Thamrin [CEO of Shopdeca and Sportdeca] in September 2014, after few talks while discussing ideas and opportunities; we then decided to create an eCommerce that focuses on selling sport related products. We found out that there is an enormous opportunity in this business, first the sport trend is becoming very popular in Indonesia. Secondly, there were no strong players in this promising area.


It took us a month to launch Sportdeca. It was quite an incredible experience, since we didn’t even have name on the first week. We had to do the hiring, designing of the web, source the products, testing our platform and do marketing activity in that short period of time. I think the key here is working efficiently and being the most productive team you possibly be. I even rented a space behind our office, so I could just walk there within 2 minutes.


The biggest achievement is of course when Migme acquired us in late 2015. Migme is a social network company, which based in Singapore and listed in the Australia Stock Exchange. This brought us to expand our business and explore new opportunities for the future. We are now part of a bigger team and being able to join this group after a year of massive work is truly a blessing.


What is the most valuable lesson did you learn from building your startup? Are there any tips you may have for future startup founders?


"Stay focus, be brave, and stay open minded. "


Jakarta alone is a city with full of opportunities; it’s easy to get distracted especially when business is facing tough times. If you believe in your ideas, you should stick with it and be brave to face those challenges. Don’t spend too much time thinking about what could go wrong, but focus the positive outcome you may get in a long run. This path of your career will be intense for sure, and when hard times come, always remember you’re not in this alone. There are people who care and would love to share valuable advises to you. Always look out for those people, don’t be too stubborn, listen more and speak less.

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