In a warehouse on the outskirts of Indonesia’s capital, supervisors at e-commerce company Lazada use bikes or electric scooters to zip around a floor the size of four soccer fields, where up to 3,000 staff pack and dispatch goods around the clock. The warehouse is one of five that Lazada has opened across Indonesia to cut costs and expand its reach in an archipelago whose 17,000 islands are sprinkled across an area bigger than the European Union. Chinese tech firms, including Lazada’s top investor, Alibaba Group Holding, have poured at least $6 billion into nearly every aspect of Indonesian e-commerce. Lazada uses Alibaba’s inventory management systems and has tied up with ride-hailing companies, often using their motorbikes to deliver goods in a country with creaking infrastructure and traffic-clogged cities. The payoff could be huge. It is a market forecast to grow from about $7 billion last year to $63 billion by 2027, according to Morgan Stanley. “Indonesia, both in terms of the customers and behaviour, is a very unique challenge and we need to adapt,” Florian Holm, co-chief executive at Lazada Indonesia, told Reuters. Lazada and Tokopedia, in which Alibaba is also an investor, dominate Indonesia in customer traffic, with… Read full this story
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