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South Africa, Consumer
Ruma’s story is one of thousands of micro-entrepreneurs, each one empowered with a high portable business. Founded in 2009 by Aldi Haryopratomo, Ruma has quickly built a network of agents who are equipped to buy and sell prepaid minutes for mobile phones in Indonesia’s underserved rural communities. Setting out to address the problem of high per minute costs for mobile usage in rural Indonesia, Ruma has built a distribution network of active agents.
Aldi’s impressive pedigree – former BCG consultant and Harvard Business School alum – belies a long, winding path. He grew up near a Nike plant and sold refurbished shoes to earn enough money to apply to US universities. He received a scholarship from Purdue, and later went on to work in San Francisco for Ernst&Young.
In 2008, Aldi created the pilot project that would become Ruma. He quickly learned that Indonesia’s rural population did not lack access to mobile phones, but instead to prepaid minutes. Ruman developed a simple business model, purchasing prepaid minutes and selling them to Ruma agents who in turn sold them to customers in their communities.
Ruma has expertly leveraged its unique demographic reach, along with its skilled in-house development team, to provide value-added services to companies craving productive connections with base of the pyramid consumers. Aldi has implemented a new network model that recruits existing agents to act as a liaison to multiple agents.
Aldi’s emphatically positive responses to Endeavor’s recommendations have made it clear that he would be an inspiring Indonesian success story.
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