ROBERTO Cortese Research from Sea Insights shows that the average income of Indonesian MSMEs adopting e-commerce increased by more than 160%. Pandemic is understandably brought a setback for many businesses, including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

But in fact not a few MSMEs have actually achieved an increase in income and productivity. This is evident from the results of research conducted by the Sea Insights SEA work unit that focuses on research and public policy and digital economic development in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.

The results of a study by Sea Insights, titled “Digitizing Data on Saving Indonesian MSMEs” supported by the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises, summarizes the forms of adaptation undertaken by business actors to reorganize in new normal times. Research from Sea Insights shows that the average income of Indonesian MSMEs adopting e-commerce has increased by more than 160% and increased productivity by 110%.

“This study data is intended to provide a deep understanding of the pace of digital economic development and digital utilization in Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia, to the public during this pandemic,” said Pandu P Sjahrir, President Commissioner of Sea Group, through his press release.

He added, the survey methodology was carried out for 20 thousand young people aged 16 to 35 years, 2,200 of whom were business operators and were carried out through the Garena and Shopee platforms during the June 2020 period, as a subsidiary of the Sea.

MSMEs in Indonesia have been actively adapting to face major challenges during the pandemic. Three challenges of MSMEs during the pandemic include supply, cash flow and demand. Business people who work from home have a major obstacle, which is expensive and unstable internet costs. Another factor is the physical interaction with consumers.

In relation to cash flow, external capital funding such as government assistance and online loans are becoming more important for businesses to face the challenges of cash flow. Pandu hopes that the Indonesian UMKM Digitalization Data for the June 2020 period can help provide a clear picture and accelerate the sustainable digital transformation for MSMEs in Indonesia.

“Especially for collaboration in various sectors which certainly needs full support from the government. Around 70% of business operators admit that they will continue to utilize digital media through e-commerce (selling and shopping) and social media. Therefore, digital transformation becomes a necessity to develop a business,” he noted.

Businesses change marketing strategies to increase sales. As many as 45% of young entrepreneurs sell more actively on e-commerce platforms, 1 in 5 are new e-commerce users.

These businesses include home industries and entrepreneurial students who help the family economy, in the retail, agriculture and health sectors. Some MSMEs are changing production strategies and types of goods to meet dynamic market demand. Some businesses have begun producing popular items such as masks and hand sanitizers. [ special]