Founder Spotlight: Jay Jaywijayaningtyas of Ahlijasa
Streamlining Service Finding
By Emmanuel Galang
At their early stage, most eager entrepreneurs ultimately devote their energies to creating and developing the perfect product before anything else in the startup process. Entrepreneurship, however, should start with finding solutions to relevant problems we have today rather than the other way around. This product-fit principle is a belief upheld and exemplified by Ahlijasa and its founders, Jaywijayaningtyas and Dimas Wijaya, and they owe their success greatly to the cause they have pursued.
THE RISE OF A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
It takes a pragmatic visionary to identify social problems and create or innovate a business paradigm that solves them and, consequently, improves the quality of life of its customers. Such was Jay Jaywijayaningtyas, a first-time entrepreneur and co-founder to the on-demand laundry services platform, Ahlijasa, which operates in the Greater Jakarta area. The laundry industry, he realized, was a very problematic trade with poor operations management and little regulation in both price and service quality. He saw the great need for a “middle option” –– a service provider with good quality and affordable price –– as an opportunity and thus, with his industrial partner Dimas, the conception of Ahlijasa began.
Ahlijasa commits itself to providing its customers with a “personal butler” of sorts –– a platform to find the right household service experts with quality work –– and to its business partners (such as Tata Laundry, Uber, and Grab) a means to expand its business logistics and customer base. Laundry service is the company’s flagship service, trailed behind by air-conditioner servicing and home cleaning. Its smart and intuitive operational processes serve to elevate the standard of personal and household services market in Indonesia. It has grown and earned recognition from the startup community for its social impact thus far, winning in the Startup World Cup Indonesia even.
BREAKING THE BARRIERS
Since its conception in January 2016, Ahlijasa –– under the leadership of Jay and Dimas and a workforce of seven –– has had a steady growth with over 15,000 subscribers and 3,000 active users. Such a standing is remarkable considering horrible traffic conditions in the area render logistics extremely costly and poor regulations and policies hinder business processes. Ahlijasa pulled through when its line of business seemed like a lost cause in Indonesia.
In response to the challenges, Ahlijasa created value with its technological and operational excellence which has allowed them to earn lucratively via its profit sharing schemes with its business partners. It also remedied the predicament of poor regulations by pioneering simple and clear price structures for household services they offer.
Beyond the service value and determination of its founders, the company has prospered thus far through seed investments from angel investors, GnB Accelerator, and now from Venture Capitals. More so, under the mentorship of GnB Accelerator, Jay –– as a first-time entrepreneur –– was given technical advice, exposure, and a network expansion that helped accelerate Ahlijasa’s growth to become what it is today.
Ahlijasa is a testament to the potential of startups not only to grow but to create a social impact –– to transform and improve lives with its technological innovations, novel techniques, strategies, and approaches. With Indonesia’s (particularly Jakarta’s) dense population and increase in internet and smart phone penetration, Ahlijasa has streamlined basic economic transactions electronically and thus elevated its quality standards, provided better services to its customers, and improved the quality of life of all of its stakeholders. Perhaps it seemed an impossible task at first but those who wait and those who make the seemingly impossible a reality –– we call them entrepreneurs.