What the CEO of this multibillion-dollar Indonesian start-up learned from leading through crisis

Rachmat Kaimuddin was not even 100 days into his new position as CEO of Indonesian e-commerce market Bukalapak when the pandemic hit.

It marked a crossroad for one of the nation’s leading start-ups, which needed to act quick to help hundreds of thousands of family-owned avenue stalls for whom it offers digital companies. But it was a turning level, too, for the newly put in chief.

Fortunately, Kaimuddin had prior expertise.

“I don’t know whether it’s lucky or unlucky, but I got to be quite close to a few major crises, economic crises,” the 41-year-old advised CNBC Make It.

Learning to navigate crises

An Indonesian nationwide, Kaimuddin had simply graduated from highschool in a small metropolis on Central Java in 1997, when the Asian Financial Crisis hit.

Four years later, as he was leaving Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a significant in engineering, the dotcom bubble burst. Then, in 2008, as a newly-minted Stanford MBA graduate, the Global Financial Crisis erupted.

The path of a pacesetter is to supply that circle of security to the folks beneath.

Rachmat Kaimuddin

CEO, Bukalapak

However, these experiences, and the resilience earned through them, have stood him in good stead to navigate the ups and downs of enterprise — and assist others do the similar, he mentioned.

“I’ve seen what it was like to see some crises unfold before your eyes,” mentioned Kaimuddin, who has a decade’s expertise in administration positions throughout a variety of industries together with aviation, building and finance.

“But I also saw that typically these crises happen (because of) something that is not reasonable,” he continued. “The law of business or mathematics at some point will prevail.”

Leading through the coronavirus

In 2020, Kaimuddin was served his best problem.

He changed Bukalapak co-founder Achmad Zaky as CEO, and started managing a community of 1000’s of workers, hundreds of thousands of retailers and tens of hundreds of thousands of clients amid the coronavirus.

But the chief mentioned his main position was to reassure employees and clients that this crisis, too, shall move.

Rachmat Kaimuddin, CEO of Indonesian e-commerce market Bukalapak.


“That is something that I think I need to keep telling people: ‘Look, just try to do the right thing and this crisis will end,'” he mentioned.

Now, underneath Kaimuddin’s cost, 11-year-old Bukalapak is juggling the still-escalating world well being crisis with the financial fallout from the pandemic, which badly hit growing markets like Indonesia. The firm can also be going through surging demand for e-commerce and a possible public itemizing later this 12 months.

But Kaimuddin mentioned he intends for that mentality to stay, and urged others to undertake the similar — drawing inspiration from enterprise guide “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek.

“The premise is that the path of a leader is to provide that circle of safety to the people beneath,” he mentioned. “If that leadership path comes to you, try to provide that circle.”

Don’t miss: How three pals made a multibillion-dollar enterprise of Indonesia’s avenue stalls

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