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ARIESZ PRATAMA PUTRA
Founder of IDXchart Trading Group
Short interview questions:
- Why are you in this type of business?
Capital market has been my passion since the first time I learnt about it, back then in high school (circa 2000). In 2007, shortly after graduated from college, I met my first mentor, Mr. Nicky Hogan (former BoD of Indonesian Stock Exchange). Who recruited me into his team of licensed stock broker (WPPE), when he’s still the President of one local Investment Banking Firm.
I remember in 2007, Yahoo Answer was very popular. It was “the Quora”, 2 years before Quora itself even exist. Where people from various backgrounds posted all kind of questions, and get all kind of answers. It was my favourite “social media”, where I answered people’s questions about business, finance and investing.
Several months later, after about 400 answers, I found myself as the top contributor of Yahoo Answer: Investing (a sub-category of Business & Finance). That’s the time when I realized: Hmmm… You know what? I really enjoy sharing my knowledge. And a lot of people want to know about investing in stock market.
- Can you provide me with a description of your business?
We provide advisory and education (distance learning) about investing in stock market.
For the advisory business, we manage money for numerous private clients (which I am not free to discuss about).
For the education business, we are leveraging the internet, to reach and connect with hundreds of investors all over Indonesia. We currently have about 800 active students. And 60% of them are located outside Java. From Banda Aceh to Jayapura.
- How long have you been in this business?
As a licensed stock broker (WPPE)? About 12 years, since 2007. But the current company, IDXchart Trading Group, was started in December 2014. So, almost 5 years.
- How did you get started in this business?
The advisory business was a natural progression for a stock broker. Frankly speaking, if clients are satisfied with the ROI of their portfolio, they will throw more and more money into your “book”.
But the education business was started almost by accident. In 2014, I got tired answering the same questions repeatedly. Mind you, it’s been 7 years since 2007 (since the time of Yahoo Answers). These are basically the same questions, being asked in thousands of different ways.
So, I made several videos about investing in stock market. How to read the price movement, how to analyse a stock, how to build a portfolio, etc.
The idea was to give people some where to go, so I don’t have to answer them ever again! Well, it didn’t work as expected. Because soon, people are getting smarter and smarter. They keep asking more and more sophisticated questions.
One day, I said to myself: Hmmm… There’s a real audience (and market demand) for this type of information. But most of them are located outside Java. It will be a tough sell to offer a seminar here, in Jakarta. But I don’t like travelling, so I don’t want to do seminars at their places. So, the idea of Online Course came into my mind.
The next morning, I announced to my email list and twitter followers, that we will do an “Online Masterclass”, where we will learn about this, this and this. And it’s not free. They must pay. By the midnight, 24 people enrolled.
That’s how the education business was born.
- What are the biggest issues for running this business?
The biggest issue (in advisory business, as well in education business), is shifting the mindset and beliefs of people. Stock market is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a vehicle for long-term financial growth. You need patience and perseverance.
In investing, your greatest asset is not your money, but your time. The earlier you start, the better. And you don’t even need a lot of money to get started.
- How do you market your business? How are people aware of your business?
Now we mainly use content marketing and paid traffic (Facebook Ads and Google Ads). Because we target people all over Indonesia, this is the most measurable and scalable method we know.
- Why do you choose Werkspace co-working office space to grow your business?
I am a big believer of the right environment. If people around you are making progress and being productive, you can’t help but work hard yourself, so you become more motivated. Werkspace in Pluit is also a 5-minute drive from my home which makes the location convenient.
- What are skills and qualities crucial to your business success?
Empathy. You got to know your audience, your clients, your customers. Their hopes and dreams. Their pain and frustrations. Their barriers and uncertainties. Of course, you also need technical knowledge related to your industry. You can’t be a chef if you can’t cook.
For everything else? Well, we are living in a collaborative economy. There is plenty of help you can get, to support every single step of your business. You can hire independent workers, freelancers, or agencies.
But you can’t outsource empathy. It’s you job to know about your customers!
- What is your message for other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Start small. No, seriously. Start small. It doesn’t have to be a risky venture. And don’t over think. Just commit yourself and do it!