Ferry Unardi – Lead The Online Travel Industry In Indonesia

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undercover.co.id – Stopped studying from Harvard, this is the story of Ferry Unardi bringing Traveloka to lead the online travel industry in Indonesia


Ferry Unardi Founder Of Traveloka

The name Ferry Unardi may not be so familiar, but you may have heard of the startup of airline booking websites he founded: Traveloka. Now, Traveloka not only succeeded in becoming the best aircraft booking website, but also become one of the famous startup in Indonesia. At the Jakarta Startup Asia 2014, Traveloka CEO Ferry Unardi spoke about his entrepreneurship travel stories.

Ferry Unardi - Lead The Online Travel Industry In Indonesia

If most startup founders have an entrepreneurial background that encourages them to set up startups, Traveloka’s story is slightly different. Ferry said, “I do not see myself as an entrepreneur, but rather as an engineer. As a person who loves IT as a teenager, majoring in mathematics while studying, and having worked at Microsoft; The idea of ​​setting up a startup never existed in his mind.

Until finally three years after he worked at Microsoft, the possibility of “not going to be the best engineer” distracted his mind. Since that time, Ferry decided to look for another opportunity. He went to China just to see what this market has to offer. He found that the travel industry looks attractive, but the idea was realized some time later.


Everything begins with this phrase “if no service offers what you need, then make it yourself”. As a student in Boston who is an employee in Seattle and often returns home to Padang, Ferry is increasingly annoyed at how difficult it is to book a plane home because he has always had trouble predicting his route. That’s when the 23-year-old Ferry decided to step out of his comfort zone and into the “most stressful time” of his life.


Stop College, Start Startup

However, if most founders start by running, Ferry must step back a step first. He has no business experience at all and does not know how to run a company. So he took the next logical step and studied for an MBA at Harvard University. The plan is to complete an MBA at Harvard so that he will gain the experience necessary to be able to manage the company well. However, after only one semester, the plan has to be changed again.


“I remember when everyone questioned my decision to quit, but that’s what to do. Stopping college was a very difficult decision, both for me and my partner because he worked for LinkedIn at the time and had a stock that was not yet fully acquired, but I remember once saying “we [aged] 23, we are still young enough to make mistakes” And that there is no better time. “Ferry said. At that time the e-ticketing industry just started getting traction in Indonesia and companies like Ticket just received the funds. Ferry told an audience at Startup Asia that he believed if they did not get into the market at the right time, they would miss the train.


That’s when Traveloka was born. Not like what we know today, but still in the earliest form. At the beginning of its establishment, Traveloka is just a flight search platform and flight aggregator. There is a very simple explanation regarding it: that is, because Ferry and his colleagues are engineers and that’s what they like. However, the market wants more. “We quickly learned that the problem is not only when finding a flight but also when making transactions,” he explained. Customers are dissatisfied to use different services to complete their purchasing process, and that’s when Traveloka decided to solve many of the problems facing most companies, not just in the technology industry but in general.

The Airlines Began To Cooperate

Ferry tells me that the biggest change they have to do in terms of corporate style is the management of their team. They must be transformed from only about eight people to become an actual team with divisions such as customer service, because they are now dealing with other people’s money, so have a higher responsibility than what they thought before. Traveloka learned that it is impossible to be a company that lives solely on the internet. Instead what should do a startup is to be a physical company with an online presence. For someone with a limited management background, it is a challenge for Ferry to manage his team in an effective way.


Ferry Unardi – Lead The Online Travel Industry In Indonesia When asked where he got his inspiration and what helped him manage his team well, Ferry called the book by Ben Horowitz, veteran startup and legend VC, The Hard Thing about Hard Things as a source of inspiration. “This book teaches me that people only pay attention to growth and users, but you have to focus on what lies behind it – like building the right team. People do not talk about it because it is not directly related to the internet. But ultimately we are a company and we must first and foremost build a company. “He said.


However, their problem is not only that. As a small startup, big companies especially airlines are not really willing to cooperate with Traveloka , even barely paying attention to them. To overcome this, Ferry goes back to the starting point about building a company with a physical and online focus, not the other way around. Traveloka has one strategy to tackle this problem which is the same strategy they use to become strong in the marketplace: “If you build good service, people will come.”

Ferry believes that you should not build a service where people only specify the wrong One feature they like – but users should like the whole service. This is what Traveloka does; They build a service that people want to use. This allows the team to gain a large user base and ultimately get the attention of the airlines.

“Air carriers always have more inventory than demand so services like ours can help them fill empty seats. Even if they do not want to work with us, they [actually have] worked [with us]. ”


The Beginning of Ferry Unardi’s Story


Ferry Unardi was born on January 16, 1988 in the city of Padang. After finishing his education at Secondary School, Ferry decided to continue his university education. Unmitigated, he chose to study at Purdue University majoring in Computer Science and Engineering.

Success Story Ferry Unardi founder of Traveloka

After completing his undergraduate education, he decided to work at Microsoft, Seattle. He works as a software engineer. After 3 years of work, Ferry thinks that he is hard to be the best at Microsoft. Thought is reasonable for an employee, because employees will think of a career. Because Ferry feels like his job, he tries to fly to China to seek new thinking. The result of his thinking is the travel and aviation industry.


As an engineer (software engineer), Ferry Unardi felt less confident about starting a startup business. He thinks logically and makes it a point to continue his Master’s degree in Business at Harvard University.


Road 1 semester at Harvard University, Ferry Unardi is interested in developing startup companies. He chose the stratup in the field of air ticket search engine. Ferry, find it difficult to order American tickets – Indonesia. Starting from a solution to solve its own problems, Ferry developed an airplane ticket search engine with a more modern, flexible and practical technology.


The establishment of Traveloka.com

Just as the 23-year-old Ferry, he decided to step out of the comfort zone. Ferry saw at that time, Startup in ticket reservation, is a startup that is still booming and become a trend. Many investors are vying to get into the ticket reservation startup industry. Ferry thinks he will miss the train, if not immediately start it.


The concept of Traveloka business in 2012 is the search and comparison website of airline tickets. Traveloka was founded by three friendly people: Derianto Kusuma, Ferry Unardi, Albert. Long story short, Ferry meilhat that people not only want to find cheap tickets, but also want to book tickets directly. Right in mid 2013, Traveloka turned into a reservation website (reservations) plane tickets.


Many things must be learned by Ferry when initiating Traveloka. The toughest challenge is how to manage a team that initially amounted to 8 people to dozens, dozens or even hundreds of people. Many things have to be done as a new company, including forming a corporate culture and building solid management.


In addition, problems are also present, because many airlines are not willing to cooperate with Traveloka. Ferry tried to convince airline companies and also improve customer service system.


So far, Traveloka has received funding from several venture capital companies. The first funding comes from East Ventures in 2012 and Global Founders Capital in 2013.

Lessons from Success Stories Ferry Unardi, founder of Traveloka.com

Many things we can learn from the story of Ferry Unardi’s health. At least we can learn:

Unyielding spirit and hard work. It turns out not easy to make the startup company, a lot of challenges that must be faced from management, funding, partnership and so forth.

The figure of Ferry Unardi and friends, teaches us that every businessman must have instinct. Know when the right time to enter in the business, know what is needed by the customer. Ferry and his friends changed the business model that originally only nyih ticket seeker ticket booking site.

Last and Most Important: We must serve the buyer and provide the best for the buyer. From there, buyers are expected to buy back our services. Ferry Unardi – Lead The Online Travel Industry In Indonesia


Today, Traveloka has grown from a small team into a company. Website that has a rating of Alexa 150 in Indonesia has tens of millions of pageview per month. Since its launch, Traveloka has announced two rounds of funding; One of them from East Ventures (East Ventures also invested in Tech in Asia Read our ethics page for more information) in November 2012 and one from Global Founders Capital in December 2013.


Traveloka is one of the hottest online travel players in Indonesia today. After successfully operating the airline ticket booking system for the last two years, they recently launched their newest product, the hotel.


Currently Traveloka provides more than 3,000 hotel options for Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. The three countries were selected based on the popularity of airline destinations for corporate customers. Users can search for hotels based on price, popularity, reviews, and hotel class. Traveloka also provides information on each hotel such as photos, maps and facilities.

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Traveloka is famous for its ability to offer the cheapest flight rates quickly in Indonesia. What about hotels? Through a short comparison between Traveloka and the Agoda market leader, the second player still offers a much cheaper price for the three countries.

Traveloka itself is still fairly new player in the hotel segment, the feature is still in beta stage. Ferry explains that they will be officially out of beta status when there are no more bugs in the feature. Hopefully the future of Traveloka also can provide a more competitive price in the hotel segment.


In contrast to its aviation business segment, the number of hotel partners in Indonesia alone reaches thousands. Therefore, Traveloka needs to work with several third parties to provide online hotel booking services. The company now numbering 120 people will try to hook up direct cooperation with a number of popular hotel parties in Traveloka.


Ferry also pointed out that Traveloka is experiencing good growth in the first half of 2014, surpassing the established target of 15 percent growth in early 2014. He continued, “Traveloka started airplane ticket sales in April 2013 and currently we serve an average of 250,000 visits per day . When compared to ticket sales in the second quarter (April to June) 2013, ticket sales in the second quarter of 2014 jumped by 544 percent. “

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