Below is our recent interview with Reza Juniarshah, Head of Corporate Communications at Traveloka:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: Traveloka is the lifestyle superapp of Southeast Asia with a mission to fulfil the lifestyle aspirations of our users.
Traveloka was founded in 2012 to solve a central problem: to simplify travel from Indonesia to the world. By using technology to address major information gaps in travel discovery and booking, Traveloka became Indonesia’s leading travel platform. Today, we marked our presence in 7 countries across the APAC region: Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Australia. Our category leadership and dominance in travel provided a launchpad to expand and diversify our ecosystem to address new gaps we uncovered in the consumer journey, from facilitating online transactions seamlessly to providing mobile services and beyond.
Our suite of products and services – from our core travel offering, to local services and financial services – is engineered to empower the region’s fast growing and highly aspirational middle class to enjoy new experiences and explore the world around them.
Our comprehensive ecosystem has become an integral part of our users’ lives, providing them with an end-to-end solution for their lifestyle needs, from transportation to accommodation, attractions to eateries, and insurance products to financial services. This is powered by our strong network of trusted partnerships with millions of lifestyle providers, as well as our proprietary and innovative technology. From AI recommendations to our personalized chatbot and in-house credit risk model, we offer one of the most seamless, personal, and inclusive user experiences in the industry.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: The 2021 Best Workplaces for Innovators list by Fast Company honors businesses and organizations that demonstrate a deep commitment to encouraging innovation at all levels. This is in line with our DNA as a lifestyle superapp, whereby we put people in our hearts while putting continuous innovation as a bedrock of our culture and business strategy. We continue to innovate throughout the pandemic to cater to the needs of our changing customers’ needs and behaviours.
During this challenging period, our experimentation mindset became even more critical to make sure we were constantly identifying and adjusting to new consumer trends and behaviours. As a result, our data and product teams tested hundreds and hundreds of hypotheses at any given time. In response to this, we enabled scalable experimentation within Traveloka by building an Experimentation Platform last year to accommodate cutting-edge experimentation techniques such as the Multi Arm Bandit, a statistical technique that enables dramatically faster testing with relatively smaller sample sizes. Applying this to our Pricing engine, we were able to find the optimal pricing formulas for different user segments and use cases much faster, cutting our average experimentation time by more than half, from a month to under two weeks.
By implementing this, we were able to transform our services and roll out several innovations to cater to the shifting needs and behaviours of our users and at the same time supporting our partners in navigating the market. Few exciting ones are:
- COVID-19 Tests, we started by filling an immediate gap in the market to provide critical and reliable information about COVID-19 testing. Today, we collaborate with 140+ partners with more than 850 COVID-19 test services, both In-Clinic and Drive-Thru.
- Traveloka Clean Partners, to make sure our partners followed strict health and safety guidelines and protocols, we develop this feature to provide convenience for users in choosing products and services from certified Traveloka partners with the highest commitment to enforcing CHSE protocols. We engaged with more than 9,800 partners across 7 countries.
- We also rolled out several new services and initiatives to help our partners in the travel and hospitality space to survive and thrive:
- Buy Now Stay Later to allow customers to book stays at hotels with an open date for check-in, offered great discounts and flexibility while our hotel partners were able to get cash flow the moment a booking was made.
- Traveloka Eats and Eats Delivery, in collaboration with more than 18,000 partners for the food delivery service and other Traveloka Eats products.
- Promotional programs were also being established to boost customer uptake and eventually bolster the recovery process of the tourism sector. We launched Traveloka LIVE, an innovative marketing initiative that effectively crowdsourced and showcased destinations while we suspended traditional marketing activities due to cost, the program was watched by close to four million people. Furthermore, we also conducted our biggest annual promotional campaign, Traveloka EPIC Sale in three countries, Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore, resulting in uplifting transactions in the respective counties.
Beyond the structural platforms that inspire innovation, we introduced a recognition framework with multiple initiatives to embrace and drive innovation as core to the DNA of our people. We have the Traveloka Appreciation Platform to allow employees to nominate outstanding peers and team members who have contributed meaningful and innovative ideas to the organization. We have also presented employees with The Godwit Award, which rewards and encourages individuals and teams who create significant and outstanding impact through innovation, honoring individuals and teams who go to great lengths and succeed in making a sustainable impact on Traveloka’s growth and development over the long term. Last year awards were presented to a total of six individuals who went above and beyond in supporting the organization to survive and thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those recognized last year were top talents who drove the automation of our refund processes, utilizing advanced technology to create tools to help the operation team speed up fund escalation and optimize our data infrastructure cost. We also awarded the teams who built the Traveloka LIVE from scratch which successfully generated substantial transactions across several business units and at the same time helped our partners to maintain their business operations during this unprecedented time.
As a result of our team’s hard work and entrepreneurship, we were able to turn the crisis into opportunity and achieve economics very close to profitability in the midst of a global pandemic. Nothing speaks louder than that as a testimony to the culture of innovation we have built at Traveloka.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
A: We offer more than 20 products and services, spanning across three core pillars of travel, local services, and financial services which provides users with an end-to-end solution for their travel and lifestyle needs. We cater to customers daily such as food delivery and lifestyle inspiration, weekly from cinema to local activities, and monthly needs such as bill payments, local getaways, and PayLater, as well as their longer-term aspirations from booking flights and hotels to life and auto insurance.
Travel is the cornerstone for our expansion into adjacent services like the local services that help our users find things to do either in-city or when they travel, including experiences such as events, attractions, tours, and food vouchers and delivery.
Meanwhile, our financial services help our users access travel and lifestyle services, playing the role of a powerful enabler for customers in a region characterized by structural challenges. They include consumer financing, credit card installment, insurance, payments, and rewards.
Q: What can we expect from your company in the next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: With the current pandemic situation, especially in the countries where we operate in, we focused on helping the government and society to bolster the recovery process, including in the travel and tourism sector. Aligned with our forte, we will continue to cater to the gaps and pain points that our customers face during this pandemic period, utilizing our advanced technology to bring in comprehensive offerings and the best consumer journey. Furthermore, we will continue to work alongside our partners, governments, and other stakeholders to navigate the pandemic.
In addition, our focus is also to expand our offerings (local services and financial services) in our existing markets. Looking ahead, we will remain observant towards our business strategy to release our aspirations as Southeast Asia’s lifestyle superapp.
Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: Traveloka uniquely combines travel, local and financial services all on one platform. There is no other company that does that in Indonesia or across the region, and not everybody knows about it.
Our continuous innovations have an integral part of our customers’ lives, we have the broadest portfolio of travel services of any travel company in Southeast Asia, making us the essential partner in any trip.