Jakarta. Salim Group, an Indonesia-based diversified conglomerate, and South Korean retail giant Lotte Group launched a new online shopping website on Tuesday (10/10) in an attempt to tap into Indonesia's burgeoning digital economy.
The e-commerce marketplace, named iLotte, offers fashion, beauty and health, mother and childrens' needs, electronics and household needs, sports and hobby needs and food and beverages. It will compete with the likes of Lazada, Tokopedia, Mataharimall and Bukalapak, all of which are competing to dominate the local market.
The Indonesian government has projected that the country's e-commerce sector will be as large as $130 billion by 2020.
For their part, Salim Group and Lotte invested $100 million in iLotte, which is run by their joint venture, Indo Lotte Makmur.
"This is the right moment to launch iLotte, because the economy in Indonesia is developing," said Philip Lee, Indo Lotte's chief executive, as quoted by Antaranews.com.
Lee is optimistic that iLotte can compete with existing e-commerce businesses and provide banking services with the support of wide distribution networks and strong logistics infrastructure from Salim Group and Lotte's retail business expertise.
Last month, Salim Group announced its takeover of Elevania, another local e-commerce site, from telecommunications operator XL Axiata and SK Planet.
"Salim Group is serious in preparing for a transformation into the digital age across all of its lines of business," said Franciscus Welirang, the director of Indofood Sukses Makmur, the world's largest noodle maker.
He said that for Salim Group — whose business also include palm oil plantations, convenience store chains and auto distributors — Indonesia's e-commerce potential is "too great to miss."