Jakarta. For more than 20 years, Huawei Indonesia has been instrumental in bringing connectivity to most of the Indonesian population. Serving the archipelagic nation with 17,000 islands has brought up a huge challenge but at the same time promised a bountiful opportunity for Huawei.
On a rare occasion, Jacky Chen, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Huawei Indonesia, responded to an exclusive interview with Jakarta Globe recently. Jacky, whose professional experience in the industry for more than 20 years in various international postings before leading Huawei Indonesia, shares his views on the global information, communication technology (ICT) provider's journey and contributions to the communities.
He also unveils opportunities and challenges for the nation to become the world's digital economy powerhouse by 2045. Here is the excerpt from the interview.
How is Huawei's business going in Indonesia? How do you see the growth prospect of the country's ICT ecosystem?
We have two decades of steady business in Indonesia. Generally speaking, the ICT ecosystem here has all ingredients for growth, from the government's support, conducive business environment to a huge productive populace.
Huawei has been rooted and grown remarkably along with the Indonesian economy over more than 20 years. It's indeed a long year of presence in a particular country for leading global ICT companies, chronicling Huawei's long-term commitment to Indonesia to building the ICT industry ecosystem in this beautiful land we love.
As we looked back on our memorable two decades, we are proud to see how we had garnered valuable trust from our partners in building connectivity and supporting network stability across the archipelago.
As a testament to our social contributions, we join hands with our partners, primarily through the government's USO Project, to accelerate digital inclusion to connect the unconnected, especially those living in remote and rural areas.
We also push ahead of the Palapa Ring project's optimized to use as recently instructed by President Joko Widodo to boost national connectivity for the whole population. We believe that everyone deserves the full right to benefit from digital technology, and no one should be left behind.
Speaking of ICT ecosystem growth prospects, the world's 4th most populous nation has now been blessed with the demographic dividend with the young and working-ages among its nearly 270 million population are at the highest level and potential. Indonesia is a fertile ground for ICT entrepreneurs and startups to sprout.
Such huge potentials have been well reflected by the fast-growing unicorn startups based in Indonesia that place the country among the highest number of unicorns in Southeast Asia.
Definitely, the Indonesian government has played a significant role in creating a favorable business climate for the growth of digital enterprises through a string of clear guidance, strong support to digital development, and a far-sighted vision toward the future.
For Huawei, Indonesia is more than a strategic country for ICT development. From now on, we are seeking to contribute more to this nation through driving digital transformation for different industries.
We believe that Indonesia has a promising, future-ready ICT ecosystem to achieve its vision to become the world's ranking 5th digital economy powerhouse by 2045, as laid out by President Joko Widodo administration.
What are Huawei's contributions to Indonesia during the pandemic?
Nearly 90 percent of Huawei employees are Indonesians. Every hard work we do, every innovation we create, is made in Indonesia, for Indonesia, and by Indonesians. The pandemic brought us much closer to the people as we did a lot to help fight the COVID-19 through our expertise in technology in online learning, healthcare, and business support.
The pandemic has taught us never to stop learning. Transformation is happening every day in our lives, driven by a critical question: how can we contribute greater value to our society?
Since the beginning of the pandemic hit Indonesia, we have done our utmost to use our new technologies expertise. We deployed hard-working to install microwave transmissions in the Sebaru Island in Thousands Islands to help the government in the quarantine of 260 Indonesians linked to the coronavirus aboard Diamond Princess World Dream cruise ships.
We also helped doctors at Gatot Soebroto Armi Hospital and Pertamina Central Hospital Pertamedika to use artificial intelligence-assisted analysis to detect Covid-19 patients, cutting diagnostic time to up to six times shorter with 93 percent accuracy.
Aside from that, we helped many businesses and organizations to adapt to new everyday living online through a digital transformation push. At least 500 universities across Indonesia benefit from 1,000 Cloud Accounts to promote digitalization in campuses and support distant learning activities.
Our Cloud support to a logistic service partner managed to develop service innovations and double revenue.
Finally, to accelerate digital transformation and speed up national economic recovery, we partner with the Indonesian government [the Presidential Office]. In five years, we can train 100,000 digital talents through capacity-building training. Hopefully, by the end of 2025, Indonesia will realize its dream to have 9 million ICT talents by 2030, and we, Huawei, become a humble part of it.
What is the business strategy for Huawei Indonesia to survive in 2021?
In 2021 and beyond, we will remain customer-centric and continue creating value for our customers. Based on that, we will not only survive but will also develop.
The Covid-19 have shattered all businesses and people's lives without exception. However, it also opens up a window of hope when we witness how people find some creative avenues to stay afloat by shifting into digital and exploring whole new possibilities for better living through the utilization of new technologies.
Everywhere, we witnessed a large-scale acceleration of digital transformation. Rising demand for broadband connectivity, surging services, such as multiparty video conferencing, mushrooming online food delivery, and digital entertainment have become a common sight. Cloud that hosts various digital platforms also allows businesses to maintain operations that scale with user demand.
Along with the entire global society, we learned the hard way and survived 2020 despite mounting external pressures. That brings confidence and a renewed optimism to navigate our business through 2021 and beyond. Even though business growth slows down, our employees stay united and remain vigilant to address challenges and tap opportunities.
We will continue to support the government in accelerating the economic recovery. This year and in the future, we will stick to our core expertise in new technology in facilitating digital transformation in every person, home, and organization for a fully connected Indonesia.
We need to know Huawei's primary business here. Can you elaborate?
Our primary business revolves around the Intelligent Twins: Connectivity + Computing. The two are seamlessly intertwined to create an open ecosystem for all-scenario intelligence.
In our business practices, we always look deeply into what is direly needed by a country and its people. Indonesia's myriad islands are the nation's primary geographic challenge, especially in terms of connectivity building. Therefore, our business group in charge of network infrastructure development has a solid presence and focus on bringing a greater value we can contribute to addressing the needs.
Globally, Huawei develops unique business practices that follow the flow of information and data distribution cycle. Our Customer Business Group (CBG) handles smart devices interfacing with end-consumers. From consumers, information and data are being distributed over the network infrastructure where our Carrier Business Group (CNBG) handles the information distribution in cooperation with partner operators.
Later on, our Cloud and AI Business Group (CABG) takes care of the storage and data processing to be sent back to the end-consumers with a personalized user experience. It creates a closed-loop environment.
Our Enterprise Business Group (EBG) handles enterprises to undergo digital transformation in their businesses.
All in all, Huawei is focusing on providing innovations and solutions to the entire ICT ecosystem, from providing intelligent terminals, providing network equipment to support connectivity, and providing intelligent computing platforms. That is how Huawei operates in 170 countries around the world.
Huawei is working together with many telecom operators. Can you elaborate on the partnerships you have with the operators?
We don't want to define ourselves just as a vendor. We strive to become the operators' strategic partner to navigate through a far-reaching future. For that reason, we deeply engage them in joint innovation, talent cultivation, and even disaster relief efforts. We believe that alone we can do so little; only together can we do great things.
We closely collaborate with telecom operators in many areas of activity. Of course, to support our business, we join hands in doing innovations to find breakthroughs to better keep up with our customers' demands and needs. We have two innovation centers dedicated to developing next-generation technology and IoT.
We also build synergy with our partners in talent cultivation. We prepare Indonesian digital talents to become more future-ready through a series of training on new technologies, such as AI, Cloud, Big Data, and IoT.
More importantly, our partners are also our truly closest friends in times of crisis. They were oftentimes willing to rush in helping victims during the disasters. Early last year, both of our teams worked hard to restore the communication network and provide aid relief to the flood victims when Jakarta's highest rainfall in 154 years poured in, swamped, and paralyzed the metropolis as well as its surroundings.
Developed economies like the UK and the US have aborted Huawei's 5G project in favor of local companies. Do you think this kind of development will affect Huawei's global reputation?
Our time and energy are just too valuable to be wasted to care about geopolitical noise. Customers and innovations; those are what really matter to us.
Speaking of new technologies to create a better life, our beloved world deserves more options, the ultimate best ones! Our eyes are always set on making innovations and keep refining our solutions.
So far, Huawei is still winning trust from a large number of customers. We still garner positive signs over its prospect in quality network performance. We help build the best 5G networks in many cities worldwide, from Berlin, Munich, Madrid, Zurich, Geneva,
Amsterdam, Vienna, Barcelona, Seoul, Bangkok, Hong Kong, to Riyadh. Our networks are on top of global network performance tests. That is a testament to the quality of our networks.
Our premium-quality services are the reasons some customers around the world still stick with us. We'll continue serving these customers well by creating more value for them. We want them to have lasting faith in us, and we hope that they won't sway because of political pressure or bad campaigns.
How is the progress in the 5G development in Indonesia, and what role does Huawei play in this project?
Countries all over the world are racing to adopt 5G, including Indonesia. It's not only because 5G is just faster than 4G. We believe it would open new possibilities for almost everything.
Up to this stage, we really understand that currently, the Indonesian government is still focusing on bringing reliable connectivity to all areas across the nation. In collaboration with the government and other partner carr, we focus on ensuring the 4G network to cover remote areas better.
At this point, we are preparing the most important groundwork for the new ecosystem: ICT talents who have a high level of capabilities to adapt to new technologies, including 5G. Those ICT talents will be the engine of the Indonesian ecosystem to progress and prosper.
Speaking of 5G technology, Huawei has some advanced experience in other countries, helping Indonesia get ready. In fact, 5G will benefit individuals, but in time, it will be crucial for industries, such as health, education, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, and agriculture. This 5G technology can also be applied in other multifarious scenarios to make our life easier and better.