Thursday, December 7, 2023

How Melissa Siska Juminto Rises to the Top of Tokopedia

The Jakarta Globe
May 15, 2023 | 3:00 pm
GoTo’s President of E-Commerce Melissa Siska Juminto. (Photo Courtesy of Tokopedia)
GoTo’s President of E-Commerce Melissa Siska Juminto. (Photo Courtesy of Tokopedia)

Jakarta. Meet Melissa Siska Juminto. Not long ago, Indonesia’s largest digital ecosystem GoTo announced its new top brass lineup in a bid to enhance profitability. 

Melissa, who was the chief operating officer of Tokopedia, was appointed as the President of E-commerce at GoTo (Tokopedia). 

Tokopedia is Melissa’s first company. She first joined Tokopedia back in 2012 as its 44th employee and was the only accountant there. After two years, Melissa became Tokopedia’s vice president of business during which she demonstrated her business prowess by putting business financial analysis forward on the company’s strategy.

Tokopedia Academy lead Siti Fauziah gave an account of what it was like working with Melissa back in the early days.

“Back then, everyone had to deal with everything because we were a very small team. When Melissa was the company’s accountant, she also paid great attention to the business growth through the Business & Marketing team. She also handled the partnership with banking and logistics partners,” Siti said.

“She even monitored the data analytics of the investment put into each ad. So she has taken a leadership role since the early days,” Siti added.

In 2018, Melissa became Tokopedia’s chief operating officer (COO). She was responsible for the entire operations ranging from office operations to business growth and acted as a partner to the chief executive officer to decide on where the company was heading.

Her leadership took Tokopedia as the only Indonesian firm on the list of the fastest-growing companies according to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu’s 2020 Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500. At the time, Tokopedia booked a whopping 608 percent growth.

Tokopedia then appointed Melissa as the chief of human resources in 2022. She was also in charge of the Business Partners, Rewards, People Integration, and

Community Experience, team. Under her leadership, Melissa made it to Fortune Indonesia's ‘40 under 40’ list as an agent of change in the business sector. She was also one of the 9 business leaders in Asia who was awarded by Michael Page for her achievements in taking the business toward long-term success amidst an ever-changing business landscape.

Helping Local MSMEs

Melissa’s leadership puts great emphasis on empowering the local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). When the Covid-19 pandemic struck Indonesia, Tokopedia focused on strengthening local MSMEs’ resilience while also driving the country’s economic recovery, among others, by launching the Hyperlocal program back in 2020.

As the name suggests, the Hyperlocal program brings customers closer to their nearest sellers in a bid to give more opportunities for local MSMEs. The program still exists to this day, even though the government has already lifted all Covid-19 curbs.

According to a joint study by Tokopedia and the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF), Tokopedia's Hyperlocal initiative has caused participating cities' sales index to rise 147 percent in 2020-2021, compared to 2017-2019 data. The participating cities' average sales index is also five times bigger than those who do not join the Hyperlocal program. Cities with Tokopedia's Hyperlocal program have a lower poverty rate of 0.14 percent.

Melissa is also behind Tokopedia Marketing Solutions which helps sellers promote their businesses. The solution enables businesses to set up their ads for the right consumer profiles. Tokopedia reported that this marketing solution saw a seventeen-fold investment growth in the first semester of 2022. The number of its strategic partners —which ranges from medium to large-scale businesses— jumped thirtyfold over the same period.

Tokopedia has also launched smart warehouse Dilayani Tokopedia which enables MSMEs to place their products in high-demand areas. This helps customers to get what they need at a cheaper delivery price and a shorter time. Throughout the third quarter of 2022, the number of buyers who used Dilayani Tokopedia grew 1.5 times compared to the same period last year. Transaction volume also went up by more than twofold. The number of sellers who used Dilayani Tokopedia also witnessed a more-than-twofold increase over the same timeframe.

In response to the booming social commerce era, the tech giant also launched the "Tokopedia Play" video streaming canal in which people could find some inspiration while also shopping at Tokopedia. Transaction volume via Tokopedia Play grew more than three times.

The Tokopedia Affiliate program has also had hundreds of thousands of people signing up to become “influencers” since its launch in March 2022. The program turns people into affiliates who will then promote products sold on Tokopedia by sharing affiliate links on social media. Affiliates get a commission of up to 10 percent whenever a product gets sold from the affiliate link.

Founder Mentality

Tokopedia founder Wiliam Tanuwijaya praised Melissa for her "founder mentality" and a strong sense of ownership towards the company. 

"Throughout her career and thanks to her growth mindset, whatever the hurdles and opportunities she had — starting from building marketing and business teams from scratch; as she progressed from an accountant, VP, chief of staff, COO, and to an interim-CHRO GoTo, she has given her best," William said.

"From Mel, I learned that anyone can have a founder mentality. Not just the people who founded the company on day one. The best leaders of a company have a strong sense of ownership as if they were the ones who founded the business," William said.

Melissa is also accepting her new role with great optimism.

“This leadership baton has become a mandate and a huge responsibility for me. But one thing is clear: Indonesia will remain Tokopedia’s main focus. Strengthening the business fundamentals and developing the tech infrastructure becomes the key that would pave the way towards our goal of achieving digital economic equality,” Melissa said.

“By building a super ecosystem together with GoTo, we hope Tokopedia can further drive the growth of local MSMEs across the Indonesian archipelago while boosting financial inclusion, and making the lives of the hundreds of millions of Indonesians easier through technology,” she added.

Melissa also stated: “With integration, collaboration, and a shared vision within the GoTo ecosystem, we hope to create a stronger, comprehensive, and independent digital ecosystem as we go onto the next rounds of our business growth.”

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