Joshua Kevin is keeping up with trends in the HR industry. His new venture, Talenta is revolutionising human resource management using the latest technology.
What’s your story?
I started being involved in the Indonesian startup scene back in 2011, first as a volunteer at #StartupLokal (Jakarta startup community). You could literally count the startup founders, nevermind investors or venture capitalists. Then I joined both Tech in Asia (as a writer and community manager) and East Ventures (Associate – helping to run its Alpha accelerator program). There I gained tons of knowledge and grew my network. After a brief stint at KakaoTalk, I decided to start my own company, Talenta. Which is a SaaS (cloud software) for human resource management. So far, we have been funded by East Ventures and Fenox Venture Capital. We have more than 125 companies with more than 15,000 employees managed by Talenta.
What excites you most about your industry?
I would say that the trends are going in our direction. Firstly, cloud software or SaaS is something that sooner or later is going to be the norm. Most companies are not using any software for human resources. Second, a lot of decision makers are going to be replaced by our generation, which means changing manual work to a proper system and the latest technology. Last, we are also seeing a trend of young people working in human resources. Previously, most HR managers are thought of as old and not tech savvy enough to use technology.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and grew up and now live in Jakarta.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore for ease of business, yet Jakarta for its potential. Singapore is well known for its efficiency of creating and doing business yet it’s market is small, making Jakarta the more logical place for an operations office.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Always listen to a story or news with considerable doubt. Never trust anyone or anything 100%. Sometimes we are blinded and we trust a person or a source too much. This can cloud our decision making ability.
Who inspires you?
My dad. He has always been an entrepreneur. He has been a single parent for a decade managing his three ‘difficult’ kids. Also, Willson Cuaca. He’s my investor and mentor. He’s been investing in awesome companies such as Traveloka and Tokopedia, managing his own startup as CEO and yet he still manages to dedicate his whole weekend to this family.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
We just went to Pulau Peucang for our company outing. It’s amazing that after 7 hours by bus and 3 hours by boat, we can be in a place where we “sleep together” with monkeys and deers.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I don’t think I would change anything because everything I have experienced has shaped who I am today and I am happy to be where I am. But if I had to choose, I’d have started even earlier in terms of getting to know the startup scene and learning the ropes.
How do you unwind?
I enjoy dancing in a club and definitely going off on holidays.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Korea. The city, the people and the culture are somehow part of me and my life.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The hard thing about hard things.
Shameless plug for your business:
We are definitely the first in terms of SaaS HR in Indonesia. Have served and are serving the likes of Go-Jek, Grab and even big companies like Panorama.
How can people connect with you?
E-mail me: [email protected]
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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