Return to site

Stefanie Irma: Female Founders, Indonesia Scaling & Launching Philippines

· Podcast Episodes,Female Founders,Scaling,Indonesia,Philippines

Knowing yourself at first is very important because if you don't know how far yourself can take, then you don't know what kind of limit that you have to have for your own self  If you do not know that you are able to do it, it's going to be very difficult for you because you have to adjust with it. And once you adjust with it and you find that it is not up to your limit, then it's very difficult for you. But once you already know how far yourself can take, I think it's going to be easier for you. So you also know how far you can take the job, how far you can take the pressure, how far you can take the push. - Stefainie Irma

Stefanie Irma is currently Co-Founder of DishServe - an asset light network of ghost kitchens in Indonesia, which took the opportunity in the midst of pandemic to start the company. She is based in Jakarta, Indonesia and with the others 3 co-founders she build DishServe since October 2020.

Prior to DishServe she was a Country Head in RedDoorz Philippines, started the first expansion there since 2017 until managing the whole country business and operations, and grew the Philippines to become the second biggest country operations for RedDoorz in South East Asia after Indonesia.

She graduated from London School of Public Relations- Indonesia with Bachelor's Degree of Communications majoring Public Relations. With her various skills and experience in marketing and also communication, she also mentoring some startups together with New Energy Nexus focusing on Marketing Communication module.

This episode is produced by Kyle Ong.

Jeremy (00:00): 

Hi, Stefanie. I'm so glad to have you in the show. 

Stefanie Irma (00:03):Hi, Jeremy. Thank you so much for having me. It's been an honor. 

Jeremy (00:06): 

Well, I'm really excited to share your journey as someone who's not only an operator who has been part of a high-growth hyper-scale dynamic approach across Southeast Asia in Indonesia and Philippines. You're also a female founder, building it out on your own, and so I feel like there's going to be a lot of interesting experiences that you can share from your perspective as a founder, operator and talking about what's it like to be a founder in Southeast Asia. 

Stefanie Irma (00:38): 

Yeah, sure. I think it's going to be a great, great time for me to share this with all of you, and you especially because I feel that there are a few things that probably not everybody know at the point of time. So I guess it will be a great, great time for me to share this with you. So, yeah. 

Jeremy (01:01):Awesome, Stefanie. So for those who don't know you yet the same way I do know you of a clubhouse in previous conversations, I guess. 

Stefanie Irma (01:06): Clubhouse, indeed. Yeah. 

Jeremy (01:11):Yeah. So for those who don't know you yet, could you share a little bit about who you are? 

Stefanie Irma (01:17): 

Yeah, sure. So hi, everyone. My name is Stefanie. Basically, everybody is calling me Stefanie Irma, but Stefanie was my nickname. So I was currently a founder, co-founder in DishServe. So DishServe was a network of ghost kitchen. Probably I can talk more about it later. Prior to that, I was country head in RedDoorz Philippines, so I was staying in Philippines for about three years or so, and then I came to Indonesia in the mid of pandemic. So DishServe was built based on the opportunity that comes on the pandemic. So that is the really, really rare opportunity. And well, I was actually graduating from London School of Public Relations. So it is interesting because my major was the public relations and all of my previous experience most on the marketing and communications, so I'm not literally coming from a startup in the very, very start of the beginning of my career. Right. 

So I was going here and there and trying to figuring out what is actually fit for me, until I went into one of the startup in Indonesia called Sociolla. Probably you guys hear it. And then that was my first time joining in a startup. So it is learning process success for me, until I went to RedDoorz and stayed there for five years. I grew into leading the business in Philippines and come back and start my own company. So yeah, I think that's most probably about myself. 

Jeremy (02:59): 

Yeah. So you started out obviously, like almost all Southeast Asians, right, because technology and startups came out of nowhere. Right? 

Stefanie Irma (03:09): That is so true. 

Jeremy (03:11): 

Yeah. So there you were, being an account executive and doing customer relations. So at some point, you were like, oh, I need to join Sociolla and RedDoorz. So how did you get that transition, I guess, from a normal corporate career to startups? 

Stefanie Irma (03:32): 

Yeah. So that's pretty interesting for me as well because there was a change in my life process at that time. Okay. Probably I just should tell myself first that I'm the kind of person who like a challenge. That means whatever I do, I always challenge myself to be better every time. So that means in my resume itself, it looks like I was moving from one to another industries and one to another career, but that is mostly because I'm trying to look for something that I actually can use my brain on. So that doesn't mean that every of the work that I do doesn't use my brain. No, but because I love the challenge. So when I try this and then it succeed, then I want to move to another challenge. But at the same point in time in some of the company that I work on, there is no challenge as such. So I was thinking, okay, what next for me? What next for me? 

So even I've been in a secretary world. The reason for that is very simple. It's because I was thinking, okay, maybe the secretary job is very easy, so I just have to take it, and I see myself, if I cannot doing it, then I'm so, so, so sucks. So I was challenging myself to deal with that. Then in fact, I stayed there for one and a half years, doing secretary things until I figured that, okay, I reached to the point and that is my age and that is the time where startup is booming that time. And at that time, I don't even actually know how does it look like work in startup and what is startup? I don't have any idea at all. 

So when I came to Sociolla at the very first time, I was a very, very early employee there, it is surprising me because apparently, all startup world is a place where you actually can be free to experiment a lot of things and it gives you a feeling, a thrilling feeling. If this do not work then you have to try something else. If this do not work then you have to try something else, but there is no guidebook on that. There is no playbook on that. There is no such thing like, okay, so if this failed then you have to do this. If this failed then you have to do this. But it comes naturally on your creativity and on your, what I can say is more your passion and your knowledge. And if somebody cannot teach you then you have to learn by yourself, learning literally everything. 

Until at that time, I was facing some process in my life then I moved to RedDoorz. In RedDoorz itself, my first job is not leading the operations. It's not head of things. So I started everything from scratch, from being an account executive, meaning like you have to manage the partner and those kind of stuff. In terms of relationship, that is not new to me. But when there is a challenge like, oh, being an account manager, you also have to do like understanding the business itself because you have to analyze the performance of your partner. How does the business work for them? How does the numbers work for them? And that is pretty much a challenge for me, and I see that as an opportunity for me to learn something new. 

And that bring me to the point where I have to learn everything by my own from scratch again because if I can tell you the reason why I'm being into PR is because I don't want to deal with numbers. I don't what to deal with numbers. But when I go into RedDoorz and I saw how important it is, so I have to make myself available to learn and learn every day. And that what brings me into this point today, I guess. 

Jeremy (07:58): 

Wow. That's really, you started really from the bottom and worked your way to the top in that sense. So when you were working at Sociolla, what did you learn about startups while you were there? Because it's very common. A lot of people, they transition from a normal career into a startup and they get very confused. 

Stefanie Irma (08:19): Very. 

Jeremy (08:19):So what did you learn in your first technology job at that time? 

Stefanie Irma (08:24): 

At that time, I think they interested me with more into the marketing things as well, but I do know for sure that when I go there, there is absolutely nothing for me to work with. That means I'm dealing with a blank canvas. I think that's how I vision it. I'm dealing with a blank canvas where I have to draw something in it and I have to make it sell. So it is very, very challenging. And I think the learning that I got is how do I adapt with that situation where I have to create something from scratch and make it into a real business sense? 

I think that is the most challenging that I have and the most learning that I have because at that time as well where social was very, very, very early, every company in the very early days doesn't have a proper kind of, oh, you have a company profile so I can sell it. I can sell your products or whatever it is. It probably doesn't have it. And even DishServe doesn't have it at that time. But you have to create your creativity to make sure that whatever that you are going to pitch to somebody else about the company, they get the idea and they trusted you. I think that is the most learning that I got. 

Jeremy (09:53):So there you catch extra startup bug because you have the blank canvas, there's the opportunity, and you somehow do this crazy thing called go work for another startup. Right? 

Stefanie Irma (10:07):That is true. But it's actually not really new for me because at that time, I was like dealing with a lot of people. So yeah, you have to deal with a lot of people anyway. 

Jeremy (10:20):So what was it like working at RedDoorz? Because it was this crazy time where people were growing and everybody ... What was it like? Do you remember your first day at RedDoorz? 

Stefanie Irma (10:29): 

Yeah, I remember the first day at RedDoorz. I even remember my first day taking the job offer. Okay. To be honest, when it was in RedDoorz, I was taking my job offer in the first day of my interview. So at that day, I was interviewing, and at that day, I'm also accepting the job offer. Because for me, I don't need a reason. I don't need too many reason to accept the job if I can see the vision. When I talk to the people there and I see the vision and I see the vision was clear, then I believe in the company. And I guess what makes RedDoorz people stay is because they believe in the company. They believe in the vision. And what makes me stay as well is because I believe in the vision and I believe in the company. How the business model work and how the leaders work, I believe in this. 

And another thing is whenever I actually go into a job, there is some things that I always put in my mind where I shouldn't expect anything from the job itself, but I should see what I can get from the job itself. So that means I'm not asking what this job can do for me, but I'm taking what I can take from that job. So that means all the experience, all the lessons that I have. And yes, you are right where it was a very, very, very tough situation where starting from scratch, doing the business that everybody doesn't know in the very first place and you have to convince everybody about that kind of business model. And that is not easy, especially going into operations as well where you're seeing whether this is good, the quality of the partner, is it going to make you profits, is it not going to make you nonprofits? Those kind of stuff is not easy. 

But yeah, I think I learned a lot there because again, I believe in the vision, I believe in the company. And I know that by being there, I can learn a lot for myself as well and myself can grow. 

Jeremy (13:00): 

Wow. What was it like working at RedDoorz? Because that was one of the few people that we're trying to blitz-scale early on. So tell us more about that growth. What was it like being on the inside, growing and focusing on growth like crazy? 

Stefanie Irma (13:17): 

Yeah. Okay. So probably this I have to tell since the beginning I was going into Philippines as well. The reason for this is because at that time, I don't have any experience to work in other country and that was my first time to go to Philippines as well. And that means I have to make the business works because at that time, Philippines also the second country after Singapore that is being into expansion. However, everybody is in Singapore anyway. But in Philippines, there is one there. So I'm the only Indonesian and going there with only a few of staff from Philippines, and it is super duper stressful for me at the very first beginning of time. First, I don't have any barrier on the language because Philippines is very easy. You can talk English very well, but you have to deal with the people that have a different culture. I'm Indonesian. If I'm dealing with Indonesian people, then it's very easy for me. But if I'm dealing with another people who actually have another culture and you have to deal with them every day, and that is also another challenge. 

Where I see myself that I have to learn how to mingle with them, and I have to know how to grab their attention. So when we just the growth itself in the very first beginning, I only have three salespeople with me, and I have a crazy target at the time. I have to get at least 10 to 20 properties to make it officially launched. In the very, very first beginning, it was very, very tough because I myself have to go directly into the street. I have to do myself. I have to do everything practically myself. There is only one HR who actually helping me and that HR is also coming from Indonesia so he is not in the Philippines. So I have to set up the company on my own, everything, starting from the HR things, until the sales thing, until the account management, everything. 

But that is the time where I was in a very, very insomnia mode where I am thinking, okay, tomorrow I have to make a deal with this. Otherwise, I don't have any property. Okay. Then tomorrow I have to make sure that this property going live as soon as possible. Yeah. I think it's pretty much interesting journey, but from there, actually once you already know the face and once you already know the rhythm, you can just follow with it. 

Jeremy (16:17): 

How do you take care of yourself? Because a lot of people with that high growth mode, they're focusing on growth, and I think a lot of employees at the time really struggle with managing themselves. Because it's the first time on a company that's trying to grow like a hockey stick shape. Right? 

Stefanie Irma (16:39): Yeah. 

Jeremy (16:40):Do you have any advice for people about how to take care of themselves as they take on new responsibilities, get pushed to that limit, do new things, enter new countries? 

Stefanie Irma (16:52): 

Yeah. So I think the first advice that I have is knowing yourself at first. Knowing yourself at first is very important because if you don't know how far yourself can take, then you don't know what kind of limit that you have to have for your own self. I know that every people have a time in life, and everybody have a phase in life. At my phase, at my time, that time, I know that I am capable of doing work from 8:00 to another 10 PM or almost 24 hours because I have to managing the partner at that time and the hotel is working for 24 hours. If you do not know that you are able to do it, it's going to be very difficult for you because you have to adjust with it. And once you adjust with it and you find that it is not up to your limit, then it's very difficult for you. But once you already know how far yourself can take, I think it's going to be easier for you. So you also know how far you can take the job, how far you can take the pressure, how far you can take the push. 

So the way that I'm actually doing it is as well to push myself into another un-comfort zone of me. Like I said before that I actually hate numbers. I'm not hating it, but I don't want to deal with it. So I took PR as my major. But then when I go into RedDoorz and I know I have to do it, then I have to push myself where, okay, if you cannot doing it, then probably there is something wrong with you. Either maybe that is not your passion or that is not something that you actually can do or whatever it is. So I have to push myself to do outside of my comfort zone, then I know I can do it or not. 

For example, when I go to Philippines as well, that is outside of my comfort zone. And when I'm going into my un-comfort zone, I know that I'm actually capable of doing it, then I know, okay, so this is my time and this is my limit and I know I can do it. So if I know that I can do it, then I just have to push myself to be better. But if I feel that I don't think I can do it, then I will definitely back out. Because it also requires a mental health for you to really stabilize yourself against all of this pressure. 

Jeremy (19:43):So it's tough because there's a lot of pressure, because the best part about joining a high-growth startup is that they allow anybody to succeed. 

Stefanie Irma (19:55): 

Yeah. 

Jeremy (19:56): 

Anybody can be given the opportunity. All these people, like you said, you start from the bottom but if you show the right attitude, the right spirit, you're going to get promoted in the sense of like maybe not necessarily entitled, but definitely in terms of responsibility, management, leadership. So it's very meritocratic, very flat space. But also like you said, it's also a lot of pressure for the person because now, they're like, whoa, I'm suddenly selling to more and more clients. I'm moving to a new country. And then like you said, the self-awareness is key. For someone who is struggling, how should they ask for help? How should they get help from other people on the team? Because I think that happens a lot when I've been part of startups. You see people who are very good. 

Stefanie Irma (19:56): That is so true. 

Jeremy (20:41): 

And then you get promoted, but then it gets to them and then they start doing poorly. Not because the performance is bad. Because they don't know how to ask for help. So I was just wondering. Do you have any advice on how people should ask for help? 

Stefanie Irma (20:57): 

So I think, Jeremy, for that one, again, it depends on the person to person because for me, probably I would just speak from my experience. For me, I'm the kind of introvert, extrovert person, kind of. So I'm only going to talk with a person that I trust and that is not happen in one time. That means it has to grow over some period of time. You have to grow on a friendship first and then you can talk to this person. That is me. Whenever I'm actually stressed or getting any pressure, I cannot talk to people who actually don't give really shit about my thing. They just want to listen on the gossip things. So I'm not going to talk to that kind of person. I'm just going to go into my deep understanding about myself. I'm not the kind of person who actually do meditation, but I prefer to do my peaceful time. That means I would just sit down and do nothing, completely do nothing. Probably just listen to a calm music and then that's it. 

And then the second way of I'm doing it is my exercise. So I think that was very, very effective for me because once I had a very, very tough day at work and then I go to hit the treadmill and then I run there and then I forgot about everything then done. 

So it depends on the person again. There are some person who actually can release their emotion by talking to some other people and can they release some stress because they have friends to talk to. But for me, that's not probably the case. And especially when you are alone in other country, then there are so many advice that tells you, "Hey, you go out there making some friends and blah, blah." But again, it depends on the person because I'm that introvert, extrovert person so I'm not really doing that. I would prefer just to go deep down about myself and thinking about reassess again on the day that I've been working on, on the things that I've been working on or give myself a flashback on where was I three years ago, where was I a year ago, and where was I today? And then it can gives you some kind of ... enlighten you that actually today is better than yesterday. That what gives you strength to go into all the pressure in the next day. 

Jeremy (23:48): 

Yeah. That's very true. And I love what you said. Today is better than yesterday. 

Stefanie Irma (23:53): Yeah. 

Jeremy (23:55): 

Sometimes it can feel hard to remember that because in a high growth company, you're just like, wow, we still haven't fixed the problem. We have to grow like this. We have to deliver on ABC. And I think a lot of, like you said, a lot of people forget about not only about taking care about themselves, but also about the fact that actually the company today is in a better place compared to last time, which is I think underappreciated. So, okay. So there you are at RedDoorz and you have to go launch a new country, get promoted multiple times, launch a new country. And then after that, you choose to eventually leave and then basically start building your own things. Right? 

Stefanie Irma (24:37): Yeah. 

Jeremy (24:38):And the first thing you went off to build was the Suite Room. So tell us more about why did you go off and do that? 

Stefanie Irma (24:48): 

Okay. That is so, so, so ... Okay. So there is this thing. I heard my friend said, "Okay, you have to work on your passion. So your job has to be in your passion. Only by then, you can happy to live that." But in my case, I don't think that is happening to me because I think passion is what I'm going to do as my hustle thing, and my job is my job. That is how I am making it because I don't think what I can do as a passion I can do it like ... It can't pays my bill a lot. And then I have to do some investing on something else, which it's probably not my passion, but I know that I can pay the bills out of it. 

So the Suite Room is basically out of my passion. The reason for that is because when I was out from RedDoorz, when I leave RedDoorz, I realized that there are not many female in the leadership position that is able to survive for a very long time or they are able to be recognized in their own company. Most of the tech startup mostly are dealing with the guy inside at that time. Right now, everything is like crazy. But at that time, there are very less women. And even in RedDoorz itself, I think I'm the only person as a female who actually handled the business. And the other is actually basically probably in HR or in the customer service side. And I'm not blaming anyone for that, but that is the situation and that is the real situation. 

And I don't know what happened. Maybe because of guiding that, okay, not every girl is good in the business, is good on running the P&L or is good in tech or probably only the girl from a certain country is actually good on doing it, but the person in other country, for example, I don't know, other country cannot able to doing it. So I only can hire this type of person, this set of profile for me to able to put it there. 

And I think that is okay, but I believe that women can do so much more than that if they are given the opportunity for doing that. The problem right now is there are many people who actually doesn't give a woman opportunity of doing that because they feel that, okay, women is more into a relationship person, more into the communication person. Probably they cannot handling any business, unless they create the business on their own. 

So that is something that I realized, and I was thinking, okay, what if I create some kind of a community where people is getting more knowledge, more insights, more can talk to other people, talk to each other? So this idea of the Suite Room came when I was traveling, since I was leaving RedDoorz and then I was traveling. So that idea came to me because I realized that I don't know why, but in Indonesia, there are not so many people who wants to give their money to learn. As in like, okay, so if this course is not free, I will not take it. If this kind of personal development course is not free, I will not take it. If it's not cheap, if it's not up to my thing, I'm not going to take it. 

And at that time, the Suite Room meant to be for a woman who actually want to have more experience, more knowledge and need more skills for them to grow and empower them to grow in their workplace. They can able to do that. However, the Suite Room when I came back to Indonesia, I'm not able to doing it because I switched my mind into DishServe. So yeah, but that came out of passion and that still become my passion. And if I ... Is it still moving? I cannot say that it's moving, moving as such, but it is something that I like to do. If I have a time for doing it, I will definitely doing it. If I have a time of maybe ... I was actually making a podcast also. But at that time, it was like, okay, then I don't have any time to doing it right now. My mind is focused on something else. My work is focused on something else. Yeah. But I really hope that I can moving forward with that. 

Jeremy (30:06):Awesome. Yeah. I think the truth is there are so many things that we love to do and is also something that we like to do but it's not necessarily the thing that's going to be a full-fledged business. Right? 

Stefanie Irma (30:20): Yeah. 

Jeremy (30:23): 

But it's exciting because I knew that it was something that you're passionate about, and I think it represents a crystallization of the fact that you want to empower other female leaders in Southeast Asia. I think that's an amazing cause. And we'll love to talk a little bit more about it, because you talk about what you want to do and what you want to solve, but the way a lot of people will ask about it would be like, oh, is it a problem? Don't the best people become leaders and it just so happens to be guys? So that's what they say. So what do you think about that? 

Stefanie Irma (31:00): 

Okay. I think there is no such thing like, okay, guys is always better than a woman on running a business. There is no such thing like that. Otherwise, there are not many women founders right now. But what I believe is if the women been given an opportunity to at least show themselves and get grip of that business sense at least, because I talk to so many people who actually my friend, and they even have a capability of doing it, but they doesn't have probably not the proper knowledge, but they doesn't know how to start or where to start from it. Or if some of my friends want to create a business ... It's funny here because one of my friends said like this. "You know what? I want to get rich. I want to get more money, but I don't want to work hard." And probably there are some other women who actually think the same thing. 

But what happened with the other woman who actually not doing the same and not thinking the same thing? They are probably thinking that I actually want to do more than this, but there is no opportunity for me to do so because my company is not preparing career path for me or not profiling this, but I need the money, so I cannot leave the company. And what should I do? There are some people who are actually thinking that way. And because of that, because my company who I'm working on right now, there is no such thing like a career path for me and I don't see myself can be grow, but I need the money, so I cannot do anything. These people who actually can be grabbed into, hey, if there is an opportunity, would you want to take it? 

But again, it is not easy because when you are taking an opportunity, that means you want to have some investment. You want to get something, you have to invest on something. You want to get rich, that means you have to invest on hard work or smart work or whatever it is, but same like them. Okay. When we are talking about this, I can probably say that only people who wants serious growth that can really grow because growth is an option. You can do something, be good at it and keep doing it over the period of time or you can take a leap and try something new and take a risk of failure because from failure, it comes a lesson, and from lesson, it comes growth. 

But with that being said, that doesn't mean that you should focus on what your strength are only. But along the way, the door of opportunity will open. Now it's your choice to take that opportunity or not because if you're afraid to taking it and keep staying in your comfort zone, then it is not a movement. It is only a surviving method to keep where your position are. So I think that's what I believe. 

So what I actually want to do is to remind these people, if there is an opportunity, you should take it and not be afraid to not take it because you keep saying that I am not capable to doing it because everybody is capable of doing something. It's just a matter of you want to learn and you want to grow from it and you want to move outside your comfort zone or not. Probably, that is my point of view. But in terms of gender, probably, I can say that you are guy, you are a woman, everybody is the same. You have the same capability. You just probably have the different priority. 

Jeremy (34:52): 

Wow. That's amazing. And I totally agree with you. I think we're saying men and women both have the same capability to be awesome and do incredible things. And it's about creating more opportunities for women to be able to discover that about themselves. 

Stefanie Irma (35:07): Yeah. 

Jeremy (35:08): 

And what I really love about what you said is that you're not just talking about it, you're also walking the talk. You, yourself, as you built out TSR, you also chose to become a co-founder and found a business as well after your experiences as an operator in technology. Now you're being a founder. So tell us more about why you decided to cofound DishServe. 

Stefanie Irma (35:35): 

Okay. So like what I said before, the growth is an option. So for me when I came back to Indonesia and I saw a lot of people who are jobless and they got fired from their job and then just being at home, they cannot do anything. Lockdown happened. Even all of my friends who actually work in the art industries, they cannot get any work because what they do is actually perform on the stage. And for people who perform on the stage, that job is gone because everybody in a lockdown. Now, what do they do? They actually just be at home. What do they can do at home? Nothing. Just sell. What do they need to sell? Something that they can produce by their own. Something that they can produce by their own is something that they can cook. That is an easiest way because everybody can cook at least something. 

At that time, I was thinking that, okay, when I came back to Indonesia in my position right now, there was a time when you are in that position as mine when I go out from RedDoorz. You probably are going to be very picky about your work next, what you are going to work on next. You're going to be very picky because you already know how it goes from the start and how it goes on the leadership position and what do you want to be the next? Now at that point in time, when I was thinking what I want to be the next, then I'm coming into a conclusion where I have to create an opportunity for my own because nobody will create the opportunity for me. Then what I do is I'm taking the opportunity in this space where I see a problem to solve, which is people at home, and then they want to sell something. They want to earn money, and they cannot create more money because they have a non- capability of selling it beyond their friends and families. 

I took that opportunity to create the opportunity for my own self, which is okay, if you have the problem, then I will provide you the solution. And what comes up from that solution is an opportunity for me to make the business out of it, and make the business out of it meaning I'm not only thinking about profit but I'm also talking about how do I going to help these people? Because again, the reason why I'm starting the Suite Room is because I want to help the women. And my goal is actually to help other people as well in my next career move, whatever it is. 

So when I saw that problem and I saw that I can actually solve that problem because I know people, I know how it works and I think I can do it, then it began to speak to a lot of people. And then I talk to a few other of my co-founders and then we feel that yes, there is an opportunity there. So yeah, that is the first starting point why I'm thinking, okay, then I will help more people with DishServe and this is the way and this is the way that I should focus on. 

Jeremy (39:05): 

Amazing. I think that's such a strong social mission. I think not just to obviously help people be able to consume food but also for people to be able to make a living and to support themselves in Indonesia and beyond. So second last question. So when you think about DishServe and what you're trying to do, I think when people think about people in Indonesia, obviously a lot of these people are blue collar. They've been people who are looking for gig work. Right? 

Stefanie Irma (39:40): Okay. 

Jeremy (39:40): 

And people have a lot of beliefs about this group of people. So I'm just wondering, are there any misconceptions about them that because you work with them across multiple jobs, are there any common misconceptions that people have that you'd like to clarify or clear up? 

Stefanie Irma (40:00): 

Okay. So there are some misconceptions out there about possible of anything basically, about the women, about how the cloud kitchen works, about everything. And I don't have pretty much thing to clarify on because everybody have rights on their opinion. However, what I can tell is we are as in Indonesia. So probably, I can speak from my experience in athe Philippines as well. So when I go to Philippines and then I deal with a lot of people there, I think I have a thought that, hey, you know what? Indonesian people is better. I'm so sorry, but that was my opinion at that time. But then after that, I came to Indonesia and I deal with these people as well. And then actually, that's not true. And that is something that I can say. 

So even people have an opinion, unless you actually go into it and deal with those people, only by then you actually know what is the truth behind it. Because you can always do a comparison. but it's all basis on the opinion, and it's all basis on your experience. Just for example, if you are on a relationship and then you are dealing with a bad guy every time in your relationship, then you will have an opinion that, okay, every guy is bad, but there are also a time where you also deal with good people, very, very good people. You will have an opinion, no, guys always good. So people have a right on their opinion, but unless you really deal with it and you are going too deep with it, only by that you are knowing the truth. So yeah, I guess that's the thing. 

Jeremy (42:01): 

Great. And last question here is obviously, you've gone through and worked a lot of high growth startups along the way, and times can be good and times can be tough. So have there been any obstacles or adversity that you've overcome and that you had to be brave in order to overcome them? 

Stefanie Irma (42:24): 

Yeah, I do. First of all is, for me as a person who actually go to other countries and never been into that country before at all, alone, it requires a really, really great brave, and I can say perseverance because you are alone there. You know nobody, and you have to deal with it by your own self. And when you are trying to get into action, there are so many pressure around you. So I guess unless you are brave and you are having your own perseverance and you have your own self-awareness, it is impossible to achieve. So I think there are so many people out there that think I cannot do anything because I am not capable of it or there is no opportunity out of it. 

It comes to the second point of my thing, which is to go out from your comfort zone, it requires a brave. So you have to know when you are out of your comfort zone, you have to prepare for your own mental and for your own self. Because when you are out from your comfort zone, there might be multiple, a lot of risk that you have to take, and all of them can resulting in a good way or resulting in a bad way and you have to prepare for every possibilities. So in my personal opinion and in my personal experience as well, those are the things where I have to be brave in terms of doing things. 

And probably the second thing ... The third thing is when I start the business on my own, it is not, not, not easy. Like I said, you have to probably really convince a lot of people about the business model that you're going to have. You have to convince people on how it works and it will work. I think it requires a lot of bravery. So I also salute to all the founders out there, especially the single founder because I know it is not easy to create a company from scratch by your own self and you have no one to talk to. Yeah, I think that's my opinion. 

Jeremy (44:59): 

Wow. Thank you so much, Stefanie, for sharing not just your personal journey but also so much more. I wanted to recap the three things that I found really powerful about what you shared as we wrap things up. I think the first of course was your own personal journey, working your way from the bottom all the way up the ranks to become an account manager and then launching a new country for RedDoorz to becoming a founder today. So I think that's really inspiring because it's not easy to work your way up. And I really appreciate you just sharing about the reality about it because a lot of people feel like, oh, founders become a founder immediately, but you don't see all the hard work over the many years that you did in the technology world to get there. 

And the second thing, of course, I really appreciated was you sharing about how men and women in Southeast Asia are equally good at startups and being founders. 

Stefanie Irma (45:59): They do. 

Jeremy (46:01):Yeah, exactly. And it's just that we do have a responsibility to give more opportunities to women who 

didn't have that space or time to be able to explore that. 

And lastly, of course, I'm very impressed by the fact that you're not just walking the talk ... Sorry, not just talking the walk, but you're also walking the talk by also being a founder of DishServe and pushing to give people new jobs and opportunities to make an income not just for themselves but for their family. So thank you so much, Stefanie. 

Stefanie Irma (46:36):Thank you so much, Jeremy. It's been a pleasure of sharing this journey with you and, yeah, all the best. 

Jeremy (46:43): Thank you, Stefanie. 

 

All Posts
×

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!

OK