Warung Pintar: The evolution of Indonesian Kiosk Shopping

Our researchers are always out and about keeping an eye on what changes are afoot in the towns, villages and sidewalks of Southeast Asia.

This month, InsightAsia’s Maya Notodisurjo spotlights a fascinating evolution in the world of Street Kiosks in Jakarta...

What is Warung Pintar?

Image credit:  Tech in Asia

Image credit: Tech in Asia

Up until the 21st century 'warung', (the traditional mobile and permanent street kiosks which typically sell an array of small items like candies, drinks, cigarettes) were the first choice for Jakartans to buy their daily necessities. These small kiosks were a familiar street fixture, long before minimarkets like Indomaret and Alfamaret mushroomed.

Today, minimarkets are very much the go-to destination for neighbourhood shopping, offering a wide array of products at competitive rates in a browser-friendly environment. Meanwhile, the traditional street kiosk has struggled to remain relevant and price competitive.

However, a recent innovation, Warung Pintar, has brought a breath of fresh air to Indonesian kiosk shopping. Warung Pintar (literally meaning 'smart kiosk') is a micro retail technology company with a mission to enable digitalisation for the grassroots population - improving the community around them.

“The fact that technology should be accessible by anyone makes Warung the right outlet for every Indonesian to take part in digitalised economy,” said Agung Bezharie, CEO of Warung Pintar, in his pers conference.

It combines the traditional semi-permanent outlet with technology-based management, emphasising on three pillars:

  • Internet of Things (IoT) — to increase the accuracy of retail data input
  • Big data analysis — to understand consumer behaviour

  • Blockchain — to manage the trust between the management and kiosk owner.

This evolution will give added value to the traditional kiosks; justifying the slightly higher price compared to a minimarket, while giving them the possibility to offer more competitive pricing through cooperation with an investor.

How Warung Pintar works

Under the supervision of Warung Pintar management, the warung owners will be trained to manage their business using various software, such as: Jurnal (online accounting software), Do Cart (software for procurement and distribution), and Waresix (software for warehouse distribution systems).

Image credit:  Warung Pintar

Image credit: Warung Pintar

They will also become familiar with MokaPOS (Mobile Point of Sales) in their cash register and using Kios Dagang Online (KUDO) for selling mobile phone vouchers, train tickets and other online items.

Each Warung Pintar needs the investment of IDR 50,000,000 (approx. USD 3,845), but here’s the secret of success: they require three elements to make it work - kiosk owner, investor and landowner.

Investors and landowners will ease the burden of a kiosk owner having to prepare the investment themselves. In return, they will get a share of the profits.

The kiosk owner needs only to show their commitment and honesty, and they'll need to spare some time to allow Warung Pintar management to modify their warung.

There are already eight Warung Pintar kiosks in Jabodetabek, and more will follow.

Warung Pintar will be the symbiosis of the SME empowerment programme the current government of DKI Jakarta is running: OK-OCE. While the OK-OCE programme facilitates SMEs to open a minimarket called an OK-OCE Mart, the privately-run Warung Pintar will concentrate on empowering the smaller kiosks through digitalisation.

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