Monday, 28 November 2022

Tokopedia’s Tanuwijaya leads the company’s innovation and growth while uplifting the lives of Indonesians

5 min read

By The Asian Banker

William Tanuwijaya helped facilitate the rise of Indonesia’s largest online marketplace with entrepreneurial spirit and resilience. He led Tokopedia to achieve tremendous growth and improve livelihoods in Indonesia. He was instrumental in driving the merger of Gojek and Tokopedia in May 2021.

  • Tanuwijaya’s leadership enabled the emergence of Indonesia’s largest online marketplace
  • He has significantly helped reshape the economic landscape that uplifts the lives of many
  • He led Tokopedia to achieve tremendous growth and was instrumental in driving the merger with Gojek

Singapore, 29 July 2021 – William Tanuwijaya, co-founder and chief executive officer at Tokopedia, was recognised for Innovation Leadership in Indonesia at The Asian Banker Leadership Achievement Awards Virtual Ceremony 2021.

Tanuwijaya’s leadership enabled the emergence of Indonesia’s largest online marketplace

Tanuwijaya, along with his co-founder, first introduced Tokopedia as an economic enabler in Indonesia in 2009. However, he struggled to convince potential investors in the country and overseas, and received countless rejections. Many have downplayed the potential of the company and discouraged him from carrying such big dreams. Nevertheless, he persevered and managed to obtain funding, which marked the start of becoming one of the largest online marketplaces in Indonesia.

He has significantly helped reshape the economic landscape that uplifts the lives of many

He believes in the potential of a marketplace in helping others to succeed and improve the livelihoods in Indonesia. He co-founded the Indonesian E-Commerce Association and has helped reshape the economic landscape in the country. According to the University of Indonesia’s Economic and Social Research Institute study, Tokopedia contributed more than 1% of Indonesia’s economy through its online marketplace activities. 

During the pandemic, Tokopedia’s belief in #SelaluAdaSelaluBisa, which means always able, always present, and its #JagaEkonomiIndonesia campaign, or let’s guard the Indonesian economy, have provided significant support to buyers and sellers alike. The number of buyers and sellers on the platform surged and micro-scale business owners accounted for 90% of the newly joined entrepreneurs during the pandemic. 

Tanuwijaya said, “We are experiencing rapid digital disruption and transformation where digital solutions have helped businesses continue to operate and serve their customers. People across the archipelago can now have essential goods and services to fulfil their everyday needs from home”.

He led Tokopedia to achieve tremendous growth and was instrumental in driving the merger with Gojek

Over 300 million products have been sold and 11 million merchants empowered on the platform. Out of the 11 million, 86.5% are first-time entrepreneurs seeking a new source of income. Over 100 million users that span across 99% of Indonesia’s immense and unique geography visit the site every month. Tokopedia provides support to small and medium-sized enterprises through working capital access and entrepreneurial education in the areas of product development, branding and marketing.  

This year, Tanuwijaya was instrumental in driving the merger with Gojek to create one of the largest tech groups in Indonesia and one of the biggest ride-hailing and e-commerce companies in Southeast Asia, which will create better innovation and synergies. 

In his acceptance speech, Tanuwijaya said, “At Tokopedia, we are blessed to support and work closely with millions of small businesses across Indonesia. We’ve witnessed how they’ve adapted and innovated to overcome health and economic issues during these challenging times. We have witnessed the rise of a transformative generation, where collaboration, adaptation and innovation are keys to not only survive but also thrive”. 

For video of the Leadership Dialogue and Leadership Achievement Awards Virtual Ceremony, please click here.

About Innovation Leadership Achievement Awards

The Asian Banker conducts the Innovation Leadership Achievement Awards every three years. It is one of our most important individual award programmes to underscore the importance of sound and visionary leadership in creating and fostering an environment and culture of innovation in individual institutions and how it can also play a pivotal role in shaping the industry.  

We seek to recognise distinguished executives whose vision, efforts, and commitment inspire and champion the innovation that are already well regarded by peers in the industry. It also

recognises leaders from banks, non-banking institutions, as well as fintechs and other organisations that provide cutting-edge customer or end-user experience and have successfully managed to disrupt the market with unique products and services. 

The programme is predicated on the following belief – “Leadership in innovation is demonstrated by the ability to execute a well communicated vision as an innovation champion, by inspiring and leading a strong team, with courage and passion in overcoming specific adversities in order to deliver a solution that has the potential to disrupt the market and achieve a strong and sustainable business performance”.

About The Asian Banker International

The Asian Banker is the region’s most authoritative provider of strategic business intelligence to the financial services community. The global research company has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Manila, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Dubai, as well as representatives in London, New York, and San Francisco. It has a business model that revolves around three core business lines: publications, research services and forums. The company’s website is

For further information, you may get in touch with:

Mobasher Zein Kazmi 

Head of Research

Tel: (+61) 452 514 145


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