Reprinted from Jakarta Globe. Original article here.
By Antonny Saputra
There are hundreds of online games published around the world every day, with dozens of them dubbed “the most popular” during their brief time in the spotlight.
With millions of die-hard fans spending hours in front of their computers all day long, game publishers can earn millions of dollars in profit through vouchers required for the players to keep playing, or through the sale of advanced items to players to enhance their gameplay.
Amid the sea of Indonesian gamers, one man has managed to find his own fortune within the online-gaming industry.
Vincent Iswaratioso is one of the founders of Indomog, an online company that provides people with an easy payment-solution option to purchase online gaming vouchers.
The website, which he launched with three of his friends in 2007, features an elegant Web layout that is free of unrelated pop-up ads and banners.
It was his success with the business that led Vincent to be chosen as one of three entrepreneurs to represent Indonesia at Endeavor’s 45th International Selection Panel in Istanbul, Turkey last month. Endeavor is an organization that aims to mentor promising entrepreneurs.
Vincent was joined by Niki Luhur, president director of payment-solutions company Kartuku, and Aldi Haryopratomo, chief executive of social enterprise Ruma.
“We attracted entrepreneur candidates from four continents to Istanbul, representing the true breadth of Endeavor’s efforts to identify and support high impact entrepreneurs throughout the world,” said Endeavor co-founder and chief executive Linda Rottenberg.
“After an outstanding ISP in Istanbul, I am thrilled to welcome our first Endeavor Entrepreneurs from Indonesia. We commend Vincent, Niki, and Aldi for their achievements thus far, and look forward to being part of their growth stories in the years to come.”
Vincent and his friends were still testing the waters of Indomog during their first three years of operation.
“It was a trial and error process for us in the beginning. We’ve even changed our management three times,” Vincent said.
Vincent, who is quite the gamer himself, was once among the hundreds of thousands of Ultima Online players when the MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) was released in late 1997.
Now, 15 years later, Vincent is helping streamline the process for die-hard players by providing a one-stop solution to access every available popular online game in Indonesia.
“In a way, playing online games is also a form of education. Some adventure games teach you about history and geography and of course the online elements encourages social interaction. This is why I think it’s a mistake to see online gamers as geeks, although console players who only play single-player games may prove to be different,” Vincent said about his support for children and teenagers to play more online games.
As one of the biggest markets for online gaming in Asia, one could wonder why Indonesian publishers don’t consistently develop their own high-profile MMORPG to cover our huge market. Vincent argued that one of the biggest problems people faced here was the fact that capable experts required for the tiny details of game development were all spread out.
“It’s hard to assemble the team,” he said. Established 15 years ago, Endeavor is a non-profit organization that aims to lead the global movement toward accelerating long-term economic growth. This is achieved by monitoring, selecting, mentoring and promoting the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world.
The organization’s community assists their selected entrepreneurs in overcoming developmental challenges through solid networking, access to smart capital, strategic advising and inspiration from successful world-renowned businessmen and women alike.
Endeavor chooses entrepreneurs like Vincent from around the world, with the hope that these talented people create job opportunities, become role models for others and foster an entrepreneurship ecosystem that promotes investment.
And now with its consistent growth, Endeavor has expanded to 15 different countries including Jordan and Saudi Arabia, with its Indonesian branch launched in February this year.
Vincent was one of the thousands of entrepreneurs Endeavor screened through an intense selection process, which lasted more than 12 months.
Participants had to pass a series of local and regional interviews before presenting themselves to the panelists of its global business network at an international selection panel, which is held four to five times each year.
When people are finally selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur, they will then receive guidance from mentors who voluntarily dedicate their time.
Endeavor entrepreneurs have created more than 180,000 jobs, contributed billions of dollars into local economies and have become role models for young people in developing economies.