Salah satu ladang bisnis yang tengah berkembang pesat saat ini adalah bisnis online. Sebetulnya nyaris tak ada yang berbeda antara bisnis online maupun bisnis non online. Bedanya adalah dari segi fungsional. Kalau online, menjual produk atau jasa melalui layanan internet atau online, sementara yang non online adalah sebaliknya.

Itu berlaku bagi mereka yang memang sudah punya produk atau jasa jauh sebelum teknologi online berkembang. Namun, ada sejumlah orang yang malah baru berbisnis setelah media online mulai marak, maka muncul istilah E-Commerce.

Di Amerika peluang usaha E-Commerce sangat terbuka mengingat tinggi tingkat pengguna internet di Amerika. Salah seorang yang kemudian melihat peluang dan menjadikannya lahan bisnis adalah Richie Widianto, warga Indonesia yang sukses menjadi juragan bisnis online di Amerika.

Pemilik situs terkenal efooddepot.com ini bercerita bagaimana dia memulai bisnis online sehingga dia dikenal sebagai juragan bisnis online dari Indonesia.

Berikut petikan wawancaranya :

Bisa ceritakan tentang bisnis-bisnis Anda? US Prepaid itu bisnis macam apa?

Bisnis utama saya adalah menjual telepon kartu “virtual” di Internet, bernama US Prepaid Telecom. Bisnis telpon kartu online ini adalah sebuah integrator dari produk-produk Telkom, jasa, dan teknologi e-commerce. Spesialisasi kami adalah mendistribusikan produk-produk telpon kartu pra-bayar. Kami juga menawarkan program afiliasi “E-trepreneur” dimana seseorang bisa  endaftar dan memiliki bisnis telpon kartu dalam waktu kurang dari 72 jam.

Bagaimana dengan bisnis Anda yang lain, EfoodDepot?

Bisnis online saya yang satu lagi adalah Food Depot Corporation, yang diluncurkan pada tahun 2007. Awalnya kami hanya ingin menjual produk-produk makanan dari Indonesia, Thailand, Jepang, dan negara-negara Asia lainnya. Tahun 2009 kami merubah model bisnis kami, dan memposisikan bisnis efooddepot.com sebagai supermarket dan toko alat-alat rumah tangga online berkelas dunia yang menawarkan lebih dari 500,000 produk (target tahun 2010). Target kami bukan cuma penduduk asing di Amerika Serikat, tapi juga seluruh penduduk di Amerika Serikat. Impian kami adalah untuk merubah gaya hidup orang Amerika dalam membeli keperluan grosir, karena menurut kami konsumer bisa menghemat waktu membeli grosir melalui Internet dibanding pergi ke supermarket. Rencana kedepan kami adalah mengantarkan makanan segar, dan bahan-bahan segar lainnya seperti daging, ikan, langsung ke pintu anda. Kami yakin kami mampu untuk menjadi yang terbaik di industri ini karena sebelumnya belum ada yang berani mencoba apa yang kami lakukan pada skala seperti ini. Ide-ide kami sangatlah unik, harga-harga yang kami tawarkan pun sangat kompetitif. Kita menawarkan biaya pengantar hanya $4.99, flat. Setiap pembelian akan menerima produk promo gratis. Selain itu, program referal yang kami tawarkan juga bagus—terdapat 5 level piramid di toko www.Efooddepot.com, karena program seperti ini meng-cross culture kan produk-produk makanan, dan memiliki seleksi dan variasi yang luas. Saat ini kami menyediakan produk-produk Asia, Eropa, Timur Tengah, Amerika Latin, dan tentu saja makanan Amerika Serikat. Bukan itu saja, kami juga menawarkan alat-alat rumah tangga serta obat-obatan dari berbagai macam negara.

Diantara ketiga bisnis-bisnis tersebut, mana yang paling tua dan lebih dulu didirikan? Ide-ide ketiga tersebut darimana? Ceritakan awalnya?

Ide untuk menjual kartu telpon bermula ketika saya masih sekolah sekitar 13 tahun lalu, karena hal ini saya memutuskan untuk drop-out dari program master Oklahoma City University. Pada tahun 2004, saya bertemu partner saya Khaing Zaw Swe dari Myanmar dan tidak lama kemudian kami mendirikan US Prepaid Telecom serta menciptakan program afiliasi online bernama “e-trepreneur”.

Modal pertama dapat darimana, dan kira-kira sudah balik modal setelah berapa lama?

Investasi pertama diperoleh dari Ayah saya. Saya meyakinkan beliau untuk memberikan uang pengeluaran selama sepuluh bulan sekaligus, dan berjanji setelah itu tidak akan meminta uang lagi. Dan benar saja semenjak itu saya tidak tergantung lagi pada Ayah. Di bulan pertama bisnis kami berkembang dari memperoleh keuntungan sekitar $400 USD di bulan pertama dan melonjak ke angka $4000 USD pada bulan kedua. Kami meraih angka penjualan $60,000 USD di bulan ke Sembilan dan terus meningkat sampai saat ini.

Hambatan atau tantangan apa yang Anda hadapi selama menjalankan bisnis online?

Bisnis online sangatlah tricky, khususnya dalam hal penjualan kartu telpon, karena bisnis ini tidak menggunakan pihak ketiga untuk membuktikan bahwa kita telah menjual kartu telpon kepada si pemesan. Tidak seperti kejadian dimana seorang pelanggan membeli komputer dan tukang pos Fedex akan menghantar barang tersebut ke rumah, nah jika pelanggan tersebut tidak menerima barangnya, kami bisa mengeluh kepada Fedex. Akan tetapi bisnis kartu telpon online tidak bekerja seperti itu, kami hanya memberi sebuah nomor PIN instan lewat alamat email pelanggan. Dari sini bisa saja kan si pelanggan bilang bahwa ia tidak pernah menerima nomor PIN tersebut. Aktifitas penipuan online seperti pencurian kartu kredit merupakan salah satu macam tindak kriminal yang paling rumit. Di sepanjang tahun kami membangun sebuah sistem tracking dan monitoring demi mencegah aktifitas penipuan. Tingkat aktifitas penipuan yang terjadi di bisnis kami cukup rendah, kami mampu menurunkan ke angka 0.016%, lebih rendah dibandingkan rata-rata bisnis-bisnis online lainnya yaitu 1%.

Hal yang menarik dalam menjalankan bisnis online?

Hal yang terbaik dari bisnis online adalah mobilitas, anda secara praktek bisa mengerjakannya dimana saja dan bisnis akan tetap jalan, dan tentunya pasar berjalan tanpa adanya perbatasan waktu selama 24 jam tiap harinya tanpa harus berhenti satu detik pun.

Sampai kapan anda akan meneruskan bisnis online seperti ini? Nasihat apa yang Anda bisa berikan, jika ada orang Indonesia yang ingin mendirikan bisnis online?

Saya akan tetap mengerjakan bisnis online, saya sarankan bagi yang berminat untuk bisa memiliki ide-ide yang unik, inovatif, dan “fresh”. Jika anda memegang prinsip “some body you will become no body” (seseorang bisa menjadi bukan siapa pun), tidak ada yang tidak mungkin atau gila, kadang ide yang gila bisa menjadi sesuatu yang cemerlang.  (inna)

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