Aldi Haryopratomo was selected on October 2012 at the 45th International Selection Panel in Istanbul, Turkey
Ruma’s story is not that of one entrepreneur; rather, it is a story of thousands of micro-entrepreneurs, each one empowered with a highly portable business. Founded in 2009 by Aldi, Ruma has quickly built a network of agents – or ―Rekan Usaha, – who are equipped to buy and sell prepaid minutes for mobile phones in Indonesia’s underserved rural communities to address issues of shortcoming in the distribution infrastructure. Subsequently, the Company was rebranded as Mapan with a mission to help low income communities to have access to products and services that would improve their lives. The challenge of access for these communities is not always due to distance, but also due to their low purchasing power and lack of information access. The goods available in these communities are usually lower quality but at a higher price than the department stores. To make matters worse, they buy almost everything on credit provided by predatory lenders due to the lacking information referring to other alternatives.
Mapan is uniting the power of millions of low income families to provide them with better access to goods and services. The Company does this by recruiting local entrepreneurs and local leaders to facilitate ordering, payment, and delivery for their neighbors using its technology. Mapan split profits with the entrepreneurs, so the local economy could continue to thrive. Furthermore, Mapan also provides them with a Group Chat app that will enable them to connect with each other and empower the surrounding communities. By providing access to reliable information and good-quality products through The Company’s technology, Aldi believes that Mapan can strengthen these communities and support them raise their income and dignity.
Aldi’s impressive pedigree – former BCG consultant and Harvard Business School alum – belies a long, winding path. Aldi graduated from Purdue with a degree in computer science in 2004 and worked two years as an IT security consultant for Ernst & Young in San Francisco before joining the star microfinance organization, Kiva, as employee number six. Aldi left Kiva to work at BCG where he had an opportunity to create the initial design for a mobile banking system in Pakistan, ultimately realizing the vast commercial potential of enabling a network of rural shopkeepers with the ability to accept mobile payments. In late 2008, inspired by this previous revelation and in partnership with Sean Dewitt, director at the Grameen Foundation, Aldi created the pilot project that would become Ruma. After winning several competitions, including first place at the Harvard Social Enterprise Conference, Ruma secured investments from Unitus Impact, Omidyar Network, and NorthStar. In September 2011, Aldi returned to run Ruma full time, reinforcing the company by rapidly supplanting previous team members with new, more ambitious people from top firms such as BCG, Yahoo!, IBM, and Nielsen, and through the creation of strict operating procedures, enabling Ruma to refine the branch network.