It has been an interesting and busy first week here in
Tuesday the 20th was the first day in the office. The morning spent coming up to speed on PT Ruma’s operations since inception in August. Generally a very good story. Financials are tracking pretty much to plan, but as with any start-up, not everything has gone according to expectations. Nevertheless, the progress to date is impressive and optimistic.
PT Ruma’s basic mission is to create business opportunities for measurably poor people in
The issue, and opportunity, has become the sale of “air time” for the phones. The poor must prepay for their air time (called pulsa—my first word in Indonesian Bahasa) and they cannot afford to buy it in large amounts. Typically they want to purchase IR5,000 to 10,000 at a time. (This is roughly 50 cents to a dollar.) PT Ruma has organized itself to be a mass provider of these small increments of air time to the poor through poor VPOs they have trained and service through a network of field officers (FOs). As the field officers themselves often may also fall under the poverty line they too are part of PT Ruma’s mission of providing opportunities for the poor.
The picture above was taken at the home and place of business of one of the VPOs outside the city of