Jakarta – Warung (traditional shop) is one of local wisdoms that can be found in across Indonesia. Not only it supplies people’s with their daily needs, it also serves as a gathering place for people to communicate and deepen ties among them.

The advancement of digital technology has triggered Harya Putra and his friends to establish a start-up company named Warung Pintar (Smart Shop). It is basically a warung with technology-based management. It surely could help the owner and bring convenience to its visitors.

To commemorate the first anniversary of Warung Pintar and the 1000 warungs milestone, an event titled Pesta Rakyat Pintar (Smart People Party) was held on November 11 at the Garuda Theatre building inside the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) compound. It was attended by Minister for Research, Technology and Higher Education Mohamad Nasir as a honoured guest, Creative Economy Agency head Triawan Munaf and Banyuwangi regent Azwar Anas.

Nasir, Munaf and Warung Pintar CEO symbolically opened the curtain of a Warung Pintar stall to kick-start the event. There, Nasir, Munaf and Anas gathered and talked with Putra, one of Warung Pintar CEOs. Nasir praised the start-up because of its use of technology to build small-scale economy.

“This helps the network of market because everything, such as transaction and goods ordering, is done through an app. In addition, Warung Pintar has also created new jobs,” said Nasir.

Nasir said there were around 63,000 jobless university graduates at the moment. In the era of 4.0 Industrial Revolution, Indonesian universities are challenged to become more innovative and to teach entrepreneurship abilities to their students. University graduates should seize the vast potential of creative economy. Universities are also hoped to establish new, contemporary study programs to catch up with the fast-changing era like now.

“That’s what we are trying to change right now. Some 70 percent of study programs in developed country is science- or technology-based. Graduates from those courses secured jobs in the industry. Indonesia needs innovation on study programs,” said Nasir.

Nasir said the government was also developing the e-Learning method to increase Indonesia’s Global Competitiveness Index ranking.

“Indonesian youths should no longer worry about taking classes from distant. This will improve our global competitiveness level,” said Nasir.

Nasir ended his speech by saying that the government would give scholarships to students who managed Warung Pintar during their study period.

“We will allocate the budget for it. We will succeed if we work hard and are brave to innovate,” said Nasir.

At the same occasion, Munaf, the creative economy agency head, said technology had become very widespread in people’s lives and Warung Pintar was an example of creation by young people in the digital era.

“Warung is not only a place to sip coffee, bu also a window to the world due to the presence of wifi,” said Munaf.

Anas, the Banyuwangi regent, said he would support Warung Pintar if it planned to spread its wings by operating in Banyuwangi.

“In my seven years in office, I don’t issue permits for retail shops and new malls in Banyuwangi. This is aimed at protecting the local economy. Warung Pintar, on the other hand, could educate small warung owners about digitalization,” said Anas.

The event was also attended by partners of Warung Pintar and research ministry’s expert staff member Hari Purwanto.