Being a young woman tech executive has its thrills, at least that’s how Niki Tsuraya sees it. As a co-founder and the COO of Goers, Tsuraya is the glue that holds her team together.
Founded in late 2015, Goers is an event booking app that was borne out of frustration when Tsuraya and her partners, Sammy Ramadhan (CEO) and Anselmus Kurniawan (CTO), noticed that there was a lack of information about exciting activities in Jakarta. Goers makes event recommendations for its users, and lets them buy concert and movie tickets as well as arrange holiday plans. The firm claims to be the pioneer of mobile ticketing in Indonesia. According to Tsuraya, the app now has thousands of partners and approximately more than 400,000 subscribers.
For the first edition of KrASIA‘s “Women in Tech” series, we spoke to Tsuraya about the challenges of being a leader in a growing tech startup and the experiences that have come with that responsibility.
As COO of Goers, what is a typical day for you like?
I am in charge of Goers’ operations and products, so I lead a product and technical discussion, and do operational checks on a daily basis with the team. I also go out to meet our partners and go to events to network regularly. And since we are a growing startup, we are constantly hiring and I’m directly involved in that. We’re very picky about recruiting new people, so we usually take our time to learn about prospective employees and make sure that they have the same vision as us. In short, being a COO means you have to handle almost everything.
How did you end up as an entrepreneur in the tech industry?
When I was in college studying IT, I prepared myself to become an IT consultant and I didn’t actually think about becoming an entrepreneur. However, after I finished my master degree studies, a friend of mine asked me to join him in establishing a venture builder, so that’s how it started. I enjoy learning in the industry; it develops at a very fast pace. We learned how to build a business from scratch, from creating a business model to getting clients and partners.
How did you get the idea to build Goers, and what challenges did you face?
After spending some time in the venture builder, my partners and I had the idea to create a startup that provides information for young people about interesting activities happening in their cities. This was something new back then, as most youngsters in Indonesia would spend their free time at malls because they simply didn’t know about events that they could be a part of. I think the main challenges were to make sure that our products really provide solutions for the market and to keep up with recent technological developments.
What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the tech industry?
Based on personal experience from when I was starting out in the industry, people don’t necessarily expect anything from a woman, so you can start fresh without too much pressure—and surprise people with your work and achievements. On the other hand, you might often find yourself as the only woman in a meeting or at a networking event, so you have to voice your opinion louder to make sure that you are heard; otherwise, people would overlook you easily.
What advice do you have for young women who plan to enter the tech field?
Be bold and find a mentor who can guide and teach you about the industry. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions, and form a good relationship with people in your network so you can learn a lot and always stay up to date with the latest trends.
This article is part of “Women in Tech”, a series by KrASIA that highlights the achievements of women who are a driving force behind Southeast Asia’s tech startups.
Editor: Brady Ng