Asia: By the Numbers Part 1

Since I’m supposed to be a numbers guy, as I travel Asia speaking to YPO/WPO and EO chapters, I thought I’d start a blogging series called Asia: By the Numbers.

Status: Currently I’m sitting in the Cathay Pacific Lounge, waiting for my delayed flight to Hong Kong. Last evening, I spoke to the Indonesia chapter of YPO. Great group, although I have to say I may need to update my US pop culture humor references for the international market.

I had been warned to be careful in Jakarta but after reading TripAdvisor, I felt comfortable that those warnings may have been Western media bias. I’m not sure if it made me feel more or less safe when I had to go through a medal detector to get into my hotel. In general, I felt very safe in my brief stint here.

The Numbers – 17,508, 245 M, #4, 30 M, #3, 27 M

In my 24 hours in Indonesia, I learned some fascinating stats. First off, Indonesia is an archipelago consisting of five major islands and 30 more groups of islands. All total, Indonesia contains 17,508 islands. Many of which are uninhabited. Want to buy one? You can.

Indonesia has a population of over 245 M people making it the #4 largest country in the world. Perhaps, this proves my lack of worldliness but before visiting, I would have had no idea that it even fell in the top 10.

Of it’s 245 M, only 30 M are online. Yet Indonesia ranks as the #3 country on Facebook (behind the US and UK) with a whopping 27 M Facebook users. You don’t have to know how to count cards to realize that that means 90% of the people that are online in Indonesia are on Facebook.

Furthermore, Twitter penetration (HR) in Indonesia continues to grow with it currently ranked as the number one Twitter penetrated country in the world. According to comScore, 20.8% of its online users are on Twitter, compared to the average country where only 7.4% of their online users are Tweeting.

An interesting anectodal side note comes from a YPO Indonesia member who commented that many of the younger Indonesians are learning English because of their desire to Tweet.

So what does all of this mean? I’m not sure if I know yet but one thing is certain. As I look for my next opportunity in technology, learning more about Indonesia and potential opportunities there is going to be at the top of my to-do list.


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