William Tanuwijaya, Founder and CEO, PT Tokopedia

*Information correct as of June 2020.

William Tanuwijaya spent two years trying and failing to raise capital for his idea to create an online marketplace. His life changed when one potential investor told him that, as the son of a factory worker, he was nothing special. He realized then that he would not let failure stop him. In 2009, he finally secured funding from investors in Japan and South Korea to launch Tokopedia.

Tokopedia acts as an intermediary for people to buy and sell safely via its platform. The e‑commerce site has more than 90 million active users per month. William uses technology to make commerce available to everyone, regardless of their location, connecting the 17,000 islands of Indonesia.

By following his dream, William and Tokopedia have helped empower 6.4 million merchants and contributed to 1.5% of the Indonesian economy. In just over 10 years, the company has become one of Indonesia’s first unicorn startups.