Sobat Bolang: Let’s travel and experience the joy of rural living
Sobat Bolang is one of the finalists in the HI Hub Incubator Program. Rizal Adhari, founder, tells us more about the business.
What product or service does Sobat Bolang offer?
Sobat Bolang offers an integrated digital platform to accommodate travelers to discover rural destinations as well as interact with other fellow travelers, connect them to the reliable local travel suppliers, secure the transaction, and support the sustainable development. Initially, Sobat Bolang will be launched and focused on Indonesia rural destinations market. Sobat Bolang is Indonesian casual term to express “traveling mate”
How did you come up with the idea for this business?
In the past few years, especially during the pandemic, rural tourism has become more popular destinations. Indonesia, the biggest archipelago country and owning 4.674 tourism villages, looks the trend and has been focusing on Tourism Village (Desa Wisata) Development in the past three years. Yet, it is not like a walk in the park to grow rural tourism destinations since reliable and comprehensive information about the destinations is still limited. Moreover, difficult access to visit is also an obstacle for tourists, besides trust and safety issues being a big concern. On the other hand, rural tourism growth has to be aware of sustainable development as village assets are relatively fragile. Hence, Sobat Bolang would like to be part of the solution.
Why did you decide to participate in the HI Hub Incubator program?
The HI Hub Incubator Program was one of my main reasons to pursue my master degree in NYU and participating in this program was part of my study plan since the beginning. I found that this is really impressive incubator services with tremendous mentors & investor network and also aligned with my business startup idea in the tourism industry.
What do you enjoy most about creating your own startup business?
Imagining the impact of my own startup business to the ecosystem and community.
What advice would you give to someone contemplating founding a startup?
Just do it (under your resource capability) and you will know.
What is something you learned through this process that you wish you’d known before you created your startup?
Make it your plan simple and actionable to start with.
What does the future of your startup look like in an ideal world?
Sobat Bolang would be the top-of-mind ultimate digital platform for travelers to discover and access rural destinations, not only in Indonesia but across the world.
Have you worked with any alumni or mentors on this project? If so, who and what was that experience like?
I am very excited and looking forward to work with all amazing mentors assigned to me and work together in the next six months to reshape Sobat Bolang and launch in the market.