Biography of Ahmad Zaky: Founder and Former CEO of Bukalapak

Biography of Ahmad Zaky

Who doesn’t know about Bukalapak? Yes, one of the largest e-commerce sites in Indonesia, which was founded in 2016. Let’s get to know the founder and CEO who has a big influence on the success of the marketplace, namely Ahmad Zaky.

Ahmad Zaky’s Childhood

Ahmad Zaky was born on August 24, 1986, a son of a married couple whose profession is a junior high school teacher in a village in Sragen, Central Java Province.

The founder of this Bukalapak was not born into a rich family. Apart from that, education remains a top priority for both parents in the hope that the child will become a successful person in the future.

Since he was in elementary school, Zaky has been familiar with the world of technology. It started with a computer given by one of his uncles in 1997. From there, his interest in programming began to emerge.

Ahmad Zaky’s wedding

Ahmad Zaky ended his bachelor period on October 17, 2010, by marrying a woman born on January 17, 1986, namely Diajeng Lestari. A woman from Bekasi is also an Indonesian entrepreneur.

With his experience in the world of doing business on the internet, Zaky also passed it on to Diajeng where starting from the difficulty of his wife in finding a hijab, Ahmad Zaky sparked an idea, namely, a commercial site specifically for Muslim clothing called Hijup.

Ahmad Zaki Education

Here are some summaries of the education period of a famous figure, namely Ahmad Zaki:

High School (High School)

When he was in high school, Ahmad Zaky decided to move to Solo to continue his education at SMAN 1 Solo. And that’s where Zaky got an opportunity to participate in the National Science Olympiad (OSN) representing his school in the field of computers.

Thanks to his achievement in winning the National Science Olympiad event, Ahmad Zaky had the opportunity to continue his studies at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) by majoring in Informatics Engineering.

Student Life

As a new student from the region, being in a scope that contains smart, proactive, and Indonesian-speaking people makes him feel inferior. At that time, Ahmad Zaky was shy and still carried his Javanese accent.

In the end, Zaky made peace with the situation and made him realize that he had to improve himself so that he could become even better. As time goes by, he finally dares to go with the flow, starting from making friends with smarter ones to benchmarking himself.

Thanks to his persistence in studying, in his first semester he managed to get a 4.00 GPA. The figure of Fajrin Rasyid, who is now one of the CFO (Chief Finance Officers) and co-founder of Bukalapak, had an important role during Zaky’s time at ITB.

Achievement in college

In addition to being active in the academic field, Ahmad Zaky also initiated the change of the Entrepreneur Club’s name to Techno Entrepreneur Club. And the birth of a branch of the Share Global Student Thinks Tank at ITB.

Not only that, Ahmad Zaky won 2nd place in the 2007 MIC (Wireless Innovation Contest) competition held by Indosat. In addition, the Merit Award in the 2008 INVICTA (Indonesia ICT Awards) competition was added to the list of achievements.

Ahmad Zaky received a scholarship from the United States government to continue his studies at Oregon State University for two months. Quite surprising for people who are not proficient enough in English but can be accepted there.

Ahmad Zaky

Time after graduation

After graduating from ITB, Ahmad Zaky did not immediately find a smooth path in terms of his career. Had applied to several consulting companies as management consulting, but unfortunately, the results were nil.

Not getting a job, Zaky finally decided to try something else, namely, to build a company called suit media. Engaged in IT consulting services in developing websites, applications, and digital marketing strategies.

Through his experience in building IT systems in large companies, he made him think about starting to create something that has many benefits for people. Zaky tried several internet business models and at that time e-commerce still had a big opportunity.

The process of the establishment of Bukalapak

After graduating from college, Ahmad Zaky decided to return to his hometown first. Looking at the situation around his house, where many have small businesses, nothing has changed for a dozen years.

It started with an anxiety

Seeing the phenomenon above, Ahmad Zaky was inspired to create useful software to be a place that can be used by small entrepreneurs. Especially as a form of development in order to grow even bigger.

Realizing that it is a big thing and cannot be done alone, Zaky decides to find a partner to work on this vision. Nugroho Herucahyono, one of his friends from a boarding house in Bandung, he appointed to participate in this project.

The beginning of Bukalapak’s journey

In 2010, Zaky and his friend Nugroho Herucahyono, who is now the CTO of Bukalapak, built the software for approximately two months for about two months. With 90 thousand in cash to buy a domain, the project was finally launched to the public on January 10, 2010.

Had thought of many names for the website. In the end, Zaky and his team named it Bukalapak for reasons that match the company’s vision and mission and are simple and easy to remember.

Not as smooth as what is imagined now. After Bukalapak was launched, there was not a single visit to the site. The founders had experienced annoyance, sadness, and anger, but when he remembered his vision and mission, Ahmad Zaky was excited again.

Bukalapak Development Period

Right after the establishment of Bukalapak one year, it was recorded that the site had around 10,000 SMEs. But it doesn’t stop there, the immaturity of the internet business and the small market, coupled with the capital that has been backed up by the co-founder, makes this project a little problematic.

Finally, Ahmad Zaky went down to look for investors to extend the life of Bukalapak. It was a little difficult for him to feel in this case, especially since the figure was quite large, namely Rp. 100 million, received many rejections for his proposal.

While thinking about the fate of Bukalapak, Zaky helped his wife in building the startup which at that time became the world’s first Muslim fashion e-commerce. Had felt hopeless, but again the trust of 10,000 SMEs in this project again encouraged him.

Bukalapak’s golden age

As time goes by, little by little Bukalapak’s dream is starting to come true. One company from Japan, Batavia Incubator, became the first investor to invest. In 2012 it received another injection of funds from GREE Ventures.

Then in 2014 along with the launch of mobile applications, companies such as Auchan, IREP, 500 startups, and GREE Ventures invested in Bukalapak. One year later, namely 2015 EMTEK joined the ranks of investors and owns the largest share.

Until 2018, there were around 4 million Indonesian SMEs who joined Bukalapak. For Zaky, surviving in difficult times is not easy. But a goal will always be an encouragement to keep trying.

In this world nothing is instant. Enjoying every process is an important part of a goal. That was a little biography of Ahmad Zaky, founder and former CEO of Bukalapak. Hopefully it can inspire.

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