We talked to Hafiz Rahman Sukarni of Eyerys, a company founded as a team for web design and development, hoping to help others get into the internet by providing the means to have their own online presence. This is what he said:
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Hafiz Rahman Sukarni: I’m good. We’re doing pretty well, actually. And we’re glad that we’ve just received our first vaccine shot.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Eyerys.
Hafiz Rahman Sukarni: It all started as a hobby back in the college days. At that time, I was fascinated by the pace the internet grew and how quickly information flows through it. Google was there, and so did Wikipedia. Social media was not a thing yet, Yahoo! was still doing well, and mobile devices were dumb. People were still relying on their PCs, laptops, or even queue at internet cafes, just to open their emails, browse some early social media, and go to some websites. Connection was slow, but people didn’t seem to care.
Among other reasons, Eyerys was founded as a team for web design and development, hoping to help others get into the internet by providing the means to have their own online presence. We want to help populate the web.
We had clients from various companies. Eyerys was built by a passionate team, and we had a good start. We’ve had our own ups and downs, but sometimes, or at least for me, the journey is what matters the most. It tells lots of stories.
How does Eyerys innovate?
Hafiz Rahman Sukarni: We began as a team of web designers and web developers. But then, when the web shifted to mobile and social media, we began to see that people expect their online presence as something that should be given, not earned. With mobile and social media, online presence is no longer a luxury, instead, it’s a complimentary provided by the internet. This shifted businesses. Now, they want to be part of the community. But at the same time, we see more business wanting to learn by becoming the market themselves.
This was when we also shifted and started playing a wider role to provide them with the information they want by also providing consultations.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Hafiz Rahman Sukarni: I’m grateful that the pandemic isn’t dragging us down to a level we cannot recover from.
First, the pandemic made us spend more on resources. But the good thing, we’re already used to remote working even before this crisis, meaning that the way we work isn’t changing much.
Second, the pandemic that affects the economy also had a direct impact on our clients’ plans and budgets. As a result, we had to brainstorm things.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Hafiz Rahman Sukarni: No. We’re a small team, and it’s at a time like this that I’m grateful that we are. Being small means that we’re more nimble. We can change direction fairly quickly. And because we’re a small team, we’re in this together. We’ll get through this together, as one. We’re on the same boat. And I’m glad that we all agree.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Hafiz Rahman Sukarni: We use emails and messaging apps more often following the pandemic. While we work remotely, we urge the team to be ready at a moment’s notice. The tools we use for communication include WhatsApp, Zoom, and so forth. We also use tools for collaborating and more. But nothing changed much, It’s the frequency we use those tools that has increased.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Hafiz Rahman Sukarni: No, not this time.
Your final thoughts?
Hafiz Rahman Sukarni: We live in the same world. And this COVID-19 is a global event that causes a chain reaction that affects everything. During this pandemic, entrepreneurs’ only way to thrive is to adapt to the change. Entrepreneurs need to understand the demand and see where the trend is going. Digitalization has been accelerated tremendously because of the pandemic, and we can thank the internet that helped many businesses with the resilience.
The internet changed many things in the past, and this time, it helps us adapt to the Future.
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