Piksel Indonesia Company
Piksel Indonesia is creative social enterprise founded in 2007 and registered as legal entity in 2009. Piksel Indonesia is the creator of Batik Fractal and jBatik Software. Through a yearlong research about batik and science, we then developed a modeling software application to create batik design generatively and presented the innovation in 10th Generative Art International Conference in Milan Italy. In 2008, this innovation funded by Business Innovation Fund SENADA USAID and created jBatik v.1 and focus to empower batik artisans in Bandung. Since that time, Piksel Indonesia is working to empower batik and craft artisans in all Indonesia especially in Java and Bali.
Currently, we have trained around 1400 artisans to use jBatik software. The training was firstly organized by the local government in each rural area and villages where batik artisans usually live. As an innovation, the use of the software into traditional art needs intensive training and continued the effort. Through several training levels in mastering the use of jBatik software, the artisans can incorporate technology to develop their traditional craft work. The artisans are not only now have access to affordable technology and use the technology to develop their batik, but also have been proven to contribute to increase productivity, bring more sales and increase their profit which lead to improved income.
My project is called Batik Fractal under Piksel Indonesia as our registered legal corporation. It is focused on providing technology and design training for traditional batik artisans in Indonesia. This project started as a research about batik, science and technology by 3 founders (me, Yun Hariadi and Muhamad Lukman) in 2007. We found that math algorithm can be generated into batik patterns. We decided to build the batik pattern generator software and designed several of batik patterns using the software. We called it jBatik Software and the batik result is Batik Fractal.
Realizing that technology can be used to innovate the traditional art of batik and help the artisans to easily create various batik patterns, since 2008 we spread the jBatik software to traditional batik artisans throughout the country. Currently, there are 1400 artisan users implementing jBatik Software on their craft works. Knowing that the traditional artisans mostly cannot afford the expensive design software, we charge the software in affordable price and provide training service in 2 levels with different prices.
Plenty of traditional batik artisans are cannot afford the training at all. In order to reach them, we are working together with state and local government and tap the state annual budgets that are already reserved to empower the traditional artisans. This way, the artisans can get the first software and basic training for free. Hopefully, providing them with basic training and software will enable them to improve their work and craft and bring them more income for their new batik designs. We are hopeful that they will become our future users for next version of jBatik Software.
In addition to the technology business, we created Batik Fractal fashion line where the traditional artisans that we trained take part as vendors for batik material. We buy the batik fabric from them higher by 20-50% than the middlemen usually pay.
Since 2013, we are also establishing a cooperative for the unskilled women and teenagers who are living in poverty in a slum area Dago Pojok Bandung. We are providing design training, batik making training, sewing and craft making training for them. This cooperative aimed to give members the opportunity to improve their living condition by providing them the creative skill in batik making and access to the market for their products through Batik Fractal business channels. Under Batik Fractal Cooperative system, all members are also the co-owners of the organization and they will have a share in profit and stock.
Realizing the potential of jBatik Software, we see there are an opportunity and demand for technology-based design curriculum for high school. We are already taking the first step to designing the curriculum, working together with a consultant who specialized in Curriculum and Training Design. Our plan is to launch the pilot project in several schools by Q3 of 2016.
The social problem that we would like to solve is mainly circled around poverty in traditional batik and craft artisans since the basic problem for most Indonesian, in general, is poverty. Our strategy to solve this problem is through the implementation of technology in improving their craft design and including them to our business’ supply chain. Our social enterprise has expertise in this area and we are experienced on doing this program since 2008.
Usually, traditional artisans are paid way below market price for their crafts by middlemen who collected their crafts and sell it to customers.
There are 2 main problems that we have indicated:
1. Stagnation of batik patterns design. Usually traditional batik artisans just repeating the old pattern design or just copy the one pattern which happened to be in high demand, because they have no access to tools and training and information to improve their creativity in creating new design. This situation created the opportunity for middlemen to set the low price because there are plenty of supplies for the particular design produced by the traditional artisans.
We solve it by giving them the access to our affordable technology which is jBatik software complete with the training. jBatik software and training will enable them to create their own various new patterns and improve their products to escape from the price war situation which has created by the middlemen.
2. No alternative access to the market, they are solely depending on middlemen. These traditional artisans have no idea that their products are sold 5-10 times higher than what they get from the middlemen. They have no access to market and they have no information on market price, market channels and they have no idea how to reach the customers.
We solve it by including the artisans to become our vendors and suppliers for batik material of our Batik Fractal fashion line where we set the fair price for the works. We also provide training about marketing, fashion trend and pricing on many occasions. That way they can also have the opportunity to market their products independently and equipped themselves with market intelligence.
The main contribution of the project is to provide affordable technology for traditional batik artisans in Indonesia, which is jBatik Software. The software enables artisans to create an endless variant of batik designs in a short period of time with 3 days training.
jBatik software is an innovation to strengthen craft industry, especially batik as traditional cloth of Indonesia. Thousands of artisans are working in this sector. They are keep working manually while there is a more efficient way to increase their productivity and ensure their business continuity. By using jBatik software, these artisans able to speed up their design process, create new designs to easily which enable them to keep up with customers demands and extend their market. These benefits are can be obtained without abandoning the tradition and their craftsmanship.
Our organization is mainly in charge of the project implementation. We are also inviting local government in each batik region where we implement jBatik software. We are also working together with batik co-op, batik association, government or private training centers, universities, vocational schools, etc.
The arrangement is mainly focused on providing computers to run the software for training sessions of the artisans. With the training centers, we create the local training program, where artisans can get jBatik training in their area.
In 3-5 years my team and I aim to achieve the following:
1. We targeting to add 500-1000 users of jBatik software with concentration mainly in small and medium traditional batik and craft artisans.
The strategy is by creating more partnership with training centers in craft and batik regions to spread the jBatik software and training for more artisans.
2. We are targeting to open Batik Fractal retail counters or stores in 4 cities/locations in Indonesia: Jakarta, Surabaya, Bali and Medan which will increase the number of traditional artisans as suppliers.
The strategy is to create the partnership with existing retail stores first as small stockists in every location before later on establish independent stores.
3. We are targeting to establish branch of Batik Fractal Cooperative in 1-2 more slum areas in Bandung which will add minimum 60 members under Batik Fractal Cooperative, contributing to solve some of Bandung city problems, which are poverty, lack of skill and unemployment.
The strategy is to partner with government cooperative service in Bandung city to establish new cooperatives and invite local investors to kick start the program before the cooperatives become independent.
4. We are planning to do the pilot project for 1-2 high or vocational schools for jBatik Curriculum, which approximately will expose jBatik to 200-300 students.
The strategy is to create a partnership with public schools to implement the curriculum.
jBatik is a desktop application running in PC with Windows operating system. This application based on Java programming. The software can be directly installed in a computer with serial number and online activation.
Artisans then learn how to operate the software, where they are required to memorise alphabets, numerals and punctuation marks with its function. The combination of these codes then will be generated by the software to become images, where the lay outing feature of the software will create complete batik patterns.
The innovation lay on how the generative function of the software can help create various of designs in very short time just by changing some parameters of the initial image. By then, one main design can be iterated into countless variants, and this is helping the artisans tremendously in creating new designs.
The software is a design software, where artisans can continue to produce the design using traditional manual way or explore other ways of production using screenprints, digital prints, etc.
1. The training program for artisans
The activities are ongoing over time
2. The cooperative activities are ongoing. The cooperative is on registering process, but the activities have already involved 20 residents mainly women and youth.
3.Batik Fractal business
Batik Fractal business is an important part of the whole ecosystem as the proof of concept to show how this "new way" of creating batik resulting in sustainable business. Batik Fractal business is now growing and entering the overseas market.
1. There are 1400 artisans now using the software in their daily activities as craftsmen.
2. There are 10 artisans workshops that now become our business partners in producing Batik Fractal.
3. We are empowering the under advantaged residences in one slum area of Bandung city, build their creative skill and bring them additional income.
4. The Batik Fractal business is now growing
1. Publications in major newspapers and magazines as ongoing publication activities for our organization.
2. Scientific paper publication in national and international proceedings as dissemination of our innovation.
3. Products catalogs
5. Digital media publications (television appereances, radio interviews, internet media coverages)
6. Social media publications
1. Indonesia 100 Best Innovations 2008 2. Indonesia ICT Award 2008 - Winner 3. Asia Pacific ICT Award 2008 – Winner 4. 50 Indonesia Creative Entrepreneurs 2008 - SWA Magazine 5. UNESCO Award of Excellence 2008 – Winner 6. USAID Business Innovation Fund 2009 – Grantee, Project Leader 7. 60 Young Creative People 2009 - Harpers Bazaar Magazine 8. 45 Indonesia Inspirational Women 2009 - Amica Magazine 9. 100 Indonesia Digitalpreneur 2011 - SWA Magazine 10. International Footwear Design Competition, Shanghai 2010 – Winner 11. Community Entrepreneurship Challenge British Council 2010 – Top 10 Finalists 12. G20 Youth Summit, Paris 2011 – Committee, Indonesia Delegate 13. Intel Corporation – Brand Ambassador 14. Salute Indonesia Young Creative People Award Global TV 2011 – Winner 15. Pioneers of the Creative Economy - Forbes Indonesia 2012 16. Kartini Awards, Indonesia Inspirational Women 2012 - Nominee 17. Perempuan Inspiratif Nova-Nominee (Editor's Choice) 2012 - Nominee 18. Young Caring Professional Award (YCPA) 2012 – Winner 19. Young Indonesian Achievers Award 2012, Ministry of Education – Winner 20. Today’s Hero Award 2012, Mindtalk.com – Winner 21. Youth, Women, Netizen Ambassador, Marketeers Magazine 2012 – Ambassador 22. Google Innovations 2013, Google Inc. - Innovator Culture Hero 23. 24 Tokoh Kebanggaan Indonesia 2013 (24 Indonesian Pride Figures 2013) – Seputar Indonesia RCTI 24. BlackBerry Elite, BlackBerry Indonesia 2013 – Brand Ambassador 25. Kartini Next Generation, Category Business IT, Ministry of Communication 2014 - Winner 26. Jolkona Project Catalyst, Seattle, Washington State, USA 2014 - Graduate
Nancy Margried Panjaitan