“If you don’t achieve it, it means you don’t want it enough.” That’s what Warren Buffet told Casper Sermsuksan at a lunch in Omaha before he graduated from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. That piece of wisdom made an impact. “It’s what drives me to always do my best,” the 27-year-old entrepreneur says. After graduating, Sermsuksan became Associate Marketing Manager at a startup in the Bay Area. It looked like a great career path. But he wasn’t happy. He felt morally obligated “to do something good for everyone around”.
With co-founders Andy Hidayat and Andy Fajar, Sermsuksan founded Kulina, a marketplace for catering. “One of our missions is to get Indonesians eating healthy, nutritious food, without having to pay much,” he says. “So at first we are targeting the low to mid-level market. Premium products come way later.”
The Kulina business model has won admirers at Google. In 2017, Kulina was the only startup from Indonesia chosen to attend Launchpad Accelerator, a two- week boot camp in San Francisco that gives startups the opportunity to learn from Google product specialists from 30 teams across 24 countries.
Sermsuksan has just started SEA Bridge, which offers one-stop solutions for startups, companies and entrepreneurs who want to expand in Southeast Asia. He goes back and forth between Thailand and Indonesia nowadays. “I’m so busy,” he grins. “The challenge is how to stay sane! I do a yearly personal reflection, including a month without social media, to focus on the self.”
Photographed by Tony Narotama
40 UNDER 40: THE VANGUARDS LIST IS PRESENTED BY SULWHASOO, AS PUBLISHED IN PRESTIGE INDONESIA OCTOBER 2019 ISSUE.