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By June 2018, Nusantara was up, supply line established, website was up, testing and commissioning done with first test sale executed flawlessly. All that was needed now was an organic sale and I would have achieved the proof of concept to satisfy 2 of our potential investors.

And then the backend broke. At first, we thought that was a minor glitch but the problem got worse — with every attempted fix more things broke. We just couldn’t get it to work again as it did at testing and commissioning. And so I took time out to engage with the Backend team member. Perhaps he didn’t quite understand that we could not move forward without a stable backend. So I tried explaining the big picture to him and the complex decision-making that lay ahead. Once we succeeded in our marketing and the sales started rolling in, I would need to begin discussions with the investors. And if successful we would then have the funds to ramp up. We also need to be prepared for contingencies like continuity of supply chain, handle any logistics glitches, look at our cost structures and any possible bottlenecks, etc. And while all this is happening the backend cannot break or we would suffer a loss of confidence all along the chain. And this will affect valuation.

For months I listened to his suggestions and proposed some myself. But nothing worked. So close but yet so far. Finally, I gave up and asked my other technical person to step in. So the Web Designer took it upon herself to work directly with the backend — and that meant her business suffered a drop because her focus was diverted from her core business of Web Design. And web design is a different universe from the technical backend. But nothing to lose I thought. Still, she tried. But again nothing worked. So tantalizingly close and yet still so far. We did it once before so we have the core skills but we just could not repeat our original status at testing and commissioning.

And then we lost Prem. A huge hit. But we still plowed on. This time with different backend people but still we couldn’t fix it to the original status.

And then the pandemic hit. By this time my reserves were dangerously low. Then the supply chain broke, then new logistics conditions came and I finally had to hit the pause button. I was exhausted. First, we were 5 and now we were 2. And that saved us.

To be continued…

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Read “The Nusantara Story” Series