Innovating the Hospitality Landscape: Inspiration from Mr. Indra Gunawan, CEO of Bobobox Indonesia

img Hafidz Bukitvista | July 19, 2023

Hi, there! It’s Hafidz here. I am part of Bukit Vista’s Digital Marketing team and on this occasion, I’m delighted to share our weekly company meeting with Bobobox CEO, Mr. Indra Gunawan

In today’s fast-paced world, the hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet the needs of modern travelers. As companies strive to offer unique experiences and cater to niche markets, innovation becomes the key to success. In a recent all-hands meeting with Mr. Indra Gunawan, the CEO of Bobobox Indonesia, Bukit Vista, had the privilege of gaining valuable insights from a true industry pioneer. Let’s delve into the remarkable journey of Bobobox and the inspiring vision of Mr. Indra Gunawan.

Bobobox: The Next Generation Sleeping Lifestyle Company

Bobocabin Baturaden
Bobocabin Baturaden. Source:
Bobobox Double Bed. Source:

Bobobox, founded by Mr. Indra Gunawan, emerged as a trailblazer in the hospitality industry, redefining the concept of accommodations. Positioned as the next-gen sleeping lifestyle company, Bobobox set out to offer a seamless and quality rest solution for frequent budget travelers, anytime and anywhere. Their unique approach involves the use of sleeping pods (capsules) and cabins tailored to urban frequent travelers, young adventurers, millennials, and Gen Z.

Inspiration Behind Bobobox's Inception

Mr. Indra Gunawan’s journey to creating Bobobox began with his keen observation of the tech landscape in Indonesia back in 2016-2017. Instead of focusing solely on rapid growth and scaling, he aspired to build something that would be sustainable with a clear path to profitability. Recognizing the significance of sleep as an integral part of everyone’s lifestyle and the lack of innovation in that domain, he was determined to make a difference.

A pivotal moment came when he noticed that travel had evolved into a lifestyle, with a staggering 9-fold increase in the number of travelers in Indonesia, predominantly consisting of millennials. It was then that the idea of Bobobox was born. Inspired by the rapid growth of capsule hotels in Japan and around the world, Mr. Indra Gunawan sought to tap into this untapped market in Indonesia.

He embarked on a six-month journey, traveling the world and trying various capsule hotels to understand the concept better. Armed with valuable insights and a clear vision, he set out to create a unique hospitality experience that would not only offer better unit economics but also deliver new value to users.

Overcoming Skepticism: Breaking Ground in the Hotel Industry

Mr. Indra Gunawan, CEO Bobobox
Mr. Indra Gunawan, CEO Bobobox. Source:

The road to success for Bobobox was not without its challenges. When Mr. Indra Gunawan shared his idea of introducing capsule hotels to Indonesia, he faced skepticism from colleagues and industry insiders. Questions like “Who would stay in a capsule in Indonesia when there are affordable hotels available?” and “Who would want to share a bathroom in a $15 hotel?” echoed in response to his bold vision.

However, with unwavering determination and belief in the concept, Bobobox launched its first capsule hotel in December 2017. To everyone’s surprise, the room occupancy rate was an impressive 98% during that month, validating the market demand for such innovative accommodations. Social media played a crucial role in raising awareness and educating customers, eventually leading to widespread acceptance and popularity.

The Future of Bobobox: Expanding Across Indonesia

Having achieved significant growth and success, Bobobox has set its sights on a promising future. Based on guest experiences, reviews, and customer feedback, the company aims to expand its services across Indonesia. The country’s rich natural beauty and cultural diversity make it an ideal destination for travelers, and Bobobox intends to offer more efficient, safe, and hygienic accommodations to those seeking to explore Indonesia.

A Transformative Journey: From Profitability to Shared Values

Reflecting on his time as a CEO, Mr. Indra Gunawan shares a transformational insight. Initially, the focus was on financial success, but over time, he came to recognize the fundamental importance of establishing shared values from the very beginning. Unlike in his previous company, Bobobox prioritized values even before achieving product-market fit. This emphasis on values helped attract the right people who shared the company’s vision, fostering an ethical and driven culture.

In the words of Mr. Indra Gunawan, building a company can be emotionally draining, but when aligned with shared values, the outcomes during challenging times are remarkably different. The shift in focus from merely making money for oneself to creating value for the team, customers, and partners fosters a more sustainable and meaningful business approach.


From our All-Hans meeting with Mr. Indra Gunawan, we can conclude the following:

Mr. Indra Gunawan’s journey with Bobobox serves as a testament to the power of innovation, determination, and belief in one’s vision. From pioneering the concept of capsule hotels in Indonesia to building a brand that values shared principles, Bobobox has become an inspiring force in the hospitality industry.

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