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Introducing nafas, Air Quality Monitoring Application in Jabodetabek

Founded by Gojek’s former CMO, Piotr Jakubowski and Zulu’s CEO, Nathan Roestandy

The 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta & Palembang creates a moment of air quality as a talk among citizens and the media on a national scale. The cases of forest and land fires that have occurred several times are also categorized as incidents that have triggered this issue to become a national issue. However, the air quality issue is still insufficient for the daily conversation of the community.

Piotr Jakubowski, former CMO of Gojek, tries to bring this conversation to life through a platform. Together with Nathan Roestandy, he founded "nafas". Piotr serves as chief growth officer, while Nathan serves as chief executive officer. According to Piotr, Nathan, who was previously known as the founder of Zulu, has been researching this topic since 2016. In short, they both established nafas as a platform to help Jakarta residents and its surroundings in accessing data and educational sources regarding hyperlocal air quality.

Piotr said that this idea originated from the worsening air quality and the lack of local initiatives to describe the situation based on data. It was very bad, DKI Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan even said that air pollution has cost Rp60 trillion loss.

Therefore, what nafas actually offers to the public? Air quality data is the answer. There are a number of basics according to Piotr that differentiate breath from other air quality platforms. First in terms of accuracy. Nafas uses its own sensors to display captured data instantly and in real-time.

Piotr said, there are several other platforms that collect data from second hand via API or use satellite data only. There are also those whose data recording is not in real-time.

"It can be misleading and not beneficial to users because good data recording yesterday does not mean the current air quality is good either. Breath only displays the latest data," Piotr said.

Nafas has installed 46 sensors spread across Jabodetabek. Their sensors can update air quality data every 20 minutes. The data presented in the application are levels of Air Quality Index (AQI) and Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5.

The application also displays recommendations of activities according to the latest air conditions. With this number of sensors, Piotr claims nafas as the largest air quality data provider in Jakarta.

Bank Mandiri as one of the sponsor

Piotr didn't say nafas as a non-profit organization. The method they take to run nafas is through a sponsorship program. Specifically, nafas embraces individuals or companies with concern to ESG (environmental, social, governance) to sponsor the installation of censorship. One of the companies already become nafas' sponsor is Bank Mandiri.

Apart from helping the public to access better air quality data, nafas also offers a number of advantages. One of them is by displaying the sponsor's logo in the application as part of sponsorship branding.

"In the sponsorship plan, we have some initiatives with partners including branding sponsorship in the application, collaborative marketing activities, and access to more detailed data," Piotr added.

However, the goal that Piotr and Nathan coveted through nafas faced some challenges. Education to the community is the biggest homework. In fact, bringing the issue of air pollution dangers is like scaring people because the threat is not visible. Also, the resulting consequences shorten a person's life expectancy by up to 4.8 years.

However, since the pandemic began, Piotr assessed that people's views on air quality have changed. In addition, nafas intends to work with various types of organizations and individuals to improve education to the Indonesian people about air quality.

"The key to success is educating as many people as possible that bad air quality can affect health and how to reduce exposure to bad air as much as possible," Piotr said.

Currently, nafas is available in the Greater Jakarta area. Piotr said the plan is yet to expand the scope of his work area because he still wanted to strengthen its presence in Jabodetabek. Nafas is now accessible on the Play Store and AppStore.

Original article is in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian

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