At the inaugural ASEAN Marketing Summit earlier this month, marketing enthusiasts and businesspeople from Indonesia as well as ASEAN discussed the new landscape in the region with the kickstart of AEC (ASEAN Economic Community), and how to approach marketing in New Asean. Amidst discussions on strategic marketing and focus on regional cultures, a sound advice for Indonesian businesses was to help make the choice between “defending home versus growing elsewhere.”
Indonesia is the biggest economy in ASEAN and with AEC’s launch, naturally, competition in the domestic market will toughen up with several regional players aiming to get a slice of the pie. Indonesia, due to its sheer size and demographics and rising disposable incomes, is particularly attractive to most industries, from banking, electronics, FMCG, and automotive to retail. However, the free flow of goods and services will also generate opportunities outside Indonesia but not every business would be well positioned to benefit from it. Indonesia itself presents plenty of room for growth for some of these players, which is why some players would be better served with focusing on ‘defending home’.
At the AMS, a few Indonesian companies were awarded with the title of “Indonesia Champions’, those deemed fit to take the resulting competition from AEC head on, and not only survive but perform relatively better than counterparts. One such Indonesian company is Polytron, which was recognised as one of the Indonesia Champions.
Polytron receiving Indonesia Champions Award at AMS 2015
Founded in 1975 – exactly 40 years ago – Polytron is an electronics manufacturer based in Indonesia, today operating three factories churning out electronics including audio devices, Televisions, home appliances like AC, Refrigerator and washing machine as well as smartphones and tablets. Polytron identifies its strength in developing product design capabilities early on, which has helped it succeed in the home as well as in export markets such as Europe. In ASEAN, Polytron has a strong presence in Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar. With the onset of AEC, Polytron expects the competitive environment to remain largely unchanged as it points to the already tough competition in electronics market in Indonesia, flanked by Japanese, Korean, and more recently Chinese counterparts.
Telkom Indonesia was recognised as another Indonesia Champion, which is well positioned to outperform rivals in the more competitive AEC environment. Telkom says it’s MTPN Strategy – Money, People, Traffic, Network - has helped it achieve significant momentum in recent years. Telkom has already expanded global business with footprints in countries including Singapore, Hong Kong, East Timor, Australia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Taiwan, Macau, USA and Saudi Arabia. In terms of AEC, Telkom aims to maintain focus on its MTPN entry strategy, which is based on principle: business follows the Money, business follows the People, and business follows the Traffic and business follows the Network.