Global Business Guide Indonesia

Sewu Segar Nusantara Sewu Segar Nusantara Sewu Segar Nusantara Sewu Segar Nusantara Sewu Segar Nusantara Sewu Segar Nusantara Sewu Segar Nusantara Sewu Segar Nusantara
Sewu Segar Nusantara | Mr Martin Widjaja

Mr Martin Widjaja is the Managing Director of Sewu Segar Nusantara and has served at the company since 2000. Mr Widjaja undertook his undergraduate studies in the USA and has extensive experience in the field of consumer branding and marketing.

There is endless potential and we are optimistic about the next 5 years if we choose the right source and the right way to expand in Indonesia.

Mr Martin Widjaja, Managing Director

GBG Indonesia’s readers were first introduced to Sewu Segar Nusantara several years ago as a leading distributor of fresh fruits. What can you tell us about the latest developments that have taken place at the company?

Last year we revamped our strategy and chose to be the lowest-cost fruit distribution company in Indonesia. Being such a company does not mean distributing low-quality products. Instead we aim to add value at the lowest cost possible to have fruits available throughout the country considering the diversity and numerous islands of Indonesia. It is a challenging task, but it provides a competitive edge to us and our consumers.

Before we decided upon a new strategy, we had to decide on the types of fruits available in Indonesia because we cannot randomly select any fruit. There are important factors to consider which we categorised into three criteria for fruits. The fruits must have high value, high volume, and are available all year long. Using these criteria, we have a focused approach for our eight fruit categories. The new one is an apple category which will begin distribution this year. Sunpride® will gradually introduce eight different types of apples which will then be available to the consumer all year.

What is your outlook for the continued development of Indonesia’s market for high quality fruits – given the context of rising purchasing power and an emerging middle class?

The local market is still big because the market share is still below 2% therefore there is a large potential for development. Within this 2%, Sunpride® is the leading brand especially for the modern market. There is endless potential and we are optimistic about the next 5 years if we choose the right source and the right way to expand in Indonesia.

The biggest change which we have gathered about fruit consumers is that there are two distinct types. There are consumers that have planned to purchase fruits and then there are consumers who purchase fruits based on impulse buying. Having available fruits in close proximity to their place of residence is very important and the best way to educate the consumer is to have them enjoy the product. We can teach them about a product, but to have them care about the product, they will need to taste it.

Our Sunpride® girls are present to allow consumers to try our fruits first before providing general information about the health benefits and the seasonal availability of the fruits.  For fruit consumption, being close to the consumer is very important.

The Indonesian government has made plans to reduce the country’s reliability on imports. What is your opinion on the role local farmers are playing in increasing domestic production?

The Indonesian government is trying to encourage more farmers to produce more fruits. Local farmers should realise that because of the regulations, they have to start to increase their production rate. In the past two years, we have seen farmers grow more produce as they come to realise the big potential of the market. Social media has further helped local farmers as they have often enquired about market information, networks, and types of seeds thus the trajectory is headed in the right direction.

In March of this year, Sewu Segar Nusantara announced its plans to further its market presence in East Java during a media briefing held in Surabaya. What more can you tell us about your plans to expand Sunpride®’s market presence across the archipelago?

Our growth in the past three years has mainly been in Jakarta and we have not fully developed the East Java region for fruit production. We have invited media and retailers to communicate to them about the potential in East Java and what fruit variants can be grown there and how people in that region are able to reap the benefits of it.

Due to Indonesia’s infrastructure, we learned just how expensive it is to deliver goods in Indonesia although it did not hinder us from pushing for further expansion. Instead we worked with local partners to help expand the business together in which we teach them the process of working with us. In doing so, we maintain a level of consistency for our consumers even though the products are delivered from a different supplier. The process of such partnerships will carry on relatively fast hence allowing for job creation and driving entrepreneurship.

Given Sunpride®’s success in establishing itself as a leading local brand, in which markets do you see the most potential for international expansion?

We recently had an office opening in Japan because of the huge potential in Asia and the Middle East for bananas and pineapples, which are our core fruit products. The product supply in those markets is still at a minimum and Sunpride® aims to be the main player in that area.   

The approach will be different than what we’ve done in Indonesia where we have a full-fledged distribution company. For the overseas market such as South Korea and China, we are still studying the best approach on how to establish a joint venture with local companies due to their better understanding of each country’s landscape and regulations. The market certainly holds good prospect for the coming five years. 

Sewu Segar Nusantara prides itself on working with local farmers in Indonesia to improve their livelihood; what can you tell us about your most recent initiatives in this regard?

The challenge we face with local farmers is if we take the Grade A fruit types, they face difficulties in dispensing their Grade B and C fruit products. Although the fruit tastes the same, they differ in size and appearance which does not fall within our accepted quality thus we are trying to create a market for these third-grade fruits.

Our second brand which we opened with a third party for the distribution process, enabled us to tap into the market of middle to lower income level households that are also seeking quality fruits at a more affordable price. This particular partnership allows us to fulfil these two elements where farmers have the goods and consumers have the spending power to purchase the fruits.  

What should the GBG Indonesia audience remember about Sewu Segar Nusantara as a final thought?

We would like that when consumers think of fruit that they think of Sunpride®. Also, that we are playing a key role in promoting healthy eating and healthy living for Indonesian consumers.