Global Business Guide Indonesia

Manufacturing in Indonesia Manufacturing in Indonesia Manufacturing in Indonesia Manufacturing in Indonesia Manufacturing in Indonesia
Investment | Franchise | Export
Alleira Batik | Mrs Lisa Mihardja
Mrs Lisa Mihardja

To ensure the preservation of this form of art we believe that it is necessary for batik to adapt to today’s lifestyle

Mrs Lisa Mihardja, Chief Executive Officer

Alleira Batik is a relatively young batik brand that has had considerable success in quickly establishing itself in the Indonesian fashion industry. What can you tell us about your company’s background and its strategies going forward?

Our company was founded in 2005 from humble beginnings. With start-up capital of only $3,000, four sewing machines and no permanent staff members beyond my business partner and myself, we understood that it was necessary to start small to achieve our bigger vision of becoming a major player in Indonesia’s batik industry. We thus took the time to attend one exhibition after another and soon after began to see positive results. This gave us the encouragement to open our first boutique in 2006 in Kemang, and seven years on this outlet is still doing very well. Though we explore avenues in all types of designs depending on the latest trends, we specialise in multi-colour and ombre colour batiks.

Our brand strives to offer a more modern take on what is typically viewed as a traditional type of clothing. We feel that there exists a gap in the market for contemporary batik that is appreciative of its traditional heritage but not in itself overly traditional in design and application. To ensure the preservation of this form of art we believe that it is necessary for batik to adapt to today’s lifestyle. To get this message across and help consumers recognise the potential versatility of batik, our company has been active in raising brand awareness through high profile events such as the 2011 ASEAN Summit in which attending foreign dignitaries wore products from our collection.

What is your current outlook for the demands of the local market and how have Indonesian consumer habits changed?

Last Christmas we released a line of batik clothing that is very much indicative of the change we’ve seen in Indonesian consumer preferences when it comes to batik. The market is much more open to new interpretations than in the past, and we thus introduced the concept of batik lace clothing. This collection was extremely well received and nearly sold out soon after being made available. To ensure that our innovation taps into the needs and preferences of the local market, our marketing team works closely with the creative division to relay information gleaned from surveys and this information on current trends is incorporated into our newest designs.

Having consolidated its position in the domestic batik industry, how does Alleira Batik plan to carry out future regional and international expansion?

In the immediate term, we are very much focused on developing our presence in the ASEAN and in 2008 registered for trademarks in all ASEAN countries. We hope to be a globally recognised brand by 2015. We have already fielded enquiries from potential buyers from the United States from upscale department stores as well as discussed potential collaboration opportunities with designers from Japan. When entering new markets, we make sure to work with designers from these countries to develop batik clothing that is in keeping with their existing preferences.

One of the challenges often faced by local companies with an international strategy is that Indonesian products and brands are not associated with high levels of quality. How do you intend to tackle this issue?

In our company, quality is always the priority. We were the first batik company in Indonesia to have received ISO 9001:2008 certification. We are also focused on packaging and establishing a brand reputation befitting a company capable of competing internationally. As this was our strategy from the outset, we chose to open boutiques in premier malls such as Senayan City, Plaza Indonesia, Pondok Indah Mall, Grand Indonesia and other strategic locations that resonate with the international market. From a management perspective, we also steer clear of the family-oriented organisational structure common in the Indonesian batik industry and instead are committed to forming a team that can best deliver our brand globally.

Does your company plan to introduce new products and innovations to the market?

Our company is always looking for new ways to advance the batik industry. We are the first to have produced batik on jeans, which entails a very difficult manufacturing process but has been popular thus far. We are also pursuing the possibility of creating batik cashmere, in anticipation of our entry into markets with four seasons.

How is Alleira Batik positioned towards working with foreign partners?

We are very open to cooperation with foreign partners. Having created our franchising system two years ago, we look forward to discussing opportunities for international partners to take the Alleira Batik brand abroad. Our company is also interested in working with foreign entities capable of providing financial capital to support our expansion into markets abroad.

In partnering with foreign companies, it is important that they understand that our company does not view our garments as something that can be mass produced. Batik is an art form that requires close attention to detail and hands on care. As such, we do not rely on mechanised printing processes and instead emphasise the work of our skilled human resources.

As a final message, what would you like our readers to remember about Indonesia?

At Alleira Batik we hope to preserve the tradition of batik without being a traditional company. By staying true to the craft and recognising it as an art form as opposed to being an area of textiles manufacturing, we hope to lead the movement towards a more modern interpretation of Indonesian batik clothing.

Global Business Guide Indonesia - 2014

icone share