Global Business Guide Indonesia

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Bio Takara | Mr Amir Sudjono
Mr Amir Sudjono

Indonesia is where you can find quality for false eyelashes, wigs and other beauty products

Mr Amir Sudjono, Founder & CEO

Bio Takara is a leading manufacturer of eyelashes, wigs and other beauty products, based out of Central Java. Please present your company’s background to the GBG Indonesia audience as well as elucidate upon your strategies going forward.

I founded this company seven years ago, in response to the observation that China is approaching the Lewis turning point and has experienced a substantial increase in labour costs. Labour intensive industries are expected to leave China in favour of other less expensive markets such as Indonesia, and this was one of the sources of motivation in establishing a manufacturing company. My hometown is well known for its wigs and beauty products and so we decided to specialise in this field.

Our strategy is long term focused and involves investing in the present term to further our capabilities and reap the rewards in the future. Much of this investment has been allocated to the construction of modern and energy efficient factories, which will allow us to save when it comes to electricity costs. We are also focused on polishing our management system through the attainment of international certifications such as ISO 9001 and 14001 from SGS, and prioritising high standards of service. We hope to avoid the commodization of our beauty products and instead seek to build a competitive edge through innovation.

What can you tell us about your outlook for the beauty product industry in Indonesia?

The market for our products in Indonesia is growing, and there remains room for expansion because the penetration of eyelashes and beauty products here has not yet reached the level of more mature markets. The fact that Indonesia’s market for beauty products is still in its infancy combined with the size of the population means that we have a positive outlook for local opportunities. Globally speaking, the market for false eyelashes has reached a plateau and it remains to be seen as to what will follow after.

When it comes to the cosmetics industry, there is a trend among consumers to demonstrate a preference for foreign brands. Does this hold true for the eyelashes and wig industry?

The popularity of foreign brands is less pronounced in our industry because foreign brands for our type of beauty products are still very expensive. At present only a small percentage of the market is able to afford them, which leaves room for local manufacturers to cater to Indonesian consumers.

In terms of your regional and international positioning, which markets abroad are you targeting for the future?

China is our main target, due to the market’s growing affluence and the move of labour intensive manufacturing industries out of the country. The rise of consumptive tendencies in China presents very interesting opportunities for us, and we have already seen a shift in the type of products driving our growth as a result of trends there.

Whereas eyelashes have in the past been our primary growth driver, wigs and toupees are now increasingly popular because of the exodus of manufacturers of these particular products from China.

One of the main challenges faced by export oriented manufacturers in Indonesia is the perception among international buyers/consumers that Indonesian products are not of the highest quality. In addition to this, what do you expect to be the biggest hurdles faced by Bio Takara?

Our major challenge is the rising cost of labour. In the beauty products industry, Indonesia’s reputation as a manufacturer is already relatively good. In fact, false eyelashes and wigs produced here are subject to a premium because of the superior quality levels associated with Indonesian manufacturers in this field. With that said, this is an anomaly when looking at the manufacturing sector as a whole and is a situation unique to a handful of beauty products.

Does your company have any plans to introduce new products and innovations in the near future?

Inspired by the success of our dual colour wigs, we plan to further introduce dual colour eyelashes. Small changes like this that offer greater variation for consumers is what differentiates our products and is representative of our innovation strategy going forward.

How is Bio Takara positioned towards working with foreign partners and international investors?

We are open to cooperation with foreign entities and are particularly interested in strategic partnerships whereby each company’s distinct strengths create mutually beneficial synergies. This is the type of cooperation we would most like to pursue, instead of one based purely on financial investment. For example, a joint venture focused on selling a prospective partner’s products in Indonesia or selling our products in their home market overseas has potential for success. When working with international partners, we stand to benefit most from companies able to offer distribution channels abroad and in Indonesia. Potential partners should keep in mind that our vision for the future is to be a key player in Southeast Asia for the manufacture of beauty products.

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

Indonesia is where you can find quality for false eyelashes, wigs and other beauty products. This has been an area of expertise for Indonesian manufacturers for generations, and the workers in our factories today grew up watching and learning how to do so from their parents. To find an industry with a similarly ingrained familiarity with beauty products is likely to be a difficult and time consuming process and we therefore encourage people to seek out the expertise of Indonesian manufacturers.

Global Business Guide Indonesia - 2014

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