Global Business Guide Indonesia

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Joint Ventures | Export
PT Prime Line International | Mr Zakaria Wirahadi Kusumah
Mr Zakaria Wirahadi Kusumah

For all products within our portfolio, it is our mission to establish efficiency and sustainability in delivering quality and detailed workmanship, as we strive to become the leading integrated garment company in Indonesia

Mr Zakaria Wirahadi Kusumah, President Director

PT Prime Line International is a company involved in Indonesia’s garment industry, well known for the manufacture of shirts under the brand MANLY. What more can you tell us about your company’s background and its main strategies going forward?

Prime Line International is the holding company of MANLY, an in-house brand focused on formal shirts that offer modern style and premium looks at an affordable price. In addition to manufacturing formal shirts for MANLY as our area of specialisation, we produce trousers as well as casual attire for the local market.

Our company was founded in 1958, by my grandfather who set up a small home business staffed by fewer than ten people in Malang, East Java. As the third generation from my family to take upon the role of president director, it has been my priority to encourage our continued development, which has already seen us evolve from a small family business to an innovative force in Indonesia’s garment industry.

For all products within our portfolio, it is our mission to establish efficiency and sustainability in delivering quality and detailed workmanship, as we strive to become the leading integrated garment company in Indonesia. It is also our goal to see MANLY become a successful international brand upon building on a foundation as a trend-setter in the local market. To meet these targets, our corporate strategy is driven by a commitment to constantly keeping up with the global fashion industry, so as to anticipate new trends and demand.

As a company primarily focused on the local market, what is your outlook for Indonesia’s garment sector?

For the past few years, domestic manufacturers like us have benefitted from many overseas brands that produce their apparel here – a shift from China as the original manufacturing base. This not only presents opportunities to the local garment sector, but also promotes the transfer of knowhow for the manufacture of apparel and machinery expertise.

The strong presence of international brands within Indonesia’s retail sector, which can be seen in any of the country’s many malls, creates a shift in consumer preferences that are more attuned to global fashion trends. The Indonesian market is now more aware of international lifestyles, and this influences what they decide to wear. This bodes well for manufacturers of garments for overseas brands, or modern brands such as MANLY.

These factors contribute to our positive outlook for the future. Companies that are able to keep up with changing preferences will certainly be able to flourish in tapping into Indonesia’s high potential consumer base. Moreover, with the implementation of AFTA [ASEAN Free Trade Area], the local fashion apparel sector stands a better chance of regional expansion.

Indonesia’s popularity as a manufacturing base for international clothing brands has led to a rise in competition within the local garment manufacturing industry. How does Prime Line differentiate itself from competitors to appeal to overseas brands?

Our unique selling point is our close understanding of what the Indonesian market wants and going above and beyond to carry out research of international brands. This allows us to keep up to date with the latest trends abroad and identify new products most likely to have success in Indonesia. We are also experienced in adapting garments popularised by international brands to the specific tastes of Indonesian consumers.

Does your company have plans to establish an international presence through exports?

In line with our vision for MANLY to become an international brand, we intend to begin exporting our products in the future. We already have some experience in this field, having exported small orders in 2007 to Europe and the United States.

At that time, we faced challenges such as our production capacity not meeting the criteria of international buyers and this is why we put a hold on exports until we could restructure the management and revamp the production process. We are still currently prioritising the local market, which presents many opportunities in its own right, but we expect to engage in exports in the near future following the construction of a new factory, set to be completed in about three years’ time.

What can you tell us about Prime Line’s innovation priorities and its plans to introduce new products?

Our next project for MANLY is to launch custom made shirts that are made to measure. This will be introduced next year, and stands to drive both offline and online sales. MANLY products can presently be found in stores and we have been proactive in developing an e-commerce platform. This website was launched in April 2014, and many of our plans for future innovation are centred on its continued development. Our company also partners with third parties to reach out to online shoppers, and it is our strategy to use this approach to enter markets in Asia Pacific.

How is your company positioned towards cooperation with international investors and foreign partners?

We are always seeking opportunities to work together with foreign partners through joint ventures. What we are most interested in is cooperating with a partner to accelerate the expansion of our brand outside of Indonesia. Our company would benefit most from collaboration with partners able to offer exposure to international markets as well as knowhow to ease the transition of our brand overseas.

Prospective partners should keep in mind that as President Director, I have sought to instil our company with the core values of teamwork and integrity, as in my experience, these characteristics can be lacking in family businesses in Indonesia. We are very much dedicated to upholding our reputation as a professional company, as a means of achieving my dream for MANLY to go international.

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

With over 50 years of expertise in design and manufacturing, Prime Line International proudly presents MANLY as the brand that stands as an Indonesian fashion icon. With unwavering commitment to exceptional quality, we are able to pass down a heritage of excellence to embody the characteristics of our enduring brand, providing timeless fashion. We take pride in handcrafting our products with care, to ensure that each is a unique masterpiece demonstrative of our passion for world-class craftsmanship.

As we all know, Indonesia is a fast rising economy in the ASEAN region with sustainable economic growth and great potential. With its unique geography as an archipelago and having the world’s fourth largest population, it is interesting for investors to maximise their opportunities here.

Prime Line International is among those companies that have established their foundation in Indonesia as early as 1958 and has been growing well ever since. We are a company that specialised in garment manufacturing with detailed workmanship and top quality standards.

With a strong commitment to exceptional quality, we are able to show our heritage of excellence which is embodied by the MANLY brand; providing timeless and wearable fashion. Our ecommerce through the MANLY website has also been delivered to facilitate our expansion outside of Indonesia.

Our commitment in all aspects of our products and services has enabled us to build up a loyal clientele over the years. Much of our success is due to the principles and values that we uphold comprising of teamwork, close cooperation, professional management and integrity.

Global Business Guide Indonesia - 2015

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