Global Business Guide Indonesia

Manufacturing in Indonesia Manufacturing in Indonesia Manufacturing in Indonesia Manufacturing in Indonesia Manufacturing in Indonesia
Technology Transfer | Joint Venture
PT Ratu Sima International | Mr Fadi Chaar
Mr Fadi Chaar

As the industry pioneer, we have made it our priority to encourage greater food diversity in the local market by introducing pita bread – a food that is well-known internationally but not yet familiar to the vast majority of Indonesian consumers.

Mr Fadi Chaar, Director

Ratu Sima International is a producer of high quality pita bread offering fully automatic manufacturing capabilities. As an introduction to your company, what more can you tell us about Ratu Sima International’s background and its main strategies going forward?

Ratu Sima International is the first and only commercial producer of pita bread in Indonesia. As the industry pioneer, we have made it our priority to encourage greater food diversity in the local market by introducing pita bread – a food that is well-known internationally but not yet familiar to the vast majority of Indonesian consumers. Our strategy has thus been focused on product awareness and promoting foods such as wrap sandwiches and hummus to diversify eating habits.

Among our initiatives to popularize pita bread is to provide insights into its many applications; pita bread as a product is quite simple in the sense that it is flat, plain bread. As such it is important that we market it within the context of its potential to be used in many different ways and for many different dishes. A good thing about Indonesia is that people here are already familiar with kebabs. What we strive to do is reinforce the notion that pita bread can also be used with cheese, vegetables, and eggs among other fillings.

Our company is currently able to manufacture 15,000 packs per day via an efficient automated production process and machinery imported from Lebanon. We are therefore ready to meet market demand once we address the challenge of getting pita bread to be accepted by local consumers.

Growing purchasing power and an emerging middle class has brought about changes in consumer preferences and habits, with wheat consumption having doubled over the last two decades. Given this context, what is your outlook for the future development of the wheat-based goods industry in Indonesia going forward?

Indonesia’s growing middle class means that more people have better income, and this growth is projected to continue for at least another twenty years. At the same time, the majority of the country’s population is young and this segment tends to be more willing to try new things and is more open to international foods. These trends are good indications for the food industry in Indonesia.

Bread has long been a staple of human diet, but in Indonesia the major food is rice. It is not our goal to shift consumer preferences entirely away from rice in favour of bread, but rather to introduce bread as an alternative for those looking for more diversity in their day to day eating. We want people to consume bread not only as a snack, but also as a meal.

Your Sima Bakery branded products are already made available in cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Tangerang and Makassar. What can you tell us about your plans to expand upon your local presence?

As a young company, we have in earnest only begun making our products available through a selection of channels but have not yet expanded to cover the archipelago. We expect to explore more opportunities to distribute in areas such as Bali as well as other regions. We see this expansion taking place in the future in line with our plans to further establish our brand image.

During this current phase, we are more focused on promoting product image rather than brand image; we need people to know about pita bread before we can begin to transition into popularizing Sima Pita Bread. According to our market research, once people here try pita bread, they like it and so it is only a matter of time before we can enter the next phase of our development.

Our company expects to offer its products to consumers in modern markets, as well as supply to the hospitality sector, which has big potential. We also work with catering businesses and intend to provide our pita bread to hospitals, given that this product is well known as a healthy food that does not contain preservatives or chemicals.

Ratu Sima International currently specialises in three different varieties of Syrian Pita Bread (White, Mini-White & Wholemeal). Do you have plans to introduce new products to your portfolio? How does your company plan to innovate going forward?

We envision our company developing into a specialist in flat breads, including products such as tortillas, naan and chapati. Before pursuing this product development, however, we would like to first establish our customer base and then we could look into expanding our product portfolio.

What distinguishes Ratu Sima International’s pita bread products from its competitors on the local and international stage?

Our company takes pride in its ability to consistently product high quality pita bread, using Sriboga flour to ensure that we meet strict product standards. We are dedicated to developing better outcomes with regards to softness, taste and texture, and are steadfast in our commitment to not use any preservatives or chemicals.

How is your company positioned towards working with foreign companies and partners for its next projects?

Within our group, Sriboga Raturaya, there is a lot of interaction with foreign entities as evidenced by its cooperation with US-based Pizza Hut and Japan-based Marugame, as well as its frequent consultation with international experts and technicians. At Ratu Sima International we are open to any advantages that we can get by cooperating with companies able to provide new technology and knowhow to improve the quality of our products, production process and marketing. We also welcome any opportunities to work with companies looking to use pita bread in their main products for restaurant franchises.

What should potential partners, investors and customers remember about the company and Indonesia as a final message?

Our company has a lot of ideas and has studied the market in great detail. We want to move forward in line with promising trends in the economy and in consumer behaviour suggesting greater market acceptance for new food products.

Global Business Guide Indonesia - 2015

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