Global Business Guide Indonesia

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Trisula Group | Ms Tjhoi Lisa Tjahjadi
Ms Tjhoi Lisa Tjahjadi

Although the government has enacted some new laws intended to protect local products, such as regarding imported goods, a more important measure is to exercise consistency in enforcing the rules of the game and in preventing smuggling activities.

Ms Tjhoi Lisa Tjahjadi, President Director

Trisula Group is a leading diversified holding company in Indonesia involved in fields such as textiles, garments, furniture, retail as well as property. What more can you tell us about your company and its main strategies going forward?

Trisula as a group operates in five sectors that comprise its pillars. It should be noted that Trisula initially started as a textile manufacturer in 1968. Over the years, we have grown to be the market leader in Indonesia through our brand Bellini. At present, we have evolved in terms of textile products, having also developed our own garment line and going further downstream by opening retail outlets. As a corporate entity, each subsidiary has a specific management focus that is combined with professionalism as the universal principle running throughout the group. We believe that each sector is distinct in character; therefore, the policies of each management team should be tailored accordingly in terms of the hands-on approach and the objectives.

With regards to other endeavours, furniture is a further addition to our business portfolio, as well as more recently, a property division to complement our five pillars. Our current priority as a group is to maintain and grow our business, the importance being more so with the economic climate in 2015 inflicting severe pressure on the industry. This is especially true for textile producers, and even more so for retailers as the market is 100% domestic. Our garment side is not particularly impacted because we are mainly an exporter; hence, we have gained some benefits from the present state of the Indonesian currency as well as the overall situation. In terms of garment products, we are positioning ourselves to supply to international markets with demand for higher-quality goods.

Trisula is also engaging a unique market in that we provide outfits for international corporations, namely supplying uniforms to companies such as airlines and hotels. In doing so, we have further sought to enhance the added value of our products by incorporating design services which are carried out by our own team from France. Additionally, we have established another company to operate more effectively in supplying uniforms to regional markets; countries such as Singapore and Australia. For Trisula’s retail arm, our outlets primarily sell men’s office wear. We currently hold a total of seven brands, including Jack Nicklaus, G2000, and our in-house brand, JOBB.

President Joko Widodo reiterated his intention to improve upon Indonesia’s business climate by developing better infrastructure, streamlining bureaucracy, and fighting corruption, among other steps. In your opinion, what should be the government’s priority in this regard?

We definitely see infrastructure development as potentially advantageous for exporting our garments. Furthermore, if what we are hearing about the latest developments at Pelindo [Indonesia’s state-owned port operator] is true, the faster process time for port affairs will contribute to the increased competitiveness of Indonesian products overseas. Another measure which can contribute to more favourable conditions is with regards to the regulations. The government needs to better incentivise manufacturing operations like our own especially in addressing issues stemming from labour affairs as the sector is, first and foremost, labour-intensive.

Furthermore, although the government has enacted some new laws intended to protect local products, such as regarding imported goods, a more important measure is to exercise consistency in enforcing the rules of the game and in preventing smuggling activities. Trisula takes pride in running a clean operation, and therefore aspires to see an ideal business environment as we certainly have suffered greatly from the illicit practises that have been going on.

Trisula has an extensive record in exporting textile products to other countries. Your traditional markets have been Europe, the US, Australia, as well as other ASEAN countries. What will be your company’s next key markets for the future?

In 2015, we have expanded our global reach to consumers in New Zealand and South Korea. However, we continue to consider the US as the most prospective country where there is still a vast area of the market yet to be explored. For this country, we have specified our services to LDP [Landed Duty Paid] and cater to local buyers through our representative there. Trisula thus serves the clients also in matters of administration, warehousing, and inventory management.

What do you consider to be Trisula’s unique selling points in staying ahead of the competition?

For textiles and garments, the quality level is the foremost priority we always attend to. Another area of emphasis for us in serving our clients is on-time delivery because we acknowledge that failure to meet a schedule will affect their entire business cycle.

Foreign Direct Investment has been rising in Indonesia over the last decade. How is Trisula Group positioned to work with international firms?

Our door is always open for foreign investors provided that we share the same vision of creating a better life for all. Most recently, we confirmed plans to continue working with an investor from Japan to build upon a relationship that has been in excellent terms going back many years. They know how we do things and have gotten to know our corporate culture. As such, our partnership is built for the long-term. If cooperation is motivated in order for both parties to grow together and founded on the principle of mutual benefit, we certainly welcome it. This can be in the form of technology transfer for textile production, new markets for our garment products, or capital investment, as an example.

As a final message, what would you like Global Business Guide’s readers to remember about your company?

We have to know our strengths and weaknesses. For the better times, Trisula’s corporate philosophy is to recognise its own limits and to not outgrow them. This in turn has proved to be the decisive factor for us in surviving economic downturns and thriving afterwards.

Global Business Guide Indonesia - 2015

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