Global Business Guide Indonesia

Manufacturing in Indonesia Manufacturing in Indonesia Manufacturing in Indonesia Manufacturing in Indonesia Manufacturing in Indonesia
Export | Distribution
Accupunto International | Mr Leonard Theosabrata
Mr Leonard Theosabrata

Indonesian brands and Asian brands have not really been recognised in the past but now with more information being available this has changed and Western markets are more appreciative

Mr Leonard Theosabrata, Director

Accupunto International was established in 2003 and has proved very successful in Indonesia and internationally. What is the current strategy of the company to further expand into Indonesia’s retail market?

Since the conception of the brand itself we have changed our strategy. We began with an innovative product based on one system but over the course of eight years the foundation has shifted to innovation. I think innovation is what has been lacking in the past in Indonesian furniture companies. Previously the country’s furniture industry has been recognised for traditional methods such as solid wood furniture and our company was also previously engaged in wood panel furniture but it was not a design driven brand.

Now we are focusing on the distribution of our products as well as the branding to respond to market changes such as social media and how we can effectively position ourselves. Indonesian brands and Asian brands have not really been recognised in the past but now with more information being available this has changed and Western markets are more appreciative.

Since the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998, Indonesia’s purchasing power has grown and consumer habits have shifted. What can you tell us about changes you have witnessed in the furniture and homeware sector?

The consumption of furniture and home furnishings have increased rapidly as previously Indonesia did not have a ‘modern retail’ market in this sector. In the past it was dominated by traditional ‘mom and pop’ stores which stocked mainly low end furniture. Now people understand furniture better and are more sophisticated in their buying habits as well as being more design conscious. Also, the use of interior consultants, designers and architects to build houses that are aesthetically pleasing has increased and thus education and awareness has improved.

Greater accessibility has also changed consumer behaviour with more local and international brands being available in Indonesia. However, in my opinion, we are still lacking many international brands and I think Indonesia should welcome them as a benchmark for local companies.

The Indonesian government is making efforts to promote the country’s creative industries. What would you define as Indonesian style and the challenges of making it appeal to the international market?

I think finding an Indonesian style is a major challenge currently facing the creative industries here as they must discover what is really Indonesian. If it is batik then that really only applies to Java so I think it still needs to be looked at in more detail. For other countries such as Japan or regions like Scandinavia, you can identify with their design style immediately even if it does not show a specific motif of the country and I think Indonesia needs to find that same type of aesthetic that reflects the country. As a culture we are very spontaneous and creative and that can translate well into custom made products and this is a skill that can be emphasised on but we do face a challenge when translating those skills into mass production.

Accupunto International is already distributing to international markets. Which markets are you targeting for your future expansion?

Now, we have a new model of distribution which came about through our experiences in the furniture business. At the beginning as a small brand we had to struggle to find agents and distributors as we were a brand not just a manufacturer. At trade shows we were looking for distributors for our branded products rather than people putting their own brand on it. So we persevered and now we are able to position ourselves in such a way that we are the principal and they are our distributor. Now we tell them how we want the business to be conducted and how the brand is being presented so that they become part of the company.

Now we have Accupunto Europe which was previously Accupunto France and soon we will have Accupunto Australia and Accupunto USA. In America we will set up through our own investment as we believe that the USA is going to rebound sooner than other Western markets. Right now is a key time while business cycle is down as this is the time when you can get in front of people and enter the market more easily.

We started to penetrate China slowly two years ago and we have been trying to find the right partner in the country as this is very important there, just like in Indonesia. It is definitely a market that we want to go into but we have to be careful with regards to copyright issues and conducting the business properly. We have already participated in tradeshows and have seen that the franchise concept also works very well in the Chinese market.

What new products can we expect to see from Accupunto International in the future?

Our mattress brand, Aergonic, came about completely through innovation however the mattress industry is completely different to furniture. The mattress business has lacked innovation as people hold on to the old technology using spring coils which is maybe 200 years old. Therefore you are faced with a reluctant market so we only want to go into the business by being smart and by collaborating with partners to develop the product so that the technology can be used by other mattress producers to penetrate the market faster. Again, we want to be careful as it is difficult to get a second chance when launching a product.

What should potential partners and investors remember about Indonesia as a final thought?

Companies and investors should come to Indonesia and see the market for themselves as it is full of possibilities. This is an exciting, frontier market with many opportunities despite the negative aspects of the country.

Global Business Guide Indonesia - 2013

icone share