It Takes Two to Tango
Category: Column By : Valery Muyard Read : 117 Date : Monday, September 04, 2017 - 12:28:36

The case for Indonesia as a business destination is easily made. Here 5% GDP growth is seen as an “average” year. This growth, in combination with Indonesia being one of the largest countries in the world, both in population size and geographically, means it offers one of the world’s greatest business opportunities. Other factors support this: a young and aspirational population, abundant natural resources, and a geographical location in the heart of Southeast Asia.

The opportunity is the same for the Volvo group, one of the world’s largest companies for manufacturing, selling and servicing trucks worldwide. For Volvo, Indonesia is a huge opportunity. The truck market is one of Asia’s largest and is half the total ASEAN truck market, and is still growing. Indonesia’s infrastructure investments including toll roads will further drive demand for transportation.

Volvo has been active in Indonesia for a long time, including Volvo, Renault and UD trucks, all here for more than 30 years. This experience has also helped us to provide the market with the right products. The natural resources industry requires the heaviest of trucks, special applications and advanced technology, in products, service and support. In the on-road market, it will expand with the Trans-Java and Trans-Sumatra toll roads, boosting demand for long-haul trucks. With a wide product portfolio, we are able to successfully compete in all segments.

Our commitment to Indonesia goes deeper than that. PT Volvo Indonesia has its own setup in Indonesia, including a warehouse, yard facilities and satellite offices. Moreover, we are manufacturing in the country with an assembly plant in Jakarta, and we also locally source. Good and appropriate products are one key to success. The other key to success in Indonesia is having excellent partners. Indonesia is a vast country. From Aceh in the west to Papua in the east is a similar distance as Europe east to west. Not only it sizes makes it difficult to cover. The fact that it is an island archipelago makes it even more challenging. The Volvo group has built up a service and support network to cover all of Indonesia from Aceh to Papua. Each of the brands has such a network.

We are fortunate to have the best local partners in Astra international and Indomobil. Their knowledge and skills are key to our success in Indonesia. By working closely with them we are able to provide our customers with the best products and advanced services wherever they are. They are also instrumental in navigating the Indonesian business environment.

Thus, my best advice to companies active in Indonesia or wanting to enter: look for good partners. It might take some time to find such partners, but their local knowledge and existing network will enable any company to quickly scale up and prevent costly mistakes. The advantage of having great local partners is best expressed in the old saying: “It takes two to tango.”   



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