Category: Rising Global Stars By : Anton Muhajir Read : 1585 Date : Monday, May 09, 2016 - 05:44:03

    Anggara Mahendra for Forbes Indonesia

    Jenggala, Bali’s first and largest ceramics firm, had a modest start. In 1976, New Zealander Brent Hesselyn, a ceramic artist, visited Sanur and stayed at the Tandjung Sari resort, one of the first resorts in the Sanur area. While there, he noticed local ceramics were substandard. So Brent convinced Wija Waworuntu, the resort’s owner, to found the first ceramics company in Bali. Wija, it turned out, was a lover and collector of ceramics, and even bought some Ming dynasty ceramics for display at his resort.

    The two set up PT Jenggala Keramik Bali, and located it in simple beach huts behind the hotel. The first employee had a foot-powered sculpting wheel. The pair complemented each other, as Brent contributed his ceramic-making skills and Wija brought his local contacts and business expertise. Wija’s daughter Ade Daria Ariani Waworuntu also became involved, earning a degree in ceramics.

    Today, four decades later, Jenggala is one of Indonesia’s most successful high-end ceramics companies, with annual sales of $3 million. From huts, the company now has a huge 12,000 sqm complex in Jimbaran that includes a factory housing about 300 staff, offices, warehouses, a gallery and a café (tourists can visit the factory if they wish).

    Its products can be found in prestigious five stars hotels such as the Bulgari, Raffles and Alila. The firm has outlets in Bali in Kuta, Ubud, Sanur and Jimbaran, as well as one in Jakarta. Jenggala ceramics are also exported worldwide, with an especially strong interest from Japan. “The Japanese value ceramics,” says John Adsit, custom order marketing manager for Jenggala.

    All ceramics reflects the values of Indonesia. “Our collections are inspired by the nature and culture of Indonesia. And we are very proud of that,” Ade says. Jenggala has more than 3,000 designs and about 100 different glaze-finishes, and customers can also order custom-made ceramics as well. The most popular design, according to Ade, is the cili design that is also the Jenggala logo. Most ceramics are handcrafted, so they show slight variations in color and form. Ade likes to say one big factor in Jenggala’s success are the staff, some of whom have been with Jenggala from the beginning. “They are the ones who keep this company growing,” she says. “That’s why I am very happy and proud of this company.”