28 Nov 2017
Affluent Indonesian Electronics Buyers Targeted by Chinese Exporters
With Indonesia's 260-million strong population suddenly more cash rich than ever before, many mainland exporters in the electronics and home-appliance sectors have recently woken up to the potential of this huge, neighbouring market.
With disposable-income levels growing steadily and a wider range of affordable products reaching the market, impulse buying is on the up in Indonesia, a development that had not been lost on many of the exhibitors at this year's Indonesia International Electronic and Home Appliances Expo. Overall, the majority of businesses participating in the Jakarta-based event were clearly optimistic that they had something on offer that was sure to appeal to the country's 260-million strong consumer base.
Given that the three-day event was organised by the Guangdong Chaoyu Exhibition Company and backed by the Chinese government, as well as its Indonesian counterpart, the heavy presence of a variety of mainland businesses was only to be expected. Acknowledging that the event was, at least partly, a showcase for Chinese companies, Jason Chen Can Tao, Chaoyu's General Manager, said: "Our aim is to provide a platform where Chinese and Indonesian enterprises can make initial contact, paving the way for more formal co-operation in the future."
In many ways, the Indonesian market is pretty much an open goal for any mainland business specialising in low-cost household products. According to a recent report by Euromonitor, the London-headquartered market-intelligence provider, Indonesian consumers are driven by two primary concerns when deciding just which home appliance to buy. While durability is high on their priority list, it is topped by affordability, with Chinese manufacturers, arguably, able to deliver on both fronts.
One supplier confident it could meet both criteria was Zhongshan Jalja Electrical Appliances, a Guangdong-based supplier of small-home appliances, with a particular specialty in halogen ovens. Outlining the appeal of the company's product lines, Sales Manager Mandy Wu said: "We offer a wide range of competitively priced, high-quality products, all tailored to meet the specific requirements of our customers.
"Our halogen ovens, for instance, are ideal for working parents who sometimes struggle to find the time to cook family meals. As they were developed in-house, the models we offer are exclusive and are guaranteed to produce delicious meals with little supervision and no overcooking."
Also hoping to make inroads into the home-cooking sector was Gemside Kitchen Appliance Technology, with the Beijing-based business having made the 10,000km round-trip to establish whether the Indonesian market would be a good fit for its proprietary automatic multi-cooker range. Fortunately, the product turned out to be a big hit with attendees, with every unit – save the display model – quickly snapped up.
Introducing the benefits of its cooker range, Sales Manager Nicole Wu said: "The big selling point is that, once the user has placed all of the required ingredients in the cooker, they can just relax and wait until the food is ready without having to continually monitor the cooking process.
"Despite our confidence in the product, we were still surprised at quite how quickly all of our stock went. In the end, we had to turn potential buyers away as we were only left with our demonstration model."
When moving out of the kitchen and heading more towards the bathroom, the confidence of many of the Chinese exhibitors remained undiminished. For Zhongshan Chongde Electric, a company with a 10-year heritage in the manufacture of water heaters, purifiers and fittings, Indonesia was familiar territory. It has already sold more than 1,000 heaters or purifiers into the local market and now has plans in place to consolidate its position by opening a dedicated Indonesian office.
Detailing the company's approach to building market share within Indonesia, Sales Representative Beauty Huang said: "The local consumers here are very conscious of both price and quality. As we are the original manufacturer of all of our products, we can keep costs down, while maintaining quality. We also score highly because all of our heaters are automatic, handy, healthy and low on energy consumption."
With its focus not solely on convenient cooking and eco-friendly heating systems, the event's remit was broad enough to take in a number of more leisure-focused products. With this particular sector very much in its sights, Huizhou City Huan Dong Industrial's stand was never left uncrowded, as showgoers queued to try out its smartphone-friendly range of replica weapons.
Emphasising the safety-first, but still addictively entertaining, aspects of the company's shoot'em-up system, Sales Manager Shannon Shao said: "Instead of having to tap your phone while playing a shooting game, you can actually aim our gun and squeeze the trigger as you shoot your opponents down.
"It's also a healthy alternative to just sitting on the couch, as our app forces you to walk around as you root out your enemies. With many Indonesians now increasingly committed to staying fit and healthy, we think this system could really chime with their lifestyles."
Staying with the leisure sector, Java-based DQ Computer, the local distributor for MeeTion, a high-tech PC gaming accessories range manufactured in Shenzhen, had on offer a striking selection of mouse, keyboard and headphone units. Clearly confident as to the appeal of its range, Sales Manager Deky Susanto said: "While there is a huge selection of PC gaming kits available in Indonesia, none of them can match us in terms of design quality."
One of the most memorable items on display was the Transformers Gaming Mouse, which takes its look and style from the robotic heroes of the TV and movie franchise of the same name. Susanto was quick to point out, however, that in addition to their seductive stylings, every MeeTion product also fully complies with all relevant international safety standards.
On top of the strong showing for consumer-focused products, the show also played host to a number of b2b players. With several supportive government measures now bolstering the growth of the country's domestic electronic and home-appliance manufacturing sector, there has been a surge in demand for imported components and equipment, a development that Chinese companies have been quick to latch on to.
Hoping to find a ready market for its printed circuit boards (PCBs) and printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) systems, as well as its range of wire-harnessing and sensor equipment, was Shenzhen-based Hua Xing PCBA. With a 19-year track record of supplying businesses in China, the company sees Indonesia as one of its primary targets for expansion.
Explaining the company's hopes for this new territory, Sales Representative Jack Zhai said: "Above all, we want to support the local manufacturing industry and provide them with high-quality, affordable PCBs. As we do not specify a minimum order quantity, we can support both big and small businesses.
"Essentially, we see ourselves as a one-stop electronic manufacturing services company. As well as supplying PCBs, we can also provide creative and bespoke solutions to any particular software or hardware challenges."
Staying with the b2b sector, the sales team working on behalf of Boli Metalware Factory was keen to introduce the Guangdong-based company's range of domestic appliance components to Indonesia's expanding roster of manufacturers. Particularly under the spotlight was the company's selection of wall switches, long-row socket sets, copper and iron parts, stamping parts, lathing parts, and springs.
Acknowledging that competition was already intense among the many companies vying to service Indonesia's manufacturing base, Hans Su, Boli's Sales Manager, said: "Although many other businesses are now targeting this market, our advantage is that we offer excellent quality, reasonable prices and a reliable after-sales service. We also have a variety of awards that testify to our commitment to quality and customer service."
Among the other companies looking to capitalise on their lengthy track record in China was Guangdong Yilian Cables, a business that has been manufacturing a variety of network, USB and power cables since 2007. Over that time, it has developed a particular specialty in the production of high-quality network cabling, which is said to boost data-transmission levels due to its resistance to electromagnetic interference.
Outlining the company's USP, Foreign Trade Clerk Jiayan Chen said: "Our cables are made of strong and reliable materials that act to ensure an uninterrupted data flow. All of our products offer a high level of stability, a consequence of the many years we have spent testing and refining them."
The Indonesia International Electronic and Home Appliances Expo 2017 took place from 23-25 August at the Jakarta International Expo Convention Center.
Marilyn Balcita, Special Correspondent, Jakarta