What you should know before doing business in Indonesia

Organization of the social system
Indonesia is a very diverse nation, both geographically and ethnically, and people tend to identify themselves first on a local basis and only later on a national basis. There are cultural differences deriving from the economic level of the families of origin. The diversity of the religions practiced also implies a great effort by the government to maintain the cohesion of the country: the motto of Indonesia is “unity in diversity”.

Indonesians attach great importance to the family and therefore prefer the group to the individual. Respect for status, power, position and age is a basic foundation for any kind of relationship.

Punctuality and time management
Time in Indonesia is experienced in a very relaxed and flexible way. Indonesians do not resort to business negotiations and often do not take the time to design everything in detail. Indonesian attitude towards time is a reflection of the expression: “time is not money”.

Women managers who go on a business trip to Indonesia should hold a very professional attitude with male colleagues, avoiding obvious signs of friendship that could be misunderstood.

Business cards are formally exchanged during the initial phase of the meeting; they must contain your title and, although not necessarily, have a side translated into Bahasa or Chinese, based on the interlocutor: this is a sign of respect. Business cards are donated and received with both hands, with the right hand holding the card and with the left hand supporting the wrist, and examined before putting them away.

In the cities, being now very westernized, Indonesian life follows the rhythms familiar to us: the working week goes from Monday to Friday, with the classic office hours and the shops remain open 7 days a week, often with extended hours. 

So how to do business in Indonesia in perspective of personal and professional relationship?

The role of women
Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country, yet many women occupy positions of power within organizations and female visitors are unlikely to encounter any hostility from male counterparts.

Women with blond hair and blue eyes attract more attention in Indonesia, characteristics not very common in the local population, very clear skin is considered very attractive. Women entrepreneurs have the opportunity to make invitations for dinner, but remember that it is advisable to invite the wife of your interlocutor to avoid embarrassment.

Keep in mind, in working relationships, that family ceremonies are a priority: your interlocutor might be absent because his extended family has been in mourning and he has an absolute obligation to attend.

Feelings and emotions should be made to leak very little and in a discreet way, the people with whom you are conversing must never be put in embarrassing situations; it is also good to avoid ridiculing, offending or shouting with someone.

If you want to give a gift to an Indonesian you should pay attention to some details: never give scissors or knives because it is usually associated with the end of a relationship; also avoid products or photographs of dogs, are considered impure. If your interlocutor is of original Muslim, avoid giving away alcohol, for Hindus it is better to avoid giving leather goods and for those of Chinese origin it is better to avoid umbrellas (means that you do not want to see a person again).

Common places and stereotypes
Indonesia is often described as a poor country, but this is commonplace. The government has tried to focus first on democracy and this has also given impetus to the economy. Today Indonesia is seen as an emerging and very attractive market for Italian companies to Indonesia, especially in the mechanical, energy, environmental, automotive and luxury goods sectors.

The work/ free time relationship
Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation in the world and celebrates Ramadan and other Islamic festivals with great participation. In Bali, where the majority follows a religion of fusion between Hinduism and Buddhism, it is necessary to extricate themselves from Muslim festivals (now many immigrants live on the island from Java and in any case public offices follow the Muslim calendar) and local festivals. These are repeated twice a year, as the Balinese calendar lasts six months.

Many Indonesians can make a slight bow or put their hands on the heart after shaking hands to give more meaning to the greeting. Muslim and Hindu men and women, for religious reasons, do not touch in public and women should not be greeted with a handshake by a man, but the gesture is reciprocated if the initiative is female.

Gaffe to avoid
While eating is forbidden to speak, the conversation is reserved for the before and after the meal. Remember not to use your left hand at the table because it is considered unclean. It would also be better to avoid staring at a person for a long time, because it is considered a challenge.

Method of communication and relationship
The hierarchy is very important for Indonesians, bringing respect to people who occupy important roles or who are more senior than their own is a fundamental and very welcome gesture.

The Indonesian businessman is usually an educated man, superior to his employees, who owe him respect; all this does not imply an attitude of arrogance. In companies of purely Indonesian culture the head (baba) must be respected both from the formal and the substantive point of view. Respect is shown visibly by avoiding that your head is higher than its own, if you are tall, you should give it a small nod if you have to pass in front of it or keep a posture slightly inclined to mean respect.

During the 1990s, Indonesia developed a development strategy that enabled the economy to be relaunched and significant progress made in all major sectors. The results obtained were encouraging, especially in terms of economic growth: all forecasts see Indonesia among the top six world powers by 2030. If you are from Italy and want to expand your business to Indonesia, you should at least read this website.

The profile of the businessman
Defining the profile of the Indonesian businessman is not very easy. The Indonesian people are a mix of ethnic groups and this makes it almost impossible to outline a standard identikit for this profession.

Indonesian Government supports the development of geothermal power plants

If you are looking for Indonesian Market research for energy and power development, you can read this.

Local companies and foreign investors from the USA, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and China expressed an interest in projects that shed a total aggregate capacity of 255 megawatts.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Indonesia considers this auction to be quite attractive for both parties, but the results will need to wait for the end of the year 2017, or the beginning of the year 2018.

In recent months, the Indonesian government has implemented an auction of six geothermal projects worth $1.02 billion to expand the capacity of Indonesia’s renewable resources as part of its plan to become the world’s largest geothermal energy producer.

The geothermal projects offered are in the following locations: Kapahiang in Bengkulu with a capacity of 110 MW, Simbolon Samosir to North Sumatra with 110 MW, Borapulu in central Sulawesi with 10 MW, Lamiding on the northern Maluku with 10 MW and Oka Ile Ange in Mount Sirung on the eastern Nusa Tenggara with a capacity of 10 MW and 5 MW.

” The amount of investment in each geothermal region varies depending on region and local conditions. On average, however, the investment in geothermal development is about $4 million to 1 megawatt, “said Yunus Saefulhak, director of the Geothermal Resources of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals.

Indonesia as a geothermal power

Indonesia ranks among the world’s geothermal powers. It is currently the third largest global geothermal producer behind the first U.S. and second in the Order of the Philippines. The government plans to push Indonesia to the first place in the rankings by 2021 and ahead the US and the Philippines.

According to estimates, Indonesia now has a potential geothermal capacity of approximately 28.000 MW, which can account for up to 40% of the world’s total resources. Indonesia currently uses only about 6% of its geothermal potential and therefore the Government is very active in supporting and promoting geothermal power projects.

The geothermal capacity of the current largest US producer will likely stagnate at 3.450 MW and no further development in this area is planned. The Philippines, currently the second largest geothermal producer, has already fully exploited its potential and can even record the decline in capacity from the current 1.870 MW.

This year Indonesia will add additional 215MW capacities of geothermal power plant Sarulla to northern Sumatra, 30MW from power plant Karaha in western Java, 20MW from Sorik Marapi North Sumatra and 55MW from Ulubelu 4 in Lampung.

Indonesia expects to have a geothermal capacity of 3.559 MW in the next four years. According to estimates, Indonesia now has a potential geothermal capacity of approximately 28.000 MW, which can account for up to 40% of the world’s total resources. Indonesia currently uses only about 6% of its geothermal potential and therefore the Government is very active in supporting and promoting geothermal power projects.

If you are company in Europe specializing in energy production and would like doing business in Indonesia, Indonesian government is providing great incentives and tariffs that can ease your business expansion to Indonesia and South East Asia. 

This is how you make good business opportunity in Indonesia

Indonesia is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, so a business trip to the country becomes more and more interesting. Looking forward to a business opportunity in Indonesia? So how should you doing business in Indonesia once you are there for a market study?

On paper, a Dutch entrepreneur in Indonesia should have the advantage. Look at the age-old trade relations, which partly still exist and where you may be able to hook up.

1. Show extra great awe

Andrew Senduk: “Respect is extremely important within Indonesian culture. Never speak business contacts in an amicable, jovial way. It is good to give a business card with two hands and thereby make a slight bend.

2. Do not be impatient

Senduk: “Patience is essential for doing business in Indonesia. The fact that Indonesian entrepreneurs often come too late to appointments or that communication is slow does not mean that they are not interested. It’s in the culture. “

” On the day that I would have my first meeting with the entire Printerous team in Indonesia, I worried unnecessarily if I would be on time. I had arrived in Jakarta in the morning, had a good jet lag and it rained as it can only rain in Indonesia … hard. Soaked I arrived at half past one, with the expectation that everyone would look at me with a look of ‘you’re late’.

3. Profiling yourself as a ‘social animal’

Senduk: “This sounds like an open door, but Indonesia is a very social country. This is also reflected in the use of social media, because Indonesia is one of the top 3 social media users in the world. Always and always friendly, because you never know who can put you in contact with an essential business relation.

” You also recognize the social character of Indonesians at the meeting place for a business meeting. When you are a guest at a meeting, chances are that it takes place in a restaurant in a shopping mall. In shopping malls, the social life of residents mainly takes place.

4. ‘Read between the lines’

Senduk: “Indonesians do not have directness like most western people have. This means that people in daily communication often turn around.

On paper, a Dutch entrepreneur in Indonesia should have the advantage. Senduk: “Patience is essential for doing business in Indonesia.” On the day that I would have my first meeting with the entire Printerous team in Indonesia, I worried unnecessarily if I would be on time. I had arrived in Jakarta in the morning, had a good jet lag and it rained as it can only rain in Indonesia … hard. Senduk: “This sounds like an open door, but Indonesia is a very social country.

Senduk was a consultant and option trader at ING and Deloitte and is now the co-owner of the European branch of Printerous, an Indonesian Internet service that prints social media images on albums, canvas boxes, magnets and stickers. He explains how you can best behave in Indonesia.

With its paced economy and population size, it is a very attractive expand your market with huge business opportunity in Indonesia.

Article is adopted from https://www.sprout.nl/artikel/marketing/zo-maak-je-goede-sier-indonesië

Indonesia Market Research and Study

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We accompany you in the entire process of your market research: from the study design to implementation to professional data analysis.

EIBN is a reliable partner for Indonesia market research and in many other countries. Through our own online access panel, we have global access to survey respondents, whom we interview regularly as part of market research surveys.

We are happy to assist you in your research on Indonesia. After the conception of the questionnaire has been completed, we place it on our servers, forward our online panel to your quota specifications on the questionnaire and finally analyze the data according to your wishes.

Are you interested in market research in Indonesia? The largest island state in the world is accessible through our online panel, so we have the opportunity to assist you with online surveys in market research for Indonesia.


We help you design your study and develop your questionnaire so that you can ask the right questions. We offer the right tools for all questions as well as customized solutions if required.


We will recruit the sample from our own online access panel, either population representative or according to your quota specifications. The survey can take place in one country or as a multi-country study in parallel in more than 70 countries.


After completing the survey, we will submit the survey results to you as an SPSS/ Excel dataset or create a data analysis and prepare the results in a detailed and annotated graph report.

What market researchers need to know

In the last issue of Research & Results, Sigrid Schmid and Godehard Wakenhut opened a series on “MINT states” with an article about Mexico. As with the Mexico contribution, the local characteristics of the Indonesian market and its consumers are highlighted below. The authors describe how market research should adapt to local market conditions in order to be successful.

The state of Indonesia is the largest state in Southeast Asia and at the same time the world’s largest island nation with about 241 million inhabitants, spread over many islands. 58 percent of the population live on the main island of Java with many large cities and the capital Jakarta – a “megapolis” with 25 million inhabitants. A dynamic society and a promising market that seeks to approach humanly as well as researchingly with empathy.

Indonesian consumer society

Even if exact economic figures vary according to source and calculation method, it is certain that Indonesian per capita income has been steadily rising for some years and that the Indonesian middle class is growing. Traditionally, about half of the disposable income is spent on livelihoods (food and housing), steadily decreasing in favor of consumer goods such as clothing, footwear, consumer electronics or means of transport. As social values such as family, community, conformity, and harmony shape society, larger consumer choices in the extended family are also discussed.

Importance of Islam Often forgotten is the high importance of Islam for an Asian country: 87 percent of the Indonesian population are – usually very religious – Muslims. According to surveys by our partner agency Deka Marketing Research, cosmetics account for 33 percent and pharmaceuticals for 37 percent of the population for halal production.

With moped in the future

We are happy to assist you in your research on Indonesia. The authors describe how market research should adapt to local market conditions in order to be successful. A dynamic society and a promising market that seeks to approach humanly as well as researchingly with empathy.

Over seven million motorcycles were produced in Indonesia in 2012, Astra-Honda is the market leader.

The emerging lower middle class is young, dynamic and often in the early family phase. For young families, the motorcycle with an average price of the equivalent of 1,100 euros usually the first major purchase and thus a symbol of modest social advancement. Over seven million motorcycles were produced in Indonesia in 2012, Astra-Honda is the market leader.

Learn more and how to expand your business opportunity to Indonesia. Contact EIBN now!

Indonesia Geothermal and Renewables Energy

With around 29,000 MW, Indonesia has the world’s greatest potential in the field of geothermal energy. Indonesia can 40% of the world’s available geothermal energy in its own country. The huge archipelago sits on a long chain of volcanoes. Therefore, new geothermal power plants are emerging everywhere. The increase in power generation capacity is an absolute priority for the Indonesian Government. In order to cope with the rapidly growing electricity consumption, it relies mainly on the construction of new coal and gas power plants. At the same time, the archipelago is also striving to increase the share of renewable energies at the mix. Currently, the share of renewables at the mix is 5-6%. An increase of 19% is planned up to 2019 and 25% to 2025.

At the end of 2014, according to the Indonesian Ministry of Energy, renewable energies with a total capacity of almost 11,000 MW were installed. 70% of this was due to hydro power. The remainder were divided into roughly equal parts of geothermal energy and biomass.

In the development of renewable energies, Indonesia relies almost exclusively on water, geothermal energy and biomass. The Government is particularly strongly seeking to push geothermal energy forward. The Southeast Asian archipelago is located on a long line of volcanoes called the Ring of Fire. Therefore, 40% of the world’s (theoretically) usable geothermal energy is to be located in Indonesia.

The Energy and Mineral Resources ministry quantifies the geothermal potential of Indonesia to almost 29,000 MW. More than half of these would be highly likely to be realised. The authority speaks of around 300 places where power plants could be built. Currently, there are only a few plants with a total capacity of 1,400 MW, making Indonesia the world’s number two. However, the government’s investment wave is not just about the electrification of the country. This should also be done in an environmentally friendly and climate-protecting way. According to the Indonesian Geothermal Association (API), Indonesia’s oil consumption can be reduced by 60 million barrels per year by using geothermal energy. However, a value of almost 5,000 MW is to be reached already 2019.

In August 2014, the Indonesian Parliament issued a new law to simplify investments in geothermal energy. In this way, corresponding power plants can now also be created in protected forest areas. Up to now, geothermal plants have been treated as mines.

Nevertheless, the first steps in the field of geothermal production are likely to be made by state-owned companies, and the environment is still too uncertain. For example, the public company Pertamina announced that it would want to operate up to 2025 geothermal in the range of 2,300 MW in Indonesia. At the middle of the year 2014 it had only geothermal with a total capacity of 400 MW in operation. The targeted investment costs amount to around $4 billion.

There are special feed-in tariffs for renewable energy, some of which are many times higher than for electricity from coal-fired power plants. In principle, the smaller the plants, the higher the remuneration. The state energy group PLN is the sole administrator of the national network. It sets the tariffs with appropriate political support. 

New line of Power Energy

Wind Power Energy is also being develop throughout Indonesia. UPC Renewables as one of main renewables energy developer in Indonesia has been exploring and developing renewable energy projects in Indonesia. Brian Caffyn UPC as Chairman of the company is very interested in landscape of energy in Indonesia.

Wind Power grow dramatically in Indonesia

In the past, it was common to seize the energy of the wind. In Indonesia, windmills were a common sight around the country, and at the turn of the last century there were about 2 000 windmills only on Öland. From the 1800 century the steam force took over and the windmills are today taken out of service for a long time, and part of our cultural history that is cherished by many. Now wind power is back, but in a completely different form. This is because wind power is renewable and one of the solutions to replace fossil fuels for electricity generation and reduce emissions of climate gases.

The number of wind turbines in the world has increased very rapidly in recent years and without them the emissions of climate gases from electricity production had been greater. According to the Global wind Energy Council there were 433 GW (gigawatts = million kilowatts) of wind power installed at the end of year 2015 and a forecast that approximately 500 GW would be available at the end of 2016. By comparison, the Indonesia wind power effect is about to get started in early 2018 with target of production of 75GW by end of 2018.

An increasingly large part of Indonesia electricity production

Wind power has in a few years gone from an insignificant part of electricity production to producing more than 10% of the electricity we use in Indonesia. And it will be more, not least because it has been decided to increase support for renewable energy sources.

Germany and Spain are the countries that use the most wind power in Europe, in terms of installed power. Wind power in these countries represents one third and one sixth of wind power in Europe. The global leader is China, which has over one third of the world’s installed wind power capacity. In Denmark, 40% of all electricity produced from wind power, which is the highest proportion in the world. First wind energy project in Indonesia is being developed by UPC Renewables.

The environmental impact of wind power

Wind power produces no emissions to nature during operation and leaves no environmentally hazardous waste behind it. The ground can also be easily restored. Wind energy environmental issues are more about negative effects on the landscape image. It can affect the values of the environment in other ways – for example, bird life – and the choice of place is therefore important. When a site is selected to build wind power, the impact on both the environment and experience values for outdoor activities should be taken into consideration as well as, of course, the impact on surrounding housing.

One possibility is to set up wind turbines at sea, where it blows more often and the wind is stronger. However, it is more expensive to build and maintain offshore wind power than on land.

Bigger and more efficient

The technology of wind turbines has evolved rapidly, with higher towers and larger, more efficient turbines. By making the wind turbines larger, they can produce much more electricity even though the blades rotate more slowly than on small pieces.

One challenge with wind power is that the wind varies. When it is not blowing, the electricity must come elsewhere. Sweden has unique conditions to cope with it without using fossil fuel power plants, because we have a lot of hydro power. Hydro power is adjustable and the water can be stored in ponds and used for electricity production at times when it is not blowing. Another alternative is solar power. One of developer of solar energy is UPC Solar. Brian Caffyn is Director of UPC Solar.

Since the year 2003, Wind Power has received financial support through the system of electricity certificates and it has enabled the rapid expansion. The electricity certificate program means that the person using a kilowatt-based utility will pay a few pennies to the person who invested in wind power or other renewable energy. Nowadays, the cost of building wind turbines has decreased. The expansion of wind power slowed down slightly in 2016 because it was larger than the Elcertifikatsmarknaden demanded.
On average, it takes over two and a half years to be authorised to establish a wind turbine, in particular to investigate the impact on the environment. The Indonesia Energy Agency is working to shorten this time to six months.