Established in 1908 in Japan as business for repairing and producing parts for sewing machines, the Brother Group has since grown into a multinational company, selling printers, scanners, machine tools and other IT-related products.
Masahiro Isobe, President Director of PT. Brother Indonesia, which opened in September 2008, spoke to NOW! Jakarta about the company’s growth and outlook as well as its commitment to the environment and CSR programmes.
How would you rate PT. Brother Indonesia’s development since its establishment?
Indonesia is one of the newly established companies within the Brother Group. Over the last eight years, sales have steadily increased in all categories. Compared to our first financial year in 2009, sales has been ten times higher last year. Luckily, we have not experienced a decrease in sales so far. This is maybe due to the fact that we are putting a strong focus on branding and marketing as well as channel expansion.
In which areas have you seen the strongest growth?
Our strongest growth was in the field of home and consumer users and small business users, many of which purchase our multi-function printers. Currently, our main focus is on corporate customers, the B2B (business-to-business) and B2G (business-to-government) are our target customers. We are expanding our channels to reach out to corporate venues, enterprises, factories and the government. There is still room for growth in this field.
At the same time, we are trying to improve our customer service. We already have 116 service points across Indonesia, but we want to improve our on-site service, where we go to our customers instead of them coming to us.
How important is the Indonesian market?
Due to the large population of Indonesia - which is still growing - it is a very important market for us. The GDP is also growing, therefore, Indonesia is one of Brother Group’s target markets, similar to India. At the same time, this also means that the expectation of our head office to grow the business in the Indonesian market is quite high.
Brother puts a strong focus on its CSR programmes and is also a member of Most Valued Business (MVB) Indonesia. Could you tell us more about your activities?
Brother Group is very concerned about the environment. Under the slogan “Brother Earth”, we aim to take steps to protect the global environment in all aspects of our business operations.
In Indonesia specifically, we will join Clean Up Jakarta again this year, for the third time in a row, and this activity is usually joined by all our staff and their families. We also started our own tote bag campaign, for which we created garment tote bags, embellished with our customers’ name or initials, according to their wishes, by using our own sewing machines as we are trying to reduce the use of plastic bags when people go shopping.
What would you like to achieve during your time in Indonesia?
I would like to expand our business in the aforementioned areas and strengthen the brand name so we can have a bigger market share. We have achieved this in other markets already, so why not in Indonesia as well? Our products are of high quality, yet still affordable, and only with us, our customers get a 3-year-warranty. Personally, I want to improve my Indonesian language skills. At some point, I’d really like to be able to hold a meeting in Indonesian.