Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Home Credit to sell Philippine, Indonesian operations worth €‎615m

Manila, Philippines – Global consumer finance provider Home Credit has announced that it is selling its Philippine and Indonesian operations, with a valuation of €‎615m. The transaction is expected to be completed in H2 2023.

The transaction has been reached with a consortium with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), led by Thai bank Krungsri Bank, Japanese bank MUFG Bank, Indonesian credit facility Adira Finance, and an undisclosed local Indonesian investor.

Details of the transaction include Krungsri and MUFG Bank purchasing 75% and 25% respectively of Home Credit Philippines for a valuation of €406m; while Krungsri, Adira and a local Indonesian investor will purchase 75%, 10%, and 15%, respectively of Home Credit Indonesia for a valuation of €209m.

Jean-Pascal Duvieusart, CEO of Home Credit Group, said, “Home Credit launched around ten years ago in both the Philippines and Indonesia. In that time, they have flourished into market leading tech-based financial services companies. The success is down to our strong omnichannel network, highly regarded brand and robust customer base.”

He added, “It is now the right time for us to pass the baton onto new shareholders who can accelerate growth for these two exciting businesses as they approach this new phase. Both of these markets have played key roles in Home Credit and we will be watching their future with pride and interest.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

GrabKitchen to close Indonesian operations by December

Jakarta, Indonesia – GrabKitchen, the cloud kitchen arm of tech and superapp company Grab, will be closing its operations in Indonesia by December 19, resulting in layoffs amounting to around 10 to 20 people.

A report from Tech In Asia notes that GrabKitchen saw inconsistencies in its growth in the local market. In its four years of operations, GrabKitchen has seen its business move to an asset-light business model.

Mayang Schreiber, chief communications officer at Grab Indonesia, said, “This situation forced us to take a difficult decision, which is not to continue our GrabKitchen operations in Indonesia.”

Regarding the layoffs, Grab said that some of its laid-off employees will be transferred to other divisions under Grab’s operations. They will receive compensation and fulfilment of obligations in accordance with the country’s regulations.

At the moment, GrabKitchen has over 48 foot points across Indonesia.

The GrabKitchen shutdown and layoffs contradicts Grab’s recent statements, stating that they won’t be seeing large layoffs despite the weak market.

“Around mid-year, we did some kind of specific reorganisations, but I know other companies have been doing mass layoffs, so we don’t see ourselves in that category,” Alex Hungate, chief operating officer at Grab, told Reuters in September.

However, Hungate did note back then that they will be shutting down its ‘dark stores’ or storage facilities for its groceries, and slowing the growth of its cloud kitchens.

“The other area where we’ve really tightened our strategic intent is in financial services where we were growing payments, wallets and non-bank financial lending quite significantly off-platform and on our platform,” he added.

The layoffs brought by the GrabKitchen shutdown follow a slew of similar updates globally, including with Carsome, Shopee, Netflix, Snap, Oracle, and Hootsuite

SME Featured Southeast Asia

Tokopedia, Unilever Indonesia joined hands for MSME women empowerment in West Java

West Java, Indonesia – Indonesia-based e-commerce platform Tokopedia, Unilever Indonesia, and the West Java Provincial Government have partnered to hold a Digital Advanced Women’s Class entitled ‘MSMEs Women Empowered and Forward Digital: Inspiration for Women Dare to Bring Change’, which was attended by hundreds of local MSMEs in West Java, a province in Indonesia, and surrounding areas.

The event is a continuation of the signing of the cooperation between Tokopedia and Unilever Indonesia in the series of B20 Indonesia Women in Business Action Council programmes dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs. Present as a result of the B20 Indonesia presidency, this program also presents the One Global Women Empowerment (OGWE) platform initiative that focuses on expanding access to information, business assistance in the digital era, and technical entrepreneurship training as a preparation to face the challenges ahead.

Emmiryzan, head of the public policy and regional government division of Tokopedia, said, “This is the fourth time that Tokopedia has held a KPMD after being successfully held in Bali and Surabaya. We hope that through KPMD, Tokopedia can help improve the competitiveness of local MSME players, especially female MSMEs so that they are able to become hosts in their own country and become the main choice of Indonesian people.”

Meanwhile, Marini Fabiano, Unilever Indonesia Foundation’s diversity and inclusion lead, noted that in line with the ‘The Unilever Compass’ strategy, Unilever is committed to continuing to contribute to creating a more just and inclusive society which is manifested through their efforts to develop entrepreneurial skills and provide access to mentoring and mentoring for women and MSMEs. 

“Through collaboration with Tokopedia, we hope that women’s MSMEs, especially in West Java, can continue to grow and be competitive,” said Fabiano.

Atalia Praratya, the chairperson of Sekoper Cinta, commented, “We welcome the collaboration of Tokopedia and Unilever Indonesia in presenting KPMD activities in the West Java region. This is also in line with one of our programmes at Sekoper Cinta which provides training in opening up business opportunities so that women can be independent and contribute to the family economy. We hope that through this activity there will be more and more qualified MSMEs from West Java.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Ex-Grab Financial Ankur Mehrotra joins Julo as president

Jakarta, Indonesia – Ankur Mehrotra, formerly a managing director of Grab Financial Group, has joined the Indonesian digital lending firm Julo as its president, Bloomberg reports.

In his new role, Mehrotra will be responsible for Julo’s overall strategy and corporate finance, including international expansion, fundraising and mergers and acquisitions.

During his stint at Grab Financial, he founded Grab’s lending business and led it to become one of the largest digital lenders in SEA. In addition, he was also the CEO of Grab’s fintech lending Joint Venture (GFSA) that provided financing to consumers, drivers and SMEs.

Lastly, Mehrotra also founded Grab’s Insurtech business, incubated it and continued as a board member of Grab’s Insure-tech JV with Zhonghan International.

He also served as a managing director of corporate finance at Grab, as well as a founder and CEO of F&B discovery platform Abratable. He has also experience working with Standard Chartered and the International Monetary Fund.

Julo is backed by Japanese credit card company Credit Saison, who was the prime investor in Julo’s US$80m funding. The lending firm allows users in Indonesia to withdraw and send cash, make online purchases and pay bills. 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesian beauty startup Sociolla raises US$60m in funding

Jakarta, Indonesia – Sociolla, an Indonesian beauty startup, has raised US$60m in funding, led by Temasek and L Catterton. Other participating investors include existing investors East Ventures and Jungle Ventures.

According to e27, the funding round followed a US$56m funding round that the company announced in May 2021 which it used to support its regional expansion plan.

Christopher Madiam, president and co-founder at Sociolla, said, “Sustainability has been our core principle since day one, and all of our bold moves are always well calculated. This is why we have been able to generate stellar growth despite the pandemic and raise new funds from marquee investors, validating our business model and robust fundamentals.”

He added, “While we have never been afraid to be an industry game changer, our relentless pursuit of sustainable growth over the long run defines us and will continue guiding our path forward.”

Sociolla aims to start with the Southeast Asian region’s over US$10b beauty market. Following its 48 stores across 15 cities in Indonesia, it has also started expanding into Vietnam with 13 locations at the moment.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

Mastercard, Grab launch new regional programme to scale small business growth

Singapore – Global financial services company Mastercard and superapp Grab have joined hands to launch the ‘Small Business, Big Dreams’ regional programme to digitally upskill gig economy workers and small businesses in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. This collaboration is part of Strive Community, a global philanthropic initiative developed by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and Caribou Digital that aims to support the resilience and growth of five million small businesses around the world.

The new regional programme includes the launch of two online business courses for Grab’s driver and delivery-partners aspiring to start new businesses, and small business owners seeking to grow in a competitive digital economy. It aims to enable small businesses to reach their full potential by supporting them to digitise their operations, unlock their access to financial services, and more effectively participate in the digital economy.

The two new online courses, namely the ‘Driver Entrepreneurship Toolkit’ and the ‘Small Business Toolkit’, were created based on survey insights from over 34,000 driver-partners and 600 small businesses in the region. Although almost all small businesses surveyed use smartphones for their businesses, 42% still rely solely on paper and pen to manage their businesses.

“Many Southeast Asians working in the informal sector aspire for more, but the reality is that a lot of them do not have the means or the opportunity to access quality training programs. Through our partnership with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, we hope to give gig workers and small businesses a boost to get started. Our ‘Small Business, Big Dreams’ programme will equip them with business knowledge and practical skills through a structured learning journey tailored to their needs and interest areas,” said Cheryl Goh, group head of marketing and sustainability at Grab.

Meanwhile, Payal Dalal, SVP of social impact, international markets, and centre for inclusive growth at Mastercard, commented that they are delighted to work with Grab on this initiative that will boost digital capacity and inclusion amongst aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses post-pandemic.

“Mastercard has globally committed to bringing a total of 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025. Today’s announcement follows the success of Mastercard Academy 2.0 in Indonesia, Business Cell in the Philippines, BSR’s HER Project Digital Wage in Cambodia, and Care Ignite in Vietnam, which have empowered millions of small businesses to access technology, training, mentorship, and financial services,” she said.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesian corporate startup Sampingan rebrands as Staffinc

Jakarta, Indonesia – Local digital staffing solution startup Sampingan has announced its rebranding effort as Staffinc, marking a milestone in the company’s business development since first established in 2018.

Staffinc derives from the word staffing, which defines the process of assigning workers according to their specialties. It also represents the digitalized workforce solution that has become Sampingan’s field of expertise.

Wisnu Nugrahadi, CEO and co-founder of Staffinc, said, “Staffinc is expected to show our business identity in the first reading. The new naming retains the previous branding elements, such as logos and colours, to ensure the values embedded in the establishment of Sampingan are still present in Staffinc.”

The name change also applied to the company’s several owned application names. Sampingan’s job-seeking mobile application becomes Staffinc Jobs. Kerjaan, an all-in-one application for workers to report, fulfill assignments, and manage salary, becomes Staffinc Work. 

Staffinc has also strengthened its business line in the digital HR platform specifically for field workers under the name Staffinc Suite. As the HR needs of office workers and field workers differ, Staffinc Suite is designed to provide transparency and flexibility in recruiting a high-volume workforce rapidly, ensure the accuracy of the attendance process, and speed up the payroll process through an automated system.

Dimas Pramudya, chief product officer and co-founder at Staffinc, said, “Over time, we saw a need in the market to provide a separate management platform for field workers. We realize that not many HR platforms are designed to manage the overall operational activities of a large-scale workforce. We seize the opportunity to help companies requiring automated workforce management by strengthening the HR system business line with Staffinc Suite.”

Meanwhile, Margana Mohamad, chief commercial officer and co-founder at Staffinc, commented, “So far, Sampingan has partnered with more than 1 million workers and helped 150 companies with their workforce activities. And with Staffinc, we will open the next chapter by providing innovative products and services to overcome employment challenges faced by various industries. On the other hand, have a positive impact on job seekers in Indonesia by providing them equal access to jobs, following our initial vision and mission.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

PR agency Mutant names Tanya Tresnasari as country manager for Indonesia

Indonesia – Public relations and content marketing agency Mutant has appointed Tanya Tresnasari, former general manager of Golin and Weber Shandwick, to be its new country manager for Indonesia.

In her new role, Tresnasari will be leading, running, and delivering strategic and results-driven campaigns across PR, content, social media, and branding.

Tresnasari brings more than 20 years of experience in the communications industry, spanning advertising, activation, and public relations. At Golin and Weber Shandwick, she was instrumental in driving cross-practice collaboration and helped to diversify the agency’s roster with key clients, including Sanofi, MSD, Clubhouse, Linktree, Carousell, Shell, and Hyundai, as well as Cathay Pacific, and Singapore Airlines, amongst others. 

Mutant said that expanding to Indonesia was the next logical step for the agency after a successful decade in Singapore and robust growth in Malaysia since its launch in 2019.

Commenting on her appointment, Tresnasari said, “Just as the name suggests, Mutant is constantly evolving. I’m excited to bring the agency’s blended PR, content, social and branding approach and adapt it for clients locally. With the addition of new hires, Mutant Indonesia has already hit the ground running, and I look forward to welcoming and driving real business outcomes for clients.”

Meanwhile, Joseph Barratt, founder and CEO of Mutant, noted, “It’s an exciting time to enter the market, with a differentiated offering that combines PR, content, social media, and branding to help businesses succeed. I can’t think of anyone better than Tanya to lead us through this, and pave the way for Mutant’s next chapter.”

In addition, Gabriela Gunawan also joins Mutant Indonesia as a PR Manager. Previously from Golin Jakarta and Weber Shandwick, Gunawan has worked with a variety of clients, including Morgan Stanley, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, and SK-II, as well as Mastercard.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

AQUA teams up with Moving Walls to launch DOOH campaign

Jakarta, Indonesia – Local mineral water brand AQUA has teamed up with media technology group Moving Walls to launch a digital out-of-home (DOOH) campaign, which maximises programmatic capabilities and changes in weather patterns.

Launched in two phases across four weeks, AQUA using the tagline #AQUADULU, a hydration reminder campaign deployed a DOOH campaign that was triggered by multiple weather conditions ranging from hot climes to unstable conditions. 

The first phase saw commuters being reminded of the need to drink up and stay hydrated as temperatures soared in the metropolis. This was the first time that the brand harnessed the powers of API Weather targeting from a moving truck.

During the last week of the campaign, a truck powered with LED screens exclusively showcased multiple AQUA creatives that changed as temperatures fluctuated. Three different creatives were used for the working weekdays while a different set of creatives caught the attention of onlookers during the weekend. This contextually relevant content ensured that creatives were impactful and relevant, meeting consumers where they were.

AQUA also made use of the Citayam Fashion Week, an impromptu street fashion event that coincided with the campaign. The Citayam Fashion Week is a phenomenon where teenagers throng to public places in Jakarta to make a fashion statement. The LED screened truck was strategically placed at the Sudirman train station which became an instant hip and fashionable backdrop for the posers.

Jonathan Andre Widjaja, supply lead at Moving Walls Indonesia, said, “The future of OOH is data-driven campaigns. Campaigns that are creative and deliver highly relevant content directly to the target audience. Digital transformation and technological advancements in out-door advertising has made it possible to leverage robust, granular-level data to plan and execute high-performing campaigns such as these.”

Meanwhile, Intan Andini, senior digital manager for AQUA at Danone, commented, “In all #AQUADULU campaign that we’ve done in digital, this LED programmatic innovation allows us to create highly personalised creatives and bring us closer to our consumers in any relevant occasions. To always adapt our way in reaching our consumers has always been the key to get the result beyond measure.” 

She added, “Leveraging this approach gives us the best result possible with +2Mio views in high traffic areas in Jakarta in less than a month. This enable us to keep reminding people to drink #AQUADULU especially during this constant change of weather season and recently being seamlessly present at one of the most phenomenal cultural events, Citayam Fashion Week.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Kopi Kenangan ties with NFT creator Karafuru to spotlight Indonesia’s Modern-Day Heroes in new campaign

Jakarta, Indonesia – In conjunction with Indonesia’s Independence Day celebration, Kopi Kenangan, a local-based retail F&B chain known for its coffee products, has partnered with NFT creator Karafuru and digital service provider ADA Asia to launch a new campaign to honour the Modern Day Heroes.

Through the campaign, Kopi Kenangan Hanya Untukmu introduces eight modern heroes who are highly relevant for Gen Z. The eight characters are chosen to represent the everyday heroes of Indonesia from different walks of life, from courier drivers to corporate workers, and from medical frontliners to content creators. All of which are contributing to the country in their own unique way. 

Moreover, Karafuru NFT used its magic hands to bring to life the eight modern heroes of Gen Z. Each character is given its own character and attributes, making it unique and relatable to each of the modern-day heroes’ daily struggles.

The collaboration can be found in the limited edition of Kopi Kenangan Hanya Untukmu x Karafuru coffee bottles in Indonesia.

Faradi Bachri, country director at ADA Asia, shared that their findings show that Gen Z has a peculiar spirit in celebrating Independence Day, and they want to instil the true meaning of Gen Z spirit by inviting them to appreciate the battles and challenges of modern-day heroes from all walks of life.

“Through the modern heroes concept that ADA prepared, we want to remind Gen Z to not forget the spirit of perseverance, which is the essence of Independence Day,” said Bachri.

Meanwhile, Karafuru said, “It was fun to design the artworks that are highly relatable to the audience in Indonesia. Despite the fact that we merely portray eight modern heroes, I believe that hundreds of heroes were mentioned and celebrated by Indonesians aside from these eight individuals.”