2019 Women Trading Globally participant promoting Indonesian artisan design and craftsmanship to the world
Kemala works fairly and ethically with artisan partners across Indonesia. Dian is driven by seeing the difference that her business is making for her staff and artisan partners; how they are growing together alongside the growth of the business.
Noticing the local market becoming more saturated and aware of the need to diversify risk, Dian wanted to try expanding Kemala’s sales to niche international markets. Before participating in Women Trading Globally, a short course supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, she had read some articles and literature on best practices in exporting for small businesses, and tried to gain further insights by talking to friends who have export experiences.
For Dian, the Women Trading Globally program reaffirmed the importance of a strong USP and brand/product story. She has always known this is important, but realised it is especially true when competing internationally since “you’re trying to appeal to a new market that does not know your brand yet.” Dian also benefited from learning about building a message map, Incoterms, and export/import requirements.
After the program, Dian revisited her business plan and made revisions using the knowledge she gained from the program in order to strengthen Kemala’s operations internally. She was also selected by the Indonesian Ministry of Trade to participate in the largest annual trade fair in Indonesia – Trade Expo Indonesia 2019.
In 2020, Dian shares that at the onset of COVID-19 Kemala’s retail sales dropped significantly, and all local B2B as well as international orders were postponed or cancelled. She and her team therefore decided to:
1. focus exclusively, for the time being, on the retail domestic market;
2. strengthen presence on social media;
3. advertise on Instagram and Facebook (which they hardly ever did before);
4. join one of the biggest marketplaces in Indonesia in order to increase domestic outreach.
Sales are starting to stabilise again (even if the numbers are not as high as previous years) and for the past few months or so, Kemala Home Living has started receiving local B2B orders again.
Dian looks forward to increasing her domestic and international sales into the future, and her thoughtful approach to business along with an ethical supply chain puts her in good stead to reach her goals.
Reflecting on her Women Trading Globally experience, Dian stated:
“The WTG programme has definitely increased my confidence in exporting because I am now more equipped with the necessary knowledge and I have established connections that I know can assist me if and when necessary… I have done a few successful collaborations (participation in local trade and corporate events) with fellow WTG delegates Indonesia. I have also made new business thanks to introductions from fellow WTG delegates.… I now have more contacts from the ECA, Australian business owners, DFAT, and other WTG delegates whose knowledge and experiences I can tap into if I have any questions or when executing my export plan.”