Japan's Great Small is coming to Indonesia

Japan's Great Small is coming to Indonesia

Last December in Tokyo, as I opened the newspaper hanging on my hotel room door, I was quite surprised to see my photo with the President of Indonesia and the Prime Minister of Japan on the front page. The efforts of our volunteer team at Kadin and our counterparts in Japan had finally reached the highest levels.

I actually wanted to post about it right then and there, but felt uneasy sharing since the program to connect Indonesian and Japanese entrepreneurs was still in the negotiation and trial phase.

It all started when I first visited the SMRJ office, the Japanese small and medium enterprise agency, and saw the phrase "Be a Great Small". At that time, the head of SMRJ, Toyonaga-san, explained that Japanese products are globally renowned for their high quality not because of having the most branches or being a public company, but about being a "Great Small" company, the best at what they do.

I was so impressed that I wrote a blog post about how Indonesian entrepreneurs could learn from Japan regarding the Great Small philosophy. (link in bio). The gist of it is "Be a great small brand first, then be ready to compete with global brands".

Japan is filled with "small" brands that are already competing with global brands. For example, Momotaro jeans, although much smaller than Levi's, has become one of the most expensive jeans because it uses indigo dye that has been perfected over hundreds of years.

No wonder after I wrote that article, many entrepreneurs asked me questions.

"Mr. Aldi, I really want to meet the fashion brand that inspires my brand."

"Di, do you know how Japan can grow melons and strawberries that taste uniquely delicious?"

"I'm currently looking for ingredients for my beverage brand that are only available in Japan, do you have access?"

For those who have worked with Japanese people, they surely know that the negotiation process is not quick, especially since we are all volunteers who might only be able to spare an hour or two a week.

So, for the past two years, our volunteer team at Kadin has been approaching in various ways. There's Nita and Hanifa who built a wiki program to facilitate exports to Japan for certain sectors together with Jetro during the G20. There's Andi who handles the collaboration with SMRJ, for those who want to work with Japan's "great small". Of course, supported by the Japan bilateral committee Leila and also Mr. Emmanuele Wanandi.

Finally, this Wednesday, SMRJ, Japan's "Great Small", will come to Indonesia to explain how Indonesian entrepreneurs can collaborate with entrepreneurs in Japan through a platform. They are looking for serious medium-scale entrepreneurs who want to collaborate.

As I explained in my previous post, if interested, you can register using the WA chatbot here (phone only).