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We launched Hoffman Agensi Indonesia today.

It’s worth taking a moment to step back and reflect on our infrastructure. Given our focus on the tech sector — defined broadly as semiconductors, fitness gadgets and everything in between — we don’t need offices everywhere. Instead, our approach has been to make sure we’re in the markets where most of the tech spend takes place.

That’s why we’re investing in Indonesia, believing it will evolve into a priority market for an increasing number of potential clients. To give you a sense of trajectory, PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that Indonesia will represent the fifth largest economy in the world by 2030, with an estimated figure of $5.424 trillion.

 

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Fast forwarding to today, we see room for a differentiated position in Indonesia. Some of the huge PR consultancies — I affectionately refer to them as mega shops — operate in Indonesia. These include Edelman, Burson Marsteller, Fleishman Hillard, Weber Shandwick and Ogilvy. On the other end of the spectrum, there are local communications firms such as Imogen and Fortune Pramana Rancang.

 

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We bring the best of both worlds to the table, the sophistication in programming associated with the mega chops in combination with the “high touch” that typically comes from boutique shops.

This office in Jakarta has been six years in the making. That’s how long our Singapore team led by Rasheed Abu Bakar has been teaming with Cici Utari and her firm Qycomm for on-the-ground campaign execution in Indonesia.

The word partnership gets used so much that it has lost much of its meaning. In our definition of partnership, each party cares about the success of the other. That’s what we had in Qycomm, a partnership that grew stronger over time as we collaborated on client work. When we met in early 2017 to discuss how to continue advancing the business in Indonesia, launching Hoffman Agensi Indonesia was the natural next step.

 

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I’ve had several people ask me if our style and especially our approach to storytelling works in a market like Indonesia. The short answer is yes, that feathering anecdotes, contrast and imagery into a narrative resonates with audiences — including journalists — regardless of geography. Hey, “Kojak” reruns crush it in Japan. Need I say more.

Still, our Indonesia team like our other offices around the world will build local angles into the content for each client campaign. At the 10,000-foot level, it’s like McDonald’s which serves a core menu — think hamburgers and french fries — around the world and then rounds out its offering with local items like Bubur Ayam in Indonesia.

 

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Last, It takes a village to raise an office. Beyond Rasheed and Cici, I want give a shout out to Caroline Hsu (AP managing director), Lydia Lau (global VP of operations) and Shawn Balakrishnan (general manager of our Singapore office) for their support in making this happen. Sorry for the cliché, but it truly was a team effort.

As I explained to the company, this move isn’t about the next year or two. Establishing a beachhead in Indonesia helps to make sure we can meet the needs of clients looking out three years and beyond.

With that said, if you’re seeking communications support in Indonesia today, no need to wait until 2019. We’re ready now.


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