Jakarta – As an international trade exhibition and conference, Halal Expo Indonesia (HEI) is filled with a series of conference activities and business matching. This Business to Business and Business to Consumer exhibition, the largest in Indonesia, took place from October 25 to 29 at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) and served as a platform to facilitate entrepreneurs in entering the international market.
In a 3,500 square meter area in Hall A, HEI presented around 120 booths, consisting of businesses from both Indonesia and abroad, including Malaysia, Cambodia, Belarus, China, India, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, India, the USA, Jordan, Japan, Turkey, and even Palestine.
Several foreign exhibition participants attended HEI with the goal of seeking business partners and expanding their marketing networks in Indonesia. One such example is PT Abie Isma Altra, an import company that imports natural fruit-based beverages under the Caesar Jus brand from Saudi Arabia.
Husain Abie Isma, the Chairman of PT Abie Isma Altra, stated that they were offering opportunities for individuals who wish to become distributors of Caesar Jus products. During the business matching at HEI, Husain mentioned that at least two parties had expressed interest in becoming Caesar Jus distributors in Surabaya and Makassar. They also simplified the payment process.
“We will assess the prospects, and if they are good, they can pay around 30% as an initial commitment to become distributors, for example, by taking one container. Then, after the goods arrive to establish a binding, an additional 50% can be added. The price sold to consumers is Rp 18,500. However, the distributor’s price will be adjusted based on the order,” he explained.
Another participant, Faheem Aref, Co-Founder of Light Art VR, an American company that provides Islamic virtual reality entertainment experiences, was also seeking partners or franchisees in Indonesia. Light Art VR specializes in creating 8K resolution content about Islamic heritage in various languages. Leveraging virtual reality technology, the company offers unique experiences to visitors, allowing them to witness Islamic stories such as Makkah, the Hijrah, the story of Prophet Musa (AS), the Mawlid of the Prophet, and the Isra Mi’raj of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
With VR technology, users can not only experience being at sacred Islamic sites but also be transported back to the prophetic era, more than 1400 years ago. VR technology allows users to feel the movements, smell the aromas of the Kaaba, sense the wind, and experience the motions. For Muslims, this is a breakthrough that can satisfy their longing for experiences in the holy land and other historic places they have never visited.
During HEI, Light Art VR offered a promotional price of Rp 785 million for one kiosk, including 4 movable seats and 2 non-motion VR headsets. Partners or franchisees can set up a 4×4 meter VR kiosk in shopping malls or high-traffic areas. They won’t need to pay upfront for Light Art VR products; instead, they pay a 25% royalty fee on the tickets sold.
While HEI was ongoing, several Export Aggregator companies were present to assist businesses in entering international markets, such as Dubai, the United States, Japan, and the Philippines. One of these companies was Usindo Exim Consultant LLC, an export aggregator company from the United States.
Ihza, a marketing representative for Usindo Exim, explained that their goal at HEI was to offer a joint export program to SMEs, particularly in the fashion and crafts sector. Through this program, Usindo Exim would gather and transport SME products to the United States for display at the Indonesian Muslim Society in America (IMSA) and the Malaysian Islamic Study Group (MISG) exhibitions in Austin, Texas, USA, from December 23 to 27, 2023.
“We assist SMEs in entering the international market, especially in the United States. However, since the shipping takes some time, the products eligible for the joint export program are those without the risk of spoilage, such as fashion and crafts. Fortunately, at ISEF-HEI, there were many fashion products available. They can join the joint export program with shipping costs below Rp 20,000 per piece, with no minimum or maximum limits. The deadline for collecting the goods is until November 1, 2023,” Ihza explained.
If the SME products don’t sell during the exhibition, they have two options. First, the products can be returned to Indonesia with shipping costs covered by the SME. Second, they can be stored in Usindo Exim’s warehouse for a storage fee. SMEs can then sell their products online via Amazon or their website. If they find buyers, the products will be shipped directly from Usindo Exim’s warehouse.
Ihza mentioned that Usindo Exim aimed to have at least 100 SMEs join this joint export program. “As of the latest update, 60 SMEs have registered, either during business matching at HEI or before the exhibition,” he stated.
One of the SMEs that joined the joint export program was Gita from PT Asa Pratama Kreasindo with the brand Ainaras. She expressed her gratitude for the HEI exhibition, as it provided business opportunities for entrepreneurs through business matching, enabling their products to enter the global market. The Ainaras brand offers Muslim and Muslimah fashion products, including prayer mats, robes, pecis (prayer caps), knitted items, hijabs, and travel prayer rugs.
She hoped that in the future, more international buyers could come to Indonesia, either through invitations from HEI or the government, to open up greater business opportunities. “Alhamdulillah, we have made further business agreements with Malaysia. Regarding business matching at HEI, some countries expressed interest, but discussions are ongoing,” she added.
PT Ganesha Abadi Tama, a producer of kitchen seasonings and spices located in Jatisampurna, Bekasi, also felt the potential for export opportunities. According to their marketing representative, Hendra Kurniawan, during the two days of business matching, they had already established serious collaborations with four countries: Libya, the Philippines, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia.
“This business matching is a great opportunity for our company, which had never exported before. Alhamdulillah, we now have the opportunity to be recognized by international buyers,” Hendra said.
For entrepreneurs looking to expand their marketing and improve the capacity, management, and competitiveness of their products, they can consult and partner with the Halal Production House Together (Rumah Produksi Halal Bersama). This booth also displayed various SME products that are currently thriving in international markets, such as Kaldu Kokot and Rasanesia Crispy Cassava, which are popular in markets in Malaysia, Singapore, and Jeddah.
Norman, the Halal Ecosystem Head from UMKM Halal Hub by Goorita, mentioned that they continue to mentor and support SMEs in various regions, not only for sustainability in the domestic market but also for international expansion.