Five Inspirational Women Use WhatsApp to Bring Indonesian Products to the World

Five Inspirational Women Use WhatsApp to Bring Indonesian Products to the World

JAKARTA, – Women are at the core of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Indonesia, accounting for nearly half of the population of all SMEs in the country. For many SMEs in Indonesia, WhatsApp is their business – their website, their storefront and their livelihood.

On the eve of International Women’s Day on March 8, we present five inspiring women-led SMEs from all over Indonesia using WhatsApp to sell domestically and export Indonesian products abroad.

1. BowBali: Eco-friendly clothing incorporating the latest technology

Photo: Doc. I want Bali

At 34, Defria Kirana left her banking job to create a sustainable fashion brand in Bali, using technology to tell her customers the story behind each product.

Starting in 2019, HaluanBali uses only eco-friendly materials with digital printing. What really sets them apart is that all of their products can be scanned and converted into a video or 3D image via a mobile phone.

In 2020, his innovative enterprise was selected as one of the best SMEs by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. In addition to being a creative and successful entrepreneur, Defria uses her work to empower other women. All employees of Haluan Bali – from workers to office workers, from tailors to salespeople for the digital printing process – are all women.

Within four years, HaluanBali started selling its products to various regions of Indonesia and currently exports to Japan, Korea, Australia, Arabia and Germany. Defria uses WhatsApp to facilitate communication with customers.

“On WhatsApp Business, I only need to catalog all my products without sending individual product images to customers. Haluan Bali’s biggest sales are also through this platform,” said Defria.

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2. Manika Jewelry: Made in Bali, sold internationally

Photo: Doc. doll jewelry

When Bali-based jeweler Irene Setiawati took over her father’s business in 2015, she knew she had to find new ways to connect with customers. Manika Jewelery started in 1989 as a brass jewelery business.

The business is quite unique because it combines local Indonesian natural stones (crystal and pyrite stones). Irene said that not polishing the stone shows its true character.

“I use WhatsApp Business to reach more consumers. Most helpfully, this software allows businesses to create personalized auto-responders that speed up conversations and transactions,” said Irene.

2022 Inacraft Award-winning brand exports its jewelery to USA, UK, Netherlands and Japan. Irene also runs Manika as an inclusive business that creates opportunities for people with disabilities.

3. Anchovies: Various processed anchovies from Medan

Photo: Doc. to plow anchovies

Food lovers in Indonesia love anchovies. But Windi Septia, a 32-year-old businessman from Medan, is also pleasing Malaysians. With anchovies, Windi innovates with simple ingredients, Medan processes anchovies into anchovy sauce, snacks and raw anchovies.

“I started my business in 2013 by starting online sales on WhatsApp Business, contacting customers there and coordinating orders. Over time, this will help increase our sales,” said Windi.

Teri Bajak now exports to Malaysia and won 1st place in Creative Words in Medan 2021 held by the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.

4. Rempah Karsa: An Indonesian traditional drink exported to Australia

Photo: Doc. karsa spice

Puji F Susanti is a talented 35 year old entrepreneur, public speaker and certified Master Jamu. Puji started his Jakarta-based Rempah Karsa business in 2018 by producing traditional drinks made from local Indonesian spices.

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Puji makes several variants of tisane (a mixture of dried herbs that can be brewed as a tea), spice syrup (a syrup made from a mixture of spices), Bregas (one-shot immunity) and fresh jamun.

Rempah Karsa uses 100% natural ingredients, without added flavors, colors or preservatives and sourced from farmers in West Java and Papua. Puji has represented its business at Expo Dubai 2021 and is currently exploring exports to Australia and Eastern Europe.

“WhatsApp Business helps us communicate more regularly and easily with customers to inform them about our products and promotions,” said Puji.

5. Rifera: Turns waste wood into a stunning accessory

Photo: Doc.

Natalia, a 38-year-old entrepreneur from Palembang, runs an innovative accessories business that promotes sustainability.

Rifera recycles wood waste and combines it with locally woven fabrics to make bags and shoes. Natalia only founded Rifera in 2019, but has already exported to Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Paris and the United States.

“Through training for SMEs with WhatsApp and, I gained valuable knowledge and business contacts and got our products to participate in various exhibitions. This helps Rifera to grow and succeed,” Nataliya said.

In 2022, Rifera won the South Sumatra Siddhakarya Award. Previously, Rifera was the runner-up of South Sumatra’s Innovative UKM 2021. (wol/rls/d2)