Keys to Building Relationship with Indonesian Business Partner
Indonesians are very suspicious of foreigners who come to do business with them. In Indonesia business is only done with friends, not with strangers. Specially with Indonesian Chinese community.
Therefore, before “real business” is done, friendship has to be established first. How long will it take? There is no “rule of thumb” for determining how long it will take. It depends on your situation and how you build it. It can take a few days to a few years to establish the relationship.
One of the key in building relationships with your Indonesian business partners is to know what they like, their habits and their culture and go along with it.
Indonesians love big parties, specially wedding parties. As a business partner or a prospective business partner, you could be invited to the wedding. If you are invited, it is important that you attend as a sign of respect for those who invited you and your relationship with them. Even if you haven’t known them for a long time. Indonesians are truly honored by your attendance at a wedding. Not attending might insult those involved in the wedding and will probably cause some trouble in your relationship.
2. Dressing Up
Indonesians love to dress to impress. Weddings, birthday parties, and other social events are their chances to transform themselves to look their best with nice dresses, shoes, handbags, makeup, and hairstyle.
3. Taking Pictures
Indonesians love taking pictures. They love group photos and individual photos. You will find huge portraits of themselves and/or their children hanging in their houses.
If you are in a social event – like weddings – don’t be surprise if you end up spending thirty minutes just taking photographs. People of all ages, in any occasions will stop whatever they are doing when they see a camera so they can be in the pictures. And Indonesians can’t have just one photographs, at least five or six photos.
4. Eating in a Restaurant
Indonesians love to eat out. If you receive invitations during your stay, be sure to reciprocate before return- ing home. A lavish dinner may be criticized; be generous and hospitable, but don’t overdo it. Refrain from discussing business in a social situation, unless your Indonesian companions bring up the subject. Don’t be surprised if after a few meals at restaurants, friendship and good relationship are established. That means they like you.
Many Indonesians like to sing and watch other people sing, it does not necessarily mean that everyone is a good singer. Karaoke bars can be found almost everywhere and most Indonesian homes have karaoke. In almost every informal events we can find government officials singing to the public.
Smartphone is the primary internet device for millions of Indonesians. It’s very common for Indonesians to have more than one mobile phones. Indonesians also love to chat for free. You cannot survive in Jakarta without a Blackberry Messenger, WhatsApp, or Facebook Chat.
More than 60% of Indonesians with web access use mobile phones or handheld devices to access the internet. That’s why, in Jakarta today, getting people to excess email on computer is nearly impossible – if you want a quick response, you had better send a Tweet or a WhatsApp message.
Since UNESCO name batik as an intangible cultural heritage in 2 October 2009 Batik clothes has become very popular and are worn regularly in business, academic settings, and special events. It is a good gesture if you wear Batik to special events.
8. Social Media
Several observers defined Indonesia as the world “social media capital”. Not only are vast numbers of Indonesians using social media, but they use it more often, in a wider variety of ways, and often, simultaneously with other networks. Tweets highlight Instragram photos, direct friends to Facebook posts, or invite them to join their private Path. Don’t be surprised if you get friend’s request from your Indonesian partner just after meeting them.
9. Designer Labels
Material things are a symbol of how successful you are in Indonesia, Indonesians tend to wear brand name clothing and accessories from head to toe.