Otsuka People Talk
President Director of P.T. Amerta Indar Otsuka
He joined Otsuka Pharmaceutical in 1990. After working in nutraceutical sales, he was transferred in 2000 to an affiliate in Indonesia, where he has worked for 13 years. he is the head of the management and the only Japanese person at the Indonesian affiliate that manufactures and sells POCARI SWEAT and SOYJOY products.
In collaboration with NHK Enterprises, Inc.
Some 3,500 Otsuka Group employees work in Indonesia
In 1974, the Otsuka Group established P.T. Otsuka Indonesia, its first company in Indonesia. At the start, P.T. Otsuka Indonesia handled only IV solutions, but it has since expanded into pharmaceutical and nutritional products, as well. Today the Otsuka Group employs about 3,500 workers at a total of five companies in Indonesia.
Lone Japanese employee at company
At Otsuka, we believe that management and operations of our overseas affiliates should be entrusted to employees from those countries. Localizing management is our principal focus, and in this sense, I think we are ahead of most Japanese companies. This philosophy is why we have very few Japanese employees working at our companies in other countries. In fact, I am the only one from Japan at the company where I work. In the beginning, I wasn’t even able to answer the office telephone, and I had to look hard to find something I could even do, something I can do to contribute.
Reciting the benefits of POCARI SWEAT every day
We began marketing POCARI SWEAT in Indonesia in 1989. Although most people today know what POCARI SWEAT is, back in 2000 or so, the name recognition was not very good. And of course, the name Otsuka Pharmaceutical was not very well known, either. We realized that, if we wanted to change this and boost our brand strength, it would be imperative that our own employees fully under-stood POCARI SWEAT first. So we drilled them on this, having them recite the attributes and benefits of POCARI SWEAT before starting work each day.
A different culture, a different promotional campaign
Sales activities in 1990s
As you know, Most the population of Indonesia is Muslim, and very few people here drink alcohol. There is in fact no word for “hangover” in the Indo-nesia language. Also, most people take showers, they do not soak in bath, so campaigns featuring scenes of people drinking POCARI SWEAT to rehydrate when they have a hangover or after getting out of the bath wouldn’t be effective here. Getting a handle on this for sales promotion was difficult.