The growing Indonesian market led Jackson Tandiono, president director of battery maker Nipress, to change the company’s strategy from an export to a domestic market focus in 2011. “I think it is just time for us to put our feet in the domestic market after so many years shipping batteries to 42 countries all around the world. Here we see a huge demand of batteries for both automotive and industrial uses,” says Jackson, 39. In a sense, the company has come full circle, since it was started in 1975 to produce batteries for the local market.
This year Jackson forecasts that Nipress will produce more than five million batteries, for cars, motorcycles and industrial uses. In the automotive segment Nipress controls 13%, while in the motorcycle segment Nipress enjoys 18% national market share by sales. In the automotive industry, Nipress is one of only five battery manufacturers in Indonesia and the only local player in the country.
In the automotive sector, Nipress expects this year to produce 2.3 million batteries, of which 1.2 million are for the local market, 800,000 for export and 300,000 for original equipment manufacture (OEM), such as for Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Suzuki. In addition, Nipress aims to grow motorcycle battery sales by 61% to 3.4 million units, for both the aftermarket and OEM market, including Suzuki motorcycles. “Hopefully, by the end of this year, we will supply batteries for Honda motorcycles and soon Yamaha,” says Jackson.
Nipress was founded by Jackson’s grandfather Robertus Tandiono. It was originally a joint venture with a Japanese battery manufacturer, Nippondenchi Kogyo. Nipress was a combination of Nippondenchi Kogyo and PT Pemuda Express, a freight forwarder company owned by Robertus. Unfortunately, Nippondenchi had financial difficulties in 1978. “So my grandfather took over the company,” says Jackson. The family continues to own the majority of the company, worth more than Rp 160 billion.
In the early years, Nipress sold its batteries in the domestic market, and then started to export in 1985, first to Singapore and later to 42 countries. In 2008, the company entered the industrial battery market when Jackson’s father Ferry, who ran the company at the time, noticed that all industrial batteries were imported (industrial batteries are used for such things as backup power and emergency lighting).