According to Nestle Indonesia Head of Consumer Communication & Marketing Services Guy Kellaway, the firm is very aware of the importance of innovation, and that collaborating with start-ups is an important strategy to approach business growth.
“[We need to] constantly adapt and evolve to consumer needs, technological advances and the local environment, [and] are looking for the best local start-ups in Indonesia that can complement our ambitions – as a force for good in food and beverages – in both our existing categories and emerging categories also,” he said.
“This may be in the form of new products, new business models, or data.”
One of the major steps that Nestle Indonesia has taken to find start-up partners to collaborate with is by participating in a partnership with local innovation platform GK-Plug and Play, best known for its backing by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who issued it an invitation to ‘grow and accelerate the Indonesian start-up ecosystem’.
“[The] start-up landscape in Indonesia is large, dynamic and diverse - by collaborating with Plug & Play, we will identify targeted partnership opportunities through their local insights, knowledge of the start-up landscape and track record of supporting and linking large corporations and start-ups,” said Kellaway.
“[So within this partnership], we are open to multiple [types of] opportunities [whether mentorship, financial, education and so on] and we will look for options that are mutually beneficial so we also can learn from each other.”
Nestle Indonesia joins GK-Plug and Play’s other corporate partners such as Sinar Mas Group, Astra International and Bank BNI - it is one of the only major food manufacturing firms collaborating with the platform in Indonesia.
Open to collaboration
In general, Nestle Indonesia is open to partnering with start-ups at any stage, and advised interested entrepreneurs to look closely at how they can complement its business in Indonesia.
“We are definitely open to start-ups at multiple stages – what’s important is the uniqueness of their idea or model, and how it can successfully complement our ambitions in Indonesia,” said Kellaway.
“Partnering with a start-up is a two-way relationship [that would] benefit both Nestlé and the start-up.”
As for how such collaborations would benefit both sides, he stressed that the key idea for Nestle is to get more direct access to new and emerging industry ideas, whereas the start-ups would have better backing when it comes to expansion and scaling up.
“We believe [that this initiative will] complement our existing internal innovation model. Similar as in many large companies, [operations are mainly] designed for scale and our core brands, and we understand that we cannot do everything in-house,” he said.
“So collaborating with startups will allow us to identify emerging trends and innovative ideas; collaborate in their development and scaling-up; and ultimately allow both parties to be more agile and capture growth.”