Client references

How Sigvaris tapped into the Indonesian market

Local partners as a success factor

For around 100 years, the SIGVARIS GROUP has been producing products and solutions in the field of medical compression therapy. The medical technology company is headquartered in Winterthur and has production facilities in Switzerland, France, Poland, the U.S., and Brazil, as well as branches in nine countries and sales partners in more than 70 countries across all continents. In an interview, Erich Kutter, Area Sales Manager Export, explains the role that local partners play when tapping into new markets.

Sigvaris Produkte

Sigvaris Group success story: Entering the Indonesian market

Why was Indonesia chosen as a target market and how did the Sigvaris Group go about tapping into the market?

We have had a distribution partner in Indonesia for many years. Unfortunately however, it got into financial difficulties. This led to a reduction in sales and to business stagnation.

As we were already present in the market, we knew that there was potential for our product. We consequently contacted S-GE in 2016 to request support with the search for a distributor in Indonesia. The ideal distributor profile was developed after a meeting in Zurich. In the first phase, possible dealers were contacted on location by S-GE or its local partner, and a long-list was drawn up with around 20 potential candidates.

This list was reduced to eight by us in St. Gallen. These eight companies were then visited for the first time. This was carried out in collaboration with S-GE.

On a second visit to Indonesia, four candidates remained. We then commenced negotiations with one company, and these were successfully concluded in 2018. The first order was placed in 2019.

When choosing between your own site on location or collaboration with a local sales partner, you decided on the second option. Why?

The advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages. The company is very familiar with the Indonesian medical market and already has a very good network with key opinion leaders (doctors), and initial success can be realized relatively quickly with an experienced team.

The e-commerce and social media areas are also a matter for the local partner. It is able to address the target group appropriately and knows the local culture. We provide content-related support and check that the corporate design is being complied with.

What lessons would you like to share with other Swiss companies that are also planning on doing business in the Southeast Asia region?

First of all, every company must decide whether it wants to do business in Southeast Asia itself or, like us, through a sales partner.

Whatever decision is made, patience is required above all.

The picture becomes clearer and the pieces fit into place over several visits to the country.

If you want to work with a sales partner, it is certainly a benefit if a professional search is carried out locally. S-GE can provide excellent support with this.


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