Venue Passion Media

Invading Japan

Irvan Helmi explains the reason Japan is a significant entry point to penetrate Asia for Pipiltin


In this new chapter, Pipiltin aims big. They want Asian market, and they do it by penetrating Japan. Although they’ve been doing business in Singapore, Irvan Helmi (Pipiltin’s owner) thinks Japan is a significant entry point for Asia, because, as we know, Japan is very strict when it comes to quality, “If I were to approach new distributors in Asia, I can say that we’re readily available in Japan, there should be no problem if you’re concerned about quality. We’re very confident with our quality. After all, Indonesia is the third largest cacao producer in the world. Now it’s up to us on how we do the branding.”

The first period of sales in Japan, which was started in January 17th 2017, were promising. “The farm to table culture is very trending in Japan. They want to know the origin of the stuffs they consume, coffee is obvious, but they even question the salt’s origin. Japaneses are very detail when it comes to ingredients, they love seeing (our) products which feature coconut sugar, or chocolate with no lecithin at all. Even in Japan, the concept of bean to bar chocolate is still new, it’s a niche market,” said Irvan.


Even though Japanese market is often considered difficult to many, Irvan feels very positive, thanks to Pipiltin’s partner in Japan, Map Marketing. It is actually a software development company which conducts marketing research based on map demographic. “They know exactly the behavior of the people living in certain area. They know what the locals’ favorite foods, even their common diseases. That’s why they become consultant for brands. And now they want to do business in retail, because they already know the target market of products, cool isn’t it? We believe technology company can live in any ecosystems, whether it’s healthcare, retail, lifestyle, everything will be based on online. It’s more sexy to us compared to retail companies who already have hundreds of chain outlets.”

For this partnership, Pipiltin and Map Marketing established a new company as their legal entity in Japan called Rubah Empat. “They even use Indonesian name. Actually, they really love and care about Indonesia, seriously! In addition, they share common mission with us: to improve the cacao farmer’s condition. People assume farmers are poor, uneducated, uncapable, we’d like to change that,” said Irvan.

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