Yanuar Ilmawan, and his long-time friend Lucky Danna Aria, wanted to create a conversation-starting product — and found their answer in the wood discarded by furniture makers.
“Our product is an environmentally-friendly one that doesn’t require excessive energy to make,” says Yanuar.
With the help of three artisans, Yanuar and Lucky turned the wood into watches — and, in 2011, into a business: Matoa Indonesia, a hand-crafted watch label in Bandung, West Java.
Selling out their initial collection of 100 timepieces — with detailed wooden faces and carved bodies — at their debut exhibition, the company has since grown to 60 employees, including 30 artisans, and sells up to 3,000 watches every month. With customer interest and orders increasing, in January 2018, Matoa turned to the WhatsApp Business app to run a fully-integrated communication system.
Eighty percent of Matoa’s customer engagement — with clients across Indonesia and as far away as Japan, the U.S. and the Middle East — takes place via the app, and 20 percent of these interactions result in sales. Consistent communication helps staff convince customers to invest in a Matoa timepiece, explains Yanuar.
Eighty percent of Matoa’s customer engagement — with clients across Indonesia and as far away as Japan, the U.S. and the Middle East — takes place via the app
The WhatsApp Business app’s away messages feature means Matoa is instantly responsive, an important function for a business with a global clientele, says Yanuar. Also, the business profile feature makes it easier for local customers to find Matoa’s store which is located in a residential area.
One customer says being able to chat via WhatsApp made learning about Matoa products easier. Another adds that a quick and clear exchange via WhatsApp made choosing a Matoa watch simple and enjoyable.
Yanuar and Lucky want to grow their artisanal watch brand, first regionally then worldwide. And an innovative product paired with a reliable communication system means they are well positioned for global expansion.
“We are increasing our product output to meet the increasing demands for our watches,” says Yanuar, “And we hope to become the benchmark of the national creative industry.”