Charting the Future: Gupta Sitorus and Primo Rizky’s Aspirations for Indonesia’s Creative Renaissance


Jakarta, IO – In the vibrant landscape of Indonesia’s creative sector, few names resonate as strongly as those of Gupta Sitorus and Primo Rizky. This dynamic duo has carved a niche for themselves, driving innovation and setting new standards across multiple domains—from food and beverage (F&B) ventures to branding agencies and interior products. Their multifaceted ventures not only highlight their creative prowess but also underscore their deep commitment to nurturing and elevating Indonesia’s burgeoning creative industry.

Gupta Sitorus and Primo Rizky’s entrepreneurial journey is a testament to their versatility and visionary approach. Together, they have launched a series of successful ventures, ones that span a wide array of industries. Their publishing house has released numerous books about Indonesia’s creative sectors, gaining international recognition, with their notable work “We Indonesian Rules” becoming a highlight at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2016. Their F&B projects have significantly contributed to the region’s culinary scene, blending culinary excellence with experiential atmosphere. Notably, their Jakarta Dessert Week, now evolved into Indonesia Dessert Week, has become one of the largest culinary platforms in the region. Their branding agency has been instrumental in helping businesses create compelling identities and narratives, while their foray into interior products has introduced innovative designs that merge functionality with aesthetic appeal.

The creative industry is increasingly recognized as a vital economic driver globally, and Indonesia is no exception. The Government’s increasing recognition of the creative industry’s potential has led to significant support initiatives. Establishment of the Indonesian Agency for Creative Economy (Bekraf) is one such initiative, aiming to foster growth and innovation within the sector. Bekraf has been instrumental in providing funding, training and market access to creative entrepreneurs, thereby helping to alleviate industry barriers.

Moreover, the Indonesian Government has been actively promoting the creative industry on international platforms. Events like the Creative Economy Agency’s annual “World Conference on Creative Economy” have placed Indonesia on the global creative map, showcasing the nation’s talent and potential. The government’s efforts to integrate creative industry development into its national economic strategy underscore its commitment to nurturing this vital sector.

Indonesia’s creative sector has also made significant strides in various subsectors. The country’s film industry, for instance, has gained international acclaim with films like “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts”, “Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash”, and “Yuni” winning awards at prestigious international film festivals. The fashion industry has also flourished, with Indonesian designers gaining recognition at international fashion weeks and promoting traditional textiles like batik on the global stage.

Despite these achievements, the creative industry in Indonesia still faces numerous challenges that hinder full expression of its potential. Gupta and Primo are concerned about these issues and use their networks to advocate for comprehensive strategies to address them.

One of the primary challenges faced by creative industry players in Indonesia is the lack of adequate infrastructure and resources. Unlike in some other countries, where creative hubs and supportive ecosystems are well-established, Indonesia’s infrastructure is still in its nascent stages. This deficiency hampers the ability of creative entrepreneurs to fully realize their potential and compete on a global scale.

Securing financial support remains another significant hurdle. Many creative entrepreneurs struggle to access funding, lack of which stifles innovation and growth. The financial sector’s limited understanding of the unique needs and potential of creative ventures exacerbates this issue, leaving many promising projects underfunded or abandoned.

Regulatory constraints and bureaucratic red tape pose additional obstacles. Complex licensing processes, inconsistent policies, and a lack of clear guidelines for creative businesses create an environment of uncertainty. This can deter new entrants and discourage existing players from expanding their operations.

Left to Right: Gupta Sitorus and Primo Rizky
(Source: Special)

While Indonesia boasts a wealth of creative talent, there is a pressing need for better talent development programs. Moreover, retaining top talent is challenging, due to the lure of opportunities abroad and local industry limitations. Without a robust system to nurture and retain talent, the sector’s growth might be stunted.

Creative entrepreneurs also face difficulties in accessing broader markets. Intense competition, both domestic and international, coupled with limited marketing channels, hampers their ability to scale. Without adequate exposure and market reach, many innovative products and services fail to achieve commercial success.

In 2023, the creative industries underwent a profound transformation, with the advent of generative AI, fundamentally reshaping the landscape. However, this technological leap has ignited intense debate, particularly regarding intellectual property rights. The central issue is whether copyrighted works can be used to train powerful machine learning algorithms. As AI technology progresses, the creative sector faces a dual challenge of safeguarding creators’ rights while harnessing the potential of these new technologies.

To address these challenges, Gupta and Primo suggest a multifaceted approach, focusing on creating a favorable ecosystem that fosters growth and innovation within the creative sector. They advocate for the development of dedicated creative cities or districts with state-of-the-art infrastructure. These hubs would offer co-working spaces, studios, exhibition areas, and other facilities tailored to the needs of creative professionals. Such integrated infrastructure can provide the necessary resources and environment for creative businesses to thrive.

Establishing financial institutions and funds specifically geared towards a creative industry can alleviate funding challenges. Incentives for investors and streamlined funding processes can make financial support more accessible, enabling creative ventures to flourish.
Simplifying regulatory processes and creating clear, supportive policies for creative businesses are crucial steps. A regulatory framework that understands and accommodates the unique dynamics of the creative sector can lower bureaucratic barriers and foster growth.

Implementing comprehensive talent development programs that offer training, mentorship, and career development opportunities can nurture local talent. Collaborations with educational institutions and industry leaders can ensure a steady pipeline of skilled professionals ready to contribute to the industry.

Facilitating market access through government-backed initiatives, trade fairs, and international collaborations can help creative entrepreneurs reach broader audiences. Marketing support and networking opportunities can also enhance competitiveness, allowing Indonesian creative products and services to capture international markets and contribute to economic growth.

Establishing a dedicated institution like Bekraf (or its equivalent_ is crucial for fostering Indonesia’s creative sector. Such an organization would centralize efforts to support and promote creativity across various industries, addressing specific challenges and creating an environment conducive to long-term growth. By focusing on the unique needs of creative businesses, this institution could streamline regulatory processes, enhance access to funding, and provide strategic guidance tailored to sector dynamics.

In many developed countries, dedicated agencies or institutions play pivotal roles in nurturing their creative economies. For instance, in the United Kingdom, Creative Industries UK acts as a unified body championing the creative sector’s interests. It facilitates collaboration between government, businesses and educational institutions to drive innovation, protect intellectual property, and expand market access globally.

Similarly, Australia’s Creative Victoria supports the state’s creative industries through funding programs, industry development initiatives and strategic partnerships, fostering a vibrant ecosystem that fuels economic growth and cultural enrichment.

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By re-establishing Bekraf or creating a new institution with capable leadership, Indonesia can emulate these successful models. Such an institution would not only provide financial support but also advocate for policies that stimulate innovation and enhance the competitiveness of Indonesian creatives on a global stage. Furthermore, it would play a crucial role in preserving and promoting Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage, while embracing modern creative expression, ensuring a balanced and sustainable growth trajectory for the creative sector. Creating a supportive ecosystem for the creative industry offers numerous macroeconomic benefits. A thriving creative sector can significantly boost export value, generating substantial employment opportunities and stimulating growth in related industries. For example, a vibrant design sector can drive demand for materials, manufacturing and retail services, creating strong forward and backward linkages.

Gupta and Primo’s aspirations for Indonesia’s creative sector are both ambitious and achievable. By addressing the current challenges and fostering a supportive ecosystem, Indonesia can unlock the full potential of its creative industries. Their suggestions, coupled with strategic intervention, can transform the sector into a powerful economic locomotive, driving innovation, cultural enrichment and sustainable growth.

As Indonesia continues to develop its creative industry, the insights and initiatives driven by creative entrepreneurs like Gupta and Primo will be instrumental in shaping a future where creativity and commerce thrive in harmony. Their journey and aspirations serve as an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs and a blueprint for policymakers aiming to create a conducive environment for the creative economy. (des)