Color and excitement filled the streets outside Sudirman station in Jakarta where the MSME festival is taking place on Jan. 17, 2023. (JG Photo/Lily McCure)

F&B MSMEs Try to Woo Sudirman Station Commuters

BY :LILY MCCURE

JANUARY 24, 2023

Jakarta.  A number of small businesses recently tried their luck at selling food and beverages at a festival strategically located just outside the crowded Sudirman train station in Jakarta.

On Jan. 17, the entrance to the Sudirman station was buzzing with commuters strolling around a festival dedicated to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). With many working professionals and locals alike present at the market, there was much excitement as to the variety of goods to choose from, and vendors were hoping to make a profit.

There was an abundance of stalls with a variety of traditional Indonesian delights. The festival had tons of snacks, as well as cold beverages that could help beat the summer heat. There were also MSMEs selling clothes for commuters who wish to spice up their wardrobe.

Egi was one of the F&B vendors at the MSME festival. Egi was selling orange juice and grilled rice (nasi bakar) at the MSME festival, which was hosted by the Jakarta Provincial Government. The 27-year-old man also sold squid and chicken roll skewers. This also marked the first time for Egi to take part as a seller in such festivals.

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Having prepared for the market for a month, Egi said the government’s recent lift of Covid-19 curbs has certainly influenced the number of sales made, where people are more willing to interact and make purchases.

"[The lifting of Covid-19 restrictions] has had a great impact on business as people are not having to keep their distance between one another," Egi said.

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Egi’s stand was one of the first stalls that anyone would see when exiting the Sudirman station. 

“I think sales would have to depend on how we promote our goods. Because there are tons of options of stalls that commuters can choose from [at the festival],” Egi also told the Globe, when asked if being close to the station entrance would have a great impact on business.

Market stall holder Egi poses for the Jakarta Globe behind his juice and food stand at the MSME festival outside the Sudirman station in Jakarta on Jan. 17, 2023. (JG Photo/Lily McCure)
Market stall holder Egi poses for the Jakarta Globe behind his juice and food stand at the MSME festival outside the Sudirman station in Jakarta on Jan. 17, 2023. (JG Photo/Lily McCure)

Customer Dinda was just transiting through the Sudirman Station area but found it a nice surprise to discover the festival. 

“The festival is great, as you can just walk out of the station and grab something to eat,” Dinda said.

At the time, the market was already in its second week of business. Jan. 21 was the final day of operation.

Government data shows that Indonesia is home to about 64.1 million MSMEs, and the sector represents 61.07 percent of the country's gross domestic product. MSMEs also absorb 97 percent of the national workforce. However, it has been a struggle for MSMEs to withstand the Covid-19 pandemic. A report by Katadata Insight Center in June 2020 revealed that 82.9 percent of MSMEs suffered from the negative impact of the pandemic, and only 5.9 percent saw positive growth.

Some of the many foods on offer amongst the market stalls at the festival outside Sudirman Station. PHOTO: LILY MCCURE
Some of the many foods offered by the market stalls at the festival outside Sudirman Station in Jakarta on Jan. 17, 2023. (JG Photo/Lily McCure)

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