11 November 2019 (closed)
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Those companies that make money through sales of alcoholic beverages in Indonesia have been experiencing challenging times in recent years. It is a fact that Indonesian society has become more conservative over the years (this is actually a process that has been ongoing for centuries), and Indonesia’s 2019 presidential and legislative elections showed how the political influence of conservative Muslim clerics has grown.
In Islam alcohol is considered haram (forbidden) because it is intoxicating. It is a view that certainly undermines sales of alcoholic beverages in Indonesia, a country that is home to the world’s largest Muslim population, even though there are quite some Muslims who do enjoy an alcoholic beverage.
Rising conservatism in Indonesia is also visible in law-making and decision-making related to the sales, distribution, and import of alcoholic beverages. For example, in 2015 the government introduced a ban on sales of alcoholic drinks in minimarkets.
Another interesting example of rising conservatism vis-à-vis alcohol is the decision of Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan to sell the 26.25 percent stake of the Jakarta provincial administration in beer brewery Delta Djakarta, one of Baswedan’s campaign promises during Jakarta’s 2017 gubernatorial election.
Despite challenging conditions Indonesia's largest beer brewer, Multi Bintang Indonesia, has managed to post growing sales in recent years. Which strategies did this company use to safeguard rising sales amid challenging conditions?
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