Nusantara is a region enriched by centuries of practicing a unique philosophy described as ‘syncretic’ in her global marriage and subsequently bears this in her embrace of life.
( Reference: Walking the Road Less Traveled )
My Nusantara journey started with a chance conversation with a friend — “Raymond, is there a way to bring our unique artisanal works to a wider audience via internet marketing?” The year was 2016 and I’ve been in internet marketing since 2002. However, I pointed out that up until now it had only been virtual products and not physical ones. So a small group of friends were gathered to explore this idea. The original group was tasked with the different responsibilities of looking into the supply chain, the financial modeling, the back-end of the e-commerce site, and an interested potential investor. On paper, it looked like we had the key core skills and it shouldn’t be too difficult to arrive at the proof of concept requested by the potential investor. Little did I expect that this would be the start of a journey into multiple rabbit warrens that slowly led me to a whole new understanding of how things work.
Shortly after the group was formed the person tasked with the supply chain and liaising with the Artisans moved to London. So I decided to take on that task. How difficult can that be? I now found myself in the World of creatives, NGOs and fashion icons… I even got to meet Jimmy Choo. I quickly discovered I didn’t have the vocabulary to communicate with them. My previous experience in the Business of Contracting and internet marketing did not prepare me for this esoteric World. However, those new insights gleaned meant the Artisans were no longer an amorphous blob for which I was to undertake ‘marketing’ as per my original remit.
I learned more about the hopes and dreams of the artists. I found out about their pain points and difficulties. Invaluable revelations I would not have uncovered had I not been thrust serendipitously into this role. I ’emptied’ my mind and ‘bracketed’ my assumptions in my struggle to see things from their perspective… from the paradigms of a whole new World… and I started to grow….
To be continued in… “When the Artisanal/Creative World Meets the Financial and E-Commerce World of Internet Marketing”.