Meet Eka Sugiarto, President of APPINA and Head of Media at Unilever Indonesia & SEAA
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I was born and raised in… Bandung, a city known as ‘The Paris of Java’, 180 kilometers from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta.
I studied… Chemical Engineering and pursued an MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management in Sydney. As a fresh graduate, I joined Unilever as a management trainee in marketing. I then held various marketing and adjacent functions across the company’s different brands and categories. About five years ago, I became Unilever’s Head of Media for Indonesia and SEAA (South East Asia and Australasia) and I am currently based in Jakarta.
When I started in the marketing industry… one of my earlier stints in Unilever was leading the deodorant category, one of the categories which was given bigger license to experiment since we engage with a younger audience, the ‘early adopters’ of digital media. The increasingly changing and dynamic digital media landscape is the most rapid change I have witnessed in the industry. The wave of digital adoption in the last few decades quickly transformed consumer behavior, from search to social networking and personalization.
One industry issue we are focused on… is media effectiveness powered by data, measurement and partnerships. The Indonesian Advertisers Association (APPINA) is working together with other industry stakeholders to define a cross-industry digital media measurement system and to prepare for the full transition from analogue to digital television in Indonesia at the end of 2022.
If I could change one thing about the marketing industry in 2021… it would be creating more avenues for collaboration around a big common purpose. With the prolonged pandemic, the marketing industry is and should continue to champion public awareness and education, from promoting good health and hygiene habits to encouraging vaccination, quicker than the spread of misinformation.
One thing Covid-19 has taught us… always bring compassion with you, everywhere you go and whichever role you play in your organization. Oftentimes in our industry, we have privileges and resources at hand which can be helpful and even life-saving to many.
One thing most people don’t know about me is… as a Grade 9 student, I was an amateur music tutor of the Electone (electronic organ). I had a few students, one of them was a lot older than I was.
One fun fact most people don’t know about Indonesia is… it is the home of a handful of exciting super apps. You can literally get anything done just by pressing a few buttons on your smartphone. The local start-up landscape is exciting and dynamic, with strong local and foreign funding and support.
Find out more about APPINA and get in touch with Eka here.
This is part of a series of monthly interviews with heads of national advertiser associations in WFA membership.