The Korea Herald


[Hello Indonesia] How Mirae Asset mesmerized Indonesian investors with cartoon

By Park Han-na

Published : Nov. 12, 2023 - 16:30

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Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia President Director Shim Tae-yong (Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia) Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia President Director Shim Tae-yong (Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia)

Deeply understanding a country and translating it into a business strategy is the biggest challenge and core mission for any company trying to make inroads into a new market.

For Mirae Asset Securities to hold the largest share in the Indonesian capital market, the brokerage firm took a unique approach to investors -- publishing a cartoon-based market research paper and hosting a mock stock trading contest for millennials.

“Analyzing the Indonesian market from a cultural perspective and using a business strategy that meets market demand has led us to success,” Shim Tae-yong, president director of Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia, the Indonesian unit of Mirae Asset Securities, said in a recent email interview with The Korea Herald.

Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia ranked first in terms of traded value among the 100 brokerage firms operating in Indonesia for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022.

When he was a research team leader at the Indonesian unit, he used to publish and deliver research reports for Indonesian investors. But one day, he found his unread papers collecting dust on his client’s shelves.

“Realizing that Indonesian people dislike reading long writings, I came up with the idea of putting its research report into a one-page cartoon,” said Shim, who joined Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia in 2013.

Immediately after the publication of the easy-to-read report, Mirae Asset became a big hit with retail investors.

Gaining recognition in Indonesia as a foreign company isn’t easy.

“Competition is quite fierce,” Shim said.

Compared to the Korean stock market, Indonesia has about one-fifth the market capitalization and about one-tenth the trading value, but there are nearly 100 securities companies operating there.

During and after the COVID-19 pandemic, securities brokerage companies including Mirae Asset’s Indonesian unit struggled with a drop in earnings as spooked investors shunned equities for safer investments.

At that time, Mirae Asset devised a strategy of holding a mock stock trading contest to attract millennials.

At the end of 2019, only 0.5 percent of Indonesian people were involved in investment, with millennials the most likely to do so.

“After analyzing the investment culture and patterns of the millennial generation, we concluded that there was a lot of demand for quick profit realization and held the first practical investment competition in the Indonesian capital market,” Shim said.

The contest launched by Mirae Asset was held every day after the market closed to reveal the trading details and portfolios of investors with excellent performance and became extremely popular.

“In 2020, when the trading competition was launched, we achieved first place in market share in the Indonesian capital market, and in 2021, we achieved an overwhelming first place with a double-digit market share,” he said.

Given its large domestic market and abundant natural resources, the Indonesian market is worth paying attention to. But now is the time for investors to see the country from a different viewpoint.

“In the past, Indonesia's investment perspective was to achieve sales growth based on ‘quantity’ that the vast population could generate. However, now I recommend investors to focus on industries and companies that can achieve sustainable growth through innovative growth, rather than simply growth from a demographic perspective,” he said.

Shim will give a speech on the Indonesian financial market and digital transformation during the Korea-Indonesia Cooperation Forum, which will take place on Nov. 30 in Jakarta to commemorate the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

Organized by Herald Corp., the publisher of The Korea Herald and Herald Business, jointly with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Embassy of Indonesia in Korea, the Embassy of Korea in Indonesia, and the Indonesian Employers’ Association, this forum aims to strengthen cooperation between the two nations, boost collaboration and explore business opportunities.