Google Launches Chrome In Indonesia, but Will They Open an Office?
On Tuesday, Google launched a five-week campaign to promote Google Chrome, a browser aimed at enhancing the Web surfing experience by using Google’s integrated services. Meanwhile, Google has yet to clarify the company’s plans for expansion into Indonesia.
“Indonesia is the fourth largest Internet user in Asia after China, India and Japan,” said Henky Prihatna, Google’s Indonesia country consultant.
The Internet giant has already this year localized its Voice Search and Google Traffic service.
Henky explained that the Google Chrome campaign was intended to make Indonesians realize the power of Internet. Users can touch other people’s lives, discover opportunities and create changes.
The marketing campaign includes advertisements involves local groups such as Blood for Life and Indonesia Berkebun (Indonesia Gardening). Henky declined to say how much the campaign cost.
“We are always finding ways to do more in Indonesia,” he said. But he declined to comment on the US-based company’s plans to open a representative office in Jakarta.
Last July, Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Chairman Gita Wirjawan spoke about Google’s Indonesia’s investment plan. He said the search engine firm planned to invest more here than in any other Southeast Asian country. Days after the statement, some foreign media doubted the plan, saying that Indonesia was “boasting” even before the plan was confirmed. Infrastructure was repeatedly cited to be the biggest obstacle to growth in Indonesia.
The BKPM chief was not “boasting.” He was simply answering the question based on his meeting with Google’s executive chairman.
However, up until last week he still had not confirmed the status of the company’s license. Some have already concluded that the world’s largest search engine firm has decided to cancel its plan “because of too much bureaucracy.” Could this be true?
Communication and Information Technology Ministry spokesman Gatot Dewa Broto said last week that several Google staff visited the ministry office two weeks before Idul Fitri.
“The Google staff came to let us know they were still interested in investing in Indonesia,” Gatot said. “They wanted to clear the rumors and emphasize their plans to open a representative office in Indonesia,” he said, adding that Google aims to establish a local presence here before the end of the year.
Google officials did not respond to phone calls, e-mails and text messages requesting comment.
Meanwhile, a friend working at a digital-focused company told me the Internet giant has started “headhunting” for staff in Indonesia. Some candidates have received invitations through e-mail before starting several rounds of testing, my friend said.
If you look at Google’s recruitment Web site — http://www.google.com.sg/intl/en/jobs/singapore/ — you will see a lot of vacancies for Indonesia. (The company listed the openings under “Singapore Jobs.”) Open positions include “country manager for sales,” “account manager for technology/finance” and at least a dozen more of vacancies. Position are based in either Singapore or Jakarta.
So while we wait for the likely news that Indonesia will be added to the “Google offices” alongside Southeast Asian neighbors Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, please apply if you think you would be suited to those positions.