Gudang Garam is a famous Indonesian brand of cogarette that has reached massive popularity in many countries, as well as taking up large percentage of cigarette supplies in the country. Susilo Wonowidjojo is the man that is steering the company into huge success; so successful that it made him landed to Forbes list of Indonesia’s richest in top 10 position. Although he only continued his father’s legacy, his leadership made Gudang Garam became one of the most popular cigarette brands.
From Inghwie to Gudang Garam
The history of Gudang Garam started from 1956, when Susilo’s father, Surya Wonowidjojo (Tjoa Ing Hwie) built his own cigarette company in Kediri after years of working at the Cap 93 cigarette company. At first, the company was called Inghwie and produced rolled cigarette made of corn leaves. In 1958, when the company grew bigger, he changed the name to Pabrik Rokok Tjap Gudang Garam (Gudang Garam Cigarette Factory). He applied his experiences as director at Cap 93 and made Gudang Garam grew.
Gudang Garem later slowly added its employees and tobacco plantations; currently, there is 542 hectare of tobacco plantation in Kediri that supplies the company. The company distributes its products through PT Surya Madistrindo, which later continues it to retailer stores. Later, when Susilo took over the company, he managed to make the brand even more popular and the profits increase. He has four children, and they now help their father running the company. With more than 28,000 employees and IDR 3 billion of annual profit, Gudang Garam continues to snag huge market spots of cigarette in Indonesia.
Brand Varieties for National and International Market
As the fifth biggest and oldest cigarette company in Indonesia, Gudang Garam has wide varieties of products. Suryo Wonowidjojo makes sure that there are products for consumers of white cigarettes, mild cigarettes, traditional handmade cigarette (kretek) and klobot (cigarette made of corn leaves). Each brand has different market target; from International and Surya Professional with modern image, Gudang Garam machine cigarette that is marketed as ‘tough men’ cigarette, mild variants, to traditional cigarette such as Klobot Manis and Klobot Tawar.
Suryo also applies quite aggressive marketing campaign for each Gudang Garam brand, which uses TV, printed media, billboards and signs and many more. Gudang Garam also often holds events and competition to get the attention of more customers. No wonder that his leadership is famous as the key of recent success strings of Gudang Garam.