Exclusive, Aprindo Chairman Roy Nicholas Mandey Emphasizes Modern and Traditional Retail Compete With Each Other

Madura stalls and modern retailers who are members of the Indonesian Retail Entrepreneurs Association (Aprindo) are reported to be at war in various national print media. According to Aprindo Chairman Roy Nicholas Mandey, his party appreciates the existence of Madura stalls and other traditional stalls. Modern retailers and traditional stalls are both business actors. Both compete to win the hearts of consumers in their own ways.


For Roy, his members and Madura Stalls and other traditional stalls are both business actors. “There are two things I want to underline. Firstly, in principle we respect the existence of Madura stalls and traditional stalls. Secondly, we as retailers and Madurese stall entrepreneurs are both traders," he said.

Regarding the Madura stall being open 24 hours, for Roy there is no problem. "As long as it is strong and there is a market, please open it 24 hours," he said.

What concerns Roy is the issue of security and safety at Madura Stalls in selling petrol and LPG. “When they sell petrol or LPG, security is needed so that dangerous things don't happen. There must be an APAR (fire extinguisher) which is needed if a fire occurs," he said.

Now, said Roy, his party has carried out direct checks in the Klungkung area, Bali, where this problem first emerged. "I have checked this matter, none of our members have an issue with the existence of Madura Stalls. The problem is that there could be someone who speaks out but uses our name, it could be that they are a minimarket. Those are not members of Aprindo," he emphasized to Edy Suherli, Bambang Eros and Irfan Medianto during a special interview at the VOI office in Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta, not long ago.

Apart from that, Roy Nicholas Mandey also talked about cooking oil manufacturing debt, empowering MSMEs, and efforts to raise the level of MSMEs to compete in the global market, the government's plan to increase VAT by 1%, and the implementation of excise duty on sweetened drinks. Here is the full excerpt.

According to Aprindo Chairman Roy Nicholas Mandey, modern and traditional retailers such as Madura stalls basically compete with each other to attract consumer attention. (Photo Bambang Eros, DI: Raga Granada VOI)

Not long ago there was a stir about Madura Stalls going head to head with modern retail. How does the problem sit?

There are two things I want to underline. First, in principle we respect the existence of Madura Stalls and traditional shops. Second, we as retailers and the Madura Stalls entrepreneurs are both traders. But there are rules in trading that we need to state for our collective safety and health. If they want to sell 24 hours, please do so if they are strong or there is a market. When they sell petrol or LPG, safety equipment is needed so that dangerous things don't happen. There must be an APAR (fire extinguisher) which is really needed if a fire occurs.

Apart from fuel and LPG, there must also be a clear list regarding drinks. Don't let unsuitable drinks be sold in stalls. This could damage public health if left unchecked. This is for the convenience of traders and consumers.

Until now, are there still disputes between retail entrepreneurs and Madura Stalls?

Initially this case emerged from Klungkung, Bali. I've checked this. None of our members dispute the existence of Madura Stalls. Because there could be someone who speaks out but uses our name, it could be that they are a minimarket. That's not an Aprindo member. So we respect our brothers, Madura Stalls entrepreneurs. Our concern is only to remind you of two things: regarding the sale of petrol/LPG and prohibited drinks.

Competition is a common thing in business. What is the competitive climate like during this time?

Because the members of Aprindo and Madura Stalls are both business actors. Both can compete with each other. Only the corridor must be healthy. Regarding operating 24 hours, if it is strong, go ahead.

How resilient are modern retail businesses? The problem is that retailers such as Giant, TransMart, Gramedia, ACE, Golden Truly, Centro and Matahari, some have closed completely, some have closed some of their outlets?

After the COVID-19 pandemic, we have entered a new era which we call next normal. Almost all entrepreneurs have been affected by the pandemic. Now consumer behavior patterns have changed. Retailers who don't change will be left behind. Finally, some outlets closed partially and some closed completely. Consumers will see that there are queues in shops, incomplete goods, uncomfortable service. This factor will make consumers change their minds and move to another store.

In general this is so. However, there are several retailers where, even though there are queues, consumers remain loyal. Why is it like this?

It's a phenomenon. Behind that, there are definitely advantages that this retail has. It could be because the availability of goods is complete and the prices are competitive or affordable, as well as good service. So even though there is a queue, the service is good. This is what makes some retailers become consumers' favorites.


According to Aprindo Chairman Roy Nicholas Mandey, the government should reconsider the realization of the 1% VAT increase which will take effect on January 1 2025, because it will have an impact on many parties. (Photo Bambang Eros, DI: Raga Granada VOI)

Regarding the cooking oil fraction debt to retailers, has it been resolved? How much arrears must the government pay, in this case the Ministry of Trade?

We would like to thank our media friends who continue to communicate about this cooking oil raffle debt. We continue to hope that this partial debt will be resolved immediately by the government, because to this day it has not been paid. Even though it's been two years and five months.

Why haven't you been paid yet, what's the problem?

That's what we are waiting for an answer from the government, why it hasn't been paid. In fact, we are retailers who were asked to cover the sales price of cooking oil which at that time was above the basic price. We were asked to cover the price subsidy with Perpendag no. 3 of 2022. We have carried out the task of selling cooking oil at a price of IDR 14,000 as requested by the government. At that time the market price was IDR 22,000. At that time we were broke, so we collected the money we had spent.

If this is ignored, it will set a bad precedent. Instead of supporting the business sector, the government actually burdens it. And this is also not good for foreign investors who will enter, because they see that there is legal uncertainty here.

Are there funds available to pay?

The funds are from the Palm Oil Plantation Fund Management Agency (BPDPKS), so they are not funds from the Ministry of Trade. The funds were collected from exports of CPO business actors. Every metric ton they export must contribute 50 US Dollars. The verification results are still with the Ministry of Trade. BPDPKS was ready to make the payment, but because there was no recommendation from the Ministry of Trade, it was finally delayed.

Now regarding the development of MSMEs, how big is the opportunity?

Currently, Aprindo has been trusted to lead retail in the Federation of Asia-Pacific Retailers Associations (FAPRA) forum. So Aprindo now leads 20 retail associations in 20 Asia Pacific countries. We are also ambassadors for the World Retail Congress, which consists of more than 300 retail associations from all over the world. This is an opportunity to make MSMEs move up a class. We will communicate so that our MSME products can be marketed in retail networks in 20 FAPRA countries. We encourage MSMEs to enter the global market. But we don't make a ceremony, we prioritize walking first. Instead of having a ceremony, it turns out it didn't work.

Are our MSMEs ready to go to the global market?

Indeed, many are not ready. To enter the global market, quality is number one, then licensing and then packaging must be good. Next, consistency and also a good pricing strategy. This is what our MSMEs must have.

The government plans to increase VAT by 1%, what is Aprindo's reaction to this plan?

In our opinion, VAT which will increase as of January 1 2025 should be considered again. The amount is 1%, from 11% it has risen to 12%, but the impact can be very large. The problem is, the geopolitical situation is not yet stable. This could have an impact domestically. Climate change; there is El Niño and then there is also La Niña, this also has an influence. In an atmosphere like this, if VAT increases, it will have a big impact. The increase is indeed 1%, but in reality it could be 15%. When VAT rises, all costs will increase. Ultimately, people's purchasing power is affected. The public will hold back spending, this will reduce household consumption. This means, how can we expect the economy to grow 6% if the situation is this difficult.

How long do you think the delay will be?

Until things get better, at least one and a half to two years. If VAT is still forced to increase by 1%, there will be people affected. Later, before the new government had been in place for 100 days, the situation was already very difficult. In fact, our hope is that the new government must also be concerned about this issue, about people's purchasing power which is threatened with falling.

Then regarding the excise tax on sweetened drinks that the government will implement, what is Aprindo's response?

Indeed, the goal is noble for public health. But we think this also needs to be reviewed. Whether the implementation of this excise is on target or not. The thing is, health is a personal decision, not a collective decision. Reducing sugary drinks is a personal decision. What is more important is how health is socialized from an early age. It can be observed whether the excise tax on sweetened drinks that will later be introduced is commensurate with the decline in people's purchasing power. I'm personally not sure.

What do you think are the alternatives if the tax on sweetened drinks is not implemented?

There are still other alternatives that can be used. One of them is the extensification of NPWP. Socialization is needed so that those who don't have a NPWP can get one. And those who already have it can be more active in paying taxes. This could be a solution.

Roy Nicholas Mandey: Glasses, Between Needs and Lifestyle

For Roy Nicholas Mandey, apart from having the basic function of helping eyesight, glasses also have another function in improving appearance. (Photo Bambang Eros, DI: Raga Granada VOI)

Glasses have a basic function as a vision aid. But there are also those who use glasses as a complement to their appearance. For the General Chair of the Indonesian Retail Entrepreneurs Association (Aprindo) Roy Nicholas Mandey, glasses function to help his eyesight and make him appear in good style with unique glasses models.

In general there are two categories of people wearing glasses. “Most people wear glasses because they need them. But there are also some people who wear glasses to appear smart and mature. For me, using glasses is a necessity. I need glasses to make it clearer when reading," said Roy, who has managed to maintain his glasses size for the last twenty-five years.

Because the glasses are a fixed size, every time the frame is changed, it does not need to be re-measured. “So my plus size glasses over the last twenty-five years have not increased in size. The officer just needs to match the lens to the new frame," said the man who has had experience in the world of modern retail.

What is the recipe so that the size of the glasses does not continue to increase? It turns out it's not difficult. “Don't read while sleeping. Because it will burden the eyes, the retina works harder. If this is done continuously it can cause the size of the glasses to increase. If you are tired, it is better to rest and sleep. There's no need to force yourself while reading," he said.

Apart from that, Roy's tip is to use eye drops frequently. “Not once a year, preferably once a week. Because it will be useful for our eye health. Apart from making the eyes clean, it also lightens the burden on the eyes. So prepare an umbrella before it rains," he continued.

It's not enough from the outside, it also needs to be done from the inside so that the eyes are healthy. “Eat foods that contain lots of vitamin A, carrots for example. That's why rabbits who like to eat carrots don't wear glasses, hehehe," he joked.

Looking for Glasses Models

Every semester, Roy Nicholas Mandey changes glasses. Hunting for glasses that are unique to him is a fun challenge, and he enjoys the search process. (Photo Bambang Eros, DI: Raga Granada VOI)

Because the size of the lenses used by Roy Nicholas Mandey never changes, when it comes to eyeglass frames he is more flexible. “When it comes to eyeglass frames, I follow the times. Frankly, I support eyeglass frame manufacturers. Appreciate the innovation they do. "Every six months I change eyeglass frames," he admitted.

When looking for eyeglass frames, Roy has his own benchmark. “Basically, I was looking for a frame that was not common. If it is used by a million people, I will avoid it. "Regarding price for me is secondary, the important thing is that the shape is unique and not marketable," he said.

Finding a unique frame is part of the challenge for Roy. “It's not easy to find unique eyeglass frames. But it was very challenging and I enjoyed the search process," he stressed.

There are various unique eyeglass frames that Roy has used. "I once got different eyeglass frames, one that was square and the other round. "Some people ask why the shape is different, I say it's not only our business that's being disrupted, but the glasses model too, hehehe," he joked.

Batik and Glassess

In almost every situation, Roy Nicholas Mandey wears batik clothing. This is a form of appreciation for batik craftsmen spread throughout the country. (Photo Bambang Eros, DI: Raga Granada VOI)

Even though he is fashionable when it comes to eyeglass frames, Roy Nicholas Mandey match his clothes and glasses. “My glasses go all in with the clothes I wear. Because every moment I always use batik. Except for very casual moments," he said.

Regarding batik clothing, it turns out there is an ideal reason that he uses it. "Why I almost always wear batik clothing in every activity is because I want to help empower our MSMEs. Many of our batik craftsmen are from the MSME group. "If not us, who else will appreciate their work," he explained, adding that there are only two styles of batik clothes, one with long sleeves and the other with short sleeves.

And, Roy said, the advantage of batik clothing is that it can suit all kinds of situations. "Batik is flexible, whether you want formal events or unofficial events, everyone can go in," he said.

And while attending the World Retail Congress in Paris, France some time ago, Roy, who always wore batik, often caught the attention of delegates from other countries. “They said the jacket I was wearing was very nice. I said this is not a jacket, but this is a shirt with a batik motif. Because they already commented, I explained what batik is," he added.


Because batik is unique, continued Roy Nicholas Mandey, we should be proud to wear this clothing. “Original batik comes from us, you know. Who else uses it if not us. Malaysia alone claims batik. All elements of batik contain elements of art and creativity. Each region has its own unique batik characteristics and I respect that," stressed Roy, who has a collection of batik from various regions in Indonesia.


"In our opinion, the VAT which will increase as of January 1 2025 should be considered again. The amount is indeed 1%, from 11% it rose to 12%, but the impact could be very large. The problem is, the geopolitical situation is not yet stable. This could affect the country. Changes climate; there is El Niño and then there is also La Niña, this also has an influence. In an atmosphere like this, if VAT increases it will have a big impact,"

Roy Nicholas Mandey