JAKARTA 'Mustika Ratu' is a pioneer of a traditional cosmetic and herbal medicine company in Indonesia. However, the development of the local cosmetic industry in the past few years has become a challenging period for Mustika Ratu.

Mustika Ratu is a cosmetic company founded by BRA. Mooryati Soedibyo in 1975. Mooryati died at the age of 96, Wednesday (24/4/2024) at 01.00 WIB. The news was first announced by his daughter, who is also a member of the Presidential Advisory Council (Wantimpres) Putri Kusnu Wardhani.

"Innalilahi Wainnalillaihi Roji'un. Has died in peace, Mrs. DR.HBRA Mooryati Soedibyo on Wednesday at 1.00 WIB in the morning on April 24, 2024 at the age of 96 years," said Putri Kus Wisnu Wardani via text message.

Mooryati is not only the founder of Mustika Ratu, but she has also served as Deputy Chair of the MPR-RI for the 2004-2009 period. In addition, the woman who was born in Surakarta, January 5, 1928, is the founder of the Puteri Indonesia Foundation as well as the originator of Puteri Indonesia's beauty event in 1992 which is held every year until now.

After Mooryati's departure, how is Mustika Ratu's business going forward?

As the grandson of the King of Kasunanan Surakarta Paku Buwono X, Mooryati Soedibyo's life is very close to traditional education that emphasizes manners, dance arts, tweets, batik, Javanese literary language, and other areas of art.

In 1973, Mooryati started a small-scale herbal medicine and cosmetic business in the garage of the house. At that time he had been married to Soedibyo Purbo Hardiningrat for 17 years. The initial capital of the business was IDR 25 thousand.

Not only capital money, Mooryati opens a business in the field of cosmetics and herbal medicine because since childhood she has been used to it. Since childhood, she has used to makeup her own face and palace daughters every time she wants to dance before the ceremony or when there is a guest Agung visiting.

Long story short, in 1978 Mooryati Soedibyo founded Mustika Ratu, which was transformed into a well-known traditional cosmetic and herbal medicine giant in the country. In 1981, along with growing market demand, the first largest herbal and cosmetic factories in Indonesia stood on Jalan Raya Bogor KM 26.4 Ciracas, East Jakarta.

Mustika Ratu's business is growing rapidly, marked by finally going public on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) with the stock code MRAT. For more than four decades, no less than 1,000 products were produced by companies with innovations and product characters following the times.

"We continue to carry out consumer marketing and research so that the Mustika Ratu's products and services of our quality continue to be guaranteed and in demand by consumers both at home and abroad," said Director of Business Development and Innovation Mustika Ratu, Ajeng Kusuma Anjani.

But over time, Mustika Ratu was no longer as strong as in the cosmetic product business. The abundance of local cosmetic products in the past few years has become a challenge for Mustika Ratu, because competing in today's era is certainly not easy.

The phenomenon of the cosmetic industry has shot up after the COVID-19 pandemic. The beauty industry is growing impressively, both in terms of the number of players and production volume, as well as the market share.

Citing Indonesia.go.id, there are 1,010 beauty companies in Indonesia and from January to October 2023, the export value of the pharmaceutical industry, chemical products, and traditional medicines has reached 601 million US dollars or IDR 6.7 trillion (exchange rate of IDR 16,191).

The Association of Indonesian Cosmetics Companies and Associations (PPA Kosmetics Indonesia) said the growth in the number of Indonesian cosmetic industries reached 21.9 percent, namely 913 companies in 2022 and in mid-2023 as many as 1,010 companies.

In addition to growing, the local cosmetics industry is also developing by providing various innovative products for consumers. This is in line with public awareness which is also increasing in the importance of caring for appearances.

Many local cosmetic brands continue to be motivated to produce products with the latest technology and content trends according to the needs of today's society. Moreover, with the times, cosmetic products have also been used by various segments of society, even cosmetic products have been specially formulated for the needs of infants to men," said the Director General of Small, Medium and Multifarious Industries (IKMA) of the Ministry of Industry, Reni Yanita in November 2023.

In the midst of the intense competition and plus the COVID-19 pandemic that hit Indonesia in early 2020, Mustika Ratu's sales figure had decreased. Throughout January to September 2020, Mustika Ratu posted net sales of IDR 222.26 billion. This figure slightly decreased by 0.04 percent compared to the same period the previous year.

Meanwhile, the company's net profit fell 73.93 percent on an annual basis, from Rp2.30 billion to Rp601.03 million in line with the increase in operating costs.

Mustika Ratu is not the only cosmetic business that has collapsed in the current era. The bankruptcy of The Body Shop in England could be an example that even large companies are threatened with bankruptcy if they are unable to face changes in the era.

This was revealed by the Minister of National Development Planning (PPN) Bambang PS Brodjonegoro shortly after the herbal medicine producer Mrs. Meneer went bankrupt in 2017.

According to him, currently, there has been a change in the era of consumer demand, from the previous traditional ones, now it is more modern and fast. In addition, consumer demand in today's era is also influenced by technology and lifestyle, so producers need to follow the market's wishes.

If not agreed, it is not impossible for the producer to fall to adversity, as happened to Mrs. Meneer.

"So, there is indeed a process of change or progress in the times that demands management to follow the demands of the business," said Bambang.

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