If you are a smoker, and even though you are not, you must be already familiar with the name of PT. Djarum.
As you probably already know, PT. Djarum is one of the leading kretek cigarettes or clove cigarettes manufacturers in Indonesia.
The cigarette manufacturer is ranked in number 4 as the largest cigarette manufacturer in the country. The headquarter is located in Kudus, Central Java. But the branches are a bunch, spread in the whole cities of Indonesia.
Besides the cigarette business, Grup Djarum also has other businesses managed, such as a bank, electronics, e-commerce, plantation, food and beverage, and also coffee.
PT. Djarum History
In 1951, Oie Wie Gwan who was a businessman and also the first generation of Hartono family, bought a cigarette manufacturer named NV Murup that was almost bankrupt in Kudus, Central Java.
The cigarette manufacturer had a brand named Djarum Gramofone.
Oei Wie Gwan then abbreviated the brand into Djarum. The company almost went down when a big fire crushed the manufacturer in 1963, followed by the death of Oie Wie Gwan.
His sons, Budi Hartono and Bambang Hartono took a chance to rebuild the company once again.
In the beginning, the products of the company are hand-rolled kretek cigarettes and machine-rolled kretek cigarettes. Those 2 cigarette products were very popular and produced in a large number.
The classic hand-rolled kretek cigarettes were continuously produced by Djarum by using an old method that is performed by skilled laborers. While machine-rolled kretek cigarettes were introduced in early 1970.
The cigarettes were automatically produced by using a machine with high and advanced technology.
In mid-1970, the company had officially established the Research and Development Center in order to develop its cigarette products.
In the midst of the large domestic market for kretek cigarettes or clove cigarettes, the cigarette manufacturer started to export its hand-rolled clove cigarettes and machine-rolled clove cigarettes to tobacco retailers in the whole world in 1972.
The cigarette products were exported to China, Netherlands, Japan, Korea, and the United States of America. Its successful cigarette products sold in international markets are Djarum Super which was marketed in 1981, followed by Djarum Special which was introduced in 1983 in the United States of America.
PT. Djarum Research and Development
Djarum has always been leading. The cigarette manufacturer keeps looking for new innovations and products in order to be introduced to the market. And the Research and Development of the company plays an important role in encouraging progress.
The company is always aware and recognizing that research and development are essential for the development of kretek products.
As a pioneer in the field, the cigarette manufacturer had already established its Research and Development Center since the ‘60s ahead of other clove cigarette manufacturers.
Then, it is followed by the official building of Research and Development Center in the ‘70s with the goal to develop new blends of kretek.
Djarum’s contributions to kretek development are including:
- Establishing the first low-nicotine and low-tar kretek in the world.
- Establishing the first kretek cigars in the world.
- Establishing a brown-paper and black-paper kretek.
- Establishing kretek with a vanilla flavor and cherry flavor.
- Establishing the superfine clove blend which is the one and only in the world.
Today, Research and Development team is supported by sophisticated laboratory technology. The team consistently interacts with the marketing team in order to establish new tastes.
Besides establishing kretek flavors, the insights of the Research and Development Center team are also applied to production and manufacturing sides.
Since the cigarette manufacturer’s initial foray in the ‘70s into the international market, the exports of Djarum’s tobacco products have been quickly growing, supported by the awareness and appreciation of unique flavors of kretek.
In the present, Djarum brands are available in 5 continents. The main export markets are including Japan, Belgium, Eastern Europe, Canada, Australia, the Far East, Rusia, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and also the United States of America.
Closer to Indonesia, PT, Djarum’s kretek brand named L.A Lights Menthol is successful in Malaysia, where it is related to a trendy lifestyle. Not already satisfied with those achievements, the cigarette manufacturer keeps producing innovative products which are designed and purposed to get new markets.
Corporate Social Initiative
Djarum is committed to realizing Indonesia’s potential to become a well-rounded world citizen through the Djarum Foundation.
The foundation operates a number of programs in selected fields that have been chosen for their potential to make a positive difference to society.
Specifically, Djarum Foundation promotes excellence through community, sport, environmental conservation, educational and cultural expression programs.
Other Businesses Outside Cigarettes
After the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the cigarette manufacturer became a part of the consortium that bought BPPN and Bank of Central Asia or BCA. BCA is the biggest private bank in Indonesia which was a part of Salim Group before.
But today, the majority shares of the bank, which is 51% of shares are controlled by PT. Djarum. In 2004, the company also acquired the contract of BOT or Build Operate Transfer for 30 years from the Indonesian government to develop and renovate Hotel Indonesia in Jakarta under Grand Indonesia superblock project.
Besides cigarettes, Djarum Group also has other successful businesses. For example, plantation and industrial forest that is managed under PT. Hartono Plantation Indonesia.
There is also an e-commerce business with a brand named Blibli.com, an electronics company named PT. Hartono Istana Teknologi with Polytron as the brand. The electronic company produces electronic devices such as refrigerators, televisions, AC, and even phones.
That is the history of PT. Djarum and other information related to the cigarette manufacturer. Up to now, it has already launched a lot of cigarette brands, including Djarum Black, Djarum Super, L.A Lights, Splash, Bali Hai, Djarum Special, Cigarillos, Forte and many more.