This post is my answer to a question asked in Quora. The original was posted on 6 November 2013.
What is the business market outlook in Jakarta for a consulting firm? Are there huge demands and needs for outsourcing services? (outsourcing service includes investment solution, IT solution, recruitment solution, etc.)
I think there are multiple answers to this question since the scope and segment of such consulting firms and services need to be more defined.
There are enormous needs for consulting services in Jakarta, though it may not necessarily translate to demand. For management consulting, for the most part, only large companies, mainly multinationals, and the government sector are aware of the supply of such services. They also happen to be the ones capable of engaging the consultants due to the high fees associated with such services. Most businesses, especially mid and small, may not see the need to engage in such service and rely more on internal personnel (and maybe trial and error) in making the managerial decision. Being multinationals, management consultants in Jakarta can deploy staff regionally in other countries. So, in the case of management consulting, you may have to look regionally as domestic demand may not hold the answer yet to this demand.
On the other hand, individual and private practice consultants providing specific non-managerial services such as tax, accounting, legal advice, IT, internet and new media, advertising, marketing, HR, and investment are abundant in Jakarta, with demand continuing to escalate in small and large establishment alike. I suppose domestic demand in those areas can very well answer the question that there are significant needs that translate well to considerable demand for outsourcing services in Jakarta. Society is no stranger to outsourcing as household chores and child care are some examples of the areas Jakartans have outsourced to “individual caregivers” for a long time (maybe explained through our patriarchal and subservient culture of the past).
So yes, there are needs and corresponding demands for outsourcing and consulting services in Jakarta, and it’s growing rapidly but mainly in the smaller scale non-managerial services. Domestic demand may only be served by a select few, at least for now. For large-scale managerial consulting, you may have to look regionally for the moment.