Press releases

March 23, 2022

Indonesian SME Businesses seek growth and greater resilience in 2022: Sun Life

Jakarta, 23 March 2022 – Two years into the pandemic, owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Indonesia are optimistic about future economic and business growth prospects and plan to expand this year, however, many highlight a gap between how well protected they are and the risks they currently face, according to the Sun Life Business Growth and Resilience Index.  

The index is based on a Sun Life survey of around 2,400 SME business owners in seven Asian markets: Hong Kong, India, Indonesia (354), Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam in late 2021, which found:

  •   95% expect the financial position of their business to improve in 2022 and 90% expect their national economic situation to improve.   
  •   94% have plans to expand or grow their business in 2022, with the top plans being to expand their product offering (53%), digitizing to grow the business (47%), hiring new employees (29%), and expand industries (31%).
  •   52% of respondents reported the pandemic has had a negative impact on their business, however, 14% said their business fared a lot better in the pandemic.
  •   97% had adapted their business strategy to navigate the pandemic, including adding new methods of distribution (61%), virtualizing the business (61%) and offering new products (39%).
  •   Pandemic and health-related risks, decreasing demand, and increasing tax or regulatory burden are the top three risks facing SMEs.

“The pandemic has created tremendous challenges for business during the past two years and we are glad that business owners now see a more positive outlook for 2022,” said Elin Waty, President Director of Sun Life Indonesia. “We produced the Sun Life Business Growth and Resilience Index to better understand how confident business owners feel about their growth prospects and how resilient their business in this highly uncertain environment. It found that SME business owners have a healthy level of optimism for improved growth prospects this year, but this is counterbalanced with the knowledge that they are still more vulnerable to some risks than they would like, particularly the impacts of the pandemic. Successfully navigating the turbulence requires equal measures of planning for growth and building resilience,” said Elin.

Growth Index shows optimism for the future

The Sun Life Business Growth Index analyzes the sentiment of business owners toward the general economic situation, and their financial position and growth plans in 2022.  It found Indonesian business owners are optimistic about growth prospects in 2022, with a score of 76 out of 100, compared with 65 for Asia overall.  

Industries including mining (89), chemical (86), manpower and security services (85), and property and infrastructure (82) were highlighted as especially positive.

Resilience Index shows resilience is borderline

The Sun Life Resilience Index is based on business owners’ perceptions of the severity of 15 business risks and their preparedness for these. It found Indonesian business owners feel they have a borderline level of resilience with a score of 60 out of 100, compared with 55 for Asia overall.  

According to the survey, pandemic and health-related risks are the most severe challenge for Indonesian business owners, however many were not using risk mitigation tools to build resilience to health risks. Only 61% of respondents have personal health and accident insurance, 36% had employee health and accident insurance, and just 18% had key man insurance in place.

Elin said, “Many SME businesses still face a health risk protection gap. Proactively taking action to mitigate the impact of these health risks can build greater resilience in business operations and provide owners and employees with greater security and peace of mind. Sun Life can help business owners to build greater resilience so they can navigate the uncertain environment and achieve their growth ambitions.”

The importance of minimizing risk plays a major role for key man. Sun Proteksi Cermat is presented as one of the protection solutions by Sun Life. Through this product, customers only need to save in the form of premiums for 3 years to get 10 years of protection benefits. This product also provides certainty for customers to receive back 100% of the total premium paid – either in the form of a death benefit, or a premium refund if the insured is still alive until the end of the coverage period. In this way, key man can be better prepared to face various risks, by ensuring that they and their loved ones are protected.

Innovation helps overcome business challenges

The study found the Covid 19 pandemic has had a disparate impact on SME businesses. While just over half report their business suffered a negative impact in the pandemic, almost one third reported a positive change in performance. Owners who experienced a positive impact were more likely to have innovated and adapted their strategies, such as, adding new distribution methods, virtualizing the business and offering new products.    

Sala said, “The results show that adaptation and innovation have played a decisive role in helping businesses capture new opportunities in a rapidly changing environment, and digitalization is at the core of many successful SME strategies.”



About Sun Life

Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of December 31, 2021, Sun Life had total assets under management of $1.44 trillion. For more information please visit

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Media Relations Contact:                                                                 

Shierly Ge

Chief Marketing Officer

Sun Life Indonesia

Tel: +6221-5289-0000

Faks: +6221 5289-0019