Business in Indonesia during Ramadhan

Ramadhan is Islamic holy month where Muslims, the largest population in Indonesia, forgo drinking and eating from sunrise to sunset. Muslims also devote themselves to prayers, recitation of Quran, and charitable deeds. Inevitably, this affects the daily activities of most, if not all, Indonesians. However, it does not mean that business in Indonesia during Ramadhan stops at all. In fact, it is probably the busiest and thus, the most profitable time of the year.

Apart from providing business consultation services, MAM Corporate Solutions assists businesses with various business licenses and compliance. If you wish to import other products into Indonesia or establish company in Indonesia, you can read the following useful articles.

The followings are some key points to keep in mind, while conducting business in Indonesia during Ramadhan:

Ramadhan lasts twenty-nine to thirty days from one crescent moon to the next. Ramada is closed with a celebratory day, called Hari Raya Idul Fitri, preceded and/or followed by public holidays.

As mentioned above, businesses do not entirely close during the holy month. In the private sector, the typical office hours would be:

Monday to Thursday Friday
Working time 08:00 – 16:30 08:00 – 16:30
Break time 12:00 – 12:30 11:30 – 12:30

Government departments have even shorter working hours: 08:00 – 15:00.

Although Muslims believe that fasting should not keep them away from their everyday activities, as a company, it is recommended to be accommodating by offering flexible working hours.

Muslims who are fasting commonly wake up at dawn to have their breakfast before starting to fast and they will break the fast after sunset. The changes in eating and sleeping pattern surely affect productivity. It is therefore important to plan working days accordingly. For example, conferences and meetings should be conducted in the morning or early afternoon, when employees are still energised.

There could be claims regarding some works that cannot be done or must be postponed. It is worth keeping in mind that government departments may be closed for sometimes but others operate normally. Ramadhan should be an excuse for bad performance

After fasting for the whole day, Muslim break their fast, normally around dinner time after the sun sets. Breaking the fast together (Buka Bersama) is an important thing to do during Ramadhan. Buka Bersama can be done by simply having dinner in a restaurant, or companies may opt to order a catering to the office.

It is expected that companies have at least one Buka Bersama with their whole staff. Other than that, employees may arrange Buka Bersama with their own departments, teams, and so on. One can also take this opportunity to build relationship with suppliers, colleagues, clients or others

THR is the 13th salary of the year and is a compulsory-by-law religion-based allowance. Employees normally use this salary on gifts, like in Christmas, and zakat, a donation of 2.5% of income for charity.

The first and the last week of Ramadhan is probably the strictest time for Muslims. Restaurants may choose to close business for these two weeks. It is recommended to call ahead to check whether the restaurants are open.

Nightlife is highly restricted during Ramadhan. Most cities require bars, clubs, and other nightlife places to close throughout the holy month. Sale of alcohol is also prohibited for the period, except for places with particular permits.

The end of Ramadhan month is celebrated by Hari Raya Idul Fitri. It is like Christmas for Christians. There are officially two days of Eid al-Fitri holiday and the Government may set two days of Cuti Bersama, where companies are expected to take the days off together. It is not mandatory, however, many may choose to do so and business may not be able to operate normally yet. Collectively, the holiday is called Lebaran holiday.

Since Cuti Bersama set by the Government is not an official public holiday, it is regarded as a part of the annual leaves given to employees. Employees should be given a flexibility to keep working and as such, save their annual leaves for a later time.

Employees are not expected to work immediately on the first day of work after holiday. Normally, they have a Halal Bi-Halal, where they get together and greet each other, asking for forgiveness from and forgiving each other.

It is a known trend in Indonesia that after receiving their 13th salary, employees leave their current jobs and look for new ones. There will be a shift in the work force and this is a great opportunity for companies to look for new talents and fill in positions.

How MAM Corporate Solutions can help?

Indonesia has a wide range of cultures and traditions, given the varying background of the people. It is very crucial for investors and entrepreneurs to seek advice from business consultants to ensure that they conduct business activities in Indonesia according to the norms of Indonesia MAM Corporate Solutions can help you understand the cultures and traditions in Indonesia and provide guidance on how to conduct your business smoothly here. MAM Corporate Solutions also provides corporate secretarial services to ensure that all compliance requirements are met while investors conduct their businesses in Indonesia.

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