Jason Utomo: Founder & CEO of Trijee Sportswear

Jason Utomo Trijee Sportswear
Magani unites tradition with the new; reimagining the traditional batik shirt for the needs of our contemporary society. We combine Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage with the latest innovation in performance wear material to build the ultimate durable and comfortable shirt for the modern Indonesian man who is constantly on the move.

As we celebrate Indonesia’s heritage, we also celebrate the individuals who are unintimidated by the sweat and hard work required to defy challenges, push boundaries, and move Indonesia forward.

Meet the #MaganiMen who have inspired us that with grit and endurance, there are no limits to what you can achieve. #NOSWEATNOLIMIT


#MaganiMen: Meet Jason Utomo, Founder and CEO of Trijee Sportswear. Learn how Jason has leveraged his passion in sports to start and grow a one-stop-shop sporting apparel company. 

Jason Utomo Trijee Sportswear

Jason wears Turquoise Sunrise.


Why did you start Trijee (the brand)? What was the motivation?

I started Trijee in 2017 after working in the property business. I recognized an emerging market opportunity in the sporting apparel industry. The industry is relatively underdeveloped, barrier to entry is low, and prospect seems lucrative. I was also driven by the fact that sports is also my passion. Work becomes a lot easier if you do something you enjoy.

How do you balance passion and business?

We do a lot of event collaborations revolving around hiking, running, biking. This is aligned with my daily activities because I enjoy sports and living a healthy lifestyle.

What is your vision for Trijee?

Short term: expand first to all of JABODETABEK.
Long term goal: cover all of Indonesia.
Ultimately: be a company that is known globally.

Jason Utomo Trijee Sportswear

What is the biggest challenge you faced when scaling Trijee? What is the biggest challenge you are facing now?

Honestly, having no background and experience in the sportswear industry. I had to learn it the hard way, which was making a lot of mistakes, getting a lot of complaints from my clients, and losing a lot of potential clients. Since the business is built on trust, making a lot of mistakes means losing the trust of my clients and it takes a long time to rebuild that trust. For scaling, getting the right people and putting them in the right position is the hardest part. Since we cater to customized sportswear, there are lots of product know-how like sizing and material that needs to be considered.

What would you do differently if you could start your career all over again? 

I would have tried to find a personal coach or mentor, which honestly up to this point I'm also still trying to find. I could have gone from A - Z in the span of 3 years but I faced a lot of difficulties along the way and am definitely far from point Z as I had to learn everything by myself. If I had a guided mentor I would have scaled much faster and more efficiently.  

We see now that the fitness and wellness space is growing, how is Trijee planning to strategically position itself in the market? How does Trijee differentiate itself from other local fitness brands? 

Strategically, we do a lot of collaboration with events, communities, and individuals. Normal activation gets really repetitive and boring, whereas right now the market is shifting to focus on wellness, leisure, and sports. Any activation programs from big companies, for instance like banks, all want to implement healthy lifestyle and wellness themes. In the market itself we don’t consider ourselves to be in direct competition with international brands like New Balance or Planet Sports. We want to position ourselves in the middle to high end segment of the market, in differentiation to our local competitors.

Jason Utomo Trijee Sportswear

Do you see COVID-19 impacting your business or strategy going forward? 

Yes, we had a lot of pipelines to open new stores in Jakarta early this year, luckily it didn't happen due to COVID because then we would have to bear the capital and operating expenses of those stores. COVID itself impacted us for months since all sports events were canceled. That was a stagnant period for us. The event holders also had to think of new strategies in the COVID situation such as virtual runs or virtual bike. Everything is virtually tracked from your phone GPS so you can do sports at home.

How are you navigating through this, apart from virtual run?

We are shifting our market. We used to cater to a lot of events and companies but now we do a lot of business with government bodies including TNI. The government and police are also shifting towards living a healthier lifestyle so their uniforms are also shifting to using sportswear materials like spandex and polyester. We also try to manage our risk since we have a 50/50 balance of B2B and B2C business, so we can shift our capacity depending on the market needs.

How do you see the evolution of fitness wear in Indonesia? 

I think the evolution of fitness wear is questionable at the moment. There are a lot of small brands that source from China and just rebrand for Indonesian market. Competition is intense and diluted. That’s why at the moment we haven’t fully committed to fitness wear market yet. Nonetheless since the market is quite saturated I do think access to strong endorsers and influencers can definitely help your brand to differentiate from the rest. 

Jason Utomo Trijee Sportswear

Tell us a fun fact about your industry that outsiders wouldn't know. 

It’s a stressful business! Customers always think that production is easier than it seems and it’s funny to explain this to different types of clients. Everything fabricated on design cannot be fully applied to production. It’s like architecture -- the interior designer and contractor would argue on what can and or cannot be done.

What about Magani appealed to you?

The fact that Magani is work wear -- the only sports workwear that I have seen so far that has branded themselves. Magani is unique and not something you see on Instagram, Lazada, Tokopedia, or other e-commerce. I believe Magani has entered an untouched market.

Is there anything in particular that you would like to highlight about Trijee?

We are a one stop shop sporting apparel company and can cater to your customized needs from A-Z.

Jason Utomo Trijee Sportswear

Click here to follow Trijee Sportswear on Instagram.

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