Staff Reporters
Jul 5, 2022

Asia-Pacific Power List 2022: Axton Salim, Indofood

Salim’s knack for appealing to younger consumers—especially on social media—continues to result in growth for the group’s instant noodle business.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2022: Axton Salim, Indofood
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Axton Salim

Chief marketing officer and director
Member since 2021

Returning to the list for a second year, Axton Salim is CMO and director of the family dynasty that built Indonesian food giant Indofood. His grandfather Sudono Salim established the brand in 1990 and his father Anthoni Salim is current CEO of the company and the fourth wealthiest person in Indonesia, with a net worth of US$5.9 billion.

Salim took on several roles in the company before being appointed CMO, but now is mostly tasked with the development and promotion of the company's products in order to make them more appealing to younger demographics globally. 

In the last 12 months, Indofood continues to see revenue growth largely driven by its business in instant noodles. Revenue rose 24% to 72.8 trillion rupiah (US$5 billion) in the third quarter last year.

Salim has leveraged his considerable social media following (147K followers on Instagram) and Indonesia's highly engaged internet users to promote products. When he posted an image on Twitter of a new limited edition of Indomie Goreng-flavored Chitato (crisps), it soon went viral and organically garnered plenty of earned-media coverage across mainstream platforms. The secret to the success of the campaign, according to Salim, is a no-brainer: Listen to what consumers want and understand their flavour preferences and tastes. 

In a recent Think With Google chat, Salim shared some of his views on leadership and creativity in business. “Trends come and go quickly. Being creative now means being opportunistic and fast to adapt,” said Salim. He also spoke about how he believes the internet and YouTube have democratised creativity. If you want to know how to stay relevant in business, Salim's advice is to be open to learning from the old and young. 

Outside of his work as CMO, Salim established the Block71 start-up incubator between Salim Group and the National University of Singapore. It now operates branches in important Indonesian cities such as Bandung and Jogjakarta to support industry expansion, in addition to its base in Jakarta.

Furthermore, he also served as global co-chair of the United Nation’s Scaling Up Nutrition Business Network Advisory Board and sits on the Advisory Board of Nanyang Business School at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Salim can be found on Twitter at: @axtonsalim

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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