Balticbest welcomes Suriname, which is the smallest country in South America, a former Dutch colony, and considered a culturally Caribbean country. Suriname is the only sovereign nation outside of Europe where Dutch is the official and prevailing language of government, business, media, and education.
Hando Sinisalu, the Balticbest head of programme, conducted an interview with Balticbest jury member Jill-Joy Landburg, who is the Executive Director and Owner of Creative Communications and Marketing, NV from Suriname.
What is your background?
15 years ago my mother started this agency and she hired me as well.
I started as a receptionist, I have worked in video editing, accounting, graphic design, basically done every job in the agency.
And now, 15 years later, I am officially a managing director. I know every detail about the advertising agency business. We work with McCann and Ogilvy networks and our biggest client is McDonald’s – I have even graduated the Hamburger University.
Please describe the advertising agency scene in Suriname.
There are 4-5 big agencies in Suriname, and by “big” I mean 10 employees or more. And there are many small ones since it is easy to start such a business – no special license is required.
Some agencies also have side business – printing service or TV station, for example.
The biggest advertisers in Suriname are cars (Ford, Mazda), our local telco Telesur, and fast-food restaurants (McDonald’s, KFC)
What are the consumer behavior trends?
We have a really multicultural society here – in the capital city Paramaribo the synagogue and mosque are situated next to each other and Muslims, Christians and Hindus are literally holding hands if needed. Surinamese people have really mixed blood and I am a good example of it. I have Chinese, European, Indian, and indigenous Surinamese blood in my veins.
There are 15 national holidays of various religions in Suriname – Christmas, Muslim holidays, Diwali.
Currently, we still have a lockdown and the curfew starts at 9 pm. Especially young people are frustrated and often go out after the official curfew. One reason for the frustration is the unstable internet – watching Netflix can be a challenge. People have become quite price sensitive during the pandemic.
What are the most famous brands in Suriname?
The most famous Surinamese brand in the region is Ozon – laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid. Being a Caribbean nation, we also have our local rum brand Borgoe.
Our national food is bone-in (not boneless) chicken and Pom, Pastei, Her’Heri, Moski Aleysie and many more. Our McDonald’s is one of the few in the World that has bone-in chicken on the menu.
Where do see business opportunities in your country?
93% of the country is covered with rainforest. There is a huge global demand for ecological and natural products and our jungle is full of all kinds of useful plants. Currently, very few local ecological products are produced and marketed, but I see a huge potential here.