Meet the two brothers behind the popular influencer management agency Mantappu Corp.


Indonesia has a lot of influential public figures. Among established names such as Atta Halilintar or Rafi Ahmad, there is also Jerome Polin Sijabat, who contributed to liven up the wave of influencers boom in Indonesia. 

The 23-year-old Jerome is mostly known due to his 8.9 million-subscriber-strong YouTube channel Nihongo Mantappu. Jerome, along with his friend Kevin, started the channel in 2017. The name derives from the words "Nihongo", meaning the Japanese language — as Jerome is quite fluent in Japanese and "Mantappu", the Japanese transliteration of the Indonesian word "Mantap". 

Jerome actively uploads videos in Nihongo Mantappu, where he vlogs about his college life in Japan or his favorite subject, math. His fans adore him for his personal and academic background. One time, he awed viewers when he interviewed Indonesia's Minister of Culture, Research, and Education Nadiem Makarim and Minister of Health Budi Gunadi in his video.

However, Jerome and Kevin are not the only ones responsible for the success of Nihongo Mantappu. Aside from them as the face of the show, there is Jehian Panangian Sijabat, Jerome's older brother and the manager of the channel. 

Like his younger brother, the 25-year-old Jehian has already got a set of extraordinary portfolios at such a young age. The Bandung Institute of Technology graduate is known as a dedicated young entrepreneur. His most recent popular venture is Menantea, an influencer-driven FnB company, where Jehian is the CEO.

A rare case

Siblings don't always get along. There are cases when they do, but when it comes to activities that require professionalism, such as running a company, it's very rare that siblings do go hand in hand But, Jehian and Jerome seem to be very good at doing business together.

Nihongo Mantappu is just one example Jehian and Jerome worked together professionally. Before that, back in 2015, they built their first start-up, a social-media-based math learning platform called Q&A. 

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A post shared by Jehian Panangian Sijabat (@jehianps)

The Jehian-Jerome tag-team went on to do a bigger project in 2018 when they established a talent management agency, Mantappu Corp. They handled not only Nihongo Mantappu but dozens of international influencers such as Jang Hansol/Korea Reomit, as well as Turah Parthayana and many others.

Challenge particularly comes in many forms for Jehian, who must adjust to various influencers' aspects and needs. Fortunately for him, the job made Jehian quite an influencer himself, thanks to the exposure he gained from interacting with followers of the influencers under him (including his brother). 

"I think a manager must be approachable. That is why I often interact with fans and use my social media as an information portal regarding my talents. For example, activity schedules, content updates, and so on," said Jehian about his job.

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A post shared by Jehian Panangian Sijabat (@jehianps)

All of their effort and passion certainly paid off for Jerome and Jehian, as the brothers managed to enter the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list in April 2021.

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