Mr Hendro Setiawan (Executive Education 1987) founded Sayasati (now known as Pikko Group), a prominent export trading company in Indonesia 40 years ago. Under his leadership, the organization has weathered many financial crises and emerged as an important business in the Indonesian economy.
The alumnus says that his company’s development is very much related to Indonesia’s political and economic development.
“Our import and export transactions contributes to our country’s economy,” says Mr Hendro, “We want to do what we can in being a part of our country’s prosperity.”
Recognizing that this is a team effort, Mr Hendro believes in appreciating the talents and recognizing the efforts of his employees.
“We have included yearly bonuses and merit motivated wage increments to allow every employee in the company to share the fruits of their labor.”
He points out that this move increases the productivity of employees and also boosts their confidence in the organization.
He also sees the value in effective communication within the organization. A review cum feedback session is conducted four times a year in order to facilitate interaction and communication.
Leading Through Bad Times
Mr Hendro cites the example of the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 where the Asian economy went through a very rough patch. Sayasati was also very badly hit.
As a result of that, Mr Hendro had to make a very tough decision. “Through internal consolidation methods, I had to lay off about 20,000 staff.”
“The current financial crisis is like a tsunami that has struck Indonesia. It is a tough time. Internal consolidation is a method that has got us through the previous crisis, and it is also proving its worth this time round,” he explains.
Mr Hendro believes that the Indonesian economy will emerge stronger only if the government is willing to work hard hand in hand with businessmen and entrepreneurs.
“With the support of the government, we will be able to overcome the tough times,” he believes. “In order to prepare for the future, we must tighten our belts now and be optimistic.”
The Constant Learner
When Indonesia was badly struck by the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997, Mr Hendro realized that he needed more skills to lead his company. He believes that one should never stop learning.
“Passion alone is not sufficient to manage and handle a large organization. Even though I have a lot of experience in this industry, I feel that knowledge has to go hand in hand with experience.”
Hence Mr Hendro made the decision to go back to school for the program at NUS Business School.
He says that the modules on management and business strategies went a long way in helping him better administer his company and analyze problems.
“The program has given me a new perspective on things. I have found myself to be more innovative and creative at problem solving.”
Mr Hendro understands that the current economic climate is not conducive at all for prospective graduates; however, he urges them to be optimistic.
He has faith in all NUS graduates. He believes that the school has equipped them with skills and knowledge to take them very far.
He only has one piece of advice: “It no longer matters if one is more capable than the other. Everyone will move forward if we are team players; synergy within a team is essential.”