Jumat, 27 Februari 2015

Surga Tersembunyi di Taman Nasional Betung Kerihun

Sungai Kapuas dari udara
Bayangkanlah Anda sedang berperahu di sebuah sungai berair jernih yang kedua tepinya padat oleh hutan hujan tropis sambil mendengarkan kicau burung bersahutan dan lengkingan kelampiau (sejenis monyet), lalu seekor kupu-kupu RajaBrook terbang di dekat wajah Anda. Ini hanya bisa dialami di Taman Nasional Betung Kerihun (TNBK) di kabupaten Kapuas Hulu; tepatnya di jantung Kalimantan Barat.

Raja Brook
TNBK yang seluas 800.000 hektar ini dahulu namanya Cagar Alam Bentuang Karimun. Penamaan Betung Kerihun diambil dari dua gunung yaitu Gunung Betung (1.150 m) di sebelah barat dan Gunung Kerihun (1.790 m) di sebelah timurnya. Sebagian besar topografi TNBK berupa perbukitan, dari bentangan Pegunungan Muller yang menghubungkan kedua gunung tersebut sekaligus sebagai pembatas antara wilayah Indonesia dengan Serawak, Malaysia.

Mendarat di Putussibau
Pintu masuk TNBK adalah Putussibau, ibukota kabupaten Kapuas Hulu, yang terletak 600 km timur laut kota Pontianak. Pilihan maskapai penerbangan tujuan Pontianak antara lain Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Batavia dan Sriwijaya. Dari bandara Supadio pengunjung bisa melanjutkan perjalanan dengan satu-satunya maskapai yang terbang ke Putussibau sekali setiap hari, yaitu Kalstar. Satu jam saja sudah mendarat di bandara Pangsuma, Putussibau. Pilihan lainnya, jalan darat dengan bis atau mobil yang membutuhkan waktu 12-16 jam.

Longboat
Menurut Kepala Balai Besar TNBK, Ir Djohan Utama Perbatasari MM, tampaknya ecotourism perlu lebih ditingkatkan untuk empat kawasan menarik yaitu DAS (Daerah Aliran Sungai) Embaloh, DAS Mendalam, DAS Sibau dan DAS Kapuas ini. Kegiatan susur sungai yang dipadu dengan pengamatan flora-fauna, trekking ringan ke air terjun, memancing atau body rafting cukup menantang bagi wisatawan dalam dan luar negeri.

Salah satu wisatanya adalah melayari sungai Kapuas dari Putussibau menuju Nanga Bungan dan Tanjung Lokang, desa yang dihuni suku Dayak Punan Hovongan. Perjalanan menggunakan longboat tersebut melintasi beberapa rintangan seperti jeram dan kedangkalan sungai, plus pemandangan ladang tradisional, hutan meranti, penambangan emas dan kampung-kampung Dayak maupun Melayu. Setidaknya lebih dari 10 jeram yang menghadang perjalanan menuju Nangan (muara) Bungan.

Bungan Jaya
Desa Bungan Jaya terletak dipersimpangan sungai Kapuas dan anaknya yaitu sungai Bungan. Berbeda dengan kondisi sungai di hilir yang berwarna coklat keruh, di sungai Bungan air agak bening dan daerah pinggir sungainya dipadati pepohonan. “Ini sudah termasuk kawasan TNBK dan masuk daerah hulu sungai Kapuas,” kata Johardy, polisi hutan wilayah Bungan-Lokang. 

Sejauh mata memandang terlihat rainforest yang rapat dan masih perawan. Di pagi hari terlihat bukit-bukit hijau di kejauhan berselimut kabut. Beberapa rumah penduduk menjual kerajinan manik-manik seperti tas tangan, dompet, topi, rompi, juga mandau (senjata khas suku Dayak).

Desa Tanjung Lokang
Tanjung Lokang berada lebih ke dalam kawasan TNBK; untuk mencapainya butuh waktu 3-4 jam naik longboat dari Nanga Bungan. Ini sudah termasuk berjalan kaki di hutan pinggir sungai dan jembatan kayu sementara longboat menembus riam Bakang yang adegannya menegangkan kendati tidak sampai 10 menit. Sisi sungai yang satu dipenuhi batu-batu besar, sementara sisi lain adalah tebing cadas yang mampu membuat perahu hancur apabila terhantam ombak ke arahnya. Ini saat debit air turun karena tidak hujan.

Kalau debit air tinggi maka kondisi lebih berbahaya karena batu seukuran mobil truk atau rumah tersebut tidak terlihat. “Bila sangat berbahaya, kami angkut perahu melalui jembatan kayu,” ujar Simon, pengemudi longboat. Masih ada lagi riam Homatop yang juga berbahaya namun dapat dinikmati dari dalam perahu, sebelum akhirnya merapat di Tanjung Lokang. Apabila riam Bakang belum memacu adrenalin pehobi rafting, masih ada riam Lapan yang bertingkat delapan dan riam Matahari yang super dahsyat. Grade kedua riam itu antara 5 sampai 6.
Riam Bakang
Penduduk asli di desa Tanjung Lokang tidak tinggal di rumah panjang khas Dayak (betang) sama seperti di Bungan. Tas, topi, tikar atau wadah anyaman disini rapih dan kuat. Penduduk desa kerap menyajikan tari-tarian dan musik tradisional untuk wisatawan, terutama saat pesta panen atau Gawai di bulan April atau Mei.

Empat jam berjalan kaki dari desa akan banyak ditemukan gua dan sarang burung walet. Beberapa Liang(lubang gua) bersejarah dan merupakan makam leluhur masyarakat Dayak yang disebut ‘tembawang’, misalnya Liang Kahung. Di dalam gua tersebut masih dapat dilihat tulang belulang dan tengkorak manusia. Tempat tersebut ideal bagi pencinta caving dan rock climbing.

Rumah Betang Desa Sadap
Kalau di timur ada DAS Kapuas, di barat Putussibau terdapat DAS Embaloh yang sepi dari jamahan manusia. Penyusuran sungai dimulai di Desa Sadap; sebuah desa wisata sejak diresmikan tahun 2011. Salah satu rumah betang ada di desa suku Dayak Iban ini. Rumah panjang dari tiang kayu, berdinding bambu dan beratap sirap tersebut sudah direnovasi dan memiliki 27 bilik pintu yang dihuni sekitar 47 KK. Siang hari kaum perempuan menenun kain dan menganyam perkakas di selasar rumah betang.

Sungai Embaloh yang berair hijau mengalir di depan desa yang menjadi pintu masuk TNBK tersebut. Panjang sungai ini 168 km dengan kedalaman 1-2 meter. Salah satu destinasi menariknya adalah Tekelan, yang bisa dicapai dengan longboat berkekuatan 15 PK selama 3 jam. Para pencinta alam liar pasti terpesona kala perahu masuk ke jantung kawasan yang kaya  akan pepohonan hutan hujan tropis serta aneka flora-fauna ini. Kalau beruntung bisa melihat orangutan, rusa, biawak dan burung-burung seperti pecuk ular, raja udang dan enggang gading. Kegiatan bird watching sangat ideal disini.

Ikan Semah
Pepohonan ensurai –-paling kuat menahan arus sungai— tumbuh subur di pinggiran sungai, sementara di bagian dalam hutan pepohonan meranti (Shorea sp) tumbuh subur. Air sungai begitu jernih dan bersih sampai bisa melihat dasar sungai dan ikan-ikan yang berenang-renang. Menurut Irawan, Kepala Resort Sebabai, ada 103 jenis ikan yang hidup di sungai Embaloh dan anak-anak sungainya. Salah satu ikan konsumsi yang terkenal adalah ikan semah; harganya sekitar Rp800 ribu per kg. Daging ikan semah terasa manis dan gurih walau dimasak tanpa bumbu. “Inilah surga bagi pemancing,” ujar Irawan.

Areal Camping
Camp Nanga Tekelan atau camp Langsat terletak di sungai Tekelan, cabang sungai Embaloh. Kedua tempat ini sudah memiliki areal untuk berkemah, lengkap dengan toilet dan kamar mandi. Air tawar yang bersih dan segar mengalir melalui selang. “Air ini sama kualitasnya dengan air minum menurut peneliti Jerman yang pernah kesini,” kata Irawan. Hutan perawan di belakang lokasi berkemah masih rapat namun bisa menjadi jalur trekking ringan. Kalau ada rumah pohon kegiatan pengamatan pasti lebih menarik. Pantai berbatu di pinggir sungai cukup lebar untuk bersantai sambil menikmati api unggun di malam hari. Jika ingin berenang cukup di sekitar pantainya karena arus air sungai agak deras.

Sungai Tekelan yang jernih dan layak minum
Lebih ke hulu lagi terdapat Camp Derian yang menjadi titik start pendakian ke Gunung Betung. Waktu tempuh hingga ke puncaknya setengah hari. Sedangkan ke Gunung Condong butuh waktu 3 hari mendaki dan turun hanya satu hari.  Sarang orangutan banyak ditemukan di jalur-jalur trekking disini. Dari camp Derian pula ada sebuah jalur trail menuju Gua Pajau yang menjadi lokasi berkumpulnya berbagai jenis satwa terutama Enggang Badak.

Tak jauh dari Derian terdapat riam Naris yang sukar dilalui perahu. Pada musim kemarau, di antara riam Naris dan sungai Pajau, dibalik kejernihan air, wisawatan dapat melihat komunitas ikan semah berenang di tengah sungai yang menyerupai kolam. Dari riam Naris wisatawan juga dapat melakukan board rafting atau body rafting menuju camp Derian. Tentu saja sudah dengan pengaman di beberapa titik sungai.

Air Terjun Dajo
Ada banyak air terjun di sekitar hulu Embaloh; antara lain Dajo dan Laboh. Wisatawan bisa berjalan menyusuri anak sungai yang tidak dalam sepanjang 150- 350 meter untuk mencapai lokasi kedua air terjun tersebut.

Bagi wisatawan ecotourism, rumah betang sangat menarik. Sebuah rumah betang asli yang tertua (usianya 100 tahun) milik masyarakat Dayak Tamambaloh ada di desa Sungai Uluk Palin, Kecamatan Putussibau Utara. Lokasinya sudah termasuk DAS Sibau dan berjarak 45 menit berkendara dari Putussibau. Panjang bangunan 240 meter, lebar 18 meter dan tinggi 8 meter. 
Betang Baligundi

Walaupun tingginya sudah turun tiga kali dari semula yang 12 meter, inilah rumah betang tertinggi dan terpanjang di Kalimantan Barat. Fondasinya terbuat dari kayu belian atau kayu besi; kayu terkuat di jenis pepohonan. Sekitar 137 KK menempati 53 bilik di rumah tersebut. Disini wisatawan bisa membeli kerajinan anyaman dan aksesoris dari manik-manik buatan penghuni rumah.


Kalau ingin merasakan tinggal bersama kaum Dayak Taman, datanglah ke rumah betang Baligundi di desa Sibau Hulu. Total panjang betang 150 meter dengan 23 bilik yang beberapa diantaranya bisa disewa oleh wisatawan. Rumahnya tidak setinggi Sungulok Apalin namun atraksi wisata dan layanan ramah pemilik bilik pasti tak kan terlupakan. ***

Foto: Koleksi Pribadi

Senin, 09 Februari 2015

Selamat Datang 2015!


Hallo temans!

Meskipun sudah terlambat, saya ingin mengucapkan Selamat Tahun Baru 2015.
Semoga kita semua sukses dalam cinta, cita dan karya di tahun ini.

Tahun 2015 saya buka dengan postingan beberapa artikel yang dipublikasikan tahun 2014 di The Jakarta Post. Blog Picnesia ini memang lebih semacam arsip bagi tulisan saya yang pernah dimuat dan tulisan yang sengaja saya buat untuk blog ini. Harap maklum kalau agak berantakan jadwal postingan dan templatenya. Pokoknya kalau latar belakang artikelnya berwarna putih berarti saya kopi dari website media yang memuat tulisan saya.

Saya masih punya hutang beberapa tulisan liputan jurnalistik maupun travelling untuk blog ini.
Misalnya, liputan di Singkawang, Taman Nasional Betung Kerihun dan tentang industri bambu di Bangli, Bali. Lalu juga travelling ke Sumatera Utara yang menyenangkan. Janji deh akan segera saya posting disini, sekalian mengatur keseragaman huruf dan warnanya.

Untuk sementara ini, selamat menikmati artikel yang ada.
Salam jalan-jalan :)




Revitalization Project Aims to Boos Bamboo's Image


Green School Building in Ubud, Bali
The rustle of bamboo leaves adds to the mystical atmosphere of a road lined with lush bamboo trees at Penglipuran village in Bangli regency, Bali, where bamboo forests have been maintained for generations.
Penglipuran’s communal chief, Wayan Supat, said that of the village’s 112 hectares of land area, 45 ha constituted bamboo forestland, spreading over its northern, northeastern and southern parts.

“Bamboo is ecologically vital to the traditional community here, such as for building shingle-roofed houses,” he said.

Bamboo farmer Wayan Jepang said that bamboo is part of the history, culture and life of Bali’s Hindu community.

“The Balinese use bamboo from the process of birth, for cutting the umbilical cord, to wedding celebrations, to the funeral ritual of ngaben,” Wayan said.

In religious ceremonies, bamboo leaves and stems also serve as containers for offerings and ritual instruments. Furthermore, bamboo forms part of Bali’s traditional buildings and household furnishings.

Bamboo has yet to receive adequate recognition, although it plays a significant role in many parts of the country.

In the villages of Kanekes in South Banten; Naga in Tasikmalaya; Pulo and Dukuh in Garut, West Java; Tana Toraja in South Sulawesi; and Wae Rebo in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, traditional bamboo architecture is climate-friendly and earthquake-proof.
Penglipuran Village, Bangli
Bamboo — belonging to the woody grass family (Poaceae) and growing in clusters — is one of the fastest growing plants, extending by about 100 cm per 24 hours depending on soil and climate conditions as well as the species. The plant can grow at zero to 4,000-meter altitudes in tropical, subtropical, humid and hot regions, covering coastal, riverbank, low-lying and forest areas. 
Of around 1,500 bamboo species in the world, over 160 or 11 percent are found in Indonesia. After India and China, Indonesia has the third largest share of the world’s 37-million ha bamboo distribution. Bangli alone produces around 2.3 million bamboo poles annually. 

Nationally, bamboo exports have reached US$5.8 million, mostly to the US, but sadly, the management of bamboo as a commodity has remained halfhearted, according to Desy Ekawati, coordinator of the Cooperation Project for Revitalization of the Community Bamboo Industry, with the support of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO).

“The current paradigm is that bamboo is indistinguishable from poverty,” Desy said.

In reality, timber demand is rising while supplies are growing increasingly scarce with the government’s forest moratorium.

“Bamboo actually has the chance of serving as a wood substitute and later becoming green wood or a sustainable substitute,” Desy said.

Although bamboo is not yet widely utilized, the project’s location has made it able to sell bamboo as a promising commodity.

Penglipuran, with its bamboo forest and handicrafts, has become a world-famous tourist destination. Bangli is also known as a handicraft producer for local and export markets.

Surya Bambu Bali, owned by young businessman I Nengah Suwirya, is probably the only bamboo processing firm in Bali that applies a lamination technique — done by smoking bamboo for preservation. With this process, bamboo can last up to 30 years.

Nengah, who sells bamboo blocks, planks, flooring, walls and furniture, said his products have been exported to Japan and Europe.

“Westerners prefer laminated bamboo because it uses no hazardous chemicals and is cheaper than Japanese products,” said Nengah.

His products cost Rp 650,000 (US$54) per square meter. For international buyers, the price is Rp 750,000. A nine-square-meter gazebo is sold at Rp 100 million per unit.

So far, he said that he obtained raw materials from Kintamani and Bangli. When there was a shortage of materials due to big orders, Sumatra and Java remained potential suppliers.

Green School, an international school in Ubud, Bali, renowned for its unique bamboo buildings and furniture, also gets its giant bamboo species from East Java.

With such diverse uses for bamboo, however, Indonesia remains behind China. With vast areas of community-owned bamboo plantations, Indonesia still imports toothpicks, skewers, chopsticks and incense from China.
Lamp from Bamboo in a hotel

In fact, according to Desy, Indonesian bamboo species have greater potential than those of China.

“China has no petung bamboo [Dendrocalamus asper], among others,” said Desy. Petung is a large-sized bamboo species widely found in Indonesia and generally used for housing construction and furniture, while its shoots can be consumed as a side dish.

In Indonesia, however, bamboo management has not yet become synergic, with a gap remaining between the upstream sector of bamboo farmers and growers, and the downstream sector of bamboo utilization and industry.

The revitalization project aims to examine and promote bamboo management from upstream to downstream levels and Bangli has been chosen for being Bali’s largest producer with its processing industry.

Government policy is not yet pro-bamboo either. Over the past 20 years, China has planted bamboo on 50,000 to 100,000 ha of land annually and provided employment for some 35 million people.

The Indonesian government has yet to intervene by conducting any kind of national campaign for bamboo revitalization. The Indonesian Embassy in Belgium started with the World Bamboo Congress in 2012.

“Ambassador Arif Havas Oegroseno was its motivator,” Desy said.

The Environment and Forestry Ministry has a program for planting 10 ha of bamboo trees per regency in Java and Bali, which began in 2014. The Environment and Forestry Ministry boosts bamboo planting through activist groups and the Industry Ministry stimulates community-based bamboo industries.

The increasing demand and market opportunities call for bamboo cultivation technology, such as the tissue-culture method.
Professor Anto Rimbawanto, an entrepreneur of bamboo tissue-culture expert and founder of PT Bambu Nusa Verde, said the technology could reduce bamboo’s rooting and improve growth time to eight months, compared to 1.5 years by grafting. 

The technology, he said, certainly required considerable investment, such as in sterile equipment and trained personnel, but the effort could create the prospect of a more sustainable bamboo industry with greater economic value. 

“And in the process, the widespread paradigm that bamboo is for the poor can be changed to bamboo for the rich with a bigger income being accrued from it,” he said.

— Photos by Lily G. Nababan

Betung Kerihun; Wonders in the Heart of West Kalimantan

Riam Bakang, Kapuas River
Those in search of clear waters and pristine tropical rain forests amid the chirps of birds and the hoots of orangutan can find a piece of heaven in Betung Kerihun National Park, deep in the heart of Kapuas Hulu, West Kalimantan.
Betung Kerihun takes its name from Mount Betung in the west and Mt. Kerihun in the east. The park is a highland zone, part of the Muller mountain range and bordering on Sarawak, Malaysia.

Djohan Utama Perbatasari, runs the 800,000-hectare park. He cites four areas as ripe for ecotourism: the basins of the Embaloh, Kapuas, Mendalam and Sibau rivers. 

The basins offer river cruises, chances to see exotic flora and fauna, treks to waterfalls, fishing, body rafting and more, he says.

Also a favorite for the adventurous is cruising along the Kapuas River to visit the Nanga Bungan and villages populated by members of the Punan Hovongan Dayak community. 

Traveling by longboat allows views of traditional farms, meranti forests, gold mining as well as Dayak and Malay settlements. Over ten rapids can be seen on the way to the estuary of the Nangan Bungan. 

Bungan Jaya sits near the confluence of the Kapuas River and the Bungan River, its tributary. 

Unlike the muddy situation found downstream, water from the Bungan is clear and lush vegetation can be seen on both sides of its banks. 

“It’s part of the [park] and is in the upper reaches of the Kapuas,” said Johardy, a Bungan-Lokang ranger. A dense, pristine rain forest flourishes in the area, with green hills in the morning engulfed in mist. Local residents sell Dayak bead handicrafts and mandau traditional daggers.

is located deeper in the park, about a three- to four-hour journey from Nanga Bungan by longboat. Travelers must also take a 10-minute walk along the river’s banks and cross a wooden bridge over , which are too hazardous for navigation. 

During the dry season, boats attempting to travel the rapids can be dashed against the many rocks and boulders visible in the stream. 

When the river is at its highest, the truck-sized boulders cannot be seen. “When it’s very dangerous, we carry the boat and cross the wooden bridge,” said Simon, a longboat skipper. 

The nearby Homatop rapids, however, can still be enjoyed before arriving in . Rafters looking for an adrenaline rush can try the Lapan and Matahari rapids, with even more extreme surface conditions. 

The residents of don’t live in typical Dayak longhouses, although they do offer tourists durable homemade woven handicrafts. They also stage traditional dances and music, especially during the gawai, or harvest, in April or May.
Tanjung Lokang
Spelunkers and rock climbers take note: Four hours’ walk from the village leads to a cave where edible swallows’ nests can be found. Several tembawang “holes” are there containing the remains of the Dayak’s ancestors. In the Liang Kahung tembawang, for example, bones and skulls can be seen. 

Off the beaten track is rarely visited Embaloh, to the west of Putussibau, the regency capital. The area has been served by boats from the nearby tourist village of Sadap since 2011. 

The Iban Dayak who live in Embaloh have renovated their community longhouse with wooden pillars, bamboo walls and wooden shingle roofs. Its 27 rooms are occupied by 47 families. During the day, women can be spotted weaving cloth and crafting utensils on the building’s terrace.

The green waters of the Embaloh River mark the entrance to the park proper. At the end of the river, which runs 1 to 2 meters deep along its 168-kilometer length, is Tekelan, reachable in three hours by longboat. 

Nature lovers will be amazed as they enter the rain forest, where orangutans, deer, lizards and birds such as oriental darters, raja udang and white-beaked hornbills await. 
Ensurai trees thrive along the riverbanks, despite the strong currents, while in the interior of the forest, meranti trees dominate. The waters, however, are pristine, allowing views of the river bed and swarms of fish.

 According to Irawan, the head of Sebabai Resort, 103 fish species live in the Embaloh River and its tributaries, including semah fish, whose sweet taste commands prices upwards of Rp 800,000 (US$70) per kilogram. 

“This is a fishing paradise,” Irawan said.
Raja Brook Butterflies, Mascot of BKNP

Nanga Tekelan Camp near the Tekelan River, one of the Embaloh’s tributaries, has a camping area complete with bathrooms, toilets and clean water. 

“The water has the same quality as drinking water, as a German surveyor once indicated here,” Irawan said. The forest behind the campground offers light trekking paths, while the river’s rocky banks are broad enough for relaxation — and for enjoying bonfires at night. 

Swimming, however, is limited to the area near the shore due to the river’s string current.

Further down river is Derian Camp, the starting point for those seeking to climb Mt. Betung. It takes just half a day to scale its summit, compared to three days up and one day down for Mt. Condong. 

Orangutan dens lie along the ascending treks. There’s also a trail from Derian leading to Pajau Cave, home to different wildlife species, notably rhino hornbills. 

The Naris rapids, difficult to pass by boat, are not far from Derian. 

In the dry season, tourists can see semah fish teeming in the pond-like river between the Naris and Pajau rivers — or can don some safety equipment and go board or body rafting to Derian.

Many waterfalls, such as the Dajo and Laboh, can be seen cascading along the Embaloh River. Tourists can walk along its shallow tributaries for a few hundred meters to reach the falls. 

Ecotourists may also be interested in the oldest betang (longhouse) owned by the Tamambaloh Dayak in Sungai Uluk Palin, North Putussibau. 

Situated in the Sibau River basin about 45 minutes from Putussibau, the century-old building is 240 meters long, 18 meters long and 8 meters high. 

Even though the longhouse has been reduced from an initial height of 12 meters, it remains the longest and tallest in West Kalimantan with ironwood foundations. It houses 137 families in its 53 rooms and residents sell their handmade woven handicrafts and bead accessories. Staying with the Taman Dayak group can be a memorable experience.

The Baligundi longhouse in Sibau Hulu village offers rooms for guests. While not as large as the Sungulok Apalin longhouse in North Putussibau, the Baligundi is still huge: 150 meters long and with 23 rooms.

It’s a place where visitors can experience some (equally large) hospitality, as well. 

— Photos by Lily G. Nababan - 
See more at: http://m.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/03/18/betung-kerihun-wonders-heart-west-kalimantan.html#sthash.BAG4XUn6.dpuf


Herman Suradja: Continuous alignment and communication to boost company growth


Herman Suradja always emphasizes the importance of continuous alignment and communication to boost company growth. 

The 48-year-old executive believes that when a leader’s business understanding and strategy is also well received by his subordinates, they will perform better.

“In order for our system to work properly in the organization, employees must be motivated and aware so that their superiors don’t have to constantly supervise them,” said CEO of PT ABC President Indonesia (ABC PI).

That is why, he added, continuous alignment and communication was vital as the company has numerous employees from various backgrounds.

Herman was referring to the alignment concept presented by Fred Smith, chairman of FedEX, in which he says that an optimum situation is when strategy, employees, customers and the entire process collaborate with each other in an integrated way for company growth and profitability.

Management functions, such as planning, organization, staffing, directing and controlling, can only be perfect based on effective communication. “Alignment integrates the same understanding and reasons or purpose,” commented the Parahyangan Catholic University civil engineering school graduate.

For Herman, both constant alignment and communication are important for the relationship between shareholders and employees.

Herman started his career as a marketing executive at an electronic company after graduating from the education program at Wijawiyata Manajemen Institut PPM (Jakarta). He then moved around between several companies with continuous promotions. His longest position was 10 years at an international pharmaceutical company where he started as a manager and was soon after promoted to trade sales director. He also got the opportunity to work at the company’s branch in Malaysia for three years. “The work was complicated there. There were many assignments but they were extremely interesting,” he recalled.

Ideally, all employees should understand how their work contributes to the company’s business strategy and target. However, Herman admits that there are different preferences in each individual and as a leader, he simply cannot accommodate everything. Sometimes he has to direct according to his own preferences. Most importantly, whatever his decisions are, all employees must be aware of the reasons why he made those decisions so they are aligned 100 percent and can give their full support instead of waiting for the right time to offer criticism.

“We give them due recognition and also teach them to be more open and transparent so that they become more developed, mature and capable,” stressed Herman, who answers directly to the corporate principal in Taiwan.

A leader should reach a level where success not only belongs to him or her but to all. A leader should not claim the achievements as purely his or hers. “The important thing is the end result, the way it is achieved, while who did it is secondary,” said the father of three girls.

Alignment with shareholders is equally important to get their support and involvement in critical steps such as investment, changes in distribution style, team structure as well as branding, which are all discussed during quarterly or mid-year meetings.

Herman, who joined PT ABC President Indonesia in 2008, understands that communication does not always flow smoothly. Differences in views or opinions are healthy, he said, as it meant that there was passion. As each person has a different view, he can use those views to enrich his decisions.

“A leader only has to manage. He or she shouldn’t waste energy on conflicts,” explained Herman. Common goals must be found to solve conflicts through communication. In some cases, conflicts are allowed as it means there is a sense of belonging and involvement.

According to Herman, sales increases or maintenance is closely related to the capability of an organization.

Creating a pleasant and creative working atmosphere very much depends on the leader and as CEO; he always strives to give them such an atmosphere. “We want our employees to love their work and avoid work stress,” said Herman.

Problems, however, always occur. Herman sometimes creates distance between himself and the problem. When disagreeing with shareholders or the owner, he chooses to go along with what they wish while observing the process. Time usually provided a lesson about the crux of their wishes, he said.

Previously as a manager and director, he had experienced sales targets that were not achieved and erroneous delivery. But he dealt with those issues by distancing himself from the problem so that he could see it clearly and find a solution.

He cited an example regarding Minimum Regional Wages (UMR), which were increased by 40 percent, exceeding his forecast of 20 percent.

“There was nothing to panic about,” he said. As the company holds the principle of abiding by government regulations, Herman and his management team looked for a smart solution. Employee salaries were raised as per the new UMR but the company made operations more efficient by simplifying the business process and negotiated with suppliers about payment deadlines.

As the leader, Herman instilled good spirits in his employees. They were given flexible hours: eight hours in the office Monday-Thursday and seven hours on Friday’s. However employees have to be available between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

“They have to be at the 9 o’clock meeting,” said Herman. Herman is also flexible in emergency situations.He told them to work from home or cafes that had Wi-Fi, as all of them had been provided with laptops.

Apart from enhancing the effectiveness of each department, Herman also revamped his company’s organizational structure by increasing the role of human resources department.

“Each department should have a focus and puts forward merit and promotion based on achievements,” he concluded.
Experience:
Holds a position as CEO of PT ABC President Indonesia since 2008. Previously, he held managerial position in several companies, including PT Topindo Atlas Asia as managing director (2006), PT Mead Johnson Indonesia & Bristol Myers Squibb Sdn. Bhd as trade sales director (1997) and PT Beiersdorf Indonesia as deputy group product manager (1993).

Education:
Graduated from University of Parahyangan Civil Engineering School (1988)
Lily Glorida Nababan, Contributor, Jakarta | Business | Sat, September 21 2013, 2:56 PM