Saturday, Jul 21, 2018
Transport | Asia-Pacific | Indonesia

Sintesa Group: The largest distribution company in Indonesia

3 years ago
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Shinta Widjaja Kamdani

CEO of Sintesa Group

We are focusing in terms of the four pillars that Sintesa has which are consumer products, industrial products, property and energy

How do you think that Indonesia has taken advantage of this momentum of shift from west to east?

First of all when we look at Indonesia, we have to look at the Asian economy. As far as Asia is concerned we are the largest economy in South Asia and the largest populated country in Asia. So we have the largest market in Asia and therefore the positioning of Indonesia in the East is very important. It is really quite acceptable that obviously a shift happened in the world. Indonesia plays a better unique position in this area; this is also an incredible opportunity to look at all these different opportunities that certainly arise. With China rising and Asia becoming the leader continent, Indonesia also starts becoming a leader.

What is your opinion regarding the AEC, which is going to be launched next year, and how it is going to affect Indonesia?

Yes, for sure it is affecting Indonesia. Actually this is what we are very concerned about because it’s already happening next year. Preparation for Indonesia is still very slow.  We did a study in terms of the number of companies that are aware about AEC and only 40% of companies are aware and only 20% are really even taking advantage of what AEC is getting for them. So the number is still very low and part of our job also is doing that socialization to the business.

With this new government, this momentum that Indonesia is experiencing with a new president, what is your assessment of the capability of the tangible efforts that the government is doing to reduce the historical Indonesian challenges?

First of all Apindo has actually made a road map for the new government which was presented to the president. In that road map it has been stated very clearly some of the cross-sectorial issues, like you mentioned the legal certainty, the bureaucracy, the regional economy, labor issues, infrastructure, those are still very much becoming challenges for Indonesia. As to how government should kind of tackle the issues, we have presented suggestions based on our experience in the private sector.  First of all we need to give time for them to execute the program and then we have to be critical in terms of things that are not being done properly. So we believe the political will is there, the question is the execution.

How is the private sector, the business community, working towards a brighter and more environmentally friendly future in Indonesia?

Our president prospers and it has been very clear the title he wants to achieve for Indonesia and his leadership in the US will help bring Indonesia to a different level in terms of paying more attention on sustainable development. Where the private sector is concerned, this is not a priority to many in Indonesia, which is 80%. The multinationals are there to help us, for us to learn best practices from them and so forth, but we need to bring those local companies that are ready to embed it. It’s like any old DNA, sustainable development has to become part of the DNA of the company, and it cannot be just a program for image building. On the world business council it is very clear how the private sector is involved in sustainable development, how they actually do it on a company level. It is important for that combination of the economic, social and environmental component with sustainable development.

What kind of companies are you looking to enter into the national market and why should they choose Sintesa group as their partner?

We are already known as a company and as a group that can work together to form parties. So over the years since I established Sintesa in 1999 we have never had issues in terms of bringing partnerships to Indonesia because we have been known as that and we have proven with our track records, so many big and major companies that has been partnering with us. Except now we are focusing in terms of the four pillars that Sintesa has which is the consumer products, industrial products, property and energy. At the moment we have proven track record so we don’t have issue in bringing in foreign partner and we like the role that we play on some of the businesses that we know well. They come with the technology, with the expertise. We become their local partner more on the locality, on the governing aspect, licensing and so forth. So it really depends on the kind of partner in which area you looking at.

As an internationally recognized business woman you are a true example for your people, especially for women, so how do you feel about being a role model for Indonesia?

People say I am a triple minority because I am not just a woman, but I am also non-Muslim and I am also Chinese, so that’s a triple minority for me. People like me have one challenge in terms of putting ourselves in a leadership position, not just because I’m a woman, but because of the other parts as well. This is something that I continue fighting for. I am glad to be given this opportunity, it is important for younger people like me who want to be given that opportunity. We are not just inspiring others but we are being inspired by other people as well and I think this is a continued effort and cycle that we need to work on.

Looking at your background, you first studied psychology and dance, why dancing? What has that contributed to the person that you are right now?

First of all dance has been my hobby since I was very young so it has always been my passion, so when I was given the opportunity to study in New York City as an undergrad, I took that and decided to major in dance. But why I took a double major in dance is because I thought of New York as being an opportunity for me to explore more of my passion and I knew that I would not be having dance as a career and therefore I wanted to maximize my passion in New York City to really develop something that I am really passionate about. Having the opportunity to perform, to really take so many classes from so many good studios in New York, also outside of school, really helped me to bring my passion out.




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