“If you want to succeed in this industry, you need to think out of the box,” says President Director of Perum Damri
When Agus Suherman Subrata took over in 2011 as President Director of Perum Damri, Indonesia’s state-owned bus company, “all of my senior managers pushed me to make the best of Damri,” he recalls; and that is certainly what he has done in his first three years.
Mr. Subrata has reinvigorated operations, adopting what he calls, an “aggressive expansion policy” at Damri, a public company in a market where competition is fierce from private firms.
“Innovation and expansion is critical to serve this market. If you want to succeed in this industry, you need to think out of the box. Last year we replaced and reconditioned over 1,000 of our buses and launched 40 of our royal buses. We now have city and inter-city buses, an airport service, cargo busses, 2,600 total passenger buses and 59 offices across provincial Indonesia.”
The focus in 2014 has been on reaching “aggressive strategy targets”, he says. “This year we are drafting a long-term plan. We want to deliver an excellent product and centralize operation control. In 2018 we want to be the leader of land transportation in Indonesia. The potential for our business in the future is huge.”
Indeed, better company performance will be intrinsically linked to better staff performance. This is why in the last two years the company has sent 63 employees to receive master’s degrees related to the transportation industry.
“I feel now, every year, the business is becoming more complex,” states the Damri boss. “Human resources will be critical to helping Damri manage this complexity.”
Increased efficiency of human resources will be coupled with increased efficiency of its buses: moving with the times, the bus firm has plans to change its entire fleet over to much more environmentally friendly gas engines in the long term.
Already, several of its newer buses are running on Korean-made gas engines and Damri is currently constructing a gas refueling station in partnership with an Indonesian state-owned natural gas company.