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‘One team, one spirit, one goal’ at ASDP

Article - November 12, 2014

A redefinition of corporate culture has led to a change of fortunes at ferry company PT ASDP Indonesia Ferry (Persero)


In a country like Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,000 islands, sea transportation is vital. Ferry companies are tasked with the difficult challenge of transporting tens of millions of passengers and vehicles each year across an intricate collection of islands that span three separate time zones.  

For more than 40 years, PT ASDP Indonesia Ferry (Persero) has been a key player in Indonesia’s maritime transportation industry. Ferrying 7 million passengers and 2 million vehicles annually, it is the largest ferry company in terms of fleet size and number of routes. However, for a period up to 2011 it had been going through some difficult times, when its level of success had not matched its size.

A poorly run state-owned enterprise (SOE) facing stiff competition from several smaller but efficiently managed private operators, the company was operating at a loss and had not expanded its fleet for more than 30 years.

In 2011, Danang S. Baskoro was brought in to turn things around and his achievements so far have been nothing short of phenomenal. The former president director of Merpati Nusantara Airlines and Jakarta International Container Terminal, Mr. Baskoro introduced a new corporate culture to ASDP, as well as a completely new IT system, a $50 million training program, and an ambitious five-year strategic plan.

Three years since he took the reins, the company is now making profit and turnover has more than tripled from $60 million to $200 million. So effective has the turnaround been that ASDP was officially named Indonesia’s most successful SOE in Indonesia in 2013 and 2014.

There are plans to increase the fleet from 130 to 250 vessels by 2019, as the President sets his sights on expansion across the whole the Southeast Asia.

Perhaps the most crucial factor in ASDP’s renaissance has been the redefining of corporate culture. “To start with, I assessed the general managers in each branch of each province and decided to reshuffle the personnel in order to change the company culture,” explains Mr. Danang. “The desire to be a more unified company led to the creation of our new slogan: ‘One Team, One Spirit, One Goal’.”

He has also introduced tri-monthly performance reviews which he says have “motivated our employees to be more ambitious”.

Ambition is what defines Danang S. Baskoro: not just satisfied with becoming the number one operator in Indonesia, he envisages the company as the leading operator across the entire region of Southeast Asia.

“Indonesia will become a member of the Asean Economic Community in 2015 and ASDP will focus on regional expansion. By the end of my term as president director, in 2016, I want ASDP to be the largest player in the regional and global ferry business. It is an ambitious plan, but I believe that we can achieve our goals even ahead of schedule,” says Mr. Danang.