Lisa Yulia – COO, Bias Mandiri Group, Indonesia
The COO of the Bias Mandiri Group (BMG) in Indonesia discusses how commitment to Indonesia and emphasis on local content has been a pillar of success on their way to become the dominant indigenous logistics conglomerate in Indonesia. She furthermore highlights the advantages Batam offers to their business as location and explains her highly irregular yet successful career path, which led her to become one of the youngest leaders in Indonesia.
The Bias Mandiri Group is a conglomerate of different companies offering logistic services to the Oil and Gas Industry. What exactly can you offer to the Oil and Gas Industry?
Bias Mandiri Group (BMG) consists of five different companies, namely PT. Batam Samudra, PT. Pelayaran Batam Samudra, PT. Batam Samudra Jaya, PT. Bias Delta Pratama, and PT. Bias Samudra, each of which is specialized to cover specific needs surrounding logistics for our clients. The combined efforts of our companies make BMG the leading domestic provider of forwarding, shipping, port services and marine services based out of Batam, with multiple affiliates on the mainland.
Altogether we can offer the best services in project mobilization including vessel handling, customs, immigration, and quarantine and handling port authorities across Indonesia. The unique landscape as an archipelago of over 17,500 islands create a huge demand in reporting in between all the authorities involved in the individual ports and our longstanding experience in Indonesia allows us to fully meet all aspirations of our clients in these rather challenging conditions.
Where do you identify as the most promising opportunities in the Oil and Gas industry for BMG in the future?
The future of Indonesia’s oil and gas industry will rely on its offshore and deep water activities and we believe that future projects of the industry will be focused in that area. We are fully prepared to assist any related oil and gas projects to the fullest with our services. These include, but are not limited to, hiring of vessels and crew, arranging transportation for heavy equipment, and handling permits, which we combine with excellent expertise held to international standards. We are ISO 9001:2008 (Quality Management System Requirements) certified and can showcase a genuinely spotless track record of more than twenty years of success for our clients across Indonesia.
Offshore and deep-water projects require a tremendous amount of expertise and quality including well established connections to relevant government authorities to ease business for our clients. We have specialized in obtaining permits and licences needed for our clients to fully operate in Indonesia. We are committed to excellence in all our operations which made us the one-stop full-solution shipping agent of choice for the Oil and Gas industry in Indonesia!
The government’s policy of empowering the Indonesian economy includes high requirements towards local content. Where does BMG position itself in this context?
BMG has been committed to Indonesia for more than twenty years and we have emphasized local content throughout our history. We can proudly say that we reached 100 percent local content in the past years through pure domestic sourcing.
To win tenders in Indonesia, quality and price-competitiveness is required, however local content is the key to success as especially state owned companies (SOEs) will strive to grant contracts to the companies which are the most committed to Indonesia and its individual communities. Our strong commitment to Indonesia has not gone unnoticed by relevant authorities and it has become one of the characteristic we have become known for: Indonesian excellence!
High quality services require high quality staff. Is it a challenge to source human resources from Indonesia only?
The Indonesian education system has tremendously developed over the past decades and we have reached an overall education level where we are not required to rely on expatriates at all. We make it a point to only hire Indonesians as it is part of our responsibility to the Indonesian community to not source internationally if not necessary. Our workforce usually comes from a very diverse professional background and can source from various experiences in the logistic industry; one of our key strengths in providing leading services to major oil and gas clients!
In a nutshell: Why is BMG to perfect partner for Oil and Gas companies?
We are the total solution provider, able to offer a wide range of services tailored to fit together to meet the individual need of our clients and specialization for permits and authority handling.
We can proceed all vessels, projects and mobilization challenges to help our clients to meet their full aspirations for their operation. With a genuine flexible, efficient and effective approach tailored to individual needs we ensure the success of our client’s projects. “Beyond customer satisfaction”; our creed to live by and our promise to our clients.
You chose to base your headquarters in Batam and have branch offices on the mainland. What was the rationale behind choosing Batam as the location for your headquarters?
We chose Batam as location for our headquarters as it provides the most benefits to us and our clients alike. As a long-established free trade zone, our operations are not subject to certain taxes and neither are our clients. The ease of doing business is far advanced compared to the mainland as well. The government aims to use Batam as an anchor for further development of the Indonesian maritime business; thus regulations, permits and authorities are generally obtained in a far less bureaucratic way in comparison to the other economic hubs across Indonesia. From a purely geographical standpoint, Batam also offers unique advantages as well; it provides proximity to Singapore and Malaysia which allows our clients to disposition vessels to their clients in nearby economies and have them back within the same day. On the same note, many Malaysian and Singaporean vessels anchor in Batam to source equipment and provisions as the cost advantage is obvious in light of Batam being a free trade zone. Our government’s efforts have developed Batam tremendously over the past decades and I genuinely believe that Batam has the potential to become a larger and better Singapore in the future!
As an expert in the industry, how do you assess the current state of Indonesia’s infrastructure?
First of all I would like to emphasize that although certain areas are in need of further investments, from a logistical perspective the Indonesian infrastructure is already very well developed! Our government has successfully invested in infrastructure development and I am confident the remaining investments that is needed will follow. Batam, as the previously mentioned anchor for the Indonesian maritime business, has developed even more than other regions as investments have been targeted on Batam to a certain extent, therefore the Infrastructure on Batam supports business growth and will keep doing so in the future!
You’re currently 29 years old and COO of one of the largest Indonesian companies, how did you achieve this much success in your career life?
It has always been my ambition to find a role where I am able to develop myself and where I can contribute to the development of Indonesia. I started in BMG as a payment collection officer and soon exceeded my targets. In this role I gained a well-rounded perspective on the full scope of our clients and was able to establish initial contacts within our client network. The owner of BMG recognized my hard work and gave me the opportunity to become his personal secretary. The work in the proximity of the owner gave me invaluable insights in the market and our operations. I was soon to assume the role of project coordinator, from where I moved to head of sales and marketing which allowed me to further deepen my industry knowledge and was where I established new market niches for us to cover. I started to lead and develop my own projects for major oil and gas clients and thus established us as the ‘go-to’ partner in the industry. Having had this well round experience in the company I assumed the position of the general manager and was soon after promoted to COO of BMG.
As irregular as my career path may sound; hard work, dedication, and genuine interest in constant development is the foundation for my success!
You’re not only one of the youngest leaders in this industry, you are also one of the rather rare female leaders in this industry. As role model for women aspiring to a career in this industry, what is the advice you would like to give?
My advice for young Indonesian women is: don’t be afraid to start something new! Don’t be afraid to take risks, overcome challenges and become a better person! I never said “No, I can’t handle this” – it is simply not in my dictionary and this is also how I am known by my clients. When there is a challenge I embrace it and find a solution. I will not moan about how big a challenge is and think about the problems I am standing off; I am talking about the solution and letting my clients know how to apply this to their business. This is a general way of embracing life – not just business! Don’t focus on what is holding you back, focus on what will bring you forward! In a nutshell: work hard, believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to try something new! Then you will be able to achieve anything you want in any industry, no matter how male dominated it may be!