Rudy J. Pesik: Always Reckoned with in Global Market

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Rudy J. Pesik is a familiar name but it is not easy to define this particular person. Just imagine that at present Rudy, born in Singapore on April 2, 1941, is the founder and chairman of over 70 companies with 250 branch offices in Indonesia and 15 other countries. “Automatically I keep 70 kinds of business cards and I give them out depending on who I’m talking to,” he said.

At present Rudy is also chairman of the French Management Institute (INSEAD), as well as the organization of INSEAD alumni in Indonesia. He is also chapter chairman of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), an active member of the World Presidents Organization (WPO) and Chief Executive Organization (CEO). In addition, he is the leader of the Indonesian Couriers Association (Asperindo).

As a businessman, Rudy is active in the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), particularly in the foreign investment and international trade department. He has developed business relations between ASEAN and Australia and New Zealand and promoted Indonesia as a leader of the medium and small enterprise movement. He is also a member of the WTO negotiating team and is involved in issues related to customs and trading facilities. In 2002, he assumed the position of vice president of the ASEAN Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI).

Rudy was elected first chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC), which was set up on April 10, 2003, and the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (A-BIS), which was established in October of the same year.

The list of his positions is long. Outside of business, Rudy is involved in a number of projects, such as the restoration of the old city of Batavia and the regreening of Jakarta. In 2004, he established the CEO Circle, of which he was chairman and published CEO magazine. “Don’t forget, I’m also active in the Miss Indonesia Foundation,” he said, chuckling.

It is indeed undeniable that the most prominent position that Rudy, who is Manadonese, holds is chairman and CEO of PT Birotika Semesta, the local partner of DHL International, a leading global logistics company. Rudy became involved in the courier business by chance. A mechanical engineering and industrial engineering graduate of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Rudy has established wide relations not only in Indonesia but also overseas. When DHL, all the shares of which are controlled by Deutsche Post World Net, was looking for a local partner in Indonesia, Rudy was recommended.

DHL first opened for business in Indonesia in 1973 but later severed its relationship with its first local partner. Rudy was therefore the next choice. “The fact is, they invited me to team up with them,” he said.

At first Rudy was hesitant and even looked down on the courier business. However, after studying this business more profoundly and considering its market potential in Indonesia, he agreed to cooperate with DHL in 1982.

Luckily, thanks to Rudy’s wide relations, major clients, including government ministries, who sorely needed a reliable messenger service, have entrusted their courier needs to DHL.

Having government ministries and major companies, including MNCs, as clients is quite a strong capital for further development of DHL in Indonesia. Under Rudy, who is a computer expert, DHL Indonesia has been transformed from a conventional courier company into a logistics company making use of information technology. Therefore, DHL not only provides services for the dispatch of goods but also provides supply chain management solutions. Today, after teaming up with PT Birotika Semesta for 25 years, DHL handles 70 to 100 tons of cargo every day in Indonesia. Turnover stands at US$75 million annually.

In addition, under the name of DHL Express, the company, with a global network covering 220 countries, controls 50 percent of the market of international express courier services to and from Indonesia.

There are four business lines of DHL Global, namely letter dispatch services, express courier, logistics and finance. In Indonesia, DHL focuses on two lines, namely express courier through DHL Express Indonesia and logistics services (dispatch of goods and warehousing services) through DHL Forwarding Indonesia.

Not satisfied with developing DHL, in 1985, Rudy set up the Caraka Group, which provides integrated logistics services. There are two companies in this group: PT Caraka Yasa, which runs the logistics and distribution business, and PT Mitrapiranti Usaha, which deals in courier and mailshop services. “When DHL no longer needs Birotika Semesta, we’ll still have Caraka,” said Rudy, who, since 2005, has been on the board of Inacraft and active in the conservation of Indonesian National Heritage sites.

As for Caraka, led by Rocky J. Pesik, Rudy’s eldest child, since 2002, this company may be said to be expansive enough. Within just a decade of operations, this group employs over 1,500 people in 60 branch offices. Its network covers 36 cities and uses 200 trucks and 650 motorcycles for its business. In 2006, one of its subsidiaries, PT Mitrapiranti Usaha, which handles the courier service business, for example, booked a sales volume of Rp 25 billion.

Despite tight competition, the courier business is still promising. Data compiled by Asperindo shows that the market for the domestic dispatch of goods grows by 15 to 20 percent a year. The market for this business was recorded at Rp 3 trillion in 2006. Although there are big opportunities, it takes a special business skill to get a slice of this business pie. Like DHL, Caraka also makes use of information technology to come up with service innovations. This company, for example, introduced its Caraka Image Tracking (C-IT, i.e. “see it”), a service enabling customers to track their consignments.

Under the C-IT scheme, couriers take a photograph with their mobile phones of the handing over of dispatched goods. Then, uploaded pictures of the recipients can be seen on the Web. “This is actually a cheap project. What is terrific about C-IT is not the technology, but the idea of it,” Rocky, a graduate of marine technology of ITB, once said.

What’s obvious is that mastery of information technology, Rudy noted, will greatly determine the competitive edge of a courier service company. The biggest market potential in this business comes from corporate clients, who tend not to be too price sensitive but who consider services to be of top priority. “To compete globally, we will continue to invest, improve the quality of our services and our employees, develop our IT network and introduce various innovations,” said Rudy, who looks younger than his age and has two grandchildren. (Burhan Abe)

The Jakarta Post, July 18, 2007
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