Stanley Setia Atmadja: Blending Hard Work with Passion

The history of the automotive industry is simply fantastic. Various makes and brands of cars were available in Indonesia long before the country gained independence. And as time has passed these cars have become classics. This was the reason that Otoblitz and Adira Finance decided to hold the Adira-Otoblitz Classic Car Show from June 29 to July 1 at Kartika Expo Center, Balai Kartini, Jakarta.

“Indonesia has a heritage of rare classic cars that are in top condition,” said Stanley Setia Atmadja, president director of PT Adira Finance, one of the people behind the show.

It is not without reason that Atmadja was involved in the highly anticipated show. Atmadja, also president director of PT Asco Automotive and chief commissioner of Ascomaxx, is an ardent aficionado of classic cars. The auto show was meant to be a turning point for his financing company to convert motorcyclists to car owners.

“Adira is mainly known as a financier of motorcycle purchases, but now we are going to increase financing for car purchases as well,” explained the man who was born in Jakarta on Aug. 24, 1956.

He said that currently Adira Finance’s lenders comprised 70 percent motorcycle purchasers and 30 percent car owners. “We are striving for a 50-50 figure, which probably will be realized in two years,” stated Atmadja, who received his Master’s degree in business administration from the University of La Verne in California, the U.S.

Since its establishment, said Atmadja, Adira Finance, with its current network of 260 offices throughout Indonesia, wanted to focus on cars and other four-wheeled vehicles. However, a drop in car sales after the country’s economic crisis in 1997-1998 saw Adira Finance extending more financing for motorcycle purchases. At present the number of car owners financed through the company stands at 300,000 with a total financing value of Rp 3 trillion, while the company’s financing business for motorcycle purchases is much larger. “We have 1.1 million customers in the motorcycle financing section valued at about Rp 7 trillion,” he said.

After leaving Citibank in 1991 he started his own company with only five employees and it has developed into a giant-sized company with about 12,000 employees. This fact makes Atmadja truly proud in running Adira Finance, which has assets worth Rp 11 trillion.

Currently, the major shareholder of Adira Finance is Bank Danamon (75 percent) and Mega Value Profits Ltd. owns 17.4 percent while the remaining 7.6 percent belongs to the public.

The automotive business on the national scale, especially the financing part, according to Atmadja, has been an extraordinary story. At the end of 1998, when the recession eased, only 880,000 motorcycles were sold. In five years the figure jumped to 2.8 million. The year 2006 saw a fantastic increase to 4.4 million.

However, the figure is minuscule if one considers the country’s population of 234 million. “The ownership ratio of motorcycles here is still low, about 10 to one,” said the man who started his career at PT Metro Sarana Motor, one of Astra’s authorized dealers and workshops.

Atmadja has indeed been astute in recognizing opportunities. Today, through his management, Adira has become the number one player in motorcycle financing. “The key is passion and hard work,” said the man, who is always impeccably dressed.

However, it must be admitted that sales in the automotive industry, both cars and motorcycles, are not as robust as recent years. Reasons include the prolonged effects of fuel price hike some time ago, reduced purchasing power and high interest rates, which are gradually coming down.

Although the macro economic situation is not favorable, Adira Finance remains highly active. In line with the company’s specialty in handling retail financing, Adira Finance concentrates on financing with a high rate of return. With huge financial support from Bank Danamon as well as a high degree of dedication and professionalism, the company was able to acquire Rp 8.5 trillion in business in 2006.

Motorcycle financing contributed the most, 74.5 percent, while the balance, 25.5 percent, came from the car business. This means that Adira Finance financed 12.2 percent of total motorcycle sales in the country and 3.9 percent of cars in the year 2006.

The company’s achievement was recognized by a survey conducted by the Indonesian Customer Satisfaction Award Index (ICSA Index) 2006 supported by Frontier and SWA magazines. Adira Finance emerged the winner in the motorcycle financing category, overtaking PT Federal International Finance, which used to be the ICSA number one every year.

Atmadja explained that the customer satisfaction award was due to various factors, including his strategy for the past four years to increase the number of branch offices, enhancing the competency of human resources and strengthening each process with the latest technology.

Atmadja, who was also named “Entrepreneur of the Year 2002” by Ernst & Young, said that the level of service can ascertain the level of customer satisfaction. What is offered by Adira Finance, for example, is a speedy credit approval process and the return of the Vehicle Ownership Book (BPKB) when the credit is fully repaid, renewal of vehicle registration documents (STNK), convenient payment system, either at Adira’s branches, BCA ATMs or Danamon as well as post offices throughout Indonesia. 

“Our various services provide customers with utmost convenience and satisfaction when doing business with Adira,” said The Best CEO 2005 in explaining his strategy for success.

Now, he said, the most important thing is to increase the competency of the company’s manpower, from the headquarters down to the branches, including improvement of their mentality through various training, workshops and so forth. He appears obsessed with making Adira not only the top multifinance company based on business and performance, but also based on customer satisfaction. To achieve this he has a leadership model based on the following: trust, respect, delegation, reward and punishment.

He believes that if such principles can be implemented by a company leader, the company will automatically run well. “One should not handle everything oneself. A leader should be a harmonizer, unifier and decision-maker,” said the father of two. (Burhan Abe)

The Jakarta Post, August 08, 2007

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