JONFIS Fandy never imagined that one day he would be a director at an international company, let alone marketing and after sales director at PT Honda Prospect Motor (HPM). He has indeed climbed to the top position from the lowest rung of the ladder.
After earning a degree in management from Tarumanegara University in Jakarta in 1992, Jonfis, who was born in Binjai, North Sumatra, went to work for a private bank. The job did not last long though as the bank closed down shortly after. Next he applied for a job at Honda in March 1993. He was officially accepted as a trainee on April 16, 1993.
He gained a lot of experience in his new job. Training was conducted in the manufacturing plant, and he acquired much knowledge about teamwork, manufacturing, assembling, diligence, accuracy and quality control, all of which are required to make a quality product.
“Everything was a challenge and I was learning all the time,” he said, adding that challenges are nothing to fear but something to conquer.
In 1996, he was introduced to marketing as a salesman and eventually reached the position of branch manager. “I ended up knowing more about product marketing, after-sales service, maintenance and lots of other things related to marketing. While my educational background had nothing to do with repairs and the like, I used most of my management skills to master marketing and everything else,” he said.
He is considered ambitious in his job. “In principal, as a professional once we know the basics we can further develop our knowledge,” he said. According to Jonfis, knowledge is based on data but the balance comes from the heart. He considers books, the Internet, colleagues and superiors as most valuable teachers in his career.
He considers success a journey but not a final destination. He also regards management as an art. The principle he adheres to is “think globally, act locally”. He said that this is the basic principle of an international company and one has to be able to interpret it properly. He explained that 51 percent of Honda’s workforce were Japanese.
“I have learned a lot of valuable lessons and garnered experience from both the expatriates as well as the locals. The expatriates’ knowledge and skills have opened my horizons and made me more mature,” said Jonfis.
Jonfis is admired by many for the way he works. He is also consistent in his determination to achieve the company’s sales target, 10 percent of domestic car sales totaling 500,000 vehicles. Last year’s sales reached 434,449 vehicles. He said he was optimistic about this year’s target for each class of car Honda is competing in.
He said the company thinks that 2008 will see improvements even though fuel prices have increased and the exchange rate is unstable because other macro economic indicators are favorable. He further said that each type of Honda car is a market leader in its class, except for the Honda Accord which is in the last year of production with its latest edition released in March 2008. “We feel sure that we will stay the market leader in each vehicle class,” he said.
Honda CR-V and Honda Jazz are the largest contributors in sales and are expected to be so for the rest of the year. Honda also excels in the sedan class with the highest market share and unit sales, at 44 percent and 10,015 units respectively. Meanwhile, the Honda City has maintained its position as the best seller in the mini sedan class. In 2007, 6,002 Honda City sedans were sold, making it the market leader in its class with 49 percent market share.
Just like the Honda City, the Honda Civic is also an achiever as proven by its position as a market leader in the small sedan class. Market share is 75 percent, while sales for 2007 was 3,520 units. In December alone, sales reached 202 vehicles.
Meanwhile, 491 Honda Accords were sold in 2007, which means a 10 percent market share in its class. The Honda CR-V, which the company relies on in the SUV class, has had excellent sales figures since its launch in January 2007 and has maintained its 48 percent market share.
Jonfis thinks that the competition has become far tighter. He said that in 1998, there were only 12 brands, while today there are 34 covering all vehicle classes. This means that everyone in the company, and especially Jonfis, has to be innovative and the best for their customers.
“More than 90 percent of the market share belongs to Japanese brands, who are our competitors. The most important factor is customer satisfaction. Once customers are satisfied, sales will automatically go up. Another important thing is to produce quality products at reasonable prices,” he concluded. (Iwan Suci Jatmiko)
The Jakarta Post, June 25, 2008