NO PAIN NO GAIN. At least this adage aptly describes the career of Harsha Edwana Joesoef, CEO of PT Republic Express (RPX). Harsha began his logistics service business in his family’s garage. Today this business is one of the most respectable logistics companies in Indonesia.
The origin of RPX Group was PT Repex Perdana, which was set up in about 1984 as a business unit holding the license of FedEx in Indonesia.
Today, the RPX Group has seven corporate groups under an integrated one-stop logistics system encompassing domestic, freight, airlines, warehouses, clearance and international express. For over 20 years, Harsha has been doing business in the logistics sector.
Starting from a garage, today he owns a number of successful companies and occupies a 17-story office building in Pondok Pinang, South Jakarta. Believing in the philosophy of People, Service and Profit (PSP), he has successfully built his own brand under the flagship of RPX, a company providing scheduled cargo delivery services.
Harsha has traveled a long road to get where is today. His success came through his perseverance in tapping the market. He set a target for RPX to be a regional player. The business of Republic Express (RPX) began in the garage of the house of Harsha’s parents in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta.
At first, this business involved only eight employees and the company took care of only six or eight delivery packages a day. These packages were delivered by three Mitsubishi L-300 vans and several motorcycles. Today, RPX is a one-stop logistics company with 1,500 employees.
Besides occupying the 17-floor building in Pondok Pinang, RPX has hundreds of branch offices in dozens of cities across Indonesia. Today RPX has two Boeing 737-200 aircraft as well as hundreds of trucks, vans, minivans and motorcycles. Harsha’s philosophy in developing RPX is in the same vein as that of FedEx, namely PSP.
“This means that if we treat employees (People) well, they will give good service (Service). Thanks to the good service, customers will be pleased. If they are pleased, they will return this good service in the form of profit for the company (Profit),” said Harsha when met in his office recently.
Harsha, a graduate of the civil engineering department at the University of Indonesia in 1977, it took him 10 years to prepare the logistics infrastructure, service quality and global network of RPX Holding. “At first, we delivered only six packages a day. Today we deliver thousands of packages of documents or goods a day,” said Harsha, who also earned his Master of Science degree from the University of Texas, El Paso, U.S.
Today, the volume of goods that RPX delivers, either at home or abroad, totals 100 tons a day. The total annual revenue of the company stands at US$90 million. RPX, Harsha said, is a local logistics company that has reached the stage of supply chain management (SCM) with its own facilities.
Indeed, RPX always pays serious attention to the up-to-date and user friendly, accurate and safe system of sophisticated IT in running its business. That’s why all RPX subsidiaries have a solid and integrated IT system.
Harsha acknowledges that the IT system that RPX applies is inseparable from the adoption of FedEx’s IT system. “We (RPX) are the license holder of FedEx, so the benchmark of RPX, including the IT system, certainly refers to FedEx. We studied how FedEx built all this and then designed our own and implemented it. We developed the software by ourselves,” Harsha said.
At present, RPX has some 30 people on its information technology team. “They are professional in that are experts in their field and will always come up with breakthroughs.”
Harsha said the courier service is varied, both in the dispatch of goods and business documents. All this requires security guarantees, speed and timeliness. Sometimes a company must get in touch with a number of service providers, for example packaging services, license processing services and delivery services. So there are at least three service companies that a company must contact and coordinate for one dispatch.
To expedite this, RPX practices the one-stop logistics concept. Whatever the goods or documents to be dispatched to any destination either overland, by sea or by air plus customs affairs, warehousing for transit and storage can all be controlled by one company. “All can be controlled thanks to an integrated standard of procedure. This is an opportunity and must be made use of to the maximum,” Harsha noted.
Partnership is the manifestation of the principle of equality. So, when a national firm and a foreign company form a partnership, they should be perceived as equal partners and the national company should not be seen as the “errand boy”. It is this idea that prompted Harsha to partner with international companies like FedEx, Eagle Global Logistics and Sumitomo.
“We must realize that as a local partner, we are the expert at the domestic level. We must be a player that really knows the problems at the local level. So, it is this that we sell to our partners so that they use us as their local expert in Indonesia,” Harsha said.
RPX formed a partnership with FedEx and Eagle Global Logistics (with a network in five continents) and a joint venture with a Japanese company, Sumitomo. That’s why Harsha rejected the assumption that all national companies partnering with foreign corporations are “errand boys” for the foreign companies.
“If we had not fostered cooperation with FedEx and the others, I don’t think RPX would be in its position today. Partnership means realizing the principle of equality,” he stressed. How unique it is. (Iwan Suci Jatmiko)
The Jakarta Post, September 17, 2008