MODEST and wise in appearance, PT Cyberindo Aditama (CBNnet) president/CEO Bayu Dani Danarto Sumarsono gives the impression that he is a very religious person. As a top-ranking officer in a well-known IT company, this gentlemen, who friends call Dani, is indeed modest and open.
Dani’s career in IT is supported by his educational background. Dani holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Portland, Oregon, U.S. and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, U.S.
Dani said he did not come from a business-minded family. His father was a civil servant. In 1993, he started working at PT Makindo as a corporate finance officer. He then joined PT Inter Pasific Sekuritas as a research analyst. A year later he became an investment banker (structured finance division) at PT Sigma Batara.
Indeed, from the beginning of his career, Dani had always had something to do with finance. This went on until he met three former university classmates. The four friends — Dani Sumarsono, Tonny Hariman, Sugiharto Darma Kusuma and Ichsan Budiarso — decided to set up an Internet-based company. “The idea to set up this company initially came from Tonny, who convinced us that the Internet business had a very promising future,” said Dani.
At that time, the Internet was indeed new in Indonesia and there were no players in this sector. Many people were unfamiliar with the Internet. Unexpectedly, the Internet business flourished in a very short time. “In our vision, the future is the era of information. Some people even believe that whoever controls information can control the world. At first, we never envisioned CBN being like it is today. However, we were optimistic that CBN would grow with time. Honestly, though, we never expected CBN to grow to be as big as it is now,” said Dani, who admires Bill Gates and Gede Prama. In his opinion, the potential of the Internet business in Indonesia is huge. The information sector will continue to develop and the Internet will always grow.
“Indeed, if you wish to make a breakthrough, you must get into this industry,” Dani said. “This is a business that is global in nature. We are trying to get everyone connected to the Internet. The reason is that people need communication. And the Internet is one of the modes of communication that is not only borderless and cheap but continues to evolve.
Uniquely, Dani said CBN did not sell the Internet; instead it sells humanity. He frequently adopts humanity as a philosophy in running his company. “The most basic idea in a business is humanity itself. Every individual must be able to give his or her service comprehensively, giving a true essence of a person,” he noted.
Dani, who is an avid golfer and reader of spiritual books, said that if one succeeds in business, it all comes from love. “Only people who are ‘served’ can ‘serve’. If you sow love, you will reap love. When someone is fulfilled in love, he will find no problem with the ‘dressing’. This means the price to pay will pose no problem at all. If the hearts of your customers are moved, they will be your loyal customers,” said Dani. Armed with this philosophy, Dani has never stopped educating the staffers of CBN so that they will continue to serve their customers sincerely.
It is this concept of humanity that is laden with loving kindness that has enabled Dani and his company to survive despite many hurdles. In 1998, Dani said by way of example, Indonesia was gripped by the economic crisis. Many companies collapsed in this massive economic turbulence.
CBN, however, managed to weather the storm, Dani said, because of the strong implementation of this concept of humanity (love). “We must survive! As this economic crisis is part of life, the most important thing is that we should avoid a ‘crisis of love’. In an economic crisis, you will be thinking about selling or buying and in the end you will find either a profit or a loss. However, we should never undergo a ‘crisis of love’ as this will have a wide-ranging impact, not only on the company but on how to become a complete person,” he noted.
The concept of humanist service is not just a philosophy but is coupled with product quality, such as good Internet access and evolving technologies. Evidently, CBN presents services of great variation. Take, for example, CBN Hotspots, which can be found in office buildings, shopping centers, hotels, restaurants and other strategic locations.
CBN has also introduced CBN DirectNet for subscribers in residential areas. Meanwhile, CBN opened a bandwidth path to Europe with fast access following the disruption in the international Internet connection as a result of the earthquake in Taiwan some time ago. CBN opened a bandwidth path with a capacity of 45 Mbps via satellite to Europe. This additional bandwidth path was intended to facilitate CBN subscribers in surfing the Internet while the process of backbone restoration was going on.
Indeed, CBN has never stopped revolutionizing itself to keep up with the times. This is evident in the variety of products it has launched such as CBN i-ring, Secure Mail, ADSL SOHO Unlimited, the opening of CBN Bali, the feature of Let’s Go To at Cyber-Map, CBN Mobile, [email protected], CBN Hotspot, CBN NICE The Unlimited Night Access and many other products. All these products are indeed aimed at connecting people to the Internet.
Players in the Internet business are now springing up. Nevertheless, Dani said that CBN would never be involved in outright competition as it would prioritize cooperation with other parties. “We are open to other parties. Although on one side we compete, surely we can cooperate on the other side,” he said.
Competition, he said, is a good thing so that a company will be challenged to improve the quality of its products. “As long the competition is fair and does not harm other parties, why not?” he added.
Dani said every person had to be convinced of their own strengths. “Never be afraid to dream. Life is a process. Don’t view everything as being all-fast or all-instant. Just enjoy it! If the people are strong, the company will be strong. It is this idea that must be instilled among the young today,” he said. (Iwan Suci Jatmiko)
The Jakarta Post, November 05, 2008