Setya Rahadi: Seeing Opportunity Behind Challenge

WHEN Setya Rahadi began a career in journalism he never imagined that one day he would be country human resources manager for Indonesia and emerging Asian countries for Hewlett-Packard (HP), a leading global provider of products, technologies, solutions and services.

Setya leads Human Resources Global Operation (HRGO) Organization for Indonesia and 11 other Asian countries, namely Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Brunei, Laos, Nepal and Timor Leste. His main responsibility is to support the business in setting up a legal entity in each country and deliver HR programs, including HR operation and transactions, total rewards, learning and development as well as staffing. “I started my career in journalism,” said Setya, who graduated from Atma Jaya University Yogyakarta majoring in business management in May 1989.

At that time, he was so passionate about journalism that he joined several courses and apprenticed at the Research, Education and Publishing Institute of Yogyakarta (LP3Y).

Setya then decided to give up journalism and moved to Astra Graphia in August 1989. Here, he discovered new challenges. At Astra Graphia, a subsidiary of PT Astra International with a total of 1,500 employees and 43 branches throughout Indonesia, Setya became involved in matters related to systems and procedure.

A year later, he moved to the human resources and development division. As a HR generalist, he assisted the human resources and development manager in cost and productivity analysis, reporting, developing policies and regulations, maintaining and setting up administration procedures, and supervising employee loans and staff welfare.

In June 1993, he moved to PT Digital Astra Nusantara, a joint venture company between U.S. company Digital Equipment Corporation and PT Astra Graphia, a subsidiary of PT Astra International, one of the largest conglomerates in Indonesia.

PT Digital Astra Nusantara is an information technology consultancy company that provides maintenance services for computer hardware and software, network services and system integration. Due to legal constraints, all sales and marketing of Digital products was handled by Astra Graphia – Information Technology, another unit under PT Astra Graphia, Tbk., not PT Digital Astra Nusantara.

Setya has held many positions related to human resources development starting from compensation and benefits specialist, senior human resources representative and personnel manager.

The next phase of his career was spent at PT Compaq Computer Indonesia, a subsidiary of Compaq Computer Corporation, a Fortune Global 100 company and largest supplier of computing systems in the world. Compaq designs, develops, manufactures and markets hardware, software, solutions and services — including industry-leading enterprise computing solutions, fault-tolerant business-critical solutions, communications products, commercial desktops, portable products and consumer PCs. In this company, Setya worked as country human resources manager.

A focused field of work and the consistency of the industry have given Setya Rahadi an established career at Hewlett-Packard since May 2002 as country human resources manager. His job at HP is still very much a continuation of his previous responsibilities as in May 2002 Hewlett-Packard merged with Compaq Computer Corporation forging a dynamic, powerful alliance, with a team of 140,000 employees, services in 160 countries, business conducted in 43 currencies and in 15 languages.

It was quite a challenge for Setya to integrate the human resources as a result of the merger. In general, his current responsibilities include organizational development and selection, workforce reduction, job architecture integration project, base implementation, new sales incentive plan implementation and HR systems. His success has generated trust.

Setya is not someone who gets over-anxious facing new challenges. “I am the type of person who tries to see opportunities behind everything I face in life,” he said.

He tries to see the positive side of everything and has a strong commitment to do the best he can in everything as he believes he is doing it for God. The value is explained in a simple and logical way he received from Purnawan EA, a master in hypnotherapy that all humans are depicted as dancers on a stage with thousand of spectators and there is only one choice: dance perfectly. “If we can’t perform well, then we will be yelled at, or even worse, be pelted with eggs by the audience. Therefore, we must have commitment to do our best in everything we do,” he said.

At Hewlett-Packard, there are no economic, politic or any other issues that could stop the company making inventions. “It is actually a business value to create something that does not exist on the market, right? It’s all about managing challenges and obstacles during times of crisis. As a leader in the market, HP will continue to create euphoria in the gadget world with the creation of new innovations,” said the father of two.

To Setya, a career is more than having a title or a position but more about how can one develop. “In the last three years, I have been helping business in the field of human resources in emerging countries, such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and eight other countries. The experience is invaluable because it brings uniqueness and enrichment to my career,” said Setya. He also enjoys giving presentations at internal and external seminars and workshops.

There must always be balance in life. In the midst of all of his obligations as a professional, he always finds time for favorite activities, such as working with gadgets, PDAs and tinkering with mobile phones and browsing on the Internet. “It is a lot of fun and entertaining during the hectic days at work,” said Setya.

Writing is also a favorite activity. He once created a blog (, but the site is now sadly neglected. “I spend all my weekends and out-of-office time with my dear wife, Niken, and our two children, Asa and Daniel,” he said. (Burhan Abe)

The Jakarta Post, December 17, 2008

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