Bhakty Kasry: Applying Spiritual Management

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Indeed it is not easy to be a major player in the express and logistics business, especially having thousands of employees and numerous vehicles. The key is obviously quality manpower. “Our employees are our best asset,” said Muhammad Bhakty Kasry, Chief Executive Officer of PT Pandu Siwi Sentosa when asked about the key to his successful management of the company.  

Initially, Pandu Siwi, established in 1992, was only a small courier company with a capital of Rp 50 million (US$5000). He had only five employees at the time. However, his astute business acumen made the company grow. The number of employees and vehicles increased along with the number of customers.  

The company’s coverage area started to include the most remote places in the country. Pandu Siwi Sentosa has become one of the largest express and logistics company in Indonesia with 155 branch offices and more than 2,000 employees nationwide. The company delivers 40 tons of goods per day and has more than 2,500 customers, including major companies, such as Alcatel, Siemens, United Tractors, Coca Cola, Bank Indonesia, Citibank, BCA, Mandiri and Mitsubishi.  

The daily sales figures are in the billions of rupiah and the company is included in the 25 top ranking companies with sales of over Rp 10 billion. In 2000 Bhakty, as he is called by his close friends, formed PT Pandu Siwi Group with Pandu Logistics as its brand name. He also established several subsidiary companies for global logistics, general trading and travel, namely PT Pandu Bella Trasindo, PT Tritama Bella Trasindo, PT Indah Jaya Express, PT Pandu As-Shofwa and PT Pandu Ellin Sejahtera.  

Bhakty’s management style was the main factor behind the successful transformation of Pandu Siwi Sentosa into a leading company. Bhakty, a father of three, said that there were two important elements in his company, the customers and the employees. “It’s just like two sides of one coin. The progress of my company is determined by its customers and employees, both are inseparable,” said Bhakty, who was formerly Country Sales Manager of DHL Indonesia. 

Bhakty is convinced that providing the best service is the key to gaining a winning place amid tight competition in the courier and logistics business. He is also of the opinion that corporate culture is important in creating a customer-oriented employee attitude. This starts right from the recruitment stage up to training.

The selection and recruitment process is very rigid, “Recruitment is the critical ‘gate’ to obtain quality manpower that conforms with our corporate culture, so we never underestimate the recruitment process,” said Bhakty. The service culture in the company is best described in the following words, “Dedication, Clean, Neat, Fast, Meticulous and Consistent”.  

“We must treat all our customers as kings, so my employees and I must give them the best service,” he stressed. Customer satisfaction can be measured by on time delivery, competitive rates and security. To achieve all this he emphasizes the importance of discipline and honesty in the employees. However, he also realizes that his employees deserve appreciation as well. He believes that they will not give their best if their primary needs are not fulfilled.  

Bhakty is very concerned about their welfare, therefore the company provides them with various facilities, such as housing, transportation, health benefits, education, yearly bonuses and recreational outings. The company also sends high achievers on the haj pilgrimage every year. “This is to motivate them to work better,” he said.  

To keep the employees’ disciplined everyone has to arrive at the office on time and is not allowed to leave before closing time. Smoking is not allowed in the working area. If found smoking they are given a warning letter immediately. Everyone understands that they work as a team so they help each other.  

To cultivate honesty Bhakty makes uses a religious approach or, as he calls it, spiritual management, by conducting prayers together with the employees. During prayer times all employees must leave their work and pray together in the mosque available at the office. By creating a religious atmosphere he hopes that they will think and act positively.  

Bhakty said that such an atmosphere has had a positive influence on their performance. “The religious atmosphere makes them more peaceful. There are benefits for the company as they become more diligent, responsible, honest and disciplined. So, on the whole it is a mutually beneficial relationship,” he said.  

He acknowledged, however, that every company has its own management style. The most important thing is that the management system gains the full support of employees, the management and board of directors.  

So, everyone must obey the general rules and regulations. “Those in top position should set an example; they also must abide by the rules and regulations. There is no discrimination in our company,” stressed Bhakty.  

The proof of the spiritual management can be seen from the company’s achievements. Pandu Siwi Sentosa has enjoyed an average growth of 20 percent per year. It has received numerous awards, such as Adikarya Patrawahana Pos from the Transportation Department for its expansion throughout the country (2001), Garuda Achievement Award from PT Garuda Indonesia (1998) as well as the international certification ISO 9001:2000 SNI 19-9001:2001 for warehouse management and cargo delivery by land, sea and air (2002). “Currently we are preparing to go public” concluded Bhakty. (Burhan Abe)  

The Jakarta Post , August 19, 2009

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