Michael Flieger: Motivator of Thousands of Students

ALTHOUGH relatively young, last year Michael Flieger was appointed president director of PT Osram Indonesia. Born in Schweinfurt, Germany, the 36 year old moved to Jakarta in 2007 to take up an assignment at the instruction of Osram headquarters in Germany.   

Osram, headquartered in Munich, Germany, is a part of Siemens and is one of the two major and leading lamp manufacturers in the world. In 2009, Osram worldwide sales reached ¤4.0 million, with 88 percent of the sales occurring outside of Germany. Osram applies sophisticated technology for the manufacturing of its products. More than 66 percent of its sales are for energy saving lamps. Osram has more than 39,000 employees worldwide and its products are available in 150 countries. It has 46 manufacturing plants in 17 countries.   

PT Osram Indonesia was established in 1997 after the acquisition of a local lamp manufacturing company. In the early days of establishment, Osram further developed the plant facilities and capacity and invested a huge amount of funds to enhance the quality of its products so they would meet Osram’s quality standards.   

Today, Osram’s plant in Indonesia has received ISO 9001 certification and is currently in the process of acquiring another certificate, the ISO 14000, so that its products are equal to Osram products in other countries. All this has made it possible to export 40 percent of PT Osram Indonesia’s products to foreign countries. The company has a manufacturing plant in Tangerang and two main branches in Jakarta and Surabaya and has 1,400 employees.   

PT Osram Indonesia not only markets its various types of lamps to the Indonesian public but also many innovative lamps to many countries, such as Germany, Italy, the United States and Japan. PT Osram Indonesia has a definite purpose or direction in serving its customers or the OEM market, including automotive lamps, incandescent, fluorescent, energy savers, photo-optic, discharge and LED.  

In view of the company’s prominence, the appointment is a real challenge for Michael Flieger. Although he has not held the number one position at PT Osram Indonesia for long, he has already introduced a number of innovative breakthroughs, especially the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in collaboration with GTZ.

In May 2010, the company conducted the Energy Efficiency Movement program. The activities involve 30,000 primary, secondary and high school students from 40 schools in Jakarta, Tangerang, Bandung, Cibadak, Malang, Semarang, Pekalongan and Padang who have been appointed envoys of the Energy Efficiency Movement program.   

The students participated in a math competition, not the general kind but one that directed them to find out more about electricity. The primary students (first to third grades) participated in a drawing competition on electricity, while students in fourth to sixth grades and secondary and high school participated in essay competitions on energy.

“I can still remember when I was a young student in Germany I also received direct knowledge on saving energy and how to save water,” said Flieger, explaining that sharing knowledge on the importance of saving energy will influence the students’ behavior even through adulthood. Flieger, who has a degree in business administration from the University of Wuerzburg, Germany, looked enthusiastic when he was explaining how important it was for everyone to be aware of the importance of saving energy. However, when asked about his smooth career path and how he got his current position, the father of one modestly said it was simply a matter of “doing one’s best” all the time.   

Again modestly, Flieger said that when he joined Osram headquarters in Munich in 2003 as regional controller, he never imagined that one day he would hold the top position at Osram Indonesia. “When I was first sent to in Indonesia, I thought the assignment would last only two years and then I would return to Germany with my family. But things changed when the former president director retired and I was appointed to replace him,” he said.  

Flieger, who once worked as a consultant at the World-Class Finance practice of KPMG Consulting, said that to become a leader in any type of industry one has to understand its core value and be confident in their leadership. He has found that his experience at the consulting company, which required much traveling through Asia as well as hard work, had proven to be of benefit in his current position.  

Regarding Osram’s core value as the maker of energy saving lamps, Flieger explained why the company’s CSR programs are closely related to saving energy, including upgrading the lighting system at the 40 schools participating in the energy efficiency program.   

The lamps at the schools have been replaced with Osram products, which save between 20 and 80 percent energy. Such an achievement was recorded on the “Energy Efficiency” information board installed at every school after upgrading the schools’ lighting systems. “The activities have a direct impact on saving energy and the impact becomes more effective along with education on and awareness of energy saving measures for the students,” explained Flieger.  

Flieger, who is fond of urap (Javanese salad), believes that after the students have been involved in the energy conservation program they will spread the word and hopefully become active in energy conservation activities outside their schools, such as in their homes. “I believe that our CSR activities will create a multilayer effect for saving energy nationwide in Indonesia in the near future,” he concluded. (Lestari Nurhayati)  

The Jakarta Post, August 18, 2010

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