“ONE aspect of Javanese philosophy that I strictly maintain is ojo dumeh, not to be arrogant,” said Moetaryanto Poerwoaminoto, commissioner of Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia and Founder of Petrolog Group. But the key to Moertaryanto’s success, who was born in Lamongan on April 14, 1940 is that he can easily adapt to any situation and can present himself well.
His achievements are many. Moetaryanto received an award from the Australian government as Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) on Nov. 1, 2010 for his role in enhancing bilateral relations between Indonesia and Australia especially in business and investments via the Indonesia Australia Business Council (IABC).
The award was officially presented on Jan. 26, 2011 coinciding with Australia Day and was given by the Australian ambassador, Greg Moriarty in Jakarta representing the Governor General of Australia.
The Order of Australia is awarded for distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or humanity at large. The order was given for Moetaryanto’s consistent role over a period of 20 years in keeping good relationships among companies, organizations, businesspeople and friends of Indonesia and Australia.
Moetaryanto himself is one of the founders of IABC and is still currently active as an advisor. Next to Moertaryanto another Indonesian who had received the same award is former foreign minister, Ali Alatas.
Among senior business people Moetayanto is quite a familiar name. He is also known to be active in various social activities and is involved in a number of organizations. Apart from the award from Australia Moertaryanto is also the honorary Tunisia Consul of the Republic of Tunisia for Yogyakarta, also Ambassador to Paris 2012 and board member of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Indonesia Chapter for 2010. So, he is not only extremely active in business but also in other sectors, such as tourism.
After graduating from the School of Pedagogy of Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta Moetaryanto came to Jakarta in 1962 where he worked at the Indonesian Tourism Board chaired by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX.
However at the time tourism in the country was not favorable because of unfriendly political relations with the United States and other Western countries causing few tourists from those countries to visit Indonesia. In view of this situation Moertaryanto decided to leave the tourism board. “In the end I left the tourism board because most of the tourists were from Japan. So what was the use of working in tourism when so few tourists came here,” said the father of two.
Moetaryanto then received an offer from a friend to work for PT Kapal Indonesia (Kapin) that belonged to the late Widjatmiko and dealt in the import-export business.
Initially Moetaryanto had doubts about the work because he had no related skills or experience, but in fact here Moertayanto learned a lot directly from Widjatmiko. “I learned a lot about business from him including export import, negotiations, lobbying and maintaining relationships with clients,” said Moetaryanto who has also received an award from Ernst & Young in the category A Special Inspirational Leadership (2004).
After working for Widjatmiko for about eight years Moertaryanto asked his consent to set up his own business in a shipping and forwarding company named EMKL. His decision was supported by Widjatmiko who said that if the business did not run well he could come back any time.
At the time his only assets were his courage, relationships with clients and experience in export and import business. But he could not get a company license due to the strict regulations in force. Later he found a partner who already had a license and opened a branch office in Tanjung Priok area, North Jakarta in 1970. “I happened to have a relatively extensive network so orders kept coming in. But in the beginning I had to work extra hard in seeking clients, orders and sending the consignments myself,” he recalled.
After four years running the shipping and forwarding business he wanted to expand it. He was invited by a colleague to collaborate with a French company, Peschaud Cie, that was starting work in Indonesia to support oil company, PT Total Indonesia, in building a refinery in Balik Papan, East Kalimantan. At that time the government did not allow foreign companies to operate directly in Indonesia, so Moetaryanto offered himself as a partner by using the equipment belonging to Peschaud. Here was the start of PT Petrolog Indah which was formed in 1974.
The compensation of the collaboration was that all five year profits were used to pay in installments the numerous refinery equipment. “So all the equipment used for Total under the umbrella of my company was based on an agreement that after five years all the equipment would belong to us,” said Moetaryanto who also received an award from the Yogyakarta Sultanate: Anugerah Duta Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat in 2009.
After the first five years the collaboration between PT Petrolog Indah and Peschaud continued with a second five year agreement based on profit sharing. After the second five year ended PT Petrolog Indah had already made great progress and Moertaryanto acquired new clients and concentrated on oil mining logistics including drilling equipment for use on land.
In 1985 Moetaryanto established a new company, PT Petrolog Multi Usaha Mandiri, as agent and distributor for a number of superior products from various countries. And soon business began to thrive and Moetaryanto opened another company.
Currently there are four companies within Petrolog group, namely PT. Petrolog Indah, PT. Schenker Petrolog Utama which is a joint venture with a German company, Schenker AG, and PT. Petrolog Multi Usaha Mandiri as well as PT. Petrolog Harapan Abadi Semesta. All these companies have a good reputation domestically and are well respected globally. So what is the key to strong positioning?
“First one has to be consistent and focused. This is from my own experience. Number two, integrity. This is very important. Integrity in relation to the clients, to the public and so forth plus integrity within oneself. One must become a role model in the company, the organization and in the smallest environment, one’s family. I think integrity is important so that one can live in peace,” he said. (Burhan Abe and Tedy Matondang)
The Jakarta Post, April 02, 2011