Maya Aprilia: Underwater Businesswoman

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PERSEVERING and never giving up. That is how one would describe Maya Aprilia after meeting her. For Maya every breath is valuable. She enjoys every minute of her life engaging herself in meaningful pursuits, not only for herself, but also for her family and company, PT Cakra Bhasa (Cahaya Karya Bhakti Samudra).

PT Cakra Bhasa is a company involved in underwater assignments, such as survey, maintenance and all kinds of underwater repairs namely of offshore rigs, quay masts and the bottoms of damaged ships.

Actually there are many companies doing such work here which means that there are plenty of opportunities in underwater survey and maintenance work especially in an oil and gas producing country like Indonesia. There is in fact a huge potential in this sector but unfortunately the government is not paying enough attention so there are many constraints although this sector can make a significant contribution to the sustainability of the country’s mining industry.

“Not only foreign companies but many local ones are also involved in this business although unfortunately the government is not paying enough attention, ” explained Maya.

PT Cakra Bhasa is one local company that has been quite successful in underwater survey and maintenance business. Maya said that the company has served a number of major clients, such as PT Freeport, PT Arutmin, PT Cnooc and Condrore Petrolium. ”We have also repaired the offshore rig of CNOOC for example,” she said.

From the point of view of the nature of the business underwater survey and maintenance is actually a very masculine type of business. The work is full of challenges and definitely appears to be a man’s world. However, for Maya the existing challenges do not hamper her in any way.  In Maya’s opinion women are equally capable as men in any field of work. So, there is no more division of labor or restrictions for women nowadays.

The same is true for this type of business, she added. Maya, who is the company director, said that the challenges were certainly tougher than normal office work as she had to be professional both in office management and in field work at sea.

Such knowledge is not derived from text books as it is only available in field work, so nature is her real teacher, said Maya. She acquired her knowledge about the sea by getting directly involved in the underwater work herself.  “One has to have knowledge about the pressure of the waves, currents, rocks and the various types of underwater species, while by contrast I studied administration at the university and not anything connected with marine science,” Maya said, smiling.

However she commented that underwater work gives her a unique type of enjoyment. ”Apart from expanding my business I can also enjoy the beauty of the underwater world and travel to many parts of the country. Just imagine if I worked in an office I could not enjoy the beauty of the Indonesian underwater world and you know Indonesia is famous in the world for its beautiful seas,” said Maya who is an avid photographer. “I have to know my own business completely and directly,” she said.

Maya added that a diver must have professional skills besides physical and mental strength. Prior to being allowed to dive he or she is given the required training. Besides swimming and diving a diver is taught about the conditions and ecosystem of the sea including knowledge about the underwater creatures that can or cannot be touched.

To develop her company further clearly professional skills and qualified management are required, because the majority of clients are foreign companies, because as is commonly known, the country’s mining, oil and gas sectors are dominated by foreign companies.

The main key to PT Cakra Bhasa’s success is providing satisfactory service to its clients. Maya’s principle in this case is working for clients means working for one’s own company. “When a client is satisfied it automatically has an impact on the sustainability of our company,” said Maya.

For her human resources Maya always strives to enhance their skills by providing them with further training while for the divers internationally acknowledged certificates are given.  Maya, who is a mother of two, also pays great attention to her employees’ welfare. According to her they will not work to the maximum if they receive low or below industry standard salaries and on the contrary they would be lazy and keep complaining or even lodge protests with the company.

“It is only natural that they will protest if their salaries are not commensurate with the job requirements and with what they have contributed to the company. I learned this kind of human resource management from my parents. My father has always taught me to treat them well because obviously they are the spearhead of the company and they are the reason for the company’s success,” she explained.

In her free time Maya pursues her hobby. She is often accompanied by her children when she goes photo hunting to Bali, as the Island of Gods is full of natural and cultural beauty.  Although she is passionate about photography she tries to keep it in balance with her work. “I don’t go too far for photo hunting,” Maya said.

Although she often dreams of visiting unique and far away places for her hobby she tries to restrain herself and chooses areas that are not too far from Jakarta. (Bintang Ladia Jasmine)

The Jakarta Post, June 11, 2011

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/06/11/maya-aprilia-underwater-businesswoman.html