CEO with a Dream of Becoming a Public School Teacher

WITH a 20 year career at PT Intraco Penta Tbk, Fred L. Manibog has demonstrated a strong commitment and loyalty toward the company which is the authorized agent and distributor of Volvo heavy equipment, mostly dump trucks and excavators with a total sales value of US$400,000.

As a country with huge natural resources, especially in the exploitation of mineral resources or mining, Indonesia is a promising market for the sale and leasing of heavy equipment according to Fred.

More so as the mining areas in Indonesia are often located in difficult terrain with lots of rain forests and the widespread mining concession areas clearly need the support of heavy equipment companies like Intraco.

In addition the government’s focus on infrastructure development is another potential segment. However, said Fred, Intraco Penta’s main focus is on sales of heavy equipment to mining companies, especially coal mining companies. One of the reasons, he said, is that coal is a commodity with a high production volume for the world’s energy requirements.

Another efficient alternative is of course nuclear power, but due to various mishaps, especially the recent accidents in Japan many countries have turned back to coal due to the risks involved in nuclear energy. “Many European countries have applied the free nuke future program,” he said. Fred added that the global requirement for coal reaches 6 billion tons while today’s supply is hovering at about 60 million tons.

As of June 2011 Intraco had sold 175 units and another 300 units have already been sold pending delivery. In the same period in 2010 the company sold 335 units. “Intraco’s target for 2011 is to sell about 1,300 units,” he said.

As one of the leading players in heavy equipment business with more than 40 years of experience, the key to the company’s success, explained Fred, is Intraco’s excellent after sales service, including the company’s prompt response to complaints.

As part of its commitment to the importance of after sales service 70 percent of its employees are dedicated to providing service to Intraco Penta’s customers and the company has opened many branches in areas close to mining locations to ensure that the heavy equipment used by customers is operating to the maximum.

To ensure a fast response to customer inquiries or requests, bureaucratic procedures are kept to a minimum. “We encourage our branch managers to make fast decisions so they don’t have to report to the head office every time,” said Fred.

Investment in technology is another important aspect for Intraco, which applies SAP based Information Technology and has installed Manufacturer Managed Inventory (MMI) to speed up the ordering of spare parts. “This is to meet the customers’ needs for quick service when there is a problem with their equipment,” he stressed.

Intraco has also introduced the Care Truck System to monitor the movement of dump trucks at the mining location without having to visit the location physically.  The monitoring is to ensure that the client’s dump trucks are operating in a productive way and according to procedures. “The client’s top management can monitor from their office in Jakarta so they don’t have to fly to the location. This is more efficient,” he said. Another method is direct connection with the Volvo manufacturer in Sweden via the Internet.

Intraco also provides its customers with various packages of services to meet their needs. “This is because our relationship continues because they need spare parts and service,” he said.

That is why Intraco Penta also makes available a service that it calls Component Exchange to solve the overhaul problem, which normally takes over one month.  Through Component Exchange program Intraco provides them with a newly serviced engine that is guaranteed as new. “This speeds up the overhaul process; it takes no longer than a week,” he explained.

A financing company for the purchase of costly equipment has also been established. It is called PT Intan Baruprana Finance with 100 percent shares belonging to Intraco. Fred has been appointed President Director of PT IBF. The current total assets of IBF is Rp 900 billion and is expected to increase to Rp 1.3 trillion by the end of 2011.

IBF is in fact profitable for Intraco because the withdrawal of heavy equipment with payment or leasing problems can be immediately done and the equipment can be sent to the nearest Intraco branch, while other financing companies consider such action costly because most do not have branches to store the equipment in question.

IBF has also received a syariah permit that makes it possible for the company to provide syariah services to its customers. The syariah service, according to Fred, is very profitable, because of profit sharing (leasing company provides customers with goods and not with money). Currently, Fred said, 80 percent of IBF funding comes from syariah banking.

Born and raised in Pampangga, 80 kilometers south of Manila, Fred decided to follow his sweetheart — who later became his wife — who was assigned to Jakarta.  Surprisingly he felt at home here. Indeed Indonesia is close to his home country and he views Indonesian culture and traditions as very much similar to that in the Philippines, such as the close family ties and respecting one’s parents.

Fred joined Intraco in 1993, and has worked in almost every position in the company. As a certified accountant (CAP) Fred worked for a long time in the internal audit section, and he later became the SAP Project manager and built a system for the company until being appointed finance director. In September 2009 Fred was appointed President Director of IBF.

When his retirement time comes Fred plans to become a volunteer public school teacher. He has not decided as yet whether he will teach here in Indonesia or in the Philippines. This, according to him, is his way to inspire poor children so that they can achieve the sort of success he has enjoyed.

Fred acknowledges that he came from a poor family but was fortunate enough to leave poverty behind and become a successful executive. He wants to share his life experience with his students. He believes that life is full of choices. “Many choices are in front of you. It is just how we pick and choose the opportunity to advance,” said Fred, whose favorite Indonesian dishes are fried rice and pempek (fish cooked in batter) and whose favorite fruit is duku. (Burhan Abe)

The Jakarta Post, September 10, 2011

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