Jusuf Kalla’s Statements during Tanoto Entrepreneurship Series 2013 Part 3

On the final post for Jusuf Kalla’s statements made during the Tanoto Entrepreneurship Series on 30 April 2013, he touched on the importance of having the right attitude during the start up and growth stage of a venture. In fact, attitude is one of the most important determining factors to the success of a business.

In any start up, the process has to be gradual and step by step; and hardships will definitely pay a visit during this process. RGE, owned by Sukanto Tanoto, and all the companies under the group, faced many difficulties and hardships throughout the growth stage of the venture. These difficulties vary from internal to external situations and come in different sizes. Nevertheless, having a high resilience enabled the company to always bounce back stronger after every crisis it faced.

Jusuf Kalla at Tanoto Entrepreneurship Series
Jusuf Kalla at Tanoto Entrepreneurship Series

Jusuf Kalla also mentioned the importance of innovation. Taking a glance at the businesses present in the market, many of them started because people were not comfortable in a certain situation, thus, were forced to think out of the box to innovate and improve. For example, the number of retail stores such as Seven Eleven, Alfamart or Indomart in Indonesia has grown significantly because people do not enjoy going to wet market anymore. They would rather go to stores that are clean and comfortable.

He also pointed out that given the better access to information and the availability of technology at your fingertips nowadays, it is relatively easier for young people nowadays to innovate. The point is to have courage to be an innovator and not a follower. Most of the innovations seem impossible at the beginning however, many of them were proven to be possible.

It is however, not wise to rely on intuition when making a decision. Even though it is true that a good intuition comes with a great deal of experience, Jusuf Kalla advised that we still need to carry out our actions based on calculated risks. This is because as an entrepreneur, absorbing the risks comes as a package together with the results we reap. In order to do an accurate calculation of risk, we need information as the basis. RGE has also invested heavily on Research and Development to continuously improve on their processes and products. Besides this, there is also a bottom-up continuous improvement activities that enable employees to spearhead innovations and process improvements.

Jusuf Kalla’s statements suggest that he will ensure the availability of necessary technology and internet access in the nation in order to support and provide the massive amount of information required in a growing economy.

Jusuf Kalla’s Statements during Tanoto Entrepreneurship Series 2013 Part 2

Following from the previous post, Jusuf Kalla also mentioned about the importance of building a good relationship between the business and the communities they operate in. Businesses can run smoothly and successfully only when it provides benefits to the communities. This is a two-way relationship because the communities they operate in have to respond positively to the daily operations of the business. What Jusuf Kalla shared is aligned with RGE’s 3Cs: a business must be good for the Country, Community and Company. RGE was founded by Sukanto Tanoto and as the Chairman of the group, he has a philosophy that he strongly believes in: once your business reaches a certain size, you cannot just take care of your company, but must also take care of the community.

Jusuf Kalla mentioned that a business has to determine the type of relationship they want to establish with the communities right from the start of their operations. He also mentioned that some companies have already done so, for example the companies under RGE, have been actively involving the community in their Corporate Social Responsibility programme. More than the companies, Sukanto Tanoto also founded the Tanoto Foundation with his wife, Tinah Bingei Tanoto, in order to specialize in the area of charity and philanthropy. Eventually a business depends on people to buy their products and services. It is therefore important to develop the people and community that the business serves in.

In the recent Indonesia Presidential Elections 2014, Jusuf Kalla ran for the Vice-President position and was paired with Jokowi, who ran for the Presidency title. The pair won the elections eventually and given Jusuf Kalla’s statements mentioned during the Tanoto Entrepreneurship Series 2013, we can safely say that he will continue to encourage businesses to be more active in community outreach and support programs, as well as emphasise the importance of business and community partnership to strengthen and improve both the corporations and community in the long run.