On the first evening in Jarkarta we were invited to Binus University (the JWC Senayan campus) to network with local Exec Master’s students and a panel of industry experts including our very own Mirko Senatore. We were welcomed with a local dinner and proceedings kicked off with a Balinese dance.

The topic that the panel covered was ‘Supply Chain Management in a Disruptive Economy’. The local industry experts included Soerjo Winarto, Supply Chain Director at Johnson & Johnson Indonesia, Donny Maya Wardhana, Chief Commercial Officer at aCommerce Indonesia, and Zaldy Ilham Masita, Vice President of Business Development at JNE Indonesia. The event was moderated by Dr Ahmad Syamil, who is the Dean of MM Programs at Binus Business School.

It was interesting to hear of the challenges that most Indonesian businesses face on a daily basis. With the country being made up of 17,000 islands, many of which are unpopulated and nameless, and covering an area the equivalent of UK to Turkey, it is clear that without a well-developed infrastructure, businesses have to contend with high logistics costs and uncertainty. Relative to the developed world, logistics costs comprise 18-25% of overall business costs (which are as low as 10% in the USA and 12% in neighboring Singapore).

In the context of local industry it was intriguing to hear of a relatively new Indonesian start up called Go-jek which we effectively characterised as ‘Uber for motorbikes’. Exploiting the traffic situation and poor urban road conditions, they have grown the company’s stock valuation to nearly 70% more than that of the long-established premier taxi company in Jakarta. To our pain we experienced this first hand as the afternoon journey took us three and a half hours for a five mile trip!

To give the local students a flavour of the challenges faced by European organisations, Mirko did a sterling job in highlighting the key regulatory and legal complexity facing the pharma industry. Well done Mirko!

In his closing address, Dr Firdaus Alamsjah, Executive Dean of Binus Business School, commented that “The moment of truth in Supply Chain in Indonesia is from clicking to picking” and after just one day we feel we understand the challenges related to supply chain logistics well.

Bhupinder Harris, David Delaney & Elisabeth Lee

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