I was appointed as the Commissioner of Gunung Raja Paksi (GRP) in 2019, sparking the exponential growth the company has seen over the past few years. GRP has emerged as a robust and fast-growing steel player in the Indonesian as well as international markets. This begs the question, how did the steel mill become one of the largest, vertically integrated steel companies in Southeast Asia? With a world-class management and operations team under my leadership GRP underwent a tremendous transformation.
As the organization grows, it also needs to adapt to the many challenges that come our way, like any other business in the steel and cement sector. The nature of the business requires high capital expenditures with long investment payback periods. In addition, it is very operationally intensive. This means that long-term strategic planning is imperative, and assessments of macroeconomic trends for the infrastructure and building material industry are crucial.
Being one of the largest steel producers in Indonesia with a global customer base across 40+ countries, it is vital for GRP to appoint the right talent to manage it all. Placed on a global stage, there is also increasing pressure from regional players, who have expanded into Indonesia and competed for market share by lowering their prices. This puts an immense strain on pricing for established players like us. However, because of our strong brand name in the market, and quality assurance, we successfully weathered the storm and maintained our market share for most market segments and, therefore, outgrew the competition.
On top of growing GRP, I was also tasked to serve as a bridging force between potential investors and foreign investors looking to enter the Indonesian market. Through paving the way for entrepreneurs and businessmen in Indonesia to get acquainted, I have made numerous meaningful connections that have also helped bring in more opportunities for GRP in the long run, such as trading with top-tier China global steel trading companies.
Despite having transformed GRP tremendously, I don’t plan to slow down yet. Instead, I would like to say that I am just about to start. In the coming years, I will be pivoting to seize more opportunities on the horizon of investments and asset management, an interest stemming from the early days of being the middleman between Western Investors and the Indonesian market.
Gunung Capital (GC), overseen by me, is a new institutional asset management company that invests, owns, and operates a significant portfolio with transformative potential. It blends the East and West by connecting the world to Asia through high-quality assets, long-term investment, value-driven partnerships, and positive community impact. At GC, I encourage identifying aspects of value creation, taking a hands-on operational approach, and enhancing economic transformation.
As for GRP, I am looking to rethink the way steel is being produced, by gradually evolving to more environmentally-friendly processes and adopting world-class green technology for steel manufacturing. Since steel production has been characterized as an energy-intensive activity, the current processes do pose threats like air emissions, hazardous wastes – all of which impact the environment in many ways. To invest in both the fight against global warming and ensuring financial security, I strongly believe that it is important to take intentional steps towards eliminating carbon emissions by incorporating “green” initiatives into my company’s manufacturing and business processes.
As an advocate for giving back to the community, I believe that protecting the environment is our responsibility as an individual living on Earth. GRP has taken steps to invest in efficient and environmentally friendly steel production with energy-efficient processes, highlighting our emphasis on sustainability and protecting the environment. For now, there is already an ESG strategy in place, and I seek to champion the path to net-zero carbon emission and a greener industry. By doing so, I also hope to encourage more large corporations in Indonesia to take the first step towards adopting sustainable business practices. With my firm belief in giving back and protecting the environment through my work, I no longer identify as just a steelmaker, but also a change-maker in the industry.