Pelindo Merger Calls for Strong Leadership

By: Bambang Sabekti, Professional in Maritime Industry

In the last several days, the discourse on merging Pelindo 1-4 has been a corridor talk among business players. But, actually, this is not a new issue. It has been a discourse since 2010.

Once, in 2010, I attended a “conference” organized by the Singapore Indonesia Chamber of Commerce  at a hotel in Central Jakarta and one of the speakers was Mr. Airlangga Hartoto, who was then a member of the Indonesian Parliament from the Golkar Party. He said that if the Golkar Party came to power and became the “ruling party” then Pelindo 1-4 would like to be merged into one, because RI is one and this is in line with the Archipelago’s insight, it is understood that the speaker is a politician.

At that time, entrepreneurs from Indonesia and Singapore were present. From the maritime community, Mrs. Santi, Samudera Indonesia, Mrs. Rima and Mr. Albert Pang from JICT and writers from APL. Now 10 (ten) years later, the discourse on the merger of Pelindo 1-4 has come true. SOEs Minister Erick Thohir has even given a new name as a result of the merger scheme, namely PT. Pelabuhan Indonesia (Persero) which is targeted to be cleared in the third quarter of this year.

I still doubt whether this timeline can be achieved or not considering there’s  many “paper work” that has to be done. But it is better if it can be realized in August, in the month of Indonesia’s independence, so that this can become a new momentum and history of the Indonesian maritime world. President Jokowi is very “concerned” with the Pelindo merger, because according to him the merger of Pelindo will support the success of the sea toll program and lowering the logistics cost in Indonesia.

The Minister of Transportation has also given his blessing to the Pelindo merger plan. So politically, there are no problems and now it remains only to prepare a business plan of the merger. It is said that the Minister of BUMN (SOEs) has prepared a “Great Leader” to control this large ship which has a valuation of IDR 120 trillion. I am sure that the corporation will be able to make big money if it is managed properly.

For that, we need is a CEO who is visionary, and is able to see opportunities and problems in the future. For me, the Pelindo merger is a good thing for the country, because it will allow for consistent policies / rules regarding the development of projects and their implementation in all Indonesian ports under Pelindo’s auspices. In order for centralization to work well, the new Directors must act “fairly” towards the development of ports in all provinces in order to provide benefits to the entire community. Another benefit, this makes it easier for service users (port users) and investors because they only need to go through 1 (one) door. So, overall, it’s a positive move for country, investors and port users.

However, based on the experience of the author, who has been involved in the merger process of two different (albeit similar) companies which also involve 6 branch offices, there are many post-merger matters that must be considered, because potential internal conflicts continue to occur and it takes a minimum of one year for create a harmonious working relationship between employees.

Because each Pelindo has so far internalized its own corporate culture and it has been going on for a very long time and years since its establishment. Because the merger is not only a unification of the system, but also a unification of the hearts of the team members. For this reason, a strong leader is needed for a new company (the result of a merger) that not only understands VUKA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) but also must be good at communication and not be stingy in giving empathy to the team members, especially in this era of disruption. Leaders are not sufficiently “concerned” with things around work, but also have time to pay attention to their subordinates personally, so there is a balance between “task oriented and human oriented. Quoting Eileen Rachman & Emilia Jakob’s statement that our context has changed, therefore work management design needs to be adjusted according to the spiritual, physical, intellectual, intuitive and emotional state of all people in the organization.

The last but not least. Hopefully PT. Pelabuhan Indonesia will soon be realized and led by a Great Leader who is visionary and able to advance the world of Indonesian maritime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *