Global Business Guide Indonesia

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Arwana Citra Mulia
Mr Tandean Rustandy

Mr Tandean Rustandy


Arwana Citra Mulia was established in 1993 and is now one of the leading ceramics companies in Indonesia. What can you tell us about the founding of the company and the vision behind the organisation?

Mr Tandean Rustandy

When starting the company, the first thing that I did was to set out what was the vision and to make sure that everyone in the company from the top level to the lower levels understood it. The first aspect is to be the best, the second is to be innovative as well as creative and the third point is to contribute to the society and country. I am not a profit orientated person but more focused on this vision.

In Indonesia, they always focus on the group and not the person behind the business. I had to try and change this outlook. As the leader I have to set an example so I spend a lot of time on the field as opposed to staying in the back office and I wear the same uniform as the other workers.

Arwana is focused on the middle to low end of the market for ceramic tiles, but that does not mean we compromise on quality. Our factory in terms of the layout, landscaping and machinery is of the highest standards. The layout was designed to be modern with an open layout that has no doors and no barriers. As part of the vision, the workers must feel that they have ownership of the company.

For the vision of being the best, I do not see this as having the largest size but rather in having the best systems and workers. For the second aspect of the vision; Arwana is the only ceramic company in Indonesia to have factories in different locations and we do this because Indonesia still has very poor infrastructure. I do not see this improving drastically in the future so that is why we look forward by placing the factories in different areas of Indonesia. As each region has limitations on their infrastructure for transportation and energy, we cannot built multiple factories in one location. For example we are the first to set up facilities in Palembang. As entrepreneurs, we cannot wait for the government so we have to act on our own. We must be innovative in our approach by building our factories in areas that are close to energy resources such as gas. This also provides the opportunity to develop human resources across the country and contribute to Indonesian society.


Ceramics is a very energy intensive industry, how does the company ensure energy and environmental efficiency?

Mr Tandean Rustandy

Energy makes up over 35% of the total production cost in the ceramics industry. I believe that energy and the environment are very important and we take care to protect it wherever our factories are constructed. In each one of the factories, all of the water and waste products are recycled and we take care to replant trees as well as use natural waste materials for fertilizer.

Every year we build a new factory and we always use the most modern machinery and technology with the highest level of energy efficiency. Just like a low cost airline carrier, our advantage is in only using the newest and best technology as this means we can compete with countries such as China for ceramic production. State of the art technology uses much less energy and gives off much less heat as waste.

It is also very important to develop the human resources in the surrounding area to where the factory is located rather than travelling from other areas. In our production facilities, we only employ workers from around the immediate area and teach them the skills that they need.


The company offers a diverse range of ceramic tiles for the Indonesian market, how is the company adapting to local and international market trends?

Mr Tandean Rustandy

Indonesia’s GDP per capita is growing significantly and the consumption per capita for ceramic tiles is still very low at 1 square metre compared to 3.5 square metres for Vietnam. This means there is plenty of room for growth for ceramics in Indonesia for wall and floor tiles.

Innovation is therefore focused on the design as ceramic tiles are a commodity that is produced en masse. We produce a range of sizes from 20x20 cm to 40x40 cm along with hundreds of designs of very high quality. Repeating those designs if the customer needs to replace any tiles or add further tiles can be difficult for other producers but for us this is very easy and we guarantee replacements within one month for any tile design.

In terms of the international market, at the moment we have interest from Thailand, India and China as we offer a comparative price advantage. Around 5% of our production is for export to countries that have a lower GDP per capita than Indonesia because we must take care not to destroy the market price as we want those on the lowest incomes in that market to be able to afford it.

Global Business Guide Indonesia - 2012

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