Class of : 2008
Major : Business Management
Concentration : Business
FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) is another interesting industry to work in. This time we will feature Adi Prasetiya (Marketing 2008). He is the Key Account Manager E-Commerce in PT. Sari Husada (Nutricia Sarihusada). We have the impression that he is a strong-willed person with clear vision of his future plan. You will read more about Adi in regard to the choices he made in his life.
Choosing a Higher Education Institution
Adi has an interesting story about his acquaintance with Prasetiya Mulya. Did anyone realize how his name is spelled? It is the exact way as our school’s name. Adi’s father is also an alumni from the master program. He told us that he was actually named after our school. Later on, his father continuously shared his education experience in Prasmul and how impressed he was with the method. Needless to say, Adi was thinking to pursue master degree program in the same campus as his father when he was still in junior high school.
The universe came to Adi’s favor. In 2005, he was just beginning his high school years and he found out that Prasmul has its undergraduate program. Without any hesitation or doubts, he decided that he would continue his higher education in Prasmul. Adi has also grown interest in business especially marketing. He even read many books related to it.
Once he was admitted to Prasetiya Mulya, he knew from the beginning that he would major in Marketing. He wanted to know the general knowledge too but he was determined that he would love to work in a marketing field. He perceived marketing very dynamic and it interested him.
Adi and Prasetiya Mulya
When we ask someone who has been graduated from Prasetiya Mulya, we wonder about the impression they have on our school. For Adi, he is impressed with our curriculum. “Basically, I am not the textbook learner type of person. Thankfully, Prasmul emphasizes on learning by doing. Every subject gives us projects that are related with the real world. I got the impression that Prasmul wants to create professionals and entrepreneurs. The learning environment also encourages students to actively take part in various organizations.”
Adi is an unpredictable person when it comes to answering our question. We wanted to know the most memorable experience when he was still studying in Prasetiya Mulya. Out of the blue, he stated that meeting his wife who was also a student in our campus was his most memorable experience. An honest answers though. He then continued. “Besides meeting my wife, I must say the experience to start a business was something. It began with Business Creation to Business Plan. From these projects, I learned a lot about how to start and organize a company. It taught me how to lead a team and to confront your own friend. We all know it was school projects but we couldn’t avoid conflicts. It allowed us to manage those conflicts and continue our work professionally.”
Adi explained to us that the education and learning process in Prasetiya Mulya plays a big role in his career. Firstly, he developed his leadership skill. “Honestly, I wasn’t an active student during high school but I shifted and decided to take part in various committees in Prasmul. I started just as a division member but my good performance had given me plenty opportunities. I was offered to become head of various committees.” Secondly, he felt he was forced positively to start a business and to dive in the professional world. Last but not least, Adi perceived Community Development program has positive impact in his career life too. He realized that Prasetiya Mulya encourages its students to become number one in many things but through this program he understood that he also needs to stay humble. He said it was an eye opening that life in the rural areas is tough.
Our talent has mentioned that his leadership skill has developed during his study. He also admitted that his negotiation skill ameliorated. As stated before, he was an active student. This is maybe a useful insight for students. Adi was determined to take part in various activities in campus to build connection. He wanted to grow his network that he feels beneficial later on.
Paving His Career Path
It is true that Adi is a strong-willed and persistent person. He stayed with his career aspiration that he already has since high school. He has always wanted to work in marketing field with broader scope including sales. “I love developing new ideas and meeting new people. I believe marketing answers my interests. I have the impression that meeting many people will add our opportunity and we will learn more too.” Just like students his age, he was fixated with several top companies to work for after graduation. Adi later on realized that there are many companies that can offer good career opportunities.
His journey to have his first professional experience was from Talent Fair. Adi started as Sales Executive Food Service in a big local company. It is actually a big family business in Indonesia. His first encounter with this company was in the mock interview where they gave him a good review. In Talent Fair, Adi was being interviewed by many companies including that specific one. Following the interview, he went through written test and another interview with the user. Adi agreed with the salary being offered and he started working with them even before graduating.
His first company is a distributor for imported products so it is also a trading company. They distribute products to hotels, restaurants, caterings, and bakeries. He acted as B2B (business to business) sales. Being a fresh graduate with no experience, Adi was assigned with small accounts that consisted of hotels. He was responsible to sell various products, to negotiate price, and to achieve monthly sales target. As stated earlier, his company is a local and a family business. Adi is grateful for it because he has learned many things starting with financial matter to logistic. Since it is B2B, Adi was making deals for the head office with his clients but the delivery was adjusted to the clients. He shared his story that he had to deliver fresh meat on his own. That happened because not all his clients have central warehouse and they need to be deliver directly. He sometimes felt overload and without clear system. His persistence resulted in his promotion where he was entrusted with the number one account clients in the restaurant channel. Adi considered the higher target as a challenge.
After almost three years, Adi felt the need to move to another company. Personally, he is not a “job hopper” knowing from his story that he always plans to stay more than a year in a company because he has to learn first and to add his experience. Moving was the hardest decision. He was the company’s top sales performance and he was being promoted. Yet you can never predict someone’s career path. Adi has been searching for new opportunity since his second year in the company. He became aware of his current position from fellow Prasmulyan. The process took about four months.
Adi officially started working as Key Account Manager in PT. Sari Husada in January 2015. His company is a subsidiary of Danone. He was the only Key Account Manager not from their Management Trainee program. “I felt so blessed having the chance to work in a multinational company. It was quiet challenging to adapt. The system is very different so it was like being a fresh graduate all over again. I started with two clients in the modern trade.” He shared with us that his work needs more strategic and analytical skill. He started making strategy based on data analysis. His willingness to learn from others resulted in good performance where he was then entrusted to manage a bigger account. As of last year, Adi is responsible for the number one account.
With approximately five years of experience, we are curious about the ups and downs in his professional journey. He started with his first experience. The down side was the location of the office that was far from his place and unclear procedure. Yet Adi admitted he likes how he had the chance to learn a lot. He also informed that in his first company he shaped himself to be able to work under a very high pressure. How about now? He said his work now is more structured and more strategic in addition to meeting new people. He also explained the difference between his current and previous roles in different companies. When he first started working, he focused on sales through channels but now in Sari Husada he is responsible for the retail.
FMCG Industry in Adi’s Eyes
Fast-moving consumer goods industry attracts many future graduates. To provide students with insights of the industry, we wanted to know how Adi perceives this industry. “This industry is very dynamic. In relation with my scope of work, you will also be able to learn and see from all perspective. First, you have to start with the consumer or the end user. Think about what they like. Then you also need to know the consumers’ behavior and their path to purchase. If you work with retailer, you will also need to know their KPI. But you can’t put aside how you as the principal’s perspective either.”
Different FMCG companies have different business process. Since Adi has experience in two companies, he is very kind to give a brief description about the processes. “When I started working and as I stated earlier, I met directly with the end user to sell them the products. Therefore, the process starts with having a list of products and increasing the product knowledge. As a salesperson, you will have assigned clients or you have to find new ones. For the existing clients, you need to maintain good relationship. Prior meeting your clients, you have to check the logistics of the products. Once you meet them and they agree to buy from you, they will create PO (purchase order) and subsequently you are also in charge to oversee the delivery and the payment from the clients.”
As Adi said before, his current role requires more of his strategic knowledge. In his present company, his product knowledge is not as deep and thorough because he plans the strategy more to be offered to the retailer. Adi has to check the retailers’ needs and prepare trading terms. Subsequently, Adi will need to plan and negotiate with the retailer. Once they have a deal, he will oversee the supply. The trading terms that both parties agreed upon is to be renewed annually. Beside trading terms, he also supervises the promotion is aligned with the company’s guidelines.
The work culture in FMCG industry, specifically in the sales department, is more casual. Adi explains that you will find office politic anywhere you work. He advises to learn about it and try to be less idealistic. “You have to know your character and how to play your role at work. You will meet many people when you work. If we are talking about family business, you might witness how certain positions are based on the owner’s subjectivity. As for multinational companies, they have clear KPI so you have to perform well.”
Adi told us that the career opportunities in the FMCG industry are good. He further explained that it would be tougher especially for the sales department. It is because sales is a division where anyone from any backgrounds can work in without specific technical skill. “Working in the sales department will be tougher in the future because the competition will be higher too. To be able to survive, you can’t be looking for comfort zone because you will need to continuously update your knowledge and keep up with the changes. In the future, the industry will be more dynamic with the rise of competitors and you will need to think how to maintain in being the market leader. Besides that, the challenge will also come from the consumers. They are easily bored and their characters also change.”
We are curious about the talents’ qualifications and characters in the FMCG industry. For someone who has worked in it, Adi provided us with his insights. “First and most important is your attitude. Positive and can-do attitude should be possessed. If you are given difficult assignment, don’t reject it but embrace it as a challenge. Remember to stay humble too. From there, you will need a good negotiation and leadership skill. Don’t forget to be willing to learn new things too. Being a professional, you must have ‘be better’ mindset.”
Adi’s Words of Advice
Having five years of working experience, Adi admitted there are differences between campus and professional life. The first difference he felt was maturity and how to adapt into new environment. “For college students, if you study well, take the tests, you might get an A. But working life is not as predictable as that. You work well but you can’t present yourself well to your bosses, it will not mean a thing. What you do also has impact on others. When you embark into the professional world, you will have many comparisons and unfavorable things might happen. You have to be tough”
In order to have the job you dream of, Adi has good suggestions too. “First and foremost, build your connection. You might not benefit it while you’re studying but in the long run you will see. So, be friends with everyone and participate in organizations or committees. Don’t forget to work hard and do it 100 percent. Do the best you can. If you don’t succeed, don’t give up. You also have to learn to stay humble. Don’t be snobbish because you achieve something in campus because when you graduate and enter the professional world, you will realize and meet others who are better than you. Last but not least, treat others kindly the way you want to be treated.”
Up to now, Adi still focuses in his work because he is not a risk taker. He will continue to work hard to perform well at work and be entrusted with new challenges. In the end, he also dreams to have his own business by the age of 40. He hasn’t been thinking about continuing his education because he feels more comfortable taking trainings related with his work. In the end, he left us with his words of advice for you future professionals. “Build connection, keep the hard work, and stay humble.”
Two standout Prasetiya Mulya’s graduates tell their exciting career journeys that have unlimited their potential and ability in Sampoerna.
© 2014 Prasetiya Mulya
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