Company profile: Mr Anthony Salim’s company began with humble beginnings when his father Liem Sioe Liong started it under the Suharto era in Indonesia, and grew it to an annual turnover of US$20 billion in 1995 or an estimate 5% of the country’s GDP. This also meant that in 1995, the company was not just the largest conglomerate in Indonesia but also in Southeast Asia. In 1993, the company was handed over to Anthony.
The listed companies that the Salim Group is involved in include Indofood (instant noodles), Indomobil (automotive), Indocement (cement), First Pacific Company (Telecomms, Trading, Property and food), amongst others. It employs more than 100,000 staff around the Pacific region.
The billionaire spends 80% of his time in Indonesia and the remaining travelling and making contacts, while monitoring his businesses through managerial reviews. His involvement with IMF and the World Bank as well as advising giants like Allianz and Rabobank has given him insight to industry best practices.
A typical day for Anthony starts at 10 am and ends at midnight, and it includes readjustment of the company’s tactics in investments through the use of information systems to allow continuous corrections to the course of action. When it comes to human resource management, people are known to be long-term managers at the Group due to excellent incentives disbursed to management. He meets people and constantly talks to them to obtain information outside of the industry in order that he expands his scope of understanding.
He is friends with David Tang, Obe, founder of Shanghai Tang, China Clubs, and Pacific Cigar Company, who is also a non-executive director in the Group.
Anthony is seeking to link production sources in key countries to consumers markets and calls it a “toll-road with many stations.” In other words, if this is successful, Anthony will benefit from the “tolls” paid per transaction. For e.g., in Australia, he seeks to bring the advanced technology and knowledge of farming to developing Asian economies like Mongolia that lack that knowledge.
He is shifting the business from a product-based to a service provided in mediating other businesses, which he believes will provide the transformation that give the Group is cutting edge for thriving in the emerging era. It is bold but definitely one that will revolutionise the way the giant MNC functions in its growth going forward.
Adapted from: Catalyst for Change, Chinese Businesses in Asia (2013)