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Building a business is just like building a house. We should have faith and patience in undergoing various processes: from doing architectural work up to designing the blue print before finally start building the house. In terms of time, we can accomplish the construction in one month, six months or one year, but the quality of each constructed house will be different. Just like Hakuhodo Indonesia, the agencys current achievement and acknowledgement is not an overnight success story. In paving way to its milestones, Hakuhodo Indonesia has gone through years of struggle and constraints. After eight years of process, with the hardest effort in the first three years, Hakuhodo Indonesia is now widely known as one of the remarkable advertising agencies in Indonesia. Five years in row, the agency has been listed as one of the five big ranks in CitraPariwara creative festival. Last year, the agency was even acknowledged as agency of the year in CitraPariwara after winning 2 best awards, 2 golds, 5 silvers, 7 bronzes, and 3 finalist awards.


The day was bright when we visited the office of Hakuhodo Indonesia at Jl Prapanca 39, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta. The office was warm and comfortable. CEO Hakuhodo Indonesia Irfan Ramli was still busy in his room when we were guided to see him. We are grateful for the acknowledgment as the agency of the year in CitraPariwara. But I prefer talking about the process, Irfan Ramli said as if

knowing that we have prepared some questions related to the award winning. This achievement was extraordinary work from the team but nontheless it was the prayers of every individual within the company that made it happen. What we do today is not an overnight story. It takes a long process. In a way to get good result, substantial time and effort is always required, he continued while emphasizing the importance of process by telling house construction analogy.

Nothing is instant. Never give up on building, be patient, be persistent, and keep on praying and take action. We have been through eight years of journey, and thank God, the last five years is good, both in term of business and awards. The first three years, from 2003 to 2005, were the hardest moments. We were still new, and not many people knew anything about us. Something I could not forget there were time when we

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werent only rejected to join pitching, but also to present credential, he added. In a way to help the situation, Hakuhodo Indonesia then geared up introducing itself to the industry among others by setting up number of activities, inviting wellnoted figures from Hakuhodo Japan to be speakers in seminar, judges in festivals, and so forth. And we really thanked God that time when we started getting invitation for pitching. By time, Hakuhodo Indonesia then started gaining trust from clients, starting from Nissan as the first client, then was followed by Kao Biore, Kopi ABC, Toshiba, Suzuki Motorcycle. Today, Nissan, Kao Biore, Toshiba have continued their cooperation with Hakuhodo Indonesia alongside newer clients such as Semen Gresik, Lotte, Abbott, Telkomsel, Honda Motorcycle, M-150, WWF, Yayasan Autisma, ITComm, and more to come. ONE GOOD TURN DESERVES ANOTHER Dating back to the early years of operation, Irfan shared how his fellow team members showed their passion and commit;ment; to keep on working together, to walk hand by hand, and to support each other until reaching one milestone to another. The same facts were also highlighted by COO Mahendra Suyono and CFO Ferti Wiratih, two sidekicks that have kept on supporting Irfan in driving the agency undergoing all phases of process since 2003. The three of them have become the three musketeers for Hakuhodo Indonesia. We build Hakuhodo Indonesia together, the three of us. You can ask Mahendra and Ferti about how we have struggled to establish this agency, Irfan said as letting us to directly talk with Mahendra and Ferti Wiratih. It takes time to adjust, to unite and move forward together with one vision and mission. Fortunately, we have known each other for long time, this made us easier to understand each other, Mahendra said, as agreed by Ferti Wiratih who added that they have indeed known each other for 16 years, quite a quality of time to know each others characters well. The first three years were the hardest moment, when business was still far from good, no salary increases, and even marked with facilities reduction. But thank God, everybody could understand, including the staffs, Ferti added. A number of staff who joined Hakuhodo Indonesia since its first operation are now still there, proving how they really love the agency and other fellow team members. They are parts of our history. Thanks to them for showing extraordinary work and commitment to Hakuhodo, and for their trust to the management. Good internal communication is one of the important aspects in Hakuhodo. Our doors are always open for all our fellows. Try to be close to them is very important, as without them, we would not be able to reach what we have now. I am not trying to be humble here, but simply I share the fact. They have worked extraordinarily, thus the result has been extraordinary as well, Irfan again emphasized the importance of togetherness. Now after Hakuhodo Indonesia has turned into a remarkable agency, nothing much has changed in terms of their solid communication among all team members. Nurturing the commitment and contribution of team members, the management never tried to recruit dream teams or the best team sparkling outside the agency. Instead, Hakuhodo provides the best opportunity for its own team to grow optimally through regular training and other efforts, as for them their team has indeed become their dream team.


GROWING IN BALANCE After driving through such long and winding road, Hakuhodo Indonesia has now reached its milestone. Five years in row, the agency has been listed as one of five big ranks in CitraPariwara creative festival, while among Hakuhodo networks; the agency has also been ranked as the top three in the last four years. From business point of view, more and more clients come and give their trusts for fruitful cooperation. For them, its really an abundant of blessing from above. To maintain the progress and to proceed the growth, the trio in the management shared responsibilities, focusing both in developing business and in giving contributions to the industry. Basically we focus on two important interests, namely business and organization. We have Irfan Ramli to give priority in organization involvement, while Ferti and myself are entrusted to run daily operation of the business. But of course we always sit together to manage this agency, especially when we face important matters to decide, Mahendra explained. What he said is true as Irfan Ramli has been widely known for his role in the industrial organization, including in the Indonesian Association of Advertising Agency (P3I) where he serves as the head of Jakarta chapter, and in the Asia Pacific Media Forum (APMF). Doesnt it consume much time and energy to be actively involved in such organizations? Yes, it does. But thank God, we can still manage the time together, Mahendra said. For Irfan Ramli himself, to actively take part and participate in organizations has become his personal interest since long before establishing Hakuhodo. He believes that its part of industry practitioners responsibilities to give contributions to industry through industrial organization. Thats what I believe. But the rest, let others give their own opinions. But for sure, I would not take for granted my involvement in the organization to nurture my business. I never gave my organizations name card during any pitching, and only distribute in very related moments only, Irfan said. Whatever is good to the industry, its fine with me. Amid their tight schedule, the three of them keep on opening their door of communication to Hakuhodo staffs. For them, all team members and staff have been like families. The management believes that any company should treat their staffs well, as human, and never as numbers. We even hold simple farewell ceremonies when our staffs would leave the company and voluntarily

collecting allowances or gifts for him or her, Ferti described. The comfortable working condition and transparent communication within Hakuhodo Indonesia also impressed Hideaki Sato, technical advisor from Japan, I enjoy working here. We are just like families, we can communicate to each other easily without any unnecessary bureaucracy constraints. In terms of target, the management does not set goals very high. Our target is never too much. We just keep on telling them to maintain our position in the list of five top ranks company in CitraPariwara and some other feasible target, Irfan explained. Such good treatment may have become the reason why the turn-over in Hakuhodo Indonesia remains low.

members. Thanking God for the achievement, Hakuhodo also pay forward the goodness and blessing to the community through its community programs. Hakuhodo also expressed gratitude to all clients for all the trust and cooperation, as well to fellow team members, and other fellow practitioners in the industry. WHAT OTHERS SAY In the previous part, we have seen how Hakuhodo Indonesia has undergone phases of processes in paving its way to reach todays achievement. However, it will not be complete though without having other testimonies in a way to obtain clearer perspective and perception about Hakuhodo. Here we will read some testimonies coming from Hakuhodos business partner and competitors, expressing their perception and understanding in recognition of the agency and the people behind it. I am a big fan of Hakuhodos work; its often astute, simple and refreshing. Their Nissan mud trail campaign has certainly left a big impression on me. Hakuhodo has been consistently top 5 in the last few Citra pariwara not to mention their equally impressive record on new business wins. A formidable agency with respectable track record and prowess, CEO Lowe Indonesia Joseph Tan, who mentioned Hakuhodo as peer, not competitor. He further expressed his opinion about Irfan Ramli, Pak Irfan is one of the senior adman I respect. He wears his passion on his sleeve and possesses relentless drive to better our industry. A true professional that is humble and dont compromise on integrity...I really wish there was more Irfans in our industry. For Narga Habib, the owner of Caberawit, Hakuhodo is both competitor and family. I regard Hakuhodo as my own family. I have known Hakuhodo since its first kicking in the industry. We often joined pitching together and won over each other, but when we considered a certain pitching process look doubtful, we decided to withdraw together. Our relation is professional but personal as well. Narga and Irfan are also old acquaintance who has known each other for more than 15 years. They used to work together in the association both in the center and chapter. Once I was the general chairman of P3I, and Irfan was the secretary general. Duo Jumbo, thats how some friends called us that time. Together we have the same passion to build national advertising industry. As friend, Narga knew how the three figures in Hakuhodo Irfan, Mahendra, and Ferti could complete and support each other in growing Hakuhodo.

Hakuhodo is one of our most strong competitors regarding its big progress in the last three years both in businesses and in creative reputations. In my opinion, they key of success is their strong leadership and their ability to recruit and develop talents,
JWT Jakarta President DD Lulut Asmoro.

Being asked about the specific plan in 2012, Irfan just smiled and simply said, Trying to build something new is not easy. What we have reached should be maintained. There is possibility to do something new, but we are still learning here and there. Let see and just pray for us. Hakuhodo Indonesia has now become a mediumclass advertising company with a number of landmark achievements, both in business and in acknowledgment, with healthy annual billing, and growing trust from clients. The team has also grown stronger, starting from only around 13 members in the beginning of establishment into around 90

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A combination of skill and management thats quite ideal and solid I think, Narga closed his statement as congratulating Hakuhodo Indonesia as the agency of the year. Hakuhodo is one of our most strong competitors regarding its big progress in the last three years both in businesses and in creative reputations. In my opinion, they key of success is their strong leadership and their ability to recruit and develop talents, JWT Jakarta President DD Lulut Asmoro said. Noted figure from Ogilvy & Mathers Iim Ibrahim also shares his perception about Irfan Ramli, Pak Irfan is friendly and kind. He really cares about the development of advertising industry in Indonesia. As practitioner, he is actively involved in the organization. He always has his time and energy for the industry. As CEO in Hakuhodo, he is not only mingled with top levels, but also embrace all parties, friendly to everyone. A man of descipline and dedication, and he speak up upon any irregularities in the industry. He also has a good team with humble talents.

Meanwhile, for Andi Sadha who leads Activate media agency, Hakuhodo has shown its own character. Its creative execution is always based on in-depth study on consumers insight. Besides, its creative idea is media neutral that enable Activate as media agency partner, as well part of the brand tea, to enrich distribution of the creative idea, Andi explains, as further citing an impressive experience during their cooperation, When we worked together with multiple partners and clients to introduce Danamon CSR campaign entitled Nothing Wasted to public, and invited them to take role and chose the campaign to win BBC Challenge, as the result Nothing Wasted was selected as the runner-up due to the support of Indonesia public Aside from being business partners, Andi Sadha and Irfan are also partners in managing the Asia Pacific Media Forum. He saluted Irfan from Hakuhodo for his commitment in supporting the fate of advertising industry in Indonesia. Amid the holding of APMPF Bali in 2010, Irfan had to depart to Jakarta in the morning before the program to accomplish business pitching for Hakuhodo, and he immediately returned to Bali in the evening to ensure that the APMF ran as expected.

For Jerry S. Justianto, managing partner of Masima Contents & Channel, whats interesting about Hakuhodo is their intention to combine new media to their project. We really learn much from Hakuhodo, mainly from their postproject treatment where they really aware and professional in preparing a project, not only to reach the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) given by clients, but also to give valued added like winning respected awards. Jerry also considered Irfan unique due to his high passion in radio. Whats unique from Hakuhodo is Irfan Ramli, CEO who has high passion on Radio. He has helped Masima program like Sawityowit to get across the message not only through radio and twitter but also through extraordinary mix media projects. Just like Andi Sadha, Jerry is also close friend to Irfan at the APMF, where Irfan is Vice-Chairman for marketing and operation, and Jerry is vice chairman for program. We have the same vision to push forward the synergy among media, agency, and clients in improving related technologies and creativities. [Bekti Gojagie]