MM FEB UI and Tanoto Foundation: Winning Strategies for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic

MM FEB UI and Tanoto Foundation: Winning Strategies for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic

Hana Fajria –FEB UI Public Relations Officer

Depok – (9/9/20) The Master’s Degree Program in Management at the Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Indonesia (MM FEB UI), and Tanoto Foundation held the Tanoto Entrepreneurship Series entitled “Winning Strategies for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic” to develop the soft skills of  MM FEB-UI students

Minister of Cooperatives and MSMEs Teten Masduki gave a keynote speech at the virtual event that featured Yohanna Keraf (Du Anyam), Reino Barack, Director of PT. Rizki Bukit Abadi, and Sunarso, President Director of PT. Bank Rakyat Indonesia Tbk., as speakers. The event was moderated by Prof. Rofikoh Rokhim, Ph.D.

Teten Masduki said, “It’s important for us to have new entrepreneurs, particularly those who belong to the younger age group that makes up the largest segment of our population. This is the right moment amid the Covid 19 pandemic to find solutions and to innovate to help us survive. Thus, when the economy improves, we are ready for growth. We see that MSMEs survive by adapting their business to changes, re-orienting their businesses and making product innovations. To respond to new market developments, we must boost purchases of domestic products, buy from friends, shop at your neighbor’s store, buy groceries at local grocery stores to drive the economy, including MSMEs.”

“The strategic partnership between Tanoto Foundation and the Master’s Degree Program in Management, Faculty of  Economics and Business, Universitas Indonesia, through the Tanoto Entrepreneurship Series is based on a shared vision, namely to promote the entrepreneurial spirit and to produce Indonesia’s future leaders, particularly future entrepreneurs,” said Aryanti Savitri, Head of Scholarship & Leadership Development Tanoto Foundation.

BRI President Director Sunarso in his presentation explained the banking role in supporting the recovery of MSMEs so that they can support the national economic recovery. “The government injected Rp30 trillion into members of Himbara (Himpunan Bank Negara –State-owned Banks Association), which I lead. We were instructed to disburse three times the amount (Rp90 trillion) to MSMEs,” said Sunarso.

“Between 16 March and 31 August, BRI restructured Rp181.1 trillion worth of debts of 2,976,282 debtors. For the time being, we are not thinking about profit. Simply surviving is more than good. For banks to survive, MSMEs must survive,” Sunarso added.

Meanwhile, Hanna Keraf, Chief Community Officer, Du Anyam, shared her experience as a small-size entrepreneur who connects craftspeople with the market. Du Anyam’s strategy to improve craft production is by using a production supply chain system to solve the supply chain problem and to empower MSMEs so that they can increase their business through a digital craft ecosystem. Hana said MSMEs should adapt to changes to be able to survive the pandemic. “Du Anyam has been doing this since since 2019 before the pandemic. Going forward, MSMEs should go digital even faster,” said Hanna.

Reino Barack shared his experience as a businessman who started by taking care of his father’s business. Reino also shared his strategy in dealing with pandemic-triggered problems. “Temporarily halting the operations of several companies to survive, remain productive, maintain intensive communication, monitor cashflow, manage the companies internally, cut costs. We must be prudent in making decisions related to cashflow.” He added that he started a business he was passionate about. “Don’t just learn from the success of others. Learn also from their failures,” said Reino.

Prof. Rofikoh closed the session by saying that she hoped participants of the seminar gained new perspectives and great insights from the speakers. Knowledge will help participants better understand how small and medium-sized businesses can become winners and emerge stronger, even during the turmoil brought about by the pandemic.(hjtp)


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