Djoenaedi Joesoef, Chairman, Konimex

The pharmaceutical industry has faced well-documented challenges over the past few years in many parts of the world. As a result, many pharmaceutical companies are changing the way they do business. Are such changes affecting your human capital programs at Konimex?

The competition and challenges in many industries, including the pharmaceutical and health care industries, are at an all-time high. To survive and succeed requires us to review and evaluate the most important element in any organization: human capital. That's why at Konimex we are implementing a new approach in measuring the performance of our workers. But, most importantly, we are aligning the various parts of the organization to focus everyone on achieving our common goal.

Some financial experts say that Indonesia has survived the global financial crisis fairly well. To what extent has the recession affected your human capital strategies?

We need to push the performance of each individual and each team to achieve even greater results, to find new boundaries of what we can accomplish together. To do this, we must focus more on our competence, and also empower each and every one of us to be able to stretch our capabilities.

As parts of the world begin to emerge from the recession, the war for critical-skill talent is beginning to heat up again in some industries. Are you finding that it's becoming more difficult to attract or retain top talent?

It is more difficult to attract and retain top talent, because we have to compete with multinationals, as well as large local companies.

Are you looking outside of Indonesia — or outside of Asia — to fill some key positions?

We believe that domestic human resources have the right competencies, and mostly we rely on them. We allocate 10% of our working time to training local workers. We have an annual training agenda, and employees have opportunities throughout the year to attend seminars, conferences and other development activities.

How is the competition in consumer products — particularly over-the-counter pharmaceutical products — affecting your people programs?

The consumer product industry is very competitive. One of the keys to success is to focus on human capital. Therefore, we combine fixed salaries, bonuses and benefits. Benchmarking multinationals and large local companies, we are aggressive with bonuses. We use annual bonuses as motivation, and this helps us retain high-performance and high-potential employees.

How have reward programs changed in Indonesia in recent years? What are the trends?

Over the past few years, the government has been pushing to increase the minimum wage and, more importantly, the wages of government officials. The private sector needs to pay close attention to this and monitor the effect it has on the economy. On the other hand, inflation is also increasing. We need to narrow the gap that exists between Indonesian rewards and worker productivity, on the one hand, and that of other countries on the other.

Is Konimex using a total rewards strategy to attract and retain employees? If so, which elements of total rewards provide the most effective solution? If not, what strategies are you using to deal with the talent war in your industry?

We have been using a total rewards strategy. We combine fixed and variable pay, and we also provide employees with many programs, including medical allowances for inpatient and outpatient care, retirement plans, housing allowances and more.

What is the biggest human capital challenge you're facing today at Konimex?

The biggest challenge for us is succession planning. We must prepare the successors for top managerial positions by improving their competencies and their performance in key areas.

Please compare your human capital programs with those of other key players in the consumer products industry — local or multinational companies — in Indonesia.

We have aligned our human capital programs with the industrial standard in Indonesia. This enables us to retain top performers and has helped us achieve our goals for the company.

What aspects of your career have been the most satisfying for you?

First would be my decision in 1967 to leave a successful enterprise, where I was a health equipment representative, in order to focus on manufacturing pharmaceutical products. I do business based on a simple philosophy: Conduct business ethically, with commitment and honesty. It has worked. We've grown Konimex from a small-scale pharmaceutical business to a well-known regional enterprise. As for me — producing, distributing and exporting our own products has been my dream. At Konimex, the dream has come true, and I hope it will continue well into the future.