From training to recruitment to eventually managing an oil palm plantation, Budianto’s decade-long journey with Asian Agri has been an eventful one, and one he’s looking forward to continuing.
Today Budi, as he prefers to be known, is an Estate Manager, heading a big team at Asian Agri’s oil palm plantation in Riau.
“Managing a team at an oil palm plantation is like heading a family and you have to be able to empower everyone in the team to do their best at all times,” Budi says.
Budi says that he first gained knowledge about people management during the six-month training programme he underwent at the Asian Agri Learning Institute (AALI) – a programme that all estate employees have to complete when they first join Asian Agri.
“It was at AALI that I built character. I learned about discipline, integrity, honesty and hard work. These are the values that are important in being able to adapt to plantation culture and to master plantation management,” he says.
After completing the training at AALI, Budi held a variety of roles, including By-Product Assistant, Training Officer, Learning and Development Officer, Recruitment Officer, and Head Plantation Assistant.
His ability to absorb new information quickly and his capability in carrying out practical work in the field, coupled with his excellent communication skills, soon saw Budi being promoted to his current position of Estate Manager.
Budi’s main task is to manage the three divisions which make up the Riau plantation. Division 1 focuses on production and upkeep of productive oil palms, while Division 2 specifically manages replanting. Division 3 focuses on managing young oil palms.
Among Budi’s many duties are ensuring all replanting work is done in line with company standards, and that young oil palms receive the intensive care they need in the company’s nurseries.
Budi has to continuously monitor and coordinate all plantation assistants in developing work plans, harvest plans, and plantation management plans. This requires sharp analytic skills on his part, to review productivity and work quality.
“The main point is to make sure that everyone is taking ownership of and responsibility for their tasks. We all need to understand the company’s vision and mission, and that we all have to work hard to achieve the same goals,” Budi says.
“In addition to keeping a close eye on overall plantation management, I need to be creative in leading the team,” he says, adding that he often organizes team activities to help colleagues bond.
Budi firmly believes that a cohesive team leads to better productivity in the workplace, particularly in an oil palm plantation.
He also works to ensure that team members view themselves as representatives of the company.
“We do good things here, and we should be able to demonstrate our good values through our personalities. An outsider’s assessment of employees will affect their views about the company’s leadership as well as the company itself.
“For this reason, I think every employee at Asian Agri always does their best since the company gives their best to the employees too,” Budi says.
Budi also often underscores the significance of commitment and consistency to his team.
“Without commitment, we will not be able to start anything and without consistency, we will fail to follow through with anything we have started,” he says.
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