Since joining Asian Agri, Rudi Wijaya gets the best of both worlds: a job he is passionate about, and some beautiful settings to indulge his love of photography.
“I love to take pictures of the beautiful scenery – I want to capture as much of it as possible so I’ll never forget what it’s like to live in an oil palm plantation,” Rudi says.
The 26-year-old currently works at Asian Agri as an Afdeling Assistant, with his main responsibilities including supervising, planning and coordinating the day-to-day operations in the company’s oil palm plantation in Tungkal Ulu.
Rudi’s journey with Asian Agri began after he graduated high school in 2011. Rudi received a scholarship from Asian Agri to pursue a bachelor’s degree at STIPER Agriculture Institute (INSTIPER) in Yogyakarta.
“I wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity provided by Asian Agri to continue my studies. That was the reason I mustered up the courage to leave home and live far away from my family. It was a difficult decision at the time,” Rudi recalls.
After graduation in 2015 he joined Asian Agri, and had to undergo a six-month training programme at the Asian Agri Learning Institute (AALI) in Riau, where he gained comprehensive knowledge of oil palm plantations.
While many may fail at this stage, Rudi passed and was assigned to work at one of Asian Agri’s oil palm plantations in Jambi.
“My first assignment was in Tungkal Ulu district, where I was a Nursery Assistant,” he said.
In 2017, Rudi was transferred to his current role of Afdeling Assistant. Every morning, he has to lead a coordination meeting at 5.30am, which sets the agenda for his fellow employees to carry out that day.
"An Afdeling Assistant should always conduct a clear briefing for the employees every day. It helps them to understand and be responsible about their share of the work," Rudi says.
Of course, an Afdeling Assistant has to be capable of carrying out the tasks on his own too, if required, he says.
Rudi acknowledges that managing people is never an easy task and that being able to motivate employees properly is the key to increasing productivity.
“The biggest challenge is adapting to different people of various backgrounds,” he says, adding that good communication is therefore vital in gaining the trust of his fellow employees.
Rudi says that it is also important to establish a fun workplace culture and warm relationships with his colleagues.
“I have the best colleagues here in Tungkal Ulu. We all get along and have positive interactions, and we also motivate each other,” he says with a smile.
Rudi also tries to maintain positive relationships beyond his department, and happily contributes to company events through his photography.
“I’ve been invited to take part in numerous events organised by the company: I see it as the company showing its appreciation for me, and a testament to my photography skills,” he says.
Life in an oil palm plantation may not be easy, but it is a rewarding one as it gives you a lot of valuable life lessons, Rudi says.
“I have been working in Indonesia’s largest oil palm company for four years now, and I’ve gained plenty of fundamental values which have really shaped me as a person.
“Perhaps what’s most important is I’ve learned about the significance of self-discipline and responsibility - not just for myself but also for others,” he says.
Follow in the footsteps of Rudi! Together with Asian Agri, become a part of people’s lives and create a sustainable future for the community and country. Join us!