RimbunPROFILE - Andy Nahil Gultom (Corporate Affairs and Government Relation)
02 Apr 2014 / / News
Today we are very thankful that we are able to share some insight with Andy Gultom, a passionate Corporate Affairs (Communication and Government Relation) specialist.
Graduated in Engineering (Bachelor Degree) from Institute Technology of Bandung (ITB) and Master degree in Business Management from Universitas of Gajah Mada (UGM), Andy was a Corporate Affairs Manager at British America Tobacco, Cargill and General Electric (GE) for more than 8 years. He is currently the Senior Corporate Affairs Manager in a Multinational Pharmaceutical company.
In your line of work, you are dealing with different type of people from government to shareholders, what is the key point to ensure successful communication?
There are 3 key points that you will always have to follow: First, We have to make sure that we are honest and transparent on all of the messages that we deliver to the governments or stakeholders; Second, You need to make sure that you always balance the interest between two parties, that is the company you are representing and the government; and Third, The most important of all is that you provide added value not just for your company but also the government.
Is there any differences communicating with Private Companies and Government, what are their differences?
Yes in someway; Lets talk about channeling messages, the media you are using to deliver your message; for companies it is simpler, you can just emails or texting or call directly.
But with government, Emails or phone calling is applicable at the later stage of your relationship; in the beginning you will have to always do it in the formal way, which is to send an official letter.
Secondly, it is the content of your message. When it comes to private companies it is straightforward. The more to the point, the better it is. This is because everything is measured by P&L and bottom line.
But with Government, you need to do your homework and work on a more elegantly constructed message while still maintaining transparency and honesty.
How about lobbying? Is it one of your ways of communication with government and part of your strategy?
I’d say lobbying is part of the pull out action plan. You start with official letter, a mandatory, to give a good impression to the government and you continuing on with lobbying strategy.
How many meetings needed to go into your real intention?
With company, you can do it straight away.
Government, minimum twice but in average 3 – 4 times meeting before you can jump into the real problems.
This is because the person that you met at the first meeting might not be the person that you’d be talking to in the next meeting.
Representing many different interests from companies, what is your advice to handling a conflict?
I’ll start with the mindset; you will need to have a mindset that conflict is not a bad thing but an opportunity. Because having conflict is inevitable and it will always be there.
Conflict is needed to improve yourself, especially leadership skill, so it depends on how you perceive the conflict as one of the tools to improve your professional advancement.
I think collaboration is a must thing to do when dealing with conflicts.
Many times you cannot choose your conflict, it is always there but to make sure all the related party have the same understanding and perception on the conflict and how you map the option for all of the related parties.
What is your strategy in a win-win solution negotiation?
First of all, you need to understand that the external party has their own interest and some of them might be in line with your interest and some are not, so to have win-win negotiation you would have to understand the interest of both parties.
Having that knowledge at hand, you have to prepare for the price option and your bottom line and prepare for the worst scenario because win-win does not mean you will get the most of the benefit but you might in fact less but as long as it meets your bottom line and you are still benefited from it, then it will do.
Having so many years’ experiences in the government relations and corporate affairs, do you have any advice for beginners in this profession?
For rookies, my advice is to “listen more and talk less” when dealing with the government. Most of the time they will see you from your experience and that means your age. They always look upon your age as a maturity level.
From my experience, in the beginning of my first to 4 years, they would sort of ignore you because you are still young but then it depends on how you utilize the opportunity in all the meetings, workshop, forums, and engagement to deliver your message. It will be impactful to improve people perception about you.
What are the most challenging parts in this profession?
Finding Consensus is one of the most challenging tasks. It consists of 2 parts: The first one is finding consensus between your function, with other business function within the company you work at. This is because you have qualitative measurement but they have a P&L and a bottom line at the end of fiscal year.
The second is on how you find a consensus between the company and the government.
You will need to enjoy the process of doing all of this and remember that everything has its time because most of the time you might be impatient.
What are your views in Indonesia current political situation and its effect to the economy as a whole for this year and the year ahead of us?
The way I see it, Indonesia is one of the most democratic country in the world nowadays, the political condition is pretty much stable which impact positively to the economy.
Of course Indonesian economy is highly related to the consumption and a lot of the money circulation on the election campaign will certainly push it.
As for next year, I think the elected president will hold the key to it. So it pretty much depends on whom our next elected president will be.
For University students, what do you think that they should equip themselves, apart from the technical skills, to prepare them for a working environment?
First and the most important thing is Language, particularly English language because not equipped with ability to speak in English will become a hurdle for you in your career advancement.
Second is sports, you need to play a lot of sports because it will nurture your competitiveness, you will learn how to adjust your strategy with your opponent and also at the same time you will learn to be fair and to admit sometimes you fail and your enemy is better than you. So it is a good learning ground to understand how it will play out in the working field.
For you to achieve the current success, there is a time when you have to face ups and down. We would like to know what do you think of failure and how do you maintain your motivation to keep moving and improving yourself?
You will need to understand that bad things happen and it will happen. You will need to have those kind of understanding that when you are in your jobs you will be there to solve problems/ conflicts.
You will have to understand that failure is not the biggest problem in the world and it is not the end of the world.
Lastly you just have to continue to do the best and let God do the rest for you.
What attitude someone should have to be able to achieve his/her dream?
First is to have the “Do the best” attitude. You have to do the best in everything that you are doing and to learn from it.
Do not underestimate any opportunity or any networks or any channels you will have along the way in your career because many times in our career we will under estimate something that come to us.
Be grateful with everything you have right now, because there is lot of people that would like to switch place with you right now. So always be grateful.
Diningsih Bayu Sari