KMI Wire and Cable

“I always emphasize that the best way to produce fantastic work is to really love what you do.”

Under President Director Tony Wongsonegoro, PT KMI Wire and Cable (KMI) is on a roll. Last year, the company’s profit rose 176% to Rp 322 billion, on the back of revenues up 6% to Rp 2.8 trillion. This year Tony aims to increase revenue by 15% to Rp 3.2 trillion. Investors like what they saw, and have driven KMI’s stock up by more than 130% over the last 12 months to mid-July, raising the company’s market cap to about Rp 2 trillion.

The surge in KMI’s fortune is due in big part to KMI being selected as one of four cable suppliers for the government’s ambitious plan to build 35 GW worth of electric power plants by 2019. Last year KMI received a project under this program worth Rp 1.1 trillion, which accounted for 40% of KMI’s total revenues last year. In the first half of 2017, KMI has already won three more projects worth a total of Rp 1.7 trillion from PLN, the state power producer.

Tony sees plenty of growth ahead. “In the future, prospects for the 35 GW will become even better. The commitment from the government is very strong, and I am sure it will continue until 2025,” says Tony, 51. What also helped KMI receive the PLN contracts was the government’s commitment to buy locally produced products. KMI’s Domestic Component (TKDN) is 87%, much higher than the government’s mandated 57% minimum. Since 1995, the company has been able to produce its own copper wire and aluminum, while the cathode copper and aluminum rods as are purchased from local producers, including PT Smelting in Gresik.

What’s interesting about Tony is that he has no background in cable manufacturing. He came to KMI in 2016 with only three years of experience in manufacturing, gathered at plastic maker PT Bina Plaspac Indonesia and rubber maker PT IRC Inoac Indonesia Rubber. For 24 years before that, he had senior positions in some of the country’s leading banks. “I wanted a bigger challenge, and in the manufacturing sector I have to be more creative and innovative,” tells Tony.

Aside from winning new contracts, Tony has grown KMI through innovation. Among them are is the production of a new high-voltage 150 kilovolts cable, which are the ones favored for use in the 35 GW program, helping it to win contracts. Another is the introduction of aluminum conductor composite cord (AC3), which can distribute power twice as fast as traditional cables. It means PLN can more efficiently distribute power without the need to build additional infrastructure (aside from replacing its cables).

Published on Forbes Indonesia Best of the Best issue (08/17). Read full version of the article here.