I refer to your article titled RI professionals not ready for competition published in The Jakarta Post on Jan. 16, 2003.
While your reporter brings up a valid point, we need to be aware that good quality Indonesian professionals do exist. Indeed, there are many skilled, qualified and extremely competent Indonesian professions working across a broad spectrum of industries and they are just as capable as their foreign counterparts.
At PT Birotika Semesta (DHL Indonesia), for example, we recognize and support local talent and aggressively seek to fill management positions with Indonesian professionals. Today, nearly all of our middle and senior management positions are filled by highly capable Indonesian professionals, many of whom have been with us an average of five years. In comparison, expatriates form less than 0.007 percent of our total workforce of 680 employees.
The quality of professionals is also a function of a company's commitment to help its people develop to their fullest potential. Again, at PT Birotika Semesta we ensure that we support our professional managers in every possible way through comprehensive and on-going development programs.
I believe all of this has contributed to the success we have had in finding and retaining the high-caliber local talent which is vital for a service oriented business such as ours.
We need to recognize that the issue of the quality of professionals is not unique to Indonesia. This is an issue that exists in many other emerging economies around the world, including Southeast Asia. It would, therefore, be a grave injustice to perpetuate the misperception that "Indonesian professionals are not ready for competition".
ERNA MUKTI, Human Resources Manager, PT Birotika Semesta/DHL, Jakarta