When the Chairman of Bintang Delapan Group, Halim Mina (56), was a college student, he never expected to become an entrepreneur like today. Now he tells about the road of his success and his business as a pioneer in bulk chemical industry and steel manufacturing industry.
Born on December 3rd, 1958, the young Halim was always the one to think outside the box and was ever-ready for adventures. He attended the National Cheng Kong University (NCKU) in 1976, majoring in Civil Engineering. After graduating from NCKU in 1980, he started to work as a civil contractor in Taiwan for two years. Pressured by his family, he came back to Indonesia and started to work in a chemical company, called PT Dover Chemical. Despite not having much experience in chemical field, he immersed himself to learn the management and problem solving issues. When he was assigned as an employee, he found weakness in the delivery system for chemical products and thus this inspired him to initiate the use of the bulk liquid handling service. Within two decades, PT Dover Chemical has developed into a pioneer bulk chemical trader that has its own terminal and employs more than 10,000 workers.
His career began to rise since then. In 1994, Bintang Delapan Group (BDG) was established under his direction, focusing on trade and logistic, particularly in fertilizer and finger-joint. When the economic crisis surged in 1998, his company survived and even exported the urea to Vietnam due to the increasing demand. In 2001, he took over most of the shares of PT Dover Chemical and restructured with new management as well as development. Within few years, the company delivered its services not only throughout Indonesia, but also to overseas, including Singapore, Malaysia, and China.
Yet, a major breakthrough took place around 2004. As the implementation of regional autonomy has resulted gradual changes of policy in the mining sector, Halim addressed the trend as a potential to maximize his business to the next level. However, series of challenges prevailed regarding bureaucracy and business competitors. Always remembering his motto that honesty in business will win in the long term, he ensured that all the legal licensing and mining concessions for his new company were legitimate. It took few years when PT Bintang Delapan Mineral (BDM) officially was established as a new subsidiary under Bintang Delapan Group, which concentrates on nickel ore minerals.
The company basically aims to win the market in terms of logistical cost and resources. Halim said that, “the way Indonesia competes with the finished product while we still rely on imported raw materials is by cultivating our comparative advantage in natural resources. That is why I decided to focus on nickel because we are seeking for other opportunities outside the common market at the same time.” Throughout the process, the company’s business has grown into a sizeable scale, which enables him to gain some important mining concessions for other minerals such as lead, zinc, galena, and chrome. The first mining exploration took place in 2007. Within two years after its first exploration, Bintang Delapan Mineral succeeded to obtain two mining licenses (IUP) from the government that consist of nearly 47,000 Ha.
In 2009, Bintang Delapan Mineral initiated the joint-venture between Chinese enterprise, Tsingshan Group, which was to establish the first full-staged industrial park that develops from power plant to smelter factory and unrefined materials (nickel ore) to end product (stainless steel). The notion to build the industrial park is a concrete commitment of the company in supporting downstream industry based on Indonesian Government Regulation No. 4/2009.
The collaboration with China was a groundbreaking project. As of February 2010, Bintang Delapan Mineral initiated its first nickel export to China. Business-wise, Halim always applies good business practice and supports the sustainable development in every aspect, which includes developing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. The CSR program covers land restoration, building schools for local residence, worship places, agriculture cultivation, and polytechnic in the long run. He concerns about the important of education in this country. “Everyone has their rights to receive universal education. Considering there is a social inequality in Indonesia, education is one of the most crucial aspects we have to improve in order to fight against poverty,” Halim said. For his perseverance, Bintang Delapan Mineral was awarded “Blue Category” from the Ministry of Environment in 2013 for its commitment in implementing good mining practice and conserving natural resources. In the same year, his company received Maramba Investment Award from government of Central Sulawesi for its dedication in creating good investment climate in the province. “A person needs integrity to do business. Trust is the most expensive asset. Without trust, you will never win in the long term,” he said. On May 2015, President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, inaugurated the smelter that has started to export Nickel Pig Iron (NPI) since April.
Among his employees, Halim is renowned as a jovial and determined leader. He never look into one’s failure, but he always look at the positive side of each person. “I understand that nobody is perfect. To work with others, you should accept the weakness and always celebrate the greatness,” he said. When his employees slip an error, he always encourages them to learn from their flaws and try again.
There are three pillars that he upholds. Firstly is unity, it is a concept when there is a genuine in the engagement with the employees; it brings a quality of being one or a whole. Secondly is purity. Applying good business is not an easy task. However, he believes that through sincerity, the outcome will always take place at the right time. Lastly is divinity, which defines blessing from God. No matter how hard the challenge is, as long as there is a will, there is way to resolve the problem.
As a pioneer of steel manufacturing in Indonesia from raw material to finished product, his vision is not just to lift up the company’s name, but to make the country proud. He believes that in order to develop Indonesia through industrialization, Indonesia has to excel its industry on steel and petrochemicals at the first place. “Steel and petrochemicals are the most fundamental aspect of every industry, thus they play crucial role for further development,” he says. Always moving forward, Halim aims to build the first factory that provides complete manufacturing process from ferronickel, stainless steel, into hot rolled materials for the next five years.