Franz Kafka — Montblanc

Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924) was a Bohemian author, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. His work fuses elements of realism and the fantastic. It typically features isolated protagonists facing bizarre or surrealistic predicaments and incomprehensible socio-bureaucratic powers. It has been interpreted as exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, and absurdity. His best known works include Die Verwandlung (The Metamorphosis), Der Process (The Trial), and Das Schloss (The Castle).

In 2004, Montblanc has launched a special edition for Franz Kafka. The design of the fountain pen of this series is not only reminiscent of the simple and yet artful style of its eponym, but also pays tribute to Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. In the fascinating change from square to round in the writing instrument’s form, the metamorphosis described in Kafka’s story has found its equivalent.

Top, clip and rings made of 925 sterling silver offer a thrilling contrast to the dark red translucent aura of the barrel. A further reference to The Metamorphosis is on the rhodium-plated 18-karat gold nib: a finely engraved cockroach.

Die ungeheure Welt, die ich im Kopfe habe. Aber wie mich befreien und sie befreien, ohne zu zerreißen. Und tausendmal lieber zerreißen, als in mir sie zurückhalten oder begraben. Dazu bin ich ja hier, das ist mir ganz klar

Franz Kafka 21-06-1913

Oxford University — Onoto

For my birthday, I will display one of my favourite pen: Oxford Blue Magna Classic by Onoto. This pen is dedicated for the University of Oxford, and it was designed with the official Oxford blue coloured resin and complemented by sterling silver fittings including a broad engraved cap band, the University of Oxford crest on the cap button and Onoto Chevron clip.

The Oxford Magna is based on the style and shape of one of the most famous Onoto fountain pens — the Onoto Magna of 1937 which is still acclaimed as one of the best fountain pen ever made.

Surely I bought it because of its dedication for The University of Oxford. But I do not buy pens just for collecting them. I remember the first day with the pen, I filled it with a GFC Midnight Blue ink, since I thought it perfectly matched the colour of the pen. Then I wrote a few line with it, and instantly fell in love. It surprisingly writes very smoothly, finely, comfortably, and I could write my best with this pen. I never change the colour of the ink for this pen since then. I guess this is the only pen I have, in which I never changed the ink since the beginning.

This Onoto pen accompanied me to many events, including international conferences, congress, classrooms, meetings. Nobody recognised the Onoto brand, though. Onoto is not a famous brand here in Indonesia. I guess people just think this is a souvenir from a visit to Oxford University.

I was in The University of Oxford in 2012 just for a short visit. The small city expressed the elegance of the academic tradition of the University’s colleges throughout the city.

MSME Ecosystem

Since 2016 I have a new role in Telkom Indonesia as the AVP (now Project Leader) of the Industry Synergy. The role of Synergy Department is simply developing the capabilities (mainly digital capabilities) and expanding opportunities of Telkom Group by maximising the collaboration with the industry. As a government policy at that time, the collaborations are prioritised with the state-owned companies (BUMN) in Indonesia. More than three years have passed then. We have changed the Ministry of BUMN, Telkom’s CEO, Telkom’s BOD in charge of Synergy programs, SVP and VP of Synergy, etc. But we are still developing our paradigm of digital synergy, i.e. developing digitally supported economic ecosystems in different sectors.

Using a metaphor from the environment, an innovation ecosystems consists of interdependent parties with different or often competing objectives and concerns, living and growing together in a common digital space, unified using one platform or more to enable them to live better and grow faster. Co-creation, collaboration, and competition are some key activities of the innovation ecosystems.

Last year, the new Minister of BUMN has addressed Telkom Indonesia to develop five ecosystems: Tourism, Agriculture, Logistics, Education, and Healthcare. We even hired a prominent global consultant to help us design the ecosystem. But this February, I requested an approval from the uplinks to add another ecosystem: the MSME ecosystem, to support non-digital micro, small, and medium business in digital way.

Previously we have had a program called RKB to develop the capability of SMEs in Indonesia. RKBs (BUMN’s creative house) have been established in 245 of 514 cities and regencies in Indonesia. In RKB, BUMNs provide training, consulting, and other facilities to leverage the capabilities of the SMEs in three product categories: culinary, craft, and fashion. But RKBs have failed to attract the SMEs since they do not really improve the sales of the SME products. An MSME ecosystem, on the contrary, should start with MSME commercialisation in mind.

We started with a small design by utilising a multichannel marketing application called SAKOO as our first platform. In March, many cities and locations in Indonesia (and other part of the world) are locked down (until the time I’m writing this post, btw) due to COVID-19 pandemic. We found some contexts for the usecase of the platform. To generate market, we will use BUMNs (and public, using campaigns supported by BUMNs) to create demands for the MSME market. BUMNs may buy the products of the MSMEs for their need, or as an aid to support the communities or health facilities in. Surely we first tried it with Telkom. Telkom has started purchasing MSMEs products using this platform, and has also sent support to communities in Depok.

The Minister of BUMN has a new expert staff: Ms Loto S Ginting — a smart lady working previously as a Director in the Ministry of Finance, managing sovereign bond. Now she advises the Minister of BUMN in the issues of Finance and MSME development. Our BUMN Law (UU 19/2003) mentions indeed that the strategic roles of the BUMNs include providing services for public, counterweight for private business, and support to develop small business and co-operatives. We approached her to discuss this first stage of MSME Ecosystem development program. She enthusiastically accepted the program. In addition, she improve the plan to add B2B transaction facility to the first stage of the program. The transaction data from B2B and B2C are further combined with data taken from e-Procurement systems of the BUMNs to make a dashboard to ensure the increase absorption of MSMEs products and services by the BUMNs. She calls this program PADI UMKM, stands for Pasar Digital UMKM / MSME Digital Market.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought the nation into an economic crisis. To survive, MSMEs and their employees need the public involvement. The Minister addressed to rush the MSME platform development. We work with our startup partners: Anchanto, Tees, Payfast, etc to enrich PADI UMKM platform with wider multichannel, logistics management, B2B capability, financing facility, etc. We need to finish it next month (June), so we can start the transaction on July. Eight BUMNs have been selected for pilot project. A new PMO has been assigned to finish this project.

It still felt like a miracle that everything was only in ideation last February, and all activities are carried out during lockdown periods, with all meetings held using vicon, and coordination using whatsapp. Let’s hope we can finish it on June, to support more prosperous small business in Indonesia in long term, or at least, for now, just to have them survive these crises.

IEEE Leadership Summit: Engineering in Covid-19 Crises

The IEEE Indonesia Section has successfully organised IEEE Leadership Summit: Engineering in Covid-19 Crises. This seminar was opened by the IEEE Region 10 Director, Prof Akinori Nishihara; with Minister of Research and Technology, Prof Bambang Permadi Soemantri Brodjonegoro as the keynote speaker; and yours truly and Dr Ford Lumban Gaol as the host.

The other prominent speakers on this seminar, are: Dr Chris Lee (IEEE R10 Industry Relation Coord), Patrick Liew, Dr Denny Setiawan (Ministry of Communications & Informatics), Arief Hamdani Gunawan (Telkom Indonesia), Deepak Mathur (IEEE R10 Director-Elect). The summit was fully supported by the IEEE R10 and the IEEE Singapore office.

The next summit will be carried out on June 2020.

Shooting Games

Imagine — Focus — Action. Those key behaviours are written — firm & clear — on the wall of the shooting arena. This morning we learn our prominent practices to be the winner here. The instructions are clear: set your imagination as a winner, put focus on your target, and once you’re there … with no doubt …. with confidence & only confidence to your commitment & competence …. action! Timely! No doubt!

And the winner this morning is yours truly. Thank you, everybody.



Akhir tahun 2017, kami berada dalam persiapan sebuah kegiatan para BUMN di Paritohan, di sekitar Danau Toba, Sumatera Utara. Suasana dingin berkabut, karena persiapan dimulai sejak dini hari. Namun tampak sebuah pemandangan indah di tengah kabut: PT PPI menyajikan kopi Toba. Di tengah kesegaran yang ditawarkan kopi panas Covaré itu, PPI memberikan kejutan dengan memberikan begitu saja kopi-kopi Toba Covaré kepada siapa pun yang mengaku pecinta kopi.

Di tahun 2018, aku sempat beberapa kali bekerja sama dengan PPI, sebuah BUMN yang berfokus pada perdagangan umum dan khusus atas beraneka produk sejak dari hulu hingga hilir, baik lokal maupun lintas negara; bahkan beberapa kali berjumpa dengan Bapak Agus Andiyani, Dirut PPI yang sungguh visioner namun sangat rendah hati. Namun di awal 2019, kembali PPI teridentikkan dengan kopi.

Pada paruh pertama 2019 ini, para BUMN sedang mempersiapkan alat pembayaran bersama — LinkAja. LinkAja harus dapat digunakan di berbagai produk, layanan, event, dan situs BUMN. Termasuk di antaranya adalah rest area dan pom bensin di jalan tol. Kami tengah mempersiapkan soft launch sebuah rest area di KM 260 — sebuah kawasan bekas pabrik gula di Banjaratma, Brebes, bersama Direktur Pertamina Pak Mas’ud Khamid. Kawasan ini akan diujudkan sebagai kawasan wisata (transit-oriented development) yang memanfaatkan bekas instalasi pabrik gula. Hall besar di Banjaratma dimanfaatkan sebagai café, resto, dan penjualan produk nasional. Di tengah persiapan yang melelahkan, tampak café yang sangat rapi, dengan brand Covaré yang terkenal itu, dan masih buka di tengah malam. Sambil lelah, kami langsung menyerbu café itu, pesan brewed coffee Wamena, Gayo, dll. Setelah kesadaran agak pulih, kami baru sadar bahwa sang barrista di café itu tak lain dari Dirut PPI, Pak Agus Andiyani sendiri. Hoooo.

Melayani curiosity kami, berceritalah Pak Agus. PPI memang mendapatkan tugas khusus dari Pemerintah RI untuk membina kawasan-kawasan rakyat yang potensial menghasilkan kopi bermutu sangat tinggi. Pembinaan diujudkan dengan menentukan kawasan pilot, memberikan pembinaan langsung kepada rakyat, memberikan bantuan benih dll, melakukan pendampingan dan menjaga keterjaminan mutu, hingga membeli kopi-kopi olahan rakyat itu, serta mengemasnya secara istimewa, dan mendistribusikannya ke seluruh dunia. Kawasan pembinaan lengkap dari Aceh hingga Papua.

Semakin istimewa rasanya kopi Covare ini.

Covaré: Koen, Jokowi, and a fan.

BTW, Covaré dapat dibeli di Blanja:


BPPT Buckber

BPPT invited Engineering Professional Organisations in a short iftar session today. The IEEE Indonesia Section was represented by some volunteers (incl Dr Hugeng, Dr Wahidin, Amanda, and yours truly), since the Excom members were too busy.

Surely here I met some old connections, happily. I met Prof Ashwin, Dr Lubis, Prof Suhono, etc.

Unfortunately, this was only a short session — ended just before Isya & Tarawih.


IEEE Indonesia Section Gathering

Opening of the Annual Member Gathering.

Presenting «Collaborative Industry Innovation» at IEEE Indonesia Section Annual Member Gathering 2019.

After Section Chairmanship Handover from Prof Fitri Yuli Zulkifli to Prof Wisnu Jatmiko.