Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lasik popular way of solving eye problem

SPECTACLES indeed look trendy on some people, but they often cause discomfort and restrict freedom of movement. Wearing spectacles is made worse when they do not match one's face, which is unflattering to one's appearance. While contact lenses can solve this problem, there is a more advanced solution, namely the Lasik procedure.

Lasik or laser in-situ keratomileusis is a surgical procedure that has become a phenomenon as it can cure near and farsightedness and other eye problems in a very short time. Nowadays, many people are interested in Lasik because it is safe and effective.

There are two stages in the Lasik procedure, which are the development of retractive surgery technique. First, a tiny opening is made on the cornea and the second is to reshape the cornea by removing tissue in the cornea with a laser. The opening in the cornea is then re-closed.

The basic creation of Lasik started in the 1950s, when microkeratome was created. It is a precision surgical instrument with an oscillating blade designed for creating the corneal flap. Over the years, the microkeratome has been redesigned to perfection so that creating the corneal flap is safe. The second technological invention was ultraviolet laser, which was created in 1980 and can be used for accurate incisions in tissues without damaging surrounding tissue.

Ten years after the Lasik operation was approved by the FDA, millions of people around the world enjoyed its benefits and were finally freed from the discomfort of wearing spectacles or cleaning contact lens regularly.

However, a small portion of the many millions have complained about dry eyes, blurred vision and bleeding colors. A few also claim the procedure impaired their vision as they cannot watch movies or drive in the evening. Based on such complaints, the FDA did a Lasik safety audit. "The technology is more sophisticated and safer, but there are still a few patients who are not satisfied with the result," said FDA director for equipment and health radiology Dr Daniel G Schultz.

Since FDA's approval in 1998, Lasik turnover has reached US$2.5 billion per year. Up until 2006, the FDA had received 140 serious complaints about the procedure's side effects. However, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) studied 3,000 articles collected by its committee and found 95 percent were satisfied with the surgery results.

Although the Lasik procedure has had FDA approval for a decade, it was only in September 2007 that NASA agreed to its astronauts undergoing the procedure. US navy top gun and air force pilots are also now allowed to undergo this procedure, which is limited to I Lasik and no other Lasik procedure.
I Lasik is a knifeless Lasik technology with an unprecedented level of safety and accuracy. It is the most sophisticated combination of Intralase and VISX Advanced CustomVue and is the best there is to date.

What is obvious, however, is that Lasik technology is getting more and more advanced as time passes. After I Lasik is Z-Lasik. Z-Lasik is a perfection of Lasik technology that is highly safe and comfortable for the patient. And why is that?

All this time consumers have only been aware of knifeless Lasik or All Laser Lasik, such as intralase, femtech and I Lasik, but Z-Lasik is far more advanced. Its technology was invented by the Ziemer Group, a multinational Swiss company that has made its reputation in ophthalmology. It has a highly superior feature, namely its speed of 1000 Khz, which is much faster than the 60 Khz of I Lasik. Z-Lasik makes flaps or incisions on the cornea using a Femtosecond technology laser, which provides the highest level of safety.

Laser Femtosecond is an infrared ray that can make comparatively more accurate incisions at the lowest heat level. This is indeed a breakthrough for such a procedure. Laser Femtosecond operates in ultra short impulses of light and is able to make a hole or an incision as small 0.100 mm in just 0.25 trillion second.

When making the flap on the cornea is more accurate, automatically the Excimer Laser used to eradicate near or farsightedness or cylinder correction can be finer. This method gives the following benefits: 1) Reduces glare effect in night vision; 2) The cornea tissue undergoing the procedure is thinner; 3) Reduces aberration on the cornea and 4) Gives better vision and more comfort to the patient.

The energy produced by Z-Lasik is also lower by 1,000 times compared to I Lasik so that the heat produced on the eye is much lower. This prevents thermal or radiation disorder on the cornea where Excimer Laser is given. That is why Z-Lasik is much safer and much faster in visual recovery than I Lasik. It is not surprising, therefore, that many leading institutions, such as the US army, the US navy, the US air force, marine corps and NASA have approved of its use.

The good news is that you don't have to go abroad to have this procedure done. When considering eye care centers in Indonesia, the Jakarta Eye Center (JEC) is one of the leading centers in the country. It is one of the most complete and sophisticated eye centers in Indonesia with a world-class reputation. Since its establishment in 1994, more than 110,000 patients have been treated at JEC. "JEC positions itself equal to such eye centers abroad,'' said Dr. Donny V. Istiantoro, one of the eye surgeons at JEC.

JEC is a pioneer in the country and first used the Lasik procedure in Indonesia in 1997, seven years after it was first introduced to the world. Lasik technology has undergone revolutionary development since M Lasik (Microkeratome Lasik), which used a surgical blade, until the knifeless procedure applied at JEC in 2006 using I Lasik (Intra Lasik). Today, JEC uses Z-Lasik, which is the safest, most modern and most accurate procedure. “Now patients do not have to worry any more, because the Z-Lasik procedure has been perfected and takes only 10 minutes to complete. The result is more precise and recovery is faster,'' said Donny.

Donny, who studied ophthalmology and graduated in Australia, added that JEC has operated on more than 17,000 patients and freed them from the need to wear spectacles and contact lens as well as those suffering from presbiopia (impaired vision due to old age). Perhaps it's time you, too, left your spectacles or contact lenses behind. (Burhanuddin Abe)

The Jakarta Post, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Courier and cargo market in Indonesia

THE courier and cargo business has bright prospects and is expected to see an estimated 5 percent growth this year. "Indeed, the forecasted growth is not as high as last year, but this industry is still on the move," said Indonesian Courier and Cargo Association (Asperindo) executive director Syarifuddin in a recent media briefing.

Asperindo 2008 data indicated growth of between 6 and 7 percent to approximately Rp 6 trillion last year, while this year the global recession has resulted in a 30 percent reduction in dispatch volume. However, Syarifuddin is optimistic about 2010. "We hope it will be better than this year," he said.

Most cargo and courier companies in Indonesia appear to be optimistic too, which is reflected in their new investments. Multinational express company TNT, for example, expanded and renovated its regional hub in Singapore in mid-April. The hub, valued at S$20 million and located in Changi Cargo Complex, has increased the delivery capacity for time sensitive freight significantly. TNT CEO Peter Bakker said, "Asia is a promising market and we are committed and determined to grow our position in domestic, intra-regional and selected intercontinental express flows even further."

For TNT Indonesia director Ivan Siew, the various investments in Asia, including the regional hub in Singapore, enables TNT Indonesia to increase its capacity, especially for heavy freight. "We are optimistic that we can reach our growth target of 20 percent in 2009," Siew said.

The express division of TNT started operations in Indonesia in 1979 under the name PT Skypak International. Today, TNT's network covers 33 major cities in Indonesia, with 17 branches, 14 agents, 10 depots, six gateways (Jakarta, Surabaya, Batam, Medan, Denpasar and Balikpapan) and 600 employees across the country. TNT's operational and human resources standards have earned the company numerous certificates, such as TAPA A, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, SA 8000 and Investor in People.

Similarly, RPX Group's vice president of operations and customer service, M Kadrial, is also optimistic about business. Indeed, the recession has slowed down global business in 2009, but the domestic courier and cargo business is enjoying healthy growth. That is why RPX Group is focusing on the domestic business, especially the premium segment. Ninety percent of the company's customers are corporations with contracts while the remaining 10 percent are retail customers. "To achieve our target, RPX will open new outlets in 16 major cities in Indonesia to add to our existing 300 outlets," he said.

The company has three Boeing 737-200F aircraft for its domestic courier and cargo service covering Surabaya, Jakarta and Balikpapan. "We added another plane at the end of last year due to an increase in the volume of our domestic business," he said.

Obviously, the courier and logistics business is promising, and it is therefore not surprising that investors - both small and large, as well as domestic and international -- are investing in this business, which is valued at US$1 billion per year for transportation, warehousing, warehouse management, etc.

The express courier business, which started to mushroom in the country in the 1970s, has reached its top position at a ratio of 1:5. Logistics later became a global trend with the introduction of the global forwarder. The express courier business in Indonesia is estimated to have a potential of over $100 million, while the logistics industry is valued at $800 million to $1 billion.

Although the industry faces various impediments, its prospects are bright. Investment banks JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch predict a 5 percent growth, while the government predicts only 3.5 percent annually.

While the forecasts differ, all agree the business has bright prospects. This is because many domestic and multinational corporations use third-party services to handle their logistics needs so that they can focus on their core business. Efficiency and high productivity are also other reasons to use the services of courier and cargo companies.

Naturally, just like in any other business, competition in this industry is stiff among domestic as well as foreign players. Each of them claims to provide the best service. According to Indonesian Logistics Association data, there are more than 300 logistics companies in Jakarta, while according to the Courier Association there are 635 courier companies. A number of logistics companies provide total logistics solutions that include distribution network design, warehousing and transportation.

M. Kadrial, who is also the chairman of Asperindo, said the courier business was integrated with logistics so that some companies also provided total logistics solutions. "There is no defining line in this industry between express and non-express courier services, or logistics," he said.

However, based on core services, the companies can be categorized as follows: shipping, air cargo, trucking, freight forwarding, warehousing and distribution, express delivery or courier service and distributor. The more established a company becomes, the less defined the difference becomes as the company begins to offer more integrated services. However, the competition is getting tougher as each company provides the most comprehensive service to lure customers. (Burhanuddin Abe)

The Jakarta Post, August 25, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Airborne cell phone communication no longer a dream

EACH time we board a plane we hear the announcement: "Turn off your cell phone when on board the plane."

Indeed, the cell phone radio frequency can disrupt the plane's navigation and communication system as this modern means of transportation depends a lot on radio frequency for its various functions, including communication with the control tower.

This is one of the reasons why the British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) forbids the use of cell phones on board as a cell phone frequency can create significant errors in the display instruments and disturbing sounds on the pilot's radio. Even on a standby mode a cell phone still radiates electromagnetic signals and the signals become stronger when the base transceiver station (BTS) is connected with another cell phone for a call or an SMS.

Therefore, for the safety of passengers you are required to switch off your cell phone when you board a plane. However, this tradition will soon end. Several European airlines now already allow the use of cell phones with several conditions. Airbus, for example, has already allowed the use of cell phones and BlackBerry, which are frequently used to send and receive emails.

Soon, with an agreement issued by the European Aviation Safety Board, passengers on Airbus, which is equipped with the On-Air system, can use their various cell phones for calls, SMS and e-mail while flying.

The first airplane with this system is the Airbus A318, which will be operated by Air France. British airline BMI, Portuguese airline TAP, as well as Ryanair have also signed an agreement to provide the On-Air facility, which has been developed jointly by Airbus and SITA, a communication service company.

For the time being the facility will only be available in a number of European countries, but soon it will most probably be expanded throughout the world. As a matter of fact, a facility similar to OnAir, which is not the first one in the world, has been made available by Airbus competitor Boeing, which is being called Internet Connexxion. However, this facility was later discontinued as there was little demand from passengers so business wise it was not so profitable.

In Indonesia, Indosat is the first operator to provide such facility for its subscribers when flying to foreign countries through a service called AeroMobile. For the time being only Indosat's Matrix subscribers can enjoy this facility when they fly on Emirates Airlines and Malaysia Airlines abroad. AeroMobile itself is the first operator to provide such services in the world and the services were commercialized for flying on Emirates Airlines as of March 2008.

AeroMobile Limited is a company based in England with majority shares owned by Telenor ASA, the seventh largest telecommunication company in the world. In response to the market demand since 2003 AeroMobile has been developing safe communication facilities for airplane passengers who carry cell phones and PDAs.

As the market leader in this field AeroMobile started to provide international services in April 2007 when Qantas commercially launched its in-flight mobile technology. The AeroMobile system was successfully tested through over 1,000 Australian domestic flights when SMS, GSM and GPRS data services were being made available for passengers. Qantas made a commitment to apply the services fully for its flights.

Meanwhile, starting March 2008 the AeroMobile system made cell phone calls possible for passengers of Emirates Airlines. Aeromobile and Indosat jointly guarantee the safety of mobile phone communications aboard international flights. Fuad Fahrudin, Group Head Integrated Marketing of Indosat, said that there are at least three factors behind the guarantee.

First, Aeromobile uses current technology that does not interfere with the plane's navigation equipment. Second, the technology used by Aeromobile is certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency. "In addition, we only install the Aeromobile system if the plane also meets our standards," explained Stein Gudbjorgsrud, Director of Regulatory Affairs of Aeromobile.

Third, the Aeromobile system ensures that all cell phones operate using minimal energy to avoid any possible navigational disruption. The Aeromobile system has been used by a number of major airlines, such as Emirates, which has about 1.5 million customers.

The 18,000 flights - equal to 82,000 flying hours - prove the high quality of Aeromobile technology. Currently, it costs US$250,000 to install the Aeromobile system and it is compatible with any type of Airbus and Boeing plane. "The launching of Aeromobile in Indonesia is our commitment to giving our Matrix subscribers maximum benefits, especially for communications while flying," said Johnny Swandi Sjam, president director of Indosat, during the signing of MOU for an International Roaming Agreement between Indosat and AeroMobile on July 21, 2009.

Now based on this agreement Indosat's Matrix subscribers who already have an international roaming facility can enjoy the AeroMobile service on two airlines, Emirates Airlines and Malaysia Airlines. Soon to follow are Saudi Arabian Airlines, Virgin Australia Airlines and Qantas Airways. "We are proud to be able to provide this service so that our subscribers can stay connected while flying. This is the communication solution that meets the growing demand of customers," added Stein Gudbjorgsrud, Director of Regulatory Affairs of AeroMobile.

During international flights the Matrix subscribers can communicate safely, because, as mentioned earlier, the AeroMobile technology has been approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency as well as by the civil aviation authorities of the airlines countries. The AeroMobile system is designed in such a way so that it does not disrupt the aircraft navigation system. In addition the system controls the cell phones so that they operate on minimum power.

Besides cell phone calls and SMS, AeroMobile also makes possible data communication through GPRS for BlackBerry and push email. AeroMobile has developed a unique technology for the GPRS data for BlackBerry and emails by using the Inmarsat satellite. To enjoy this facility Matrix subscribers do not have to apply for the service. They can use it just by switching on their cell phones. There is no additional subscription fee, just the normal international roaming rate. (Burhanuddin Abe )

The Jakarta Post, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Penetration of technology and notebook market

NOTEBOOKS are rising in popularity nowadays. Just like mobile phones, notebooks will one day become an inseparable part of life. Some of the reasons are that notebooks are becoming more sophisticated, slimmer and more affordable. With more Wi-Fi areas in major cities, connecting to the Internet on a notebook has become trendy. What is more important is that notebook manufacturers are presenting their latest technology in the midst of tough competition. One such manufacturer is Dell.

Recently, Dell, which is headquartered in Texas, the US, launched the Dell Latitude E6400 ATG, which is known as the road warrior. The notebook, which has a 14.1-inch screen, has a semi-rugged design and passed various military standard tests, including resistance to dust, scratches, vibration, humidity and even fire!

This notebook is not the first of this kind, as a number of other makers have included such features in their products. Some may recall the three variants of the HP EliteBook released by Hewlett Parkard. The features of the EliteBook 2530p, 2730p and 6930p are quite surprising. All three keyboards are quite solid as no liquid can pass through. Its magnesium alloy body is six times more scratch resistant than other notebooks. It also easily passed the MIL-STD 810F military test that covers usage in extreme temperatures. "For businesspeople, this is the most rugged notebook for a mobile companion, so the HP EliteBook is a solution for their problems while traveling," said Martin Wibisono, country business director Personal Systems Group of HP Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Toshiba has launched the most expensive notebook in Indonesia, the Toshiba Portege R600, which retails for Rp 46 million. This costly notebook pampers its user with numerous sophisticated features.

The first feature is transflective technology, which renders the screen crystal clear under the brightest light. Then there is the SSD (solid state disk) with a capacity of 128GB, which makes the R600 a lightweight notebook at just 979 grams. Its battery lasts between nine and 10 hours. It also has a 7 mm DVD SuperMulti Drive, which is the slimmest in the world. During testing, the R600 was dropped many times onto a steel floor from a height of 76.2 cm. The R600 is not only highly functional, but is also a status symbol.

Other manufacturers are also including the latest sophisticated features in their products, such as products made by Lenovo, ASUS, BenQ and Acer. Next to its technology, Acer is also quite aggressive in its marketing.

The PR specialist marketing communication manager of PT Acer Indonesia, Astrid Irawati Warsito, said Acer was currently focusing on a new market segment for its third generation notebook, the Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) Notebook, which is manufactured through its Aspire Timeline process. "This ULV notebook is a mix between a regular notebook and a netbook in relation to the technology and dimensions created through our Aspire Timeline process," she recently said at an event in Surabaya.

As a notebook pioneer, Acer has also installed new technology in the Aspire Timeline with a battery that can last for eight hours nonstop and the application of Intel Laminar Wall Jet technology. The notebook weights between 1.6 and 1.9 kg. Astrid said the company was optimistic about the company's revenue through the profits and increasing sales of the new products. The company's revenue is expected to increase about 20 percent until the end of this year.

The optimism is based on data recorded by Gartner Inc. research company, which shows that Acer Indonesia's sales for the first quarter of 2009 was as high as 134,386 units with an annual growth of 23.6 percent. In 2008, Acer's total sales were 491,657 units, which was an increase of 20.1 percent on 2007 sales.

Meanwhile, Teddy Tjan, marketing director of Advan, predicted that notebook sales in 2009 would exceed two million units. "Every year there is an increase in notebook sales," he said. In 2007, about 600,000 units were sold and in 2008 the figure went up to 960,000 units. Advan has set a target of 10,000 notebooks per month. "Our sales target is 10 percent of the total market share," he said.

The sales forecasts of Acer and Advan along with other manufacturers seem to underline the fact that notebook sales now exceed those of PCs. "Notebooks are now no longer used by major companies or upper income people, but they are now used by the middle income and part of the low income segments as well," said Matthew Wilkins, a market analyst at iSuppli Corp. (Burhanuddin Abe)

The Jakarta Post, August 09, 2009

Friday, August 07, 2009

Nasi Goreng Jancuk

SURABAYA bukan kota yang asing sebetulnya, tapi selalu saja ada sisi menarik. Dan menginap di Surabaya Plaza Hotel (SPH) adalah pilihan yang tepat karena lokasinya di tengah kota, bersebelahan dengan salah satu mal terkenal, Surabaya Plaza Shopping Center. Ke objek wisata mana pun tergolong dekat, masih dalam hitungan menit, sebutlah ke House of Sampoerna, Mesjid Cheng Hoo, dan lain-lain.

Meski berbintang empat, fasilitas hotel ini boleh diacungi jempol. Hotel yang seluruh kamarnya berjenis suite, berjumlah 210 kamar ini, mempunyai motto ”Yes, I Care”. Yang menarik, terhitung sejak Februari 2009 hotel ini membebaskan dari rokok, bahkan kalau ada tamu yang melanggar akan didenda Rp 1 juta. “Ini memang demi kenyamanan tamu sendiri,” ujar Yusak Anshori, General Manager SPH.

Tinggal di SPH tidak lengkap rasanya kalau tidak merasakan Nasi Goreng Jancuk. Memang, ada yang risih mendengar kosa kata tersebut, karena itu merupakan umpatan khas Surabaya, tapi sebenarnya sekaligus menunjukkan keakraban. 

Menu ini sengaja diciptakan untuk memuaskan lidah “arek-arek Suroboyo” dan para tamu tentunya. Diramu secara khusus oleh Chef Eko Sugeng Purwanto yang telah belasan tahun berpengalaman di dunia kuliner, keistimewaan dari nasi goreng ini terletak pada rasa, porsi dan bumbunya. Bumbunya pun sangat khas Surabaya yaitu menggunakan terasi yang citarasanya cukup kental di lidah. Yang juga tak kalah menarik adalah penyajiannya di atas piring berukuran jumbo yang diberi alas daun jati. Sungguh komplit rasanya. 

Dengan rasa ekstra pedas akan membuat para penikmat makin penasaran untuk melahapnya terus menerus. Porsinya tidak perlu diragukan lagi, bahkan sepiring–mungkin lebih tepatnya senampan–Nasi Goreng Jancuk bisa dinikmati oleh empat hingga lima orang dewasa. Jadi, bagi Anda yang ingin bernostalgia dengan citarasa khas Surabaya silakan mampir ke Surabaya Plaza Hotel. Berani mencoba? (Abe

Surabaya Plaza Hotel 
Plaza Boulevard 
Jl. Pemuda 31 – 37, Surabaya 60271
Phone : (031) 531 6833 
Fax : (031) 532 2129

Bom Jakarta

BOM lagi, bom lagi. Kali ini sasarannya Hotel JW Marriott dan Ritz-Carlton, Mega Kuningan, Jakarta, 17 Juli lalu. Sejumlah korban sipil, di antaranya warga asing, berjatuhan.

Terorisme sungguh keji. Inilah kekerasan yang dirancang menciptakan ketakutan di masyarakat (Thorton, 2001) atau bentuk operasi psikologi (McEwen, 2001). Sementara Hrair Dekmejian mengatakan, mengapa para teroris berlaku keji atas nilai-nilai kemanusiaan adalah karena mereka dilanda sindrom kekalahan atas kehidupan. Kematian dipilih sebagai solusi atas ketidakberdayaan mereka, yang dalam istilah disebut sindrom rendah diri akibat kekalahan bertubi-tubi.

Kita belum tahu pasti siapa pelakunya dan apa motif serta latar belakang sesungguhnya, tapi ledakan bom itu merupakan serangan atas kemanusiaan dan peradababan manusia. Implikasinya pun bisa sangat luas. Tidak hanya Australia yang buru-buru mengeluarkan travel warning, tapi lebih dari itu investasi untuk menumbuhkan industri pariwisata menjadi sia-sia.

Indonesia dikenal sedang giat-giatnya membangun. Tidak hanya plaza-plaza megah, nama-nama hotel berbintang lima berjaringan global pun hampir semuanya ada di Indonesia – khususnya di Jakarta, Bali, dan beberapa kota besar lainnya. Sebutlah Hilton, Shangri-La, St Regis, Melia, Four Seasons, Kempinski, Nikko, Oakwood, Hyatt, dan lain-lain.

Ritz-Carlton dan JW Marriott tergolong new entries di Indonesia. Ritz-Carlton adalah jaringan hotel mewah di 23 negara dan bermarkas utama di Chevy Chase, Maryland. Sementara JW Marriott adalah jaringan perhotelan tersukses di dunia, dikembangkan dalam waktu relatif singkat, 20 tahun oleh JW ”Bill” Marriott Jr.

Apakah kedua hotel tersebut menjadi target teroris karena berbau Amerika, wallahu a’lam! Yang jelas, masyarakat industri perhotelan di Indonesia berduka. Bertahun-tahun membangun kepercayaan, hancur dalam sekejap. Tidak hanya kerugian fisik semata, tapi lebih jauh adalah kepercayaan asing, apakah Indonesia masih menarik sebagai tempat berinvestasi.

Dalam sebuah diskusi yang diselenggarakan majalah National Geographic edisi Traveler, saya dan beberapa undangan lain, di antaranya William Wongso dan Jay Subiyakto, sempat merumuskan tentang hotel yang paling OK di Indonesia. Jawabannya ternyata memang tidak mudah. Memang, banyak hotel-hotel mewah yang dibangun di Indonesia, bahkan dikelola oleh jaringan global, tapi yanga namanya “hotel Indonesia” itu susah ditemukan.

Hanya beberapa bangunan hotel di Indonesia yang peduli dengan kaidah arsitektur Indonesia. Yang paling banyak adalah ‘tempelan’ semata, dengan menambahkan unsur-unsur etnik Indonesia. Dan yang paling parah, demikian William Wongso, jarang hotel di Indonesia yang mampu menyajikan makanan Indonesia secara benar. Kebanyakan makanan kontinental. Kalau pun ada makanan tradisional, “Pada hari ketiga biasanya para tamu biasanya sudah bosan. Variasinya sangat sedikit, padahal kekayaan kuliner Nusantara sangat luar biasa,” katanya.

Apa boleh buat, penggagas pembangunan hotel di Indonesia adalah para investor yang cuma tahu untung-rugi di industri perhotelan. Tidak punya passion sebagai orang perhotelan yang basis bisnisnya adalah jasa atau hospitality. Demikian pula dengan makanan, yang dipandang semata-mata sebagai makanan, bukan the art of cooking, yang memberi karakter Indonesia pada hotel tersebut.

Industri jasa perhotelan di Indonesia memang belum berkembang secara matang – bahkan dibandingkan dengan Thailand, misalnya, yang jati dirinya sangat kuat. Proses belajar untuk tahap yang benar memang masih jauh, dan bom yang memporak-porandakan JW Marriott dan Ritz-Carlton Jakarta makin memperburuk keadaan. (Burhanuddin Abe)

Appetite Journey, Agustus 2009

Belajar dari Sang Maestro, Bob Sadino

BOB Sadino, siapa yang tak kenal. Pria yang setia dengan celana pendek jins dan kemeja kutung adalah sosok entrepreneur yang sukses di bidang F&B dan pasar swalayan, dengan jaringan usaha Kemfood dan Kemchick. Begitu mendapat kesempatan untuk mewawancarainya, jelas ada kebanggan tersendiri, selain rasa rasa was-was. Maklum, pria bernama lengkap Bambang Mustari Sadino kelahiran Tanjungkarang, Lampung, 9 Maret 1933 ini dikenal dengan gaya bicaranya yang ceplas-ceplos dan sering tak terduga. 

Benar saja, hampir semua tim Appetite Journey yang datang ke rumahnya di kawasan Cirendeu Jakarta Selatan yang asri tak luput dari semprotannya setiap kali salah merumuskan pertanyaan atau mengemukakan opini yang tidak mengena. “Goblok, kamu!”

Apa boleh buat, Bob Sadino memang maestro di bidang bisnis, sehingga apa pun yang keluar dari mulutnya adalah memang kebenaran semata. Mungkin saja ada kata-kata yang menurut awam “menyakitkan”, tapi begitulah cara Om Bob – begitu ia akrab disapa, memberi pelajaran kepada para muridnya. Bahkan salah satu judul bukunya menggarisbawahi sikapnya tersebut, “Belajar Goblok dari Bob Sadino”, terbitan Kintamani Publishing, 2007. 

Tanpa tujuan, tanpa rencana, tanpa harapan. Begitulah Om Bob menjalani usaha, juga menjalani hidupnya, “Seperti air yang mengalir saja,” tukasnya. “Buat apa saya punya rencana yang hebat-hebat? Padahal Tuhanlah yang menentukan segalanya. Dialah master planner saya,” katanya lagi.

Sikap pria berambut putih yang rada cuek ini ternyata sejalan dengan pola pikirnya yang apa adanya. Sebab, demikian Om Bob, apa yang diraihnya saat ini adalah berkat pola pikir yang apa adanya itu. Tanpa target, apalagi obsesi yang muluk-muluk, tapi yang penting adalah berbuat dan berusaha total dalam menggeluti apa saja. 

Tapi bukan berarti ia menjalani hidup yang datar-datar saja, justru seperti lirik dalam lagu The Beatles, ia harus menempuh The Long and Winding Road. Hidup pria lulusan SMA ini cukup keras dan berliku, pernah menjalani berbagai profesi, mulai dari sopir taksi hingga kuli bangunan untuk sekadar bertahan hidup. Ia juga pernah merantau selama sembilan tahun ke Amsterdam (Belanda) dan Hamburg (Jerman), sejak 1958. Sebetulnya di negeri orang tersebut ia pernah mencapai titik aman, menjadi pegawai Djakarta Lloyd yang bergaji besar. “Tapi saya meninggalkan semua kemapanan itu, dan kembali ke Tanah Air,” ujarnya.

Mengapa ia mau meninggalkan comfort zone dan memulai dari nol? “Yang saya cari adalah kebebasan,” kata drop out Fakultas Hukum UI Jakarta ini. 

Kebebasan, itulah kata kunci Om Bob saat keluar dari kantor yang diidam-idamkan banyak orang, dan berniat menjadi juragan bagi diri sendiri – dan tentu bagi banyak orang, kelak. 

Demi cita-cita meraih kebebasan itu pula yang membuat ia rela menempuh jalan hidup hidup yang tidak mulus, bersama istri tercintanya. Modal yang ia bawa dari Eropa adalah dua sedan Mercedes tahun 1960-an. Yang satu ia jual dan uangnya ia belikan sebidang tanah di Kemang, Jakarta Selatan. Sedang yang lainnnya ia manfaatkan sebagai taksi yang disopirinya sendiri. 

Suatu kali mobilnya disewakan. Ternyata, bukan uang yang disetor, tetapi berita kecelakaan yang menghancurkan mobilnya, satu-satunya yang memberikan sumber penghasilan. Sebenarnya, kalau Bob Sadino mau, istrinya, Soelami Soejoed, yang berpengalaman sebagai sekretaris di luar negeri, bisa menyelamatkan penghasilan rumah tangganya. Tetapi, ia bersikeras bahwa ialah yang, karena sebagai kepala rumah tangga, yang mencari nafkah. Meski untuk itu ia rela menjadi kuli bangunan.

Menjadi kuli bangunan jelas berat. Ia pun pernah stres berat. Tapi ketika seorang temannya mengajaknya memelihara ayam, ia terinspirasi, bahwa ayam saja bisa hidup dan mencari makan, mengapa manusia tidak. 

Tidak hanya terinspirasi survival ayam, Om Bob pun mengawali wirausahanya dengan menekuni usaha ternak ayam. Pada awalnya, ia menjual telur beberapa kilogram per hari bersama istrinya, door to door. Berikutnya, dengan ketekunan dan kemampuannya menjaga hubungan baik dengan pelanggannya, usahnyanya makin berkibar. Dari hanya menjual telur merambah ke aneka bahan makanan – inilah yang menjadi cikal bakal Kemchick. Ia kemudian juga merambah agribisnis, menjual sayur mayur kepada para ekspatriat, berikutnya juga terjuna ke bisnis daging olahan – yang menjadi cikal bakal Kemfoods.

Kenapa yang dipilih selalu bidang makanan? Baginya, bisnis makanan bidang yang ditekuninya sekarang tidak ada habis-habisnya, karena itu ia tak ingin beralih ke bidang lain. “Selama pantat orang masih bolong, bisnis makanan tetap menarik,” katanya sambil tertawa.

Tak punya kunci sukses
Setiap orang yang sukse selalu mempunyai kiat atau cara dalam mencapai suksesnya. Tapi Bob Sadino selalu menyebut dirinya tak punya kunci sukses. “Buat saya, menjadi pengusaha itu tidak ada syaratnya. Ini gobloknya orang pintar saja, yang membuat seribu macam persyaratan sebelum menjadi pengusaha,” kata bapak dua putri ini enteng.

Yang jelas, Om Bob hanya percaya bahwa setiap langkah sukses selalu diimbangi kegagalan, peras keringat, dan bahkan jungkir balik. “Uang adalah prioritas nomor sekian, yang penting adalah niat dan usaha, selalu bisa memanfaatkan peluang, sekaligus mengambil risiko,” kata penggemar musik klasik dan jazz ini. 

Menurutnya, kelemahan banyak orang adalah terlalu banyak berpikir membuat rencana tapi tidak segera melangkah. Ketika orang hanya membuat rencana, karena merasa memiliki ilmu yang melebihi orang lain, muncullah sifat sombong. Padahal, intinya sebenarnya sederhana saja, lakukan dan selalu dengarkan saran dan keluhan pelanggan. “Kepuasan pelanggan akan menciptakan kepuasan diri sendiri. Karena itu saya selalu berusaha melayani pelanggan sebaik-baiknya,” kata pria yang di usia senjanya masih kelihatan segar bugar ini.

Bob Sadino percaya bahwa setiap langkah sukses selalu diawali kegagalan demi kegagalan. Perjalanan wirausaha tidak semulus yang banyak orang kira. Namun, selama ada niat dan komitmen yang kuat, serta perjuangan dan kerja keras, impian untuk meraih sukses dan kaya bukan hal yang mustahil. Bob Sadino adalah contoh nyata bahwa hanya bermodal dengkul, tapi berlandaskan niat dan keyakinan, serta kerja keras pantang menyerah, tanpa teori sukses ia pun bisa jadi seperti sekarang. (Burhanuddin Abe)

Appetite Journey, August 2009