Serving her aces on the business front

Stacey Hermijanto, CEO – Shinta Indah Jaya, Indonesia

Stacey is the CEO of Indonesia-based Shinta Indah Jaya and Co-Founder & CMO at Naked Press. Shinta Indah Jaya is a leading producer of quality knitted fabrics and makes available the highest standard of in-house dyeing and finishing facilities, while Naked Press is Indonesia’s fastest-growing premium juicery, offering the highest-quality, nutrient-packed fresh cold-pressed juices, delivered daily.

Captain of the varsity tennis team, she joined the Singapore government as an Assistant Director within the Ministry of Trade and Industry upon graduation with an Honors degree in Economics. Following three years in government service, she moved to Indonesia, where she joined the Shinta Group of companies founded by her late father. Starting work on the factory floor in the downstream garment manufacturing business, she worked her way up over a decade to leading the upstream flagship polyester yarn and fiber business before taking on the role of overseeing the Group operations as Group President Commissioner.

Having played tennis competitively she represented Singapore in both the 10th Asean University Games in Bangkok and the 21st World University Games in Beijing. It was this love for tennis that led to her first entrepreneurial endeavor at the age of 29, when she co-founded a Singapore-based professional tennis services company that caters to prestigious clubs and hotels including Four Seasons Singapore and Four Seasons Maldives.

Mother to a 10-month old baby girl, Stacey considers motherhood as the latest addition to her passion in life. Here she responds exclusively to AsiaBizToday on her journey thus far.

On her various businesses and current focus areas
Currently, aside from Naked Press, my main focus within Shinta Group is on our downstream fabric knitting business, Shinta Indah Jaya. Established in 1971 by my late father, Shinta Indah Jaya was the pioneer manufacturing unit of the Group. It is now a leading producer of high-performance quality knitted fabrics used in the product manufacture of some of the world’s leading global brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Lacoste, H&M, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, Fischer and Asics amongst others.

Unlike the other member companies within the Group, Shinta Indah Jaya did not embark on an aggressive growth strategy in the early years. But I believe the time has come for Shinta Indah Jaya to be placed on a new growth trajectory, which is why my time and energies are now directed towards unfolding a chapter of expansion for this company.

I have actually commenced construction of a brand new factory in West Java early this year for this purpose. Capacity expansion aside, I intend to improve productivity through further modernization of machinery & equipment as well as strengthen our R&D for greater value-add to enhance the overall customer experience.

In order to grow our market presence globally, especially within my key target segment of sportswear and athleisure, we will continue to deepen our existing business relationships as well as form new strategic partnerships.

Experiences managing the various business
This would be my 14th year in the Group business and I’ve been involved in a wide spectrum of work across the Group companies ranging from branding, procurement, sales, HR, general operations to business development amongst others. 14 years is not a short period of time so I’ve been through the different economic and political cycles, the good times and the bad.

Through it all, one thing has remained a constant for me and that has been my own quest at being a true servant leader, one who’s authentic and collaborative, recognizing that power is greatest in a collective team. Through all the roles that I have played within the Group, I have always stressed the importance of mutual care and respect for one another across all departments and levels within the organization.

At the end of the day, it is our culture, whether corporate or personal, that largely influences and colours the way we view the world around us, the way we make decisions and do things. Through all these years and in the years ahead, I will ensure that the Shinta culture remains one that is warm, that inspires & positively influences, one that encourages teamwork, open sharing of information and mutual growth.

Factors that keep you going
Keeping my eyes fixed on the vision that I have for Shinta keeps me going. That is to be internationally recognized as a premier textile manufacturer, known for our world-class quality products and for our strong corporate values of honesty, reliability and integrity, as well as for our genuine care for all our stakeholders.

Beyond that, I must say I am highly driven by the recognition that it is through my work, be it Shinta or Naked Press or any other ventures, that enables me to be in a position to empower and improve the lives of my employees and be a blessing not just to them but to their families and the communities around them. This would probably be one of my greatest motivating factors.

Challenges along the course and being a woman leader
I am sure any entrepreneur would tell you that there is no such thing as “obstacle-free” in the course of business, regardless of which stage the business might be in. In the span of my career thus far, I’ve been in both the public and private sectors, in start-ups and in mature businesses and I’ve faced obstacles and challenges all around though they take on different forms and measures.

I don’t recall ever encountering specific challenges just because I am a woman. On the contrary, I actually believe that being a woman has helped me overcome issues or problems along the way. It’s not just about soft skills or the ability to multi-task. Sometimes I find myself having the upper hand in some situations purely because I was underestimated due to my gender to start with.

Your source of inspiration
My biggest inspiration comes from my loved ones, particularly my late father. He was a self-made man armed only with a primary education and barely any money. He started out selling beansprouts and ended up building a textile conglomerate through sheer perseverance and grit. Despite his great business success, he remained a soft-spoken, gentle man known for his humility, kindness and compassion. Since my baby girl never got to meet her grandfather, it is my hope that she will come to know of his life story and his nature through Shinta and our corporate culture of mutual care and respect as well as key values of honesty, integrity, kindness and professionalism that are instilled throughout our operations.

In a different manner, I am also inspired by my mother’s selfless nature and her devotion towards her family, putting us all before herself, tirelessly caring for each of us. Now, I find myself inspired by my baby girl. Each time I look at her, I am inspired to be the best person that I can be, not just as her mother but as a role model for her as she grows up.

Of course, I also find inspiration from peers within the business community – entrepreneurs, business owners, game changers – many of whom have provided me with key insights and encouragement through the years.

Your proudest moment so far
Looking back, I’ve had so many proud moments but that’s because I believe in celebrating every little achievement or progress that we make because each step counts. When I say celebrate, I don’t necessarily mean throw a party. It’s more a form of recognition and acknowledgement. This is my way of keeping my employees motivated and feeling appreciated, on top of knowing that everyone, regardless of where they may be in the hierarchy, have a part to play in contributing to the organization.

If I were to pick my proudest moment in recent times, it would have to be our ground-breaking ceremony on 30th January this year (2019). The ceremony marked the commencement of construction for our brand new facility. Slated to be completed by the end of 2019, this project marks an important step in the development plans for Shinta Indah Jaya’s future. The date, 30th of January was selected for a special reason. It is the birth date of my father and I had wanted to dedicate the ground-breaking to him in loving remembrance.

Your definition of success
Business success is the easiest to define. To me, that would simply be achieving the vision that I have set for the company while positively impacting and making a difference in the lives of my employees.

To be successful in life, however, would further entail being successful in all the other roles that I play in my life – daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend. How then would I measure the level of success in these roles? To me, they all share the same unit of measurement and that is how well I have been able to love. I would like my life’s success to be measured not just by my business success or how I am remembered by my family and friends but more so by the number of lives that I have been able to touch or positively influence, of whom I have never even met.

Words of wisdom for aspiring Entrepreneurs, especially women?
If I had just 3 words, it would be – Dream. Believe. Achieve.

I came across a quote some time back. It goes like this – “Your dreams are the wings of your spirit. So long as you dream, you can fly.”

Entrepreneurs are often known as dreamers. As important as having a dream is, true entrepreneurs need to believe in the dream and believe in themselves. This applies to both sexes. The hardest part really is execution. I know many who dream and many who believe in their dreams but only few have had the courage to take that first step towards actualizing their dreams. Entrepreneurs need to be bold, be willing to put in the hard work and be resilient throughout their journey.