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Robi Cahyadi was away studying at an Islamic boarding school when he received the devastatingly bitter news – his father had died and he was now to be the breadwinner of his family.

Robi had to forego his dream of continuing his studies at university, choosing instead to help his mother run the family’s convenience store as soon as he graduated from boarding school.

However, things changed in 2004 when a tempting offer came from Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP), who asked Robi to become a labour and transportation supplier for the company.

In response, Robi immediately found a handful of employees and formed a company in Buatan Baru, Kerinci Kanan in Indonesia.

PT RAPP community development
Robi Cahyadi, the owner of PT Robi Bersaudara. The Small Medium Enterprise Partner PT RAPP

“I was asked to provide rental services for cars and trucks for RAPP’s operational needs,” Robi said.

As the business grew, Robi decided to formalize the company in 2010, renaming it from ‘PT Robi Cahyadi’ to ‘PT Robi Bersaudara’ as a testament to his parents’ hard work with their own business over the years.

Today, PT Robi Bersaudara boasts over 100 employees – a far cry from the three employees the company had when it began 14 years ago.

“There were various obstacles along the way to overcome, of course, but the most important thing has always been that I can continue running the business smoothly,” Robi said.

At the beginning, the company only provided labour and vehicles used in the monitoring of RAPP border areas. Over time, PT Robi Bersaudara has been entrusted with additional responsibilities, including the provision of drivers and operators required for RAPP’s main operations.

Besides that, the company provides transportation services to pick up RAPP employees, as well as fire engines used in handling forest and land fires at RAPP plantations.

More recently, Robi and his employees have been trusted to carry out land clearing duties in RAPP’s Logas, Pelalawan and Meranti estate areas.

“The company’s monthly revenue is about IDR 700 million,” Robi shared.

Gading Sayoga, RAPP’s Community Development Coordinator, said that PT Robi Bersaudara receives regular assistance from RAPP.

“We have discussions with Robi if there any problems or obstacles faced by his company,” said Gading.

RAPP even provides soft skills training to Robi and his employees.

“For example, we held a Service Excellence training last year, and PT Robi Bersaudara was invited to take part,” Gading said.

Gading noted that Robi is a local community leader who is forward-facing, who is able to embrace surrounding communities and to contribute to the development of society through his company.

PT Robi Bersaudara has managed to open new job opportunities in Kerinci and nearby areas, in line with RAPP’s own vision to be a company which is beneficial to the local community, Gading pointed out.

“Our company is committed to always providing the best for our employees, especially those who hail from our local communities.

“We provide salaries which are above the average minimum to our employees. They are given full work equipment on the job, health insurance and allowances – their rights are our obligations,” Robi said.

For Ridwan, an employee who has been with PT Robi Bersaudara for one year, Robi is a humble leader who is concerned about the welfare of his employees.

“He applies the principle of kinship at work – he is a leader who is always willing to receive employee input,” Ridwan said.

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