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Derom Bangun: Palm Oil Legend (Part 1): Technic and Non-Technic Aspects

Doc. InfoSAWIT
Derom Bangun: Palm Oil Legend (Part 1): Technic and Non-Technic Aspects

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – From sports, there have been figures who become legends, for instance, in badminton, Indonesia has Rudy Hartono as legend; in boxing, the world has Muhammad Ali; in basketball, the world has Michael Jordan and in palm oil sectors, the world has a legend, he is Derom Bangun.

Derom Bangun is active in palm oil sector for about five decades. After graduating from ITB (Institut Teknologi Bandung) and got engineering title, he applied to work at Socfindo and worked on 1 Februari 1967 at the plantation company where Bangun was born. Socfindo was a palm oil and rubber plantation company and industry that the shares mostly belonged to Belgium company. He never gets apart from palm oil.

Derom Bangun is a phenomenal figure in palm oil industries. His career started as II technique until he becomes a world acknowledged – figure in palm oil. This is incredible.

The father of three children is a combination of technical, non-technical, and management aspects.

Technical aspect can be seen from his knowledge and insight which are qualified in palm oil sectors. His capability was from his 22 years of experience when working at Socfindo with his last position as head of technique and technology. His background as chemical engineer helped him to understand about palm oil world, learnt from the visits to mills to modernize and develop new ones of Socfindo, joint course of FOSFA (Federation of Oils, Seed, and Fats Association), read books, experienced to establish his own company, made friends with palm oil figures in national and international levels.

Non – technical aspect would be like capability to communicate, negotiate, diplomacy, and actively in organizations.

Derom Bangun has characters to be imitated, such as, persistency in learning, powerful passion, capability to keep trust, persistent, hard work, discipline, love profession, and fateful on promises. These characters were developed by his parents since he was in younger ages.

Besides, Bangun also implements management science (Leadership/Planning, Organizing, Actuating. And Controlling).

Derom Bangun’s leadership could be seen when he was working at Socfindo. His success to make the company go forward had something to do with the staffs who helped him. Bangun really understands about leadership to make everyone who helped him more productive. His leadership could be seen when he led Indonesian Palm Oil Association (IPOA) and Indonesian Palm Oil Board (IPOB) for some periods. In IPOA he was the chairman from 1999 to 2005 (2 period in a row) and as daily chairman in 2006 to 2009. Chairman in IPOB was in 2012 to 2020. When Bangun led the two organizations, he successfully made IPOA and IPOB as respected one in national and international levels.

In his leadership, he always tried to get others’ opinions and after that he would decide. In his decision, he would always carefully consider every opinion. That is why his decision was rarely rejected by participants.

Bangun also implemented planning’ organizing, actuating, and controlling in his daily work, particularly when establishing new mill(s) at Socfindo and as mill consultant.

Bangun played many roles when establishing palm oil industries without forgetting environmental aspects as the most important part of the sustainability in the industries.

When he led IPOA, palm oil got its golden age. The government, stakeholders, and smallholders successfully made palm oil in Indonesia as one sector that delivered the biggest exchange besides non-oil and gas. The smallholders’ lives got better.

His leadership in IPOA made him travel to many countries to defend palm oil interests in Indonesia and spoke about palm oil in many seminars and conference in international levels.

when he led IPOA, there was an event that shocked the world because palm oil from Indonesia by the late of 1999. Crude palm oil (CPO) which was exported to Rotterdam, Netherland was polluted by diesel from Belawan, City of Medan, North Sumatera Province. Jusuf Kalla who was the Minister of Industry and Trade asked for Bangun to lead delegation as the speaker of delegation in Den Haag, Netherland to solve the issue. Bangun with his diplomacy capability and qualified knowledge in palm oil successful delivered solution about it. Until now many figures remember the dramatic event.

As IPOA chairman, Bangun successfully proposed and changed “International Code Of Practice” of palm kernel oil in United Nations assembly with the name, Codex Alimentarius Commission in London and Rome that if it runs, it would be a loss for Indonesia. (*)

By: Maruli Pardamean/Agribusiness Author and Palm Oil Practitioner