Emirsyah Satar will end his second term as the CEO of the state-owned, flag carrier Garuda Indonesia (GIAA) next month. People are now wondering who’s going to be Emirsyah’s successor. We’ve gone through the brief profile of four individuals who may replace Emirsyah. So now let’s talk about the other two interesting candidates: Elia Massa Manik and Elisa Lumbantoruan.

Elisa Lumbantoruan is the former Sales & Marketing Director of Garuda Indonesia. He was replaced by Erik Meijer on Apr. 26, 2013. Elisa’s replacement provoked a lot of questions because he was widely considered to have performed well in his role. At that time, the national media speculated that Elisa was replaced because of a friction between Elisa’s wife and Emirsyah Satar’s wife. The rumor, however, was not proven.

Born in Siborong-Borong, Tapanuli Utara, North Sumatra, on Jul. 19, 1960, Elisa Lumbantoruan is now listed as Director of Strategy & Information Technology at PT Samora Usaha Makmur. Prior to joining Garuda Indonesia, Elisa joined several companies. He was CEO of PT Gapura Angkasa, Independent Commissioner at PT XL Axiata Tbk, CEO at Hewlett-Packard Indonesia, Marketing Director at Compaq Computer Indonesia, Alliances Country Manager at Oracle, Marketing Director at PT Digital Astra Nusantara, and Sales Manager at PT Astra Graphia Tbk. Elisa earned a degree in Mathematics from the Bandung Institute of Technology.

Elia Massa Manik, meanwhile, is the current CEO of PT Elnusa Tbk, a subsidiary of PT Pertamina. Elia is considered as someone who shares a similar leadership style with Jokowi and Dahlan Iskan. He’s been leading Elnusa since Jul. 22, 2011—Elnusa has been shocked by the embezzlement case of its Rp111 million funds at Bank Mega. Elia has harvested a lot of praise for his success in saving Elnusa the Sinking Ship. He made the company reach spectacular profit in 2012. As you may know, when Elia joined Elnusa, the company suffered a huge loss of Rp42.775 billion in 2011 but then a year later, the company earned Rp123.6 billion net profit, an increase of almost 400%.

Born in Medan, North Sumatra, in 1965, Elia is the second son of an influential figure at the Batak Karo Protestan Klasis Church (GBKP) Jakarta, who was the founder of the GBKP Pondok Gede. Elia earned a degree in civil and environmental engineering from the Bandung Institute of Technology in 1988. In 1992, he obtained a masters degree in business management from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) , Manila, Philippines. He started his career at Salim’s PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk before later joining the Suez Group. In 2001, he joined PT Kiani Kertas (now PT Kertas Nusantara owned by Prabowo Subianto) which at that time was under the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (BPPN). He then joined PT Jababeka Tbk, PT Pandega Citra Niaga, and Dharma Henwa Tbk. Elia became the CEO of PT Kertas Basuki Rachmat Indonesia Tbk before finally joining Elnusa.

Having said all of the above, Elia Massa Manik is perhaps the best candidate for replacing Emirsyah considering his performance in Elnusa. As we’ve previously mentioned, Garuda Indonesia booked a net loss of USD211.7 million in the first half of 2014, the figure ballooned 1893% from the corresponding period of 2013. The poor performance is due to weak growth in sales revenue and squeezed margins.

In contrast to its aggressive fleet expansion, Garuda’s revenues inched up only 0.7%. Garuda’s revenues from scheduled airline services inched up only by 2.3%, while revenue from non-scheduled airline services and others dropped significantly in the period. So, whoever appointed as the new CEO of Garuda Indonesia will definitely face a lot of challenges.


By Haryanto Suharman

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