“If we want to establish a sustainable business practice in the long term, integrity is not a choice, it is a must." - Verlyana Hitipeuw, CEO & Principal Consultant at Kiroyan Partners, Indonesia
An Action Day on Friday, January 28th, 2022, marked the final activity of the SHE-BID programme “Empowering Women-Led Entrepreneurs to Access Government Contracts with Integrity''. The training and action programme was jointly created by UNDP FairBiz and the German Cooperation implemented by the GIZ initiative Alliance for Integrity. Following training sessions in September and an Open Day in November, the Action Day focused on the evaluation of the programme and allowed participants of the training to share good practices relating to business integrity and procurement. The event showcased three success stories narrated by women entrepreneurs and invited a prominent woman leaders and experts to discuss and exchange experiences with the participants in the field of government contracts bidding and business integrity.
The event was kicked off with an opening remark by Viola Koendgen, Asia Regional Manager at the Alliance for Integrity. While acknowledging the challenges women in business face, she highlighted the significant role they can play in a male-dominated business world to create positive economic impact. According to her, through collective action women entrepreneurs have become direct actors in the market and have power to lead the fight against corruption in the right direction.
Royani Lim, Executive Secretary at the Bhumiksara Foundation in Indonesia and Alliance for Integrity Trainer reminded the participants of the importance of ethical leadership and business integrity and to have written set of the code of conduct for their business.
The Action Day also saw three entrepreneurs present best practices as they shared their experiences in the past months after undergoing the training. Zunna Haefi, Director of CV Media Sarana CB, she shared her struggle in bidding for public tenders as a woman leader in her company. Her resilience and persistence helped her win the contract even though she was up against men and led a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME). Director of PT Elang Dimensi Nusantara, Indah Purwatiningsih’s experience was similar. In her efforts to apply for government contracts, she relied on honesty but was also meticulous in all processes involved. For Nurbaiti Rakhmat, director of CV Medina of Global Apparel, a fashion company, business integrity and transparency are of utmost significance. She shared her experience implementing a zero tolerance policy to fraud in her company, and the resulting dismissal of a member of staff.
Following the success stories, Verlyana Hitipeuw, CEO & Principal Consultant at Kiroyan Partners also shared her experiences as a leader, narrating how she rejected a shady offer to receive a direct appointment involving quid pro quo and underlining how it served her company better to hold on to its integrity rather than compromising on what could have been called a ‘grey’ area. According to her: “If we want to establish a sustainable business practice in the long term, integrity is not a choice, it is a must. Compromising today on corruption issues will only keep our businesses trapped in the same cycle in the future.”
Representing the public sector, Tatang Wiraatmadja, Head of the Training Program Team of Goods/Services for SMEs of the National Procurement Agency/ Lembaga Kebijakan Pengadaan Barang/Jasa Pemerintah (LKPP), was sharing about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and e-catalogue. Following this was an open discussion on the process of getting a tender which was led by Aldy Turman, a Consultant and a Former officer from LKPP. Turman further provided important information and tips to the audience on effective participation in public procurement. The interactive session covered the topics ranging from product specification to requirements and contracts.
In the event’s final session, Yanto Sidiq, trainer at Indonesia Business Links, reiterated the importance of collective action to prevent corruption. While highlighting the consequences of corrupt practices in business, he emphasized the significant role of SMEs in preventing corruption and strengthening business integrity. As a token of appreciation, Siprianus Bate Soro from the UNDP presented the participants with a virtual certificate. In the remarks, he hoped that the women entrepreneurs can build on their experiences and the insight and practical knowledge they have gained in the training.
In her closing remarks, Ginny Ferguson from the UK embassy thanked the participants for their stories and diligence in working towards integrity in their various fields. “As we know, in order to be a great leader, we need to be a great model of integrity, and this idea of women and business leaders, as driver of business integrity in Indonesia is relatively new, but you (the participants) have demonstrated how effective and transformative this can be, your successes today can be a catalyst for change in your company, for your business associations, customers, and suppliers.”
Author: Fadila Rahma Nur Ristiyanti