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Ria Marfiana has made a career out of taking on new challenges at AkzoNobel. Now as Professional Brand & Sustainability Manager in our Decorative Paints business in Indonesia, she has found her true passion.
Ria Marfiana says her true passion is connecting with people: “I’ve found that I’m too sociable to only work behind the table for a long time.” It’s a good thing then that her career at AkzoNobel has evolved to provide her with plenty of variety!
Currently, Ria manages the Dulux Professional paint brand portfolio as our Professional Brand & Sustainability Manager in our Decorative Paints business in Indonesia. As she tells us, it’s been a long and interesting journey to get here.
Tackling new challenges
Originally joining AkzoNobel (then ICI) in 1995 as part of Human Resources, Ria was appointed for a completely different role in 2007: Purchasing Manager.
“I admit it was one of the most challenging, but also fulfilling, times of my entire career,” says Ria. “I gained a much deeper knowledge about the company’s business process – particularly in manufacturing and the integrated supply chain.”
Another big opportunity came up in 2015 when she was assigned to another new, commercial role as a Marketing Process & Sustainability Manager – one which would lead her directly into her current position only three years later.
“Sustainability was the most interesting part of this role,” Ria says. “One of my main responsibilities was to lead the community projects under the global Let’s Colour program. I had the opportunity to work with a broad base of stakeholders, such as local government and communities. We were able to make cities more colorful together.”
Responsible for a strong, sustainable brand
“In 2019, the company entrusted me to take over the role of Professional Brand and Sustainability Manager. I had to learn brand portfolio management and deal with different customers – such as architects, contractors, developers, designers and even college students – to build a strong brand, since Dulux Professional is considerably new to the local market.”
When it comes to the sustainability side of her work, Ria has found a great deal of success including implementing the new technology “In-Mould Labelling” as an industry first, as well as starting an industry trend of mural painting community projects, which had the side effect of landing new business.
Ria says: “Through the community projects, we were able to turn abandoned, dull spaces into colorful and lively spaces. It was a platform for people to express their creativity. Some even became tourism destinations, contributing to the local economy.”
“I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team in Indonesia,” says Ria. “Not only are we now widely known for our credibility and high quality products, but Let’s Colour Indonesia won three awards in 2018. There were 6,800 volunteers involved in our projects from 2018-2019 and we painted a total of 67,500 square meters!”
Learning should never stop
Ria believes that you are never too late to learn something new. The learning process, she says, keeps you curious and excited, which in turn makes you feel more alive. “My career journey has never been boring,” Ria says. “It’s been challenging as well as rewarding. It’s also been very fulfilling when I’ve been able to do something beyond the work itself, such as giving back to the community.
“Being with a company for such a long time, I know most of the people and I understand the company’s process. Being such a social person also helps me earn others’ respect. It’s a good way to become an ‘influencer’ within the company so you can have an even greater impact on the projects and issues that are most interesting to you.”