27 Oct to 2 Nov 1997, Jakarta: I was sent to install a gravure proofing press

After my trip to Yemen in September the new managing director, my accountant uncle, changed my job from international service technician to consumables salesman in Britain, with the threat of redundacy if I didn’t accept.  And so it was very perplexing when I was asked to install a machine in Indonesia: it was in another technician’s area of responsibility (Asia), to a very important customer, and on machinery (a gravure proof press) that I had very little experience on. I was the least qualified of all the technicians to install this machine but I was still requested to go. I don’t recall how that came about or who asked me to go.

The machine had been sold to Dai Nippon Printing (DNP) Indonesia (which is owned by the Rodamas Group), purchased via DIC Graphics, a printing ink and sales subsidiary of DIC Corporation – the world’s largest producer of printing inks, pigment and other chemicals that operate under DIC and Sun Chemical name. In 1987 DIC Corporation aquired control of Reichhold Chemicals Inc. of the United States but relinquished control in 2005. These are all massive corporations spanning the globe, so again sending myself, a relatively inexperienced technician with no sales experience was a very strange decision by my employer.

I don’t recall much about the installation - it was a modern factory with Indonesian machine operators - but I do remember the hotel was very nice. Halfway through the installation Mike Hoshino (DIC Graphics contact?) and his boss (Yasou Suzuki?) took me to dinner in a private room with a personal Japanese chef, as noted in my diary here. It was top notch. This could be put down to generous hospitality or just good business acumen, entertaining the boss’s son, but as it seemed I'd been request to Jakarta by name, I suspect there was another motivation - one connected to my conversations and meetingsduring my visit to the Hayel Saeed Anam Group headquarters in September 1997 Yemen.

Other reasons I've reported this business trip to Indonesia here are:

· the Hayel Saeed Anam Group's (my Yemen customer) business links to Indonesia
· the fact I'd met KSM one month before inside the Hayel Saeed Anam Group HQ in Yemen

· a similar pattern of visits to Dubai and Manila that followed in December 97, February and March 98
· Indonesia was an ‘Al Qaeda’ hotspot  

Supporting .pdf file containing corresponding diary entry, original customer database entry & photo 


Truly, for some of us nothing is written, unless we write it 
© Anthony C Heaford - The Quiet Mancunian