People On The MoveThe industry veteran looks to lead travel agents on a transformation drive against digital and pandemic disruptions.

Meet Pauline Suharno, the new chair of ASTINDO

Pauline Suharno's way forward: driving change to "survive and revive" including upping competitive and collaborative efforts.
Pauline Suharno's way forward: driving change to "survive and revive" including upping competitive and collaborative efforts.

Pauline Suharno, commissioner and director of Elok Tour, has been appointed the new chair for ASTINDO (Indonesian Travel Agents Association).

The announcement was made at the association's recent hybrid Annual General Meeting in Bandung on 8 June, where members unanimously voted for Pauline's win.

In her new five-year term from 2021 to 2025, one of the first things the new chair aims to look at is driving change.

"We all have suffered from both the digital and pandemic disruptions. We have to keep the members' spirit up by looking for any single chance to let them survive and revive," said Pauline.

Leading the association at a critical juncture, Pauline pledges that the ASTINDO "will do our best effort to assist them to transform their business".

The way to do so is increasing not just competency skills, but also members' competitive skills. Pauline pointed to the past one year's collaboration efforts such as with Prodia Health Care clinic to sell PCR/antigen tests, with Sompo insurance to market general insurance products, and with Telkomsel for data packages.

She added: "[Let's] work hand in hand, sacrifice our ego. If we unite, we’ll have stronger bargaining power."

Pauline's experience at ASTINDO began in 2009, where she was in charge of ticketing, and her most recent role was as the secretary general of the association.

She calls herself "lucky" to be mentored by senior leaders who are willing to impart their knowledge and groom the next generation of successors. Among them was outgoing ASTINDO president Elly Hutabarat, and former FATA (Federation of ASEAN Travel Associations) president Datuk Hamzah.

Commenting on her successor, Hutabarat said: "Pauline is more than ready to be ASTINDO’s president. In the past two years, she and her team have been diligently running the association. ASTINDO needs young bloods to be able to adapt to the new ways of doing business.

"She is knowledgeable to the business, has the patience and passion to protect our members. We all wish Pauline good luck, it’s not an easy time but we believe in her capabilities to keep ASTINDO in a good shape."

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