The Horse That Transforms Functionaries Into Professional

Legend has it that Si Windu (the Windu Horse) aided Adipati Ewangga, a warrior prince from Kuningan Regency, to win the war against other kingdoms in the early sixteenth century. Small in stature but strong, Si Windu’s deft stride helped the warrior to overcome his opponents, hence supporting Ewangga to lead Kuningan to a successful reign.

The local water company (PDAM) Tirta Kamuning, in Kuningan, embraces the spirit of Si Windu in its revamped identity and actions. When Deni Erlanda, a former parliament member with extensive experience in business and the banking sector, was appointed as the PDAM Director in July 2013, he chose Si Windu as one of the elements in the logo to represent the institution. “During my fit and proper test for the position, I elaborated my mission and vision for PDAM Tirta Kamuning. Si Windu is part of this, as he represents PDAM’s hard work and dedication to providing Kuningan residents with accessible clean water”, said Deni.

The PDAM then worked with the winner of an open competition to design a new logo that integrates these action-oriented values (see Box 1).

At the beginning of Deni’s term, PDAM Tirta Kamuning was in an unsustainable financial condition. Although the previous management had reached many targets, the PDAM had suffered financial losses continuously since 2007. Efforts to increase the water tariff to generate more income for the company stalled. In an attempt to increase commercial viability of PDAMs, the Government of Indonesia had launched Presidential Regulation (Perpres) no. 29/2009, which brings together commercial banks and cost-recovering PDAMs through a guarantee mechanism that reduces risk to the lending bank and provides an interest rate subsidy. 

Within this framework, the Australian Government supported Indonesia Infrastructure Initiative (IndII) has been assisting about 20 PDAMs, including PDAM Tirta Kamuning, to develop commercially viable business plans with achievable targets, including an increase in the number of water connections, properly set tariffs, and profitability – all of which are key to satisfying eligibility requirements for the Perpres 29 subsidised loans. The PDAM Tirta Kamuning business plan was designed for a frive-year period (2011–2015), giving the PDAMs ample time to achieve realistic goals while increasing capacity to make progress through more efficient management.

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