Ita Yuliati, 53, founded tech firm PT Alita Praya Mitra in 1995 with an initial capital of Rp 5 billion. She found early success by building 25 base transceiver stations (BTS) that same year in Jakarta for PT Indosat. The following year, Indosat asked her to install fiber optic cables and BTS towers in Cambodia in a joint venture with Cambodia’s Ministry of Telecommunications. She spent 1996 to 2001 working on the project.
Ita then returned to Indonesia and continued to build her business. In 2003, Alita had Rp 82 billion revenues, which she grew to Rp 501 billion by 2008. Then the global crisis hit her business, causing revenue to drop to Rp 240 billion. “At that time, we had financial difficulties. We couldn’t even pay wages but fortunately there were no layoffs,” Ita says.
For two years, Ita’s business suffered but turned up again in 2010, when revenues jumped about 150% to Rp 602 billion. “I believe that money and projects have actually been prepared by God, we just need to receive it by working hard, having a good commitment and doing our best. Just be patient and enjoy life,” says Ita.
Among its products and services, Alita develops digital smartcards with biometric systems for clients such as hospitals, insurance and microfinance institutions. For example, her card is used by customers of microfinance institutions in Papua, making it easier for them to do transactions and check their debt repayments. Hospitals can also process the bills payments for insurance holders faster, without waiting for confirmation from the insurance company.
“One card is now multifunctional. For our next step, the citizen identity card (KTP) could be used for many transactions, like topping up phone cards, paying telephone and electricity bills, or voting in elections,” says Ita. Currently, there are several companies that already use this card system such as Koperasi Mitra Duafa, PT AdMedika Insurance and AXA Insurance.
Alita has also built broadcasting transmitters for almost all TV stations in Indonesia, including tycoon Chairul Tanjung’s Trans Corp and Hary Tanoesoedibjo’s MNC group. Alita also supports the IT systems of Telkomsel’s security system and does microwave transmissions for XL, Telkom and Indosat. In 2007, Alita installed a GPRS tracking system for all of Pertamina’s oil trucks to help prevent fraud and smuggling. Alita also set up a computerized ticketing program of PT KA’s Kuala Namu International Airport in Medan, toll roads in Sulawesi and PT ASDP Ferry Indonesia.