Telkomsel: Transforming an Emerging-Market State Enterprise

By Ian Buchanan, Booz Allen Hamilton, John McMillan, Erin Yurday
2003 | Case No. IB47
This case addresses the challenges faced by Telkomsel, an Indonesian cell phone company, as it tried to grow and become globally competitive. The protagonist is Mulia Tambunan, former CEO of Telkomsel. Mulia’s challenge was to create a nimble, modern firm out of an organization encumbered by political interventions, excessive management layers, and inadequate performance incentives—problems common to state-owned companies everywhere. In addition, Indonesia was facing an economic crisis, the telecommunications market was newly liberalized, and Indonesia was undergoing a troubled transition from the autocratic but stable regime of army-backed President Suharto to a fragile young democracy. The case was written with the help of Ian Buchanan and his team at Booz Allen Hamilton, who worked with Telkomsel through this transition period.
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