Following in the footsteps of her family, the journey of Noni Purnomo has been defined by her determination to protect Blue Bird’s legacy, her creativity in bringing the taxi empire to the next level and her profound respect for those working for the company.
Noni was first introduced to the world of cars and transportation by her late grandmother, Mutiara Djokosoetono. As the founder of Blue Bird, Djokosoetono set up the taxi business in 1972. Purnomo revealed that ‘economical pressure’ was the reason why her grandmother decided to build the company. After Purnomo’s grandfather, a scholar, passed away, her family was left with only two cars and a house from the government as a token of appreciation.
The family at that time lived in Menteng, known as one of the capital city’s most elite neighborhoods. Djokosoetono capitalized on this condition by borrowing her neighbours’ cars in exchange for a commission, similar to how online transportation apps operate these days. Soon after, Djokosoetono began to officially run a transportation business with a fleet of 25 taxis. This is were the entrepreneurial behavior began, and helped to build an empire.
In high school, she began working part time for the company during the holidays. This inspired her to study industrial engineering for her Bachelor’s degree, which she earned from the University of Newcastle, Australia.
So when the Jakarta Convention and Exhibition Bureau was launched in 1994, Purnomo saw the opportunity to learn more about marketing. While her grandmother warned that she must still work for the family company, Purnomo made the bold move of juggling two jobs for over a year: working as a Marketing Researcher at the Jakarta Convention and Exhibition Bureau in the morning and committing herself to Blue Bird in the evening.
These days, Purnomo is happy to find herself working in the productive yet ever-changing environment of the transportation business. The technological revolution, for example, clearly helped the company to progress, yet it aroused a new competition with the online transportation apps in terms of price.
Source: Indonesia Expat
- No. 61 on GlobeAsia’s Top 99 Most Powerful Women 2017
- Asia’s Power Businesswomen 2015 by Forbes Asia
- Asia’s Women to Watch 2013 by Forbes Asia
- President Director of the Blue Bird Group
- Commissioner of PT Blue Bird
- Chairman of Blue Bird Peduli Program
- Chairman of Permanent Committee of Land Transportation and ASDP KADIN