Franciscus "Franky" Welirang, director of PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk, with responsibility for Bogasari's milling division, is something of a star in the Asian milling and wheat world.
Franky, as he
prefers to be known, arrived on the morning of Day 2 of the Sixth Annual International Association of Operative Millers Association
(IAOM) Southeast Asia District Conference and Expo, held in October in Jakarta, Indonesia.
He was unable to attend on Day 1 because he had a meeting with Indonesia's president, Joko Widodo.
The IAOM conference hall was packed despite the early start.
After giving his
views on the domestic milling market, the popularity of one of Indonesia's foremost business leaders was clear for all to see as Franky was quickly swamped by well-wishers seeking a photo with the veteran miller.
keynote speech to delegates at the Sixth Annual Southeast Asia District Conference and Expo, organized by the International Association of Operative Millers
, Franciscus 'Franky' Welirang explained just how competitive the Indonesian milling market has become over the last two decades.
Pre-deregulation in 1998, the archipelago of some 250 million people and 17,000 islands had just five mills operated by Bogasari
, Eastern Pearl Flour Mills and Sriboga Raturaya & Pangan Mas.
By 2009, there were 12 mills, mostly focused on Java, the most populous of Indonesia's islands.
From 2010-14, another 16 mills were opened and, in 2015 and 2016, Welirang
said another three mills would open up, taking the total to 31.
By next year he
predicted Indonesia's annual total wheat milling capacity would reach 11.2 million tonnes.
Meanwhile, wheat consumption increased from 6.2 million tonnes in 2011 to 7.4 million tonnes in 2014.
"This year is the only year that we haven't seen growth," he