1 August 2022


Mr. Kawan Kusuma Salim
Margono Paper Group

Welcome to the PaperOne™ customer feature, where we interview our customers to find out more about them, their company, their thoughts about the industry, and their partnership with APRIL Group.

This month, we feature Mr. Kawan Kusuma Salim, Managing Director of Margono Paper Group.

PaperOne™: Good morning Mr. Kawan Kusuma Salim, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Let’s begin by hearing about yourself and your role at Margono Paper Group.

Mr. Kawan: Hello, thank you for having me! My name is Kawan Kusuma Salim and I am the Managing Director of Margono Paper Group. I manage our offices across 8 major cities around Indonesia. It was in 1992 – exactly 30 years ago when I joined my family business and I instantly fell in love with the job. My personal favourite part of the job is developing paper products for new markets, and I have no issues with the job taking me out of my comfort zone because I truly find meaning in what I do.

PaperOne™: Wow, thank you for sharing this with us! Could you share with us more about the company?

Mr. Kawan: Our first shop was opened in 1968 by my father and it took on the name PD Margono – his middle name. Over the years, our small paper shop grew in size and popularity and before we knew it, we became the distributor for many major paper mills. Not only are we a paper distributor, we are also a paper converter and exporter. In 2003, we became partners with APRIL Group and gradually expanded our products to coloured paper, fancy paper, exercise books, envelopes, and other paper-based stationery. We’re currently the only FSC coloured paper producer in Indonesia and the only producer of coloured tissue paper. We aim to be the biggest paper distributor and paper converter in the world.

PaperOne™: That’s impressive hearing how far the company has come! What do you think makes the company stand out from competitors?

Mr. Kawan: Firstly, I would say it’s our lower prices and better service. We’re also a one-stop shop for all paper needs and are the only paper merchant in Indonesia with branch offices and warehouses in 8 different cities across the country. On top of that, we offer 6 different unique paper services such as paper conversion, coloured paper production, production of exercise books, and stationery paper to name a few – giving customers a wide range of reasons to work with us.

PaperOne™: That’s amazing! Are there any corporate or social responsibility efforts that your company participates in?

Mr. Kawan: Yes, we are one of the few Indonesian paper companies with a “SEDEX” certification – the highest certification in the world for the social welfare of workers and communities. Two times a year, our company donates 100kg of rice to help feed the elderly and less fortunate.

PaperOne™: Glad to hear that Margono gives back to the wider community. Tell us a little bit more about your partnership with APRIL Group!

Mr. Kawan: We produce coloured paper from APRIL Group’s base paper and we sell them to countries that APRIL Group is not allowed to sell in (due to anti-dumping laws for example). We also received the Indonesian Legal Wood certification and our papers are FSC certified. We are proud to be associated with APRIL Group as APRIL’s products are also PEFC certified which shows APRIL’s commitment to sustainable forest development.

PaperOne™: That’s wonderful! How has your experience been working with APRIL Group so far?

Mr. Kawan: As mentioned, we have been partners since 2003, and currently we sell all APRIL’s products - PaperOne™ Offset, PrintOne™ Offset, and Cutsize. APRIL Group is the front runner of Indonesia's pulp and paper industry with the best paper machines and strategies for the future. Along with its high paper quality, high white shade, and fantastic pulp formation, the products are well packaged which ensures that our customers receive their orders in great condition.

PaperOne™: Thank you for your kind words Mr. Kawan! With the shift towards e-magazines, e-books, and e-statements, do you think it will impact the pulp and paper industry?

Mr. Kawan: We’ve actually been carefully observing this trend and are trying to evolve our product mix by buying converting machines that support our paper sales to industries that are still growing. Our company has plans to continue keeping these 2 key divisions – one for paper merchanting and one for paper converting. We also intend to expand into many new markets such as food packing paper, speciality paper, and a few others. While it’s true that paper companies are going on a decline, others are continuing to thrive, so we’ll just have to evolve with the times.

PaperOne™: Great to hear that! It is definitely important to evolve and adapt to the ever-changing trends in the market. Lastly, are there any interesting facts about paper that you’d like to share with us?

Mr. Kawan: Yes! You might notice that Bible and Quran papers are typically very thin – somewhere between 30-35gsm. But did you know that the most expensive Bible paper is actually a 100gsm two-sided Pearl Coated Perfume or Scented paper, and we’re the only one producing that!

PaperOne™: That’s really interesting! Thank you for sharing, for trusting and partnering with us and for the time spent today for this interview Mr. Kawan. Have a great day ahead!

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