Water of life
ARMAND GUNAWAN SAYS his parents are his biggest mentors. “My mom has instilled in me the right way to live, and I have developed a strong moral code from her guidance,” says the 29-year-old Head of Product Development at Oasis Waters International. “Meanwhile, my dad has taught me my business acumen, and he still provides guidance when tough decisions need to be made.”
Oasis Waters was founded in 1984. The company manufactures, sells, markets and distributes bottled drinking water.
Gunawan earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Northwestern University and took his Master’s at New York University. “I studied political science, but selling water is in my blood,” he grins. “Oasis is a secondgeneration family business. After I finished my formal education, it was time for me to come back and help expand the company. Success for me is about the journey and what you learn along the way. The key is to always be progressing and not to let road blocks stop your journey. To succeed, you must always be willing to adapt. The marketplace is always changing, so you must always be looking for the new trends and how to capitalise on them.
“After joining the business, I spent four years in our factory in Cibinong, West Java, learning about manufacturing and distribution. I then took on the role of spearheading product development. So far, we have launched two new product lines, UniTea and Oasis+. I have learned to be more flexible and adaptable. It’s important to build a good team and to work together to achieve a common goal. Above all, I’ve learned that effective communication is the most important trait.”