There are plenty of opportunities in this world. Only a true entrepreneur has the vision to seize an opportunity when it appears and make the best out of them. One such ardent entrepreneur who wants to inspire others and make an impact on society is Wempi Sitepu, the founder of Fortia Strategic Partner and Ace Team companies.
Entrepreneurial Spirit since Childhood
Wempi grew up with the influence of a small-scale entrepreneur father. At a very early age, he had received the 101 Entrepreneurship lessons. Observing and taking part in how his father dealt with various business partners, employees, and issues, instilled a strong sense of aspiration within him to create an impact on the community. Growing up in Indonesia, he also noticed that Indonesia relatively has a lower percentage of entrepreneurs which motivated him further to achieve his vision.
Graduating college, Wempi decided to join a multinational FMCG as Management Trainee aspiring to climb the corporate ladder. Before founding his first company Fortia Strategic Partner, Wempi made a carrier transition towards a family-owned company as Head of Marketing and Business Development, where his job profile included overseeing several business units within the company.
Despite having a sound professional career, Wempi realized his true calling to create business and become an entrepreneur with a focus to impact and benefit others. He joined a consulting firm to sharpen his analytical skills while advising Boards on their strategic decisions. Completing two years of consulting, Wempi had the opportunity to start Fortia Strategic Partner, a boutique strategic management-consulting firm.
Primal Challenges and Roadblocks
Being an entrepreneur comes with a lot of roadblocks and challenges, and Wempi’s journey was no different. When he co-founded Fortia with two other partners, Greg and Teguh, many warned him about the rocky road ahead and told stories of highly competent consultants trying to take the same path. Fortunately, with the combination of a short consulting stint and professional exposure in both multinational and family-owned companies, Wempi did not copy what the other consultants did. Instead, the team identified an under-served market, which was the medium-scale and high growth businesses that were mostly still controlled by entrepreneurs and their families. He developed a unique approach towards the clients. He even summarized this distinct approach as: ‘Thought partner, entrepreneurial spirit and extra-mile.’ One of the biggest challenges faced at that point was recruiting and retaining talents. He recalls, “We started with a small team working very long hours, knocking on doors just to get a chance to pitch.” During the toughest times of building the firm, every time he thought about quitting, he always came back strong. “I believe what differentiates successful entrepreneurs are relentless conviction and desire to survive.”
Within the first three months, Fortia managed to secure its first client, a Japanese multinational client in the first quarter and earned a standing ovation from the Boards of Directors during its final presentation. Entering the third year of Fortia, Marissa Hapsari was invited to be one of the partners. At the time, Fortia was mainly focused on Corporate Strategy and Corporate Finance. Marissa further expands Fortia’s strategic offerings to include Organization & Talent. It also partnered with global companies and institutions, while continuing to strengthen their national heritage. Currently, the company has over 80% client retention rate.
The Story of ACE Team
Wempi laid the foundation of Fortia being a ‘thought partner’, hundreds of owners, Boards, and much upper ranked management turned to Fortia seeking help in addressing one of the most critical issues of their business—to find Talent. Wempi believes that after strategy and planning have been set up, acquisitions completed and capital sourced, having the right talent is the make or break factor for the success of the business. The inner-calls to help his clients in this area, urged him to set-up a different venture.
He discussed this idea with one of his friends, Heru Sutantyo who was working in China, leading digital projects for one of the largest oil companies in the world. With Heru’s solid background handling sales, business development and digital, combined with Wempi’s own accumulated business experiences, both aspired to build a technology-based startup company, with a vision to solve one of the most common business challenges: finding the right people on the right place.
“We then decided to build ACE Team, an A-list talent on-demand platform, together with Arkka Sandhya who has been working together with me since the beginning of Fortia. His passion for finance and experience in building startup business strengthen ACE Team founding team’s solid business background,” asserts Wempi.
Facing the challenges of 2020, ACE Team stays relevant to act as a trusted partner by providing a technology-based platform, referral-based sourcing from its closely-vetted A-list talent database and scientific individual assessment using a global psychometric tool to enable job matching for specific talent needs. The founding team believes that a strong understanding of local business culture when combined with a global mindset and solid business background, may contribute to solving critical talent issues in many organizations.
Personifying Traits of Success
Wempi believes that the biggest attribute for entrepreneurial success is integrity, strong service orientation and the ability to become the client’s thought partner. “Success to me is doing something I am passionate about while generating impact on others,” he says.
The ardent entrepreneur surely has a promising future ahead. In the coming year, he envisions to see himself spending most of the time cultivating his leadership skills and business acumen, identifying and developing a relationship with business partners and building stronger teams.