Experience and expertise inform every step of our business, from seed-to-shelf. Hear from our technical experts and leaders in the fields of agronomy, sustainability, food and nutrition, trading, shipping, commercial and consumer products.
Alex Kurniawan joined the company in 2017 and currently leads our consumer products division in Indonesia. Products under his care include household names such as Filma, Kunci Mas, Pristine, and Groovy. Alex has grown the business, increased market share and improved overall profitability. He plans further expansions, strengthen brand equity in the company’s products and establish a robust distribution network with a rigorous channel focus.
Alex has 20 years of experience in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector with companies such as Mead Johnson, Reckitt Benckiser, Loreal, and PepsiCo. Before joining GAR, Alex was a Marketing Director in PT Kino Indonesia.
He has a master’s degree in Management from Prasetiya Mulya Business School, Indonesia.
“Besides providing products of the highest quality, what we’re trying to do is give consumers the most value – products that they need, supplied conveniently. It might sound like a tall order, but I believe where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Andrew Perkins leads GAR’s global customer and destination shipping programmes for tropical oils. He is responsible for building long-term partnerships and providing supply chain solutions that meet global customer requirements.
Andrew works closely with customers to understand their requirements. GAR, with a fully integrated supply chain, is well-placed to handle the development of these demands. He plans to differentiate and expand the business by focusing on the company’s sustainability credentials and strategic development of future products.
Andrew has more than 26 years of experience dealing with global commodity markets. He started his career in Cargill on a graduate recruitment scheme in 1995. For the first 13 years, Andrew worked in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands before moving to Singapore in 2000. He specialised in trading and risk management in Cargill, predominantly in tropical oils and subsequently the global energy markets. Andrew joined Morgan Stanley in 2008, where he built their agricultural trading and derivatives desk in Asia. He later led their global trading team and became a member of the global commodity management committee during his tenure at the Wall Street bank.
Andrew graduated with first-class honours in Rural and Environmental Economics (Bachelor of Science degree) from the University of Newcastle in 1995.
“Understand what your customers value. Never lower your price. Always increase your value!”
Björn Stignor oversees the shipping and logistics of GAR’s products globally.
Björn started his career in 1993 as an officer on ships, sailing on chemical tankers until he became a captain in 2001. He then took up a commercial role in Brostrom followed by Stena. In 2011, he moved to Singapore as the head of Stena Weco, and started the joint venture freight and shipping company between GAR and Stena Weco in 2012.
He currently heads three major logistic companies as a combination of joint ventures and/or fully owned companies by groups: GAR, Stena Bulk (a major ship owner controlling about 130 tankers), and Bay Crest (a professional commercial manager with a strong presence in both Japan and Singapore).
He has extensive experience with chemical tankers, and the shipping of bulk commodities, which is important in navigating the complexities associated with transporting palm oil around the world safely.
Bjorn is a certified Master Mariner and graduated from Sweden with a degree in chemical science.
“At GAR, my responsibility is to ensure we export our palm oil products in a safe and timely manner. The company has invested a lot in making our logistics more efficient, something I have been heavily involved in. My focus now is on the carbon footprint of shipping. Having spent a long time in this industry, I have seen the evolution of palm oil shipments – from small, old, low quality ships to the current modern fleet.
The difference between a 20-year-old vessel and a new one can mean a 25-35 percent improvement of fuel consumption. By lowering the age of vessels we use, and increasing the shipping size we benefit from economies of scale and we also lower the carbon footprint for each tonne of palm oil we move.”
As the Head of GAR’s Group Treasury, Gopul Shah deploys best-in-class treasury, structured finance, risk management and funding solutions to enhance company competitiveness and profitability. He created the company’s proprietary trade structured finance business unit with market coverage of Asia, Europe and the Middle East. He manages relationships with lenders, financial institutions, rating agencies, customers, futures exchange and brokers, regulators, business units and board of directors.
Gopul has more than 20 years of experience in financing and financial services, with particular expertise in international treasury and finance, and business development in trade structured finance.
Prior to joining GAR in 2014, Gopul spent 10 years at Cargill’s proprietary trade structured funding, treasury, emerging markets trading, and risk management group. There, he managed Cargill’s trade and structured finance (TSF) business and India treasury and financial services business.
Gopul graduated with a Master Degree in Business Administration from the University of Chicago – Booth School of Business, and has a Bachelor Degree in Commerce from the University of Bombay. He is also a Fellow Member of the Chartered Accountants of India, and an Associate of CPA Australia.
“Passion, integrity, humility, confidence, and courage are the cornerstones of every activity we undertake. I use my passion for business strategy, people, and hunger to apply learnings, to ensure that my work in finance helps build businesses, talent, and communities that thrive in a sustainable way.”
Götz Martin has been with GAR since 2015, leading the company’s sustainability initiatives on the ground. His team focuses on areas such as 1) Forest and Peat conservation, rehabilitation and management, 2) Community Engagement with a focus on participative action and alternative livelihoods, 3) Responsible Sourcing with a focus on supplier engagement and supply chain transformation.
He has 12 years of experience in forest/land use and sustainability-related topics and has spent 11 years in South East Asia. As a leading subject matter expert in his field, Götz sits on various committees: High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) Executive Committee, High Conservation Value Resource Network (HCVRN) Management Committee, RSPO Peatland Working Group, and the RSPO Biodiversity and High Conservation Value (BHCV) Working Group.
In his previous role at McKinsey & Company, Götz was one of the key authors of the McKinsey Global Greenhouse Gas Abatement Cost Curve, as well as the Indonesian Greenhouse Gas Abatement Cost Curve – the first document published by an Indonesian Government agency (DNPI) which recognized the role of peatlands as a source of carbon emissions. He was also the lead author of the East Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan Low Carbon Economic Growth Strategy.
Götz has a PhD and Master Degree in Forestry Science, and a Bachelor Degree in Environmental Management, all from the Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg, Germany.
“Growing up in a small village in Germany, nature in general and forests, in particular, have always been my favourite place to be. Realising soon during studies on what a downhill trajectory Earth was on, I pursued a career in sustainability. Governments and leading private sectors can turn the wheel and transform the way we all live, while still allowing emerging countries to pursue a growth path to lift millions of their people from poverty.”
Khoo Kok Yeow leads our IT and digital teams in GAR, managing around 230 employees. Since joining the company in 2017, Kok Yeow has re-organised the teams, allowing deep domain expertise to be nurtured internally. Kok Yeow is currently operating IT in two tracks – one focuses on traditional IT, and the second focuses on innovative digital agenda: cloud, remote sensing, internet of things, machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc.
He also heads the Corporate Functions Shared Services, driving cost efficiency, operational excellence and a continuous improvement mindset in his team. Building on the motto of ‘repeatable, predictable and measurable operations’, his focus here is on value-added services such as machine learning and artificial intelligence-based analytics.
Prior to GAR, Kok Yeow was with Accenture for 23 years. Over the last 20 years, he has been involved in a large number of transformation engagements, as well as other strategic consulting initiatives, predominantly with resources industry clients. Kok Yeow also has extensive Finance and Accounting, HR and IT shared services operations and governance experience, having architected, designed, transitioned and operated shared services (for these functions) at various large multi-nationals.
“In challenging times, I hold dear this quote from Margaret Mitchell’s novel Gone with the Wind – ‘Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect’. So no matter the trial, we must face it without fear, and work hard to adapt and change for the better.”
Richard Fung leads GAR’s Investor Relations department, and is responsible for driving engagement with our analysts, investors, and shareholders. He works closely with senior management to provide timely and accurate information to investors, and reflecting stakeholder feedback to the board of directors – elements critical in achieving value for the company.
He has been with the company since 2008, and has more than 20 years of experience in Finance, particularly in the area of corporate finance.
Before joining GAR, Richard held leadership positions at Sampoerna Telecom, AcrossAsia Multimedia, and UBS Warburg. He has been involved in various capital market transactions including M&A, IPO, equity and bond issuance, and bank financing.
Richard has a Master Degree and PhD in Business Administration from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
“My focus is on providing investors with the best possible insight into the strategy, operations and performance of GAR. My passion is to make investors aware of the many benefits palm oil has to offer, not in the least that it can be produced in a sustainable manner.”
Tony Liwang leads our Plant Production and Biotechnology division, which looks into the biotechnology of oil palm, and carries out research activities to improve planting material and seed stock.
He has been with GAR for over 21 years, holding various research and development roles within the company. He was previously the Head of our SMART Research Institute.
Tony has more than 30 years of experience in agriculture-based technologies. He was part of the founding committee of ICOPE, the International Conference on Oil Palm and the Environment, serving as its first chairman in 2009.
Tony received his PhD from the Bogor Agricultural Institute, Indonesia. He also has Master and Bachelor Degrees in Agricultural Technology from Wageningen Agricultural University, the Netherlands.
“Many people have a perception that farming and agriculture, being more to do with nature, has no relation to technology. However, that is not that case. As a company we are highly driven by research and technology. In fact, biotechnology for oil palm has seen rapid development, especially in the last five years in which we have identified its whole genetic map.”