Getting to know Yuyuh Sukmana, behind the produce
11 August 2020

Behind the Produce with Yuyuh Sukmana

Yuyuh Sukmana is our Regional Manager of Southeast Asia. Based in Jakarta, Indonesia, Yuyuh has been carrying the Vanguard flag in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand for 14 years. Travelling throughout Southeast Asia with Yuyuh is like travelling with produce royalty. He is respected and admired by all. Having served the produce industry in many capacities prior to joining Vanguard, he certainly earned it. Having worked in leadership roles in perishable departments of major retailers and representing growers from the Southern Hemisphere, he understands the pressures of the supply chain better than most. And, he is uniquely placed to support Vanguard’s wholesale and retail customers, as well as our growers, in Southeast Asia.

Let’s get to know Yuyuh a little more!

VG: Has Southeast Asia always been home? We hear you have a soft spot for Bali, do you visit there often?
Yuyuh: I have always lived in Jakarta since I was 9 when my father decided to move from our hometown, Bandung. Now, having great business partners in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, I feel equally at home in these countries as well. I always feel excited when talking about Bali. I definitely consider this my second home and hopefully my future home. I occasionally spend weekends there with my family, and enjoy the privilege to spend more time there with my family during the kids school holidays in June or December. 

VG: Have you always been destined for produce? Where did your career start?
Yuyuh: With my accounting background, I started my career as an Internal Auditor in one of the major retailers in Indonesia, until I was given the opportunity to head the produce buying team there in 1995. I have been in the industry since then, which I feel grateful for and have tremendous pride in.

VG: What has been a memorable moment for you during your time working for Vanguard?
Yuyuh: With such amazing teammates in our Vanguard offices around the globe, I feel like a part of a big family with so many memorable moments during my 14 years with Vanguard. To mention a few:

  • The annual meeting in Hongkong – being the only time each year when I can meet face to face with my brothers and sisters from our global offices, has always been an exciting moment. The atmosphere is evidence of the strong bond that we all have as Vanguard team members and with our growers, customers, and other important trade partners.
  • Together with our Chilean office, we have been able to build a very strong foundation and structure with both our suppliers and Indonesian customers, that has enabled Vanguard to become the main exporter of South American grapes into Indonesia, amidst the most challenging import regulations among all markets.

VG: Whose day do you impact on a regular basis? Who hears from you the most?
Yuyuh: Awesome team work is our strength. As I’m engaging with any of our team members at any point of time, there is always an additional team member backing them up to make sure all our programs are being executed flawlessly. With our 52 weeks per year supply, various people hear from me from season to season. For example, Matt Williams from our US office would be in contact with me extensively during the US apple and US grape programs. When it comes to Peruvian and Chilean grapes season, Gonzalo Gajardo from our Chile office would tell you that I talk to him more than his wife does.

VG: What does your free time look like? Spending time with family, friends? Hobbies?
Yuyuh: Most of my free time is family time – dining out, movies, and occasionally spending the weekend in Bali or Puncak – a mountain area with about a 2 hour drive from Jakarta. I also like singing and watching sport games, mainly soccer and tennis.

VG: Do you have a favorite produce item? If so, how do you prefer to eat it?
Yuyuh: I always start my day with having fresh lemon juice, followed by banana and avocado after morning exercise. Then I complete my 5-A-Day with any two of the followings: grapes, apples, pears, kiwifruit, or mandarins.