February 1, 2013 · by Yuanita Amarien ·

Azrul Ananda, Commissioner DBL. (Foto: Dita Putri/ Jawa Pos)


He is still young. He is only 36 years old this year, yet currently he is the President Director of PT. Jawa Pos Koran, one of the biggest newspapers in Indonesia. Even though people may think that his position is enthroned from his father, Dahlan Iskan – the former CEO of Jawa Pos, but he didn’t come on instant to be the big boss. Instead, he wasn’t permitted to join Jawa Pos by his father at first. A prohibition that made him thought of working in Kompas, the big competitor of Jawa Pos.


However, finally he joined Jawa Pos at the age of 22, by starting as a reporter in Surabaya. Later on, he initiated DetEksi, a youth section of the newspaper. Targeted to the High School students, this section are also run by the young students, ranging from the reporters, editors, photographers, designers to the editor. Since 2000, this youth section has been embedded in a total of 3 pages of the newspaper and presented everyday. The fresh and innovative idea to embrace the youth by dedicating special pages for them in a newspaper was claimed to be the first one in Indonesia, or perhaps in the world as well. The result? Jawa Pos won the Newspaper of the Year, World Young Reader Prize by WAN-IFRA in 2011, during Azrul’s leadership as a Head of Editor. Quoted from the WAN-IFRA, the World Association of Newspaper and News Publisher, Jawa Pos is known for its innovation in presentation of the pages and its consistency in promoting young editors and managers inside the company.

His career path evolved from DetEksi to a city news editor, front-page editor, managing editor and at the age of 27 years old, he already became a Chief Editor of PT. Jawa Pos Koran, in 2005. Afterwards, he was trusted to be Vice Director of Newspaper Sales, Advertising Sales and Operational Director (COO) in 2010. Currently, he is only 36 years old and already holds as the President Director position of one of the biggest media companies in Indonesia.


The encouraging part is Azrul deserves to earn that success. DetEksi proved to increase the daily circulation of Jawa Pos newspaper. Moreover, his ideas to incorporate the youth spirit and reinvention of new features have made Jawa Pos, which has the circulation over 400.000 copies everyday, metamorphosed into a trendsetting newspaper. With its slogan, ‘Selalu Ada yang Baru’, which means there is always something new, Jawa Pos introduces many new features and special segments for the readers, such as Metropolis, Sportivo, Nouvelle, Evergreen, Life begins at 50 and also Jawa Pos For Her.

And now, apart from the national and international award winning newspaper in Indonesia, Jawa Pos is the Most Read Newspaper in Indonesia, based on Nielsen Media Research in 2010, by dominating the market share in Surabaya and East Java. Jawa Pos also continues to be the strongest and the biggest media network in Indonesia, consisiting of around 200 newspaper and local television stations. A legacy that undoubtedly came from the leadership of Dahlan Iskan, together with the top managers and the team of Jawa Pos, including the booster of vibrant and fresh energy from Azrul Ananda.

Graha Pena Jawa Pos -

Graha Pena Jawa Pos –

The presence of Azrul Ananda is not only echoing in Jawa Pos Group. His ideas and fresh initiatives also elevate the spirit of the youth in Surabaya. He considers that the youth are a big market in Indonesia. Moreover, he also believes that if Jawa Pos wants to survive in the future, the key is by embracing the youth. He does not want to foment regeneration only in Jawa Pos Company, but he also wants to incite the regeneration within the readers too.

Therefore, in line with the marketing strategy of DetEksi to embrace more young readers, he initiated a student basketball competition, DetEksi Basketball League (DBL). DBL was started on 2004 when he observed that there wasn’t any regular sport competition for the youth that time. Afterwards, DBL became phenomenal and a big hit. From Surabaya, DBL expanded to other cities in Indonesia. On 2009, DBL also stretched to Australia too. The DBL team even won the competition with Western Australia team. On 2010, DetEksi Basketball League transformed into Development Basketball League that is managed professionally by the young and enthusiastic professionals. Now, DBL reaches more than 27.000 participants within 1.500 teams from Aceh to Papua. Azrul also proclaimed that this basketball league would be the second biggest league after soccer, in Indonesia. The most interesting part from this basketball league, perhaps the principles it has. Azrul explained further that DBL wants to develop the student athlete concept, whereas the participants should have good rapports at school. Moreover, he is also consistent not to have sponsors from cigarettes, energy drinks and alcohol companies. Nowadays, Development Basketball League (DBL) Youth Events has changed into the biggest Indonesia’s Student Basketball Competition.

Apart from that, Azrul also threw a brilliant idea, by organizing DetEksi Convention – a school wall magazine competition – every year. Starting on 2007, this annual event is always held on SSCC – Supermall Pakuwon Indah Surabaya, Jawa Timur, followed the participation of Junior and Senior High Schools in East Java. This event grows into an important and prestigious event for the high schoolers for their self – actualization and also for the school’s pride.

Commenting about his success and also as the second generation of Jawa Pos, Azrul Ananda, mentioned that being the second generation is not easy. Therefore, he upholds the principle, that is as a young generation, he should be able to take over and works much better than the previous generation.

Azrul Ananda -

Azrul Ananda –

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