Building a business in Asia with roots in Wollongong

Dr Budi Notowidjojo shares how he became an entrepreneur in his hometown after graduating from UOW

Starting university can mean a lot of change. For some students, it’s the first time they leave home – perhaps even the first time they learn how to cook for themselves or do their laundry.

For University of Wollongong (UOW) graduate, Dr Budi Notowidjojo, university meant travelling an eight-hour flight, one-and-a-half-hour drive, making a new group of friends, and learning a different language and culture. 

“I learned a lot, not only on the academic side, but I also learned about independence, about maturity, and about other people’s cultures. This was very helpful in moulding my character, my professionalism, and who I am today,” Budi said.  

Budi was born and raised in Indonesia. He moved to Australia as a first-year student in 1983 to study a Bachelor of Science, Metallurgy (Honours) at UOW. Once he finished his undergraduate degree, Budi received a scholarship to continue his studies and complete a PhD in Materials Engineering. 

“I truly enjoyed my university life. Maybe I enjoyed it too much that I didn’t want to leave,” laughed Budi.  

“I lived in Wollongong for eight years and was quite active with many activities with the overseas students, both in the university and in the dorm. The dorm I stayed in was called the International House and some of my most memorable moments were there. I’m probably one of the longest staying students at the International House – I lived there for five years straight. I chose to live at the dorm so that I had lots of friends to hang out with. We would go for hikes up Mount Kiera, have barbecues at the beach or social functions at the dorms.  

“Building friendships with students from different cultures and countries was a rare opportunity for me. I loved meeting people from different backgrounds and learning from their experiences. These moments are still very precious to me.”   

When Budi was studying his PhD at UOW, his supervisor introduced him to Bisalloy Steel, a high strength and wear resistant steel manufacturer based in Unanderra.  

“When I graduated from UOW, it was about the same time that Bisalloy Steel wanted to expand their business to Indonesia. Since I’m from Indonesia and come from a family steel background, I got involved. And that’s the start of how I founded PT Bima Bisalloy,” explained Budi. 

Building a business in Asia with roots in Wollongong

Budi opened PT Bima Bisalloy in 1994 and is the CEO and Founder of the company. Since its opening, PT Bima Bisalloy has grown to become a large and profitable business based in Jakarta, Indonesia.  

“PT Bima Bisalloy is a very successful company that sells a variety of wear resistant materials to a wide range of customers from mining, agriculture, cement, fabricator, power, and defence industries.  

“We have about 45 employees in Indonesia and also export our product to Southeast Asia. PT Bima Bisalloy is the market leader in wear resistant steel businesses in Indonesia and known in the market as the wear specialist team.” 

When asked what advice he’d give to people wanting to start their own company, Budi said the most important thing is to follow your passions. 

“Do what you’re good at. Don’t be afraid to make big dreams. And then, of course, you have to persevere until your goal is achieved.  

“The other thing that is important is you need to be able to deliver good quality products and satisfy your customer. Open your eyes, see the market opportunity, build your networks, and always understand your competitors. Now, if you have a financial background, that would be helpful because you can then study and read the financial reports of the company. And for me, you need to have work-life balance.” 

Budi said he attributes his success today thanks to his university experience. 

“I am deeply in debt to the University as a whole – the lectures, the staff, my friends – for all the success that I enjoy today. I think a successful career not only depends on a highly rated university but also on the character of the graduate student after they leave university.” 


Budi Notowidjojo  

Bachelor of Science, Metallurgy (Honours) 

PhD, Materials Engineering

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