The title of SBM ITB as one of the best business schools in Indonesia cannot be separated from the superior quality of its civitas. One of the qualified teachers from this school is Prawira Fajarindra Belgiawan, S.T., M. Eng., Ph.D.

Fajar recently received an award from the Vice Rector for Reseach, Innovation and Partnerships of ITB as the 10 Young Lecturers with the most Q1 Publications in the 2019–2022 period. Fajar is an assistant professor of SBM ITB who is part of the Business Strategy and Marketing Expertise Group (KK BSM) with a primary research interest in discrete choice models in travel and marketing behavior.

Fajar’s journey before joining the KK BSM SBM ITB was quite long. After graduating from undergraduate of Planology at ITB, Fajar continued his master’s and doctoral studies at Kyoto University.

At that time, according to his interest in transportation planning, Fajar studied under a professor who worked in the Department of Urban Management. Although incorporated in the civil engineering domain, Fajar’s study focuses more on human behavior in travel behavior, such as the use of the theory of plan behavior, purchase intention and also the choice modeling.

After completing his doctoral degree, Fajar moved to the Institute for Transport Planning and System, ETH Zurich (IVT ETHZ), Switzerland. While at ETH Zurich, Fajar met a professor from the Institute for Transport and Logistic Studies, the University of Sydney.

Interestingly, the institute is not in the civil engineering domain, but in a business school. The professor said because transportation planning is more about studying human behavior, not about building roads or bridges. “Science in transportation planning is closely related to marketing, about how we transfer private vehicle users to public transportation,” said Fajar.

The method, said Fajar, is to offer a value that can make people switch from private vehicles to public transportation. Transportation planning is also about how we analyze human behavior. Also, his mentor at IVT ETHZ suggested him to study method in marketing literatures for transport planning.

“Therefore, when SBM opened a vacancy, I entered the BSM KK because my research focus, travel behavior, which one of its methods, choice modeling belonged to the marketing domain,” Fajar explained.

His decision to join KK BSM turned out to be very fitting. Fajar claimed to have full support from his KK Chair, Mustika Sufiati Purwanegara, and colleagues in the BSM KK, Prof. Reza Ashari Nasution, Ir. Budi Permadi Iskandar, Herry Hudrasyah, Dr. Atik Aprianingsih, Dr. Nila Armelia Windasari, Dr. Ira Fachira, Dr. Harimukti Wandebori, Annisa Rahmani Qastharin, Fitri Aprilianty, Nurrani Kusumawati to the ITB SBM as a whole. Fajar is free to do research and contribute to the BSM KK. These supports also open up opportunities for him to collaborate and conduct research across expertise group, across faculties, and even across universities.

I regularly collaborate on research in the field of transportation with Dr. Yos Sunitiyoso (decision-making and strategic negotiation expertise group),” said Fajar. “Recently, we learned about the public acceptance and environmental impact of electric bus service (BRT). Other than that, Fajar also conducted transportation research with Prof. Dr. Ir. Sudarso Kaderi Wiryono and Dr. Raden Aswin Rahadi from Business Risk and Finance Interest Group, Dr. Liane Okdinawati, from Operation and Performance Management Interest Group, and Dr. Dedy Sushandoyo from People and Knowledge Management Interest Group.

Fajar also collaborates by researching public policy with Yudo Anggoro, a knowledge and human management expertise group. Their research is about logistics in the pandemic era. He also conducted research about small and medium enterprise marketing with Prof. Wawan Dhewanto from Entrepreneurship and Technology Management Interest Group. He also collaborate with Dr. Henndy Ginting from People and Knowledge Management Interest Group on study about individual development program, particularly for business strategy.

“I also write some papers on consumer behavior, but what I really focus on is transport,” said Fajar. “Because of its interdisciplinary nature, I often working together with colleagues from other faculties, such as my collaboration with several lecturers from ITB, UNPAR, UGM, and overseas universities (including Kyoto University and ETH Zurich) in my research on travel behavior.”

For other research collaborations, Fajar collaborates with colleagues from STEI ITB, especially on how to market the product. For example, he collaborates with Ir. Adi Indrayanto, M.Sc., Ph.D. from MicroElectronic Centre of ITB to study on how to market the smart dashboard product. On one of his class, technology commercialization, Fajar collaborate with Dr. Adi and Muhammad Iqbal Arsyad, S.T, M.T. on how to commercialize Smart Dashboard and Smart Edu program, also with Dr. Nur Ahmadi on research about “Charm” product, and with Dr. Ir. Irman Idris, M.Sc. on Energia product. With SAPPK ITB, Fajar collaborates with Dr. Eng. Puspita Dirgahayani and Dr. I Gusti Ayu Andani on transportation and tourism research. Fajar also has worked with Wilmar A. Salim, S.T, M.Reg.Dev., Ph.D. and team on research on industrial area planning.

Fajar hopes that, in the future, SBM ITB can establish a research center on travel behavior. According to him, with a reliable transportation planner like Prof. Dr. Ir. Sudarso Kaderi Wiryono, Dr. Yos Sunitiyoso, Eko Agus Prasetio, S.T., MBA, Dr.rer.pol., Dr. Liane Okdinawati, Dedy Sushandoyo, S.T, M.Sc.Eng., M.A.Sc., Ph.D., Yuliani Dwi Lestari, S.T, MBA, Ph.D., Dr. Yudo Anggoro, SBM ITB are capable enough to build the study center.

“So, when the public needs a new perspective in travel behavior, they can look for it at ITB, specifically at SBM.”

Written by Student Reporter (Janitra Nuraryani, Management 2023)