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Indonesia Hospitality Podcast
39 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Ep 4: A Leader on a Mission | Bisma Jatmika
Today, we talk with Pak Bisma, director for the Tourism, Industry and Institutions for the Borobudur tourism authority. He’ll share with us insightful things that he is doing in leading Indonesia out of the COVID crisis. With 5 million visitors visiting the Borabodur Temple each year - Pak Bisma faces daily challenges in meeting the expectations of tourists and the local community. Bismas energy is contageous and it is easy to see why its predicted that Indonesia will be the 4th largest economy in the world by 2040 with leaders like him. Episode Timeline: Why are you so positive about the hospitality industry and Indonesia in general? [1:38] Indonesia is a unique cultural attraction. About 35% of the total portfolio is in cultural attraction. The dancing, the crafting, painting, music, are well combined with the beautiful landscape in highland and beaches where you can enjoy sunrise, stargazing, surfing. What have you learned about leadership and managing people through your career? [2:48] Part of me, I assume they are my brothers, my sisters. We fight together, we share happy moments, and we support each other in hard times like this. I learned that working hand-in-hand will give a gorgeous result. What’s one thing that you wish you knew at the start of your career? [7:13] I think that if I know that networking is something huge for me, I will just do my networking. I would just develop my networking. And with networking, you’ll find good fellows, be that friend and you will have a great career. What exactly is Pak Bisma’s job [9:36] I lead the directorate of industry and institution. It is called Business development and innovation division. I do this planning, making the backbone of my company, make a strategic plan, and execute some programs. And also, I coordinate with many stakeholders in the tourism and creative company. What it’s been like that the growth in tourism in Indonesia has been exponential in the last two or three decades? [13:06] If you talk about tourism and the creative economic ecosystem here in Central Java, it actually does some progress. There’s no one say that we’re not supporting tourism. The hardest part is to convince the central government and the local government to work together. What are some of the things that are being done to make sure that the standard education system is maintained? [15:12] We have several University that focuses on tourism under the Ministry of Tourism. We also work together with several other Universities. We also work together with the industry when you set the curriculum of our training, it was made together by the academicians and the industry and so we will know that what is the level of standard, the human resource in tourism has to deliver to the guests. What are some mistakes that you see experts make when they come and do business in Indonesia? [17:53] When I work for a foreign company, sometimes we argue badly. With us in the Eastern culture, we don’t say rude words. Western people, stressful people with high temper especially someone who works from 8 AM to 11 PM. 3 General tips for doing business in Indonesia [21:00] First one, find the right partner. In Indonesia, you need to have the right partner who can read the political situation, get access to capital to market your product, and blend with the local people community and strategic partner. [21:59] You have to find a clean and clear location to start your business. [22:25] Start with the local market. You can start with the local market and then expand to the export market. How Omnibus law will make the international market easier [24:10] It simplified the permit process. Another one is about the workforce. The salary, the wages, regional standard, and everything is simplified by the Omnibus law. Are there any special economic zones for investing in Borobudur [26:29] The special economic zone is not available yet. There are many partners from abroad ask about why should they invest in Borobudur? First, we have a UNESCO world cultural heritage. Especially the tourism investment, the tourism market system is well developed. And one more thing of is about our domestic market is growing and the purchasing power is growing as our middle citizen grow our economics better and better. What’s the first step if an investor wants to invest [29:53] They can contact me. The Borobudur tourism authority board can just accompany you. What’s the biggest challenge in your role? [31:19] It’s a challenge for me to create a proper culture in our organization. It’s kind of a long-term perspective because this culture will be embedded until years long. Another one is the coordination and synchronization of our program with stakeholders. We also have this hardest time to coordinate with other ministries. And last but not the least, in this time like pandemic, the hardest part is to keep my team energy, to keep them happy so we can take this challenge lightly. What has been something that you’ve learned about yourself as a leader in the last 12 months? [33:24] Empathy and be more aware and care about your team. I’m not a leader if I don’t have a team. We also try to find out what we can do best in this pandemic event. We have to change rapidly. What do you want to see in 50 years time in Indonesia? [35:34] I want Indonesia to be one of the biggest economies in the world. As market, I dream of food technology, clean energy industry, tourism, digital apps, fashion, and architectural design as our future. I know that we will be the next target for investment growth in Southeast Asia. Who inspires you in the hospitality industry that I should interview on this podcast next? [36:36] I would like you to interview my best friend. He was the president director of Tobar tourism authority. Now he’s the director of operation and innovation in Indonesia tourism development corporation. Key Quotes: [3:33-3:44]: “Working is not all about money. Currently, some say it’s about friendship, helping people, serving the country, or maybe being heard by others.” [17:53] When I work for a foreign company, sometimes we argue badly. With us in the Eastern culture, we don’t say rude words. Western people, stressful people with high temper especially someone who works from 8 AM to 11 PM. 3 General tips for doing business in Indonesia [21:00] First one, find the right partner. In Indonesia, you need to have the right partner who can read the political situation, get access to capital to market your product, and blend with the local people community and strategic partner. [21:59] You have to find a clean and clear location to start your business. [22:25] Start with the local market. You can start with the local market and then expand to the export market.
87 minutes | Jan 7, 2021
Ep 3: Retirement Living | Benjamin Cass
Today we have Benjamin Cass on the show who is the President Director of Associations Senior Living in Indonesia. Join us as we discuss what is like to experience Indonesia, starting business in Indonesia and other information on building your business in the country. Benjamin's 15 years in the property and health sectors in South-East Asia have spanned the private and public sector including as an advisor to the Victorian government's Dept. Premier & Cabinet and as an Associate Director of one of Asia-Pacific's largest architectural and design practices. He is considered a pioneer of Indonesia's aged care sector and a co-founder of the Asosiasi Seniors Living Indonesia. Benjamin has led a team of developers and operators and has project managed numerous residential and mixed use projects with a strong focus on seniors living in Asia. Benjamin is Chair of the Retirement and Senior Living South East Asia annual conference and is a frequent speaker throughout the region on the topic of Seniors Living. Benjamin served on the Australia-Indonesia Business Council's Victorian Committee and studied a Bachelor of Public Policy & Management at the University of Melbourne, a Diploma in Construction & Building (Management) and a Bachelor of Dementia Care at the University of Tasmania. Let us explore Indonesia and its secrets in this podcast. www.indonesiahospitality.com Expat living and new experiences 5:50 The market in Bali realized they can no longer rely on tourists, due to the current situation. 7:46 Culture and Language barrier is the most important aspect if you are thinking to build business in the domestic market in Indonesia. 9:33 The sound of local mosque are sounds that you hear often in Bali and parts of Indonesia. Sights of collection of luxury cars and Bali is not quite pedestrian friendly. 12:07 Commitment in time is important if you are looking into investing business in Indonesia, amount of time required in handling business in the country is important. 15:33 Having interaction with staff is incredible, it is particular a hard job but we are lucky to have the staff. Living in Indonesia apart from living in Australia 18:35 Everyday is an adventure in Indonesia and there is a huge difference in culture from Australia. 19:39 Raising a family in Indonesia is a different set from Australia, the staff that works for your family becomes part of your family. 21:00 Education in Indonesia offers a lot of option from embassy tied to public schools, the difference is that Indonesia does not emphasize physical education. 23:00 The neighborhood in Indonesia knows each other well, everyone helps one another and is far different from what Australia is used to. Integrating in the society 24:47 Language is important, even though they can speak English really well, we still have language barrier, there is still something that is different with their birth language. 25:46 There are social standing in wealth and family. It is a small business community. 30:17 If you pay once you pass the moral judgement, you’ll be known that you pay in the future. It is easy for Australians to pass moral judgement in Indonesia. Starting a business in Indonesia 32:50 The need for partnership is important in starting business in Australia, partnerships is a go to any business. 33:51 The market is a small one, the large population has a different meaning on business, different markets depend on social status who can afford your product. 37:06 It is difficult to build business in Indonesia but the it is the people that makes it easier. With all the differences, despite of it the people make building the business easier. Finding the right business partner 45:02 As long, you are clear on what your demographics are you will narrow down your list on your business partners. 47:37 You are chasing small list of people, because of the size of the place they are publicly listed. Business of structure on taxes and such 51:42 A non-Indonesian has to set up PTPMA, and the crucial part is the delivery itself. Building in Indonesia 58:28 Only can few players do it and only few can do it, there is a temptation to control all aspect of the building work, which does not work all the time. You need to find a partner you can trust. 1:07:59 Relying on someone’s CV is risky. You have to look into the universities in Indonesia to be on the safe side. 1:09:08 It comes time to spend the time to know the candidate, you cannot rely on the CV itself. The ability to greet someone is important in the business. 1:12:00 The more important part on the business is smile in touch which is not quite difficult to find in Indonesia, it all makes a difference. Other design considerations 1:13:60 Turning down the dial on effects, with the nature of the business with less reliance on signage instead putting in flowers really helps dial down the effects. You associate everything with senses. Natural light is associated with dementia, we have tweaked the design of the building to cater the people we are serving. Getting the right clients and using the tools 1:16:50 The seniors came from the existing property developer. Which is very unusual comparing to Australia. 1:17:00 You don’t have the facility yet to educate for age care. There is a need for medical background you have to work in what education system in Indonesia requires. 1:19:20 Indonesia will create name on the world. Being the world’s largest secret and economic growth is continuing in Indonesia. Key notes 36:20 “If you speak openly to them, they will speak openly to you” 59:09 “There is some level of transparency where you can see employers previous work and it comes down to trust” Thank you for listening to this episode, listen to more Indonesia’s secret and beauty in the next episodes. For show notes you can visit www.indonesiahospitality.com. Share this podcast to support us. Working alone we are incrementally better, together we are exponentially better.
62 minutes | Jan 7, 2021
Ep 2: How to Start a Hotel and Restaurant in Indonesia | Alejandro Pineda
In this episode of The Indonesia Hospitality Podcast, Alejandro Pineda takes us to his journey on finding his home in Indonesia. Stories of success, passion, and challenges that nourished his experience in this wonderful land and the people that he met who make the hospitality industry in Indonesia world class. Whether you're a veteran in hospitality, a seasoned investor, or someone looking for a sea change in life, this podcast covers everything that you need to know to inspire your next move in Indonesia. Episode Timeline Trip to Sumbala 1:05 “I have been looking forward to some time off some downtime to reassess. COVID has been the perfect situation for me to have precisely that. So yes, I've been obviously surfing a lot, which is which is really great. Because it's one of the things that brought me here. It's probably the main thing that brought me here to Indonesia” Living in Indonesia 1:48 There's also the connection with the people, it almost feels like things become a bit more meaningful when to us and to them when we are in times of struggle together. They see you here on the good times, but they also see you here on the bad times. 02:37 I didn't choose Indonesia, but Indonesia chose me. I came here on a surf trip with a plan to go to Bali and Sumatra and stay here for about six weeks. I was just blown away by it. As I arrived in Bali, I thought I was so different to what I had expected. I had expected like pristine Virgin Islands. I somehow expected it to be a lot smaller than it is. I was quite shocked, it is quite urban. But it had a really beautiful charm in the culture and the people and in the vibe of the travelers. 3:30 Lombok really gave me what I was expecting from Indonesia as a whole. The pristine beaches with no one the feeling of exploration and discovery. 3:43 Things just started happening around me. Met some people that were looking to develop things. I really saw the untapped potential of the island and 10 years later, I am here doing what in that moment became my dream. How His Profession Helped Him with His Decision to Live In Lombok 4:58 I had no idea how difficult it is to actually achieve moving here much less back then. Interestingly, I met a person who has a resort and he had a land sales of property, a property business going. He became interested listening to my story on the fact that I was actually a real estate lawyer. He introduced me to some of his clients and his clients were looking to develop a property. That's how we got in touch with the guys that later became my business partners. Together, we developed a pretty large development project that was basically my, I call it my scholarship to staying here. What Made Alejandro Decide to Settle in Indonesia 6:31 I just have this gut feeling this intuition that that this place was for me, and that things would happen. There was absolutely no logical certainty in it. 6:59 It’s like that beginner's ignorance of not even grasping the challenges. I just wanted to stay here and I needed to figure out how. Rather than focusing on the challenges, I focused on myself and my self-growth and took everything from a beginner's perspective, and just completely opened up to absorb as much knowledge as possible about the area and to shake myself into the person I needed to be in order to succeed here. Is it sometimes better to jump in to investing into Indonesia when you're younger? 8:28 As a young as a fresh graduate lawyer, it's not like you're sitting in the fortune. I didn't come here with an investor mindset. I came here with a working mindset. The craziest part of it all is I didn't really reflect on how things would work for me financially on the long run. It wasn't until like year two or three when it really hit me. If I stay here any longer, I may not be able to go back to my law career. Such a strict upward ladder in law. If you're not climbing, you're falling. 9:16 At this point, I really believed in the projects I am doing. I really believe in myself. I had seen myself go from not knowing anything about the place to being quite familiar with the area. And I kind of placed myself in the hands of the project I was doing developing, I didn't really look back much because it was scary. How has Alejandro’s relationship changed with the locals since his first arrival to now? 12:12 I met many of these guys like we are neighbors and live together. I had met them 10 years ago. So they were in their teens or in their 20s. And now they've grown to have businesses of themselves. It is quite amazing to see the development of people here in terms not only of financial growth, but as personal growth. You see very talented photographers, DJs, local people starting much more interesting restaurant concepts. There’s definitely been a significant level of change brought in by tourism and development and investment into the area. What did Alejandro miss most when he moved to Indonesia? 14:38 I obviously missed home. I miss my family. Around year two or three, you start to really ask yourself a few questions. One of the things I realized I missed a lot were barbecues like Saturday, Sunday feeling and your usual weekday. Just sharing with friends, the fact that we all had time off at the same time and getting together. That was different here. What does Alejandro know now about life in Indonesia that he wishes he knew back then? Every stage of a person's life has a value. There’s tremendous value in what we look back into as mistakes. When you're busy with what's around you, you often forget the fire burning within. I came to a point where I completely lost track of why I came here. I kind of thirst for security, for establishing myself here, and kind of made a complete parallel with life at home. Three tips for purchasing land in Indonesia 19:41 #1 Understand the context of where you are and where you're investing. You're investing in areas of land that has been very reasonably populated. I came to understand this through communicating a lot with local people. #2 If it's possible for you to buy from families directly, this is a better way and get to know them and get to understand basically their family tree. #3 Always privileged land that has clear signs of ownership, like fences and defined boundaries. Bonus tip: Get in touch with the local community of expats. There's a wealth of information in every expat community How do you find a good lawyer in an area that's underdeveloped? 24:16 It used to be very difficult to find good legal consultants. I think the task is getting easier. Again, speaking to the expat community and finding out who they trust is important. When people come they communicate, they can find who the better consultants are. And nowadays, you can get some better advice. Tried and tested methodology that everyone should be applying to their projects 25:41 Always start slow. Divide everything into smaller pieces. When you act a little bit slower and more cautiously, at first, you have much better chances of succeeding. This will give you more time to bond better with the community. Approaching business with an open heart? Is it reciprocated or taken advantage? 30:32 Being authentic to people and giving people a chance and opportunity is the way to go. My methodology is to start small, like give people small trust, small incentives and small actions. This is how you develop a network over time. 31:21 It’s important to keep an open heart, give people opportunities, and if they fail you don’t take it personal. Ways to motivate staff to be better 33:04 The most important asset for me in a person, and this goes all the way to management is that I see in them a will to learn with a beginner attitude. I don't really motivate my staff to want to be better. I choose staff, who I see in them the desire to be better. 33:28 What I tried to continuously do is to become a vehicle for them to grow through and stay open to their shortcomings. Operating a Hotel without Digital Collaterals (Websites, Email) 35:58 10 years living in a remote island change you a bit. I guess it’s the fact that I rarely sit behind the laptop. I made a point in my life to not want or have to live a life where I need to sit in an office behind the laptop most of the time. We have completely replaced email in my businesses with WhatsApp. 37:19 I find it a little bit useless to have a website. We have booking agents. People who want to stay in our hotel nowadays mostly check through your Airbnb or go to booking.com. So it's important to have a good presence there. And social media is the new website. People are browsing through and pumping their feeds. And that's how they find you. Learnings about hospitality in the last year 38:36 Villas have performed best of all better than restaurants and better than normal hotels. Because as prices have reduced, a lot of people are staying here more long term, a lot of restaurants have closed. So people are looking for a villa where they can go do their shopping, and they can cook their own food. And also take advantage of the fact that prices are really good. Will your hotel business model change as a result of COVID? 41:17 There’s massive level of uncertainty at the moment. We don't know if things will go back to normal things like business as usual or not. It's very important to stay open to be flexible. 41:53 As things recover, we're going to see if there's going to be a full recovery or a partial recovery. And that's when business models will be adopted. But for the moment, other than the new sanitary conditions, new normal conditions, there's not much else What tactics are you planning on deploying? 42:46 From a health sanitary perspective, we've equipped them with obvious masks and gloves, we've done an education on being very careful to wash their hands regularly. 43:34 When it comes to the restaurant, there’s more risk definitely involved in restaurants. We disinfect tables, as soon as people leave. And again, try to keep enough separation. Ensuring the staff are working to the highest standard 45:18 Make sure to be constantly checking by yourself. We’ve set a variety of different systems to keep everybody accountable. Specific staff are re
17 minutes | Jan 6, 2021
Ep 1: Learn From My Mistakes
My name is Kyle and thanks for listening. What I'll share with you in this podcast is knowledge I wish I had when I first started investing. For 40,000 years humans have learned through stories. We're survived because we have taught each other what is going to kill us. What is going to make us thrive. We're just doing what evolution has asked us to do. Tell stories. As a young investor in Indonesia I found it terribly difficult to understand the systems of doing business there. Made a lot of mistakes. Over the last 7 years however, I've learned a lot. Most of my lessons have come from mistakes and from speaking with other investors. The Network. This podcast gives you access to my network. How are they making a profit? What are the tools they are using to drive efficiency, service, safety and productivity? How did they adapt to expat life in Indonesia? How do you manage an expat if you are an Indonesian citizen? Hospitality accounts for 4% of Indonesia's GDP - and it is my hope that this podcast helps struggling businesses get back on their feet after COVID-19 is over. My experiences in Australia, New Zealand, Kenya and Indonesia have all been wonderful in their own right. But I'm not here to tell you how to run your business as much as I'm here to listen to others tell me how they run theirs - and it's in listening that we can find the greatest secrets to their success. So sit back. Grab your favourite blend of coffee and some sunshine and enjoy the podcast.
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