Biz Talks

“Masih kalah ama Cirebon kan? Cirebn kan sudah diprediksi tidak ada kompetitor, tidak ada head to head. Ga ada siapapun. Yang ada hanya yang jualan kapling itu sudah habis. GB itu sudah tidak ada yang percaya ke dia.”

“GB itu sudah ancur dalemnya…”

“Iya main sendiri, hepi gitu.”

“Ini kasus kayak GB itu ya, lokasi lebih bagus dari kita. Dari segi kualitas sih sama ok, bener nggak? Cuman di dalamnya mereka kacau, akhirnya lokasi yang kita beli harganya lebih tinggi. Kelasnya kita juga sebenarnya jauh, agak bawah lho. taopi akhirnya melewati harga-harga dia lho.”

“Oh si GB itu sempat problem?”

“Antara kontraktor, pembangunan, kualitas…”

“Enggak itu manajemen dan keluarganya….”

“Tetapi kadang itu juga kayak benefit buat kita juga ya pak. Jadi kayak gini,’Ah mendingan udah ke yang gede, terpercaya, udah. Semua langsung masuk ke kita. Udah pengalaman ama yang nggak gede itu repot.”



“Kalau liat launchingnya, itu orang juga akan tetap dateng karena kan khusus. Launching….launching..launching. Dari mulut ke mulut itu beritanya heboh.”

“Apalagi orang lokal kan dari mulut ke mulut.”


“Tinggal jangan sampai dilukai dengan serah terima terlambat. Kita harus jaga nih, jangan sampai cluster satu terlambat.”

“Wah itu kalau cluster 1 puas wah itu terus deh pak. Nguler terus…”

Steven Kim on Qraved and His Craving for Entrepreneurial Challenges

Korean Wave is now in the culinary industry as well. Steven Kim is the CEO and co-founder at Qraved, Managing Partner at Imaginato who happened to be on stage at Global Entrepreneurship Week Summit Indonesia yesterday (21/11). Here’s the excerpt of our conversation for you. It’s the uncut version of our brief interview after his performance on Talkathon at the end of the event. I’m AP (Akhlis Purnomo) and Steven Kim is SK.

AP: So what startup are you running now?

SK: Currently running,  it’s a restaurant discovery reservation platform. Both are mobile apps on Android and iOS and web as well. We just launched our new iOS app so we’re quite excited about the different design and different features we have now.

AP:How does it work?

SK: So recently why we use our Qraved is one, I wanna know where to go to have dinner.. various different occasions, right? So either you discover, you find it by occasions, or you find about different types of restaurants. So ramen restaurants, barbeque places, Chinese flavor, or let’s say, I just wanna get an offer. That scenario you can actually just find restaurants that have offers. The offers are just very similar to Agoda offers, so depending on the day or time, the offer inventory changes. It’s only limited number of people that can get discounts so …and you have to book. That’s why if you plan to  …more and more Indonesians now are using our platform..yes everyboody used to be last minute. Everybody like “Oh Friday dinner, where should we go?” and book it right away like 2 hours in advance. Because of more and more discounts coming in, people actually book a bit earlier to secure that discount.

AP: So it’s like Groupon but in culinary industry or…?

SK: It’s different to Groupon in a few different ways. So …One, to the restaurants, our merchants..Hmm we’re actually just filling the empty tables they have anyway so similiar to hotel industry, right? So hmm, Friday Saturday dinners, this is easy but Sunday to Thursday dinners, like you have 10 to 15 empty tables. So it’s gonna be empty unless there’s something to assist it. So actually we’re helping restaurants to make more money. Whereas Groupon is just a marketing platform. So the discount itself is almost like a marketing expense, our situation is actually more yield management where restaurants actually make more money.

AP: How did you get the idea?

SK: Well, uhmm, one of the things ..when I came to Indonesia about 3 years ago, I was looking for restaurants because I’m a foodie and searched for different things. Back then the only two platforms existed was Sendok Garpu and …. (I can’t hear it perfectly -AP). I searched for Italian, I got Pizza Hut. And I’d say for burger and I got Burger King. So basically I wasn’t able to find this kind of specialty restaurants or a certain topic. And the biggest reason is because of the incentive of people to write reviews. It’s the mess of 18..19 writing reviews because they’ll get something free. That’s why ..I meant fastfood becomes the most popular thing. But actually I mean ..if you’re a culinary person, which I think a lot of Indonesian are now especially more on Instagram and Path. Now food and dining out is almost like’s a lifestyle, it’s not only about dining. You take a picture, you are dressed up and post it up and that kind of stuff. So that good platform didn’t exist and that’s why …OK, how we make something that for people to look for something specific depending on the situation, depending on the dish, depending on the cuisine, they wanna try something new, or hmm.. yeah they just wanna find different places. What we’re trying to do is provide different experience, just better. Really making it easy to find different things and that’s why our value proposition is different things, so discovery of different types of offer, set menu and so on, super easy resevations, so like if you’re going out in big groups or you’re going out on a date, you want that window seat, because there’s only one or two window seat but you want your date to be at that good spot, you need to make resevations, but beforehand you have to make a phone call, so yeah OK we’ll see if we can get that window seat when we get there but now you don’t have to do that. Now you can just easily put it “window seat” in the reservation and it’s done. More and more people are using it. Specifically like this (Steven showed me his app on the phone) and you see the more you book and dine, you also get reward points, whch can be redeemed later on to get discounts as well. Ten times of you book and dine, it goes up to 1000 points which means 100K. If you get 2000 which uses 20 times, it becomes 500K. 30 times you’ll get 400K Rupiahs deduction. So let’s say nobody has to reserve, true, fine…if you just use it to track your dining behavior then you’re getting just more and more possible to get discounts in the future.

AP: Does the service also work in other cities aside from Jakarta?
SK: Right now we’re in Jakarta. We’re launching in Bali. next month. We plan to launch in Bandung, Surabaya and afterwards Yogyakarta, Medan, all in the next few months.

AP: You’re travelling around Indonesia?
SK: I am going quite a bit, my team is also …We currently have 30 people in Jakarta. Our office is in City Loft since November 2013. Before that we were in Menteng.

AP: How old is the startup (Qraved) now?
SK: One year now.

AP: Who’s the investor?
SK: We have 500 Startups, SIlicon Valley investor, Skype cofounder, a Japanese investor. We’re already in A Round.

AP: Any plan to expand to other countries?
SK: Sure, the reason why we choose Indonesia, apart from the market opportunity and everything else, is when I started Zalora in Singapore and then I went to Thailand to help build the business there, the operations there, there’re so many different problems. So what we can think is OK.. To develop in a location, you can’t expand easily. It’s very difficult, you have to change so many things. We have to start in Indonesia and go to Singapore even Bangkok and others, we’ve gone through a lot of different challenges that we’ve overcome, whether it be products or processes or whatever ..yeah I think it’s a good launchpad.

AP: That means Indonesia is a key market to your startup?
SK: I think it’s a great foundation because it’s challenging. At the end of the day, there’s a lot of challenges but that means there’s a lot of opportunity. I think when it comes to foreigners, like..this is my business, there’re more businesses coming into Indonesia. We started in here but some are concerned to start in amarket very early but for me, me being Korean and experiencing how Korea developed or seeing how Japan and China  developed, I think we’re in Indonesia right now because all the communication is now super super high. Social media penetration, Path, Instagram, going nuts, mobile…Internet penetration going crazy…Xiaomi coming in. The communication is being fixed. So now companies need to figure out what services we could put on that. And what we’re doing is putting F and B as a service on top of this communication platform that exists already.

AP: Is it difficult to set up a business in Indonesia?
SK: I think it is very difficult. Honestly…In every market it’s important to have a good local team and local partners and Indonesia makes that as well. It’s very important that you have local insights. I wouldn’t say it’s the hardest because I think Indonesians are amazing in the sense of English level, their acceptance of global services, curiosity on something new. These elements are already here. The biggest challenge of Indonesia in the way…and this is why this kind of event (GEW) is important…the younger people are not really leaping to embrace this opportunity. I think there’re lots people who go to corporate world. And I think that’s a bad decision because really when you’re younger, that’s when you can actually do a startup and experience it hardcore and try to build your individual division, or department or team and be like to grow it and work hard to make that happen. Let’s say you do it for a year and “OK, this is not for me”, still you can go back to corporate jobs. So I think young people in Indonesia have to really much more jump into entrepreneurship. They don’t necessarily start themselves, being a contributor to big visions of startup like Qraved.
I’m always looking for talents, looking for anybody who really is alligned with this type of vision, that Indonesia is a cool market and we’re building like one of the biggest in Indonesia. I’m always interested in people who share same visions.

AP: Is it that hard to recruit talents in Indonesia?
SK: IT think it’s more challenging than other locations, not because… there’s good talent but the supply and demand right now, there’s definitely more demand of talent than actually the supply. Also secondly, a lot of smart people currently in corporate jobs. They’re very good but they’re not looking for jobs so they’re comfortable. They’re not looking for more yet. When it comes to hiring, it’s easier in the market where people are genuinely thinking:”How do I improve my life?” But there’s still like..”Oh, I’m comfortable. I just wanna be here.” Kind of a bad attitude as well.

AP: Is it your first startup?
SK: It’s my fourth. I was with Rocket Internet before this, so I started a travel accomodation site like AirBnB,  Windu (2011), So I built up Asia Pacific and then I started Zalora Singapore. Up to 50 employees in six months and …then I came over to start in Indonesia at a B2B office supplies company and then I left about a year and a half year ago to start Qraved.

AP: Indonesia has recently a new government. Is there any expectation as a businessman or entrepreneur?
SK: Yeah, there’re some policies being announced that show positive trends in the business persepective. Obviously, the execution itself would be very important. Some are positive like the government’s plan to invest billions of dollars. The subsidy situation and it’s interesting that some don’t go nuts about this. There’re a lot of positive indicators. The momentum is what we believe in. And hopefully their execution of this policy is going to the right direction.

AP: Can Indonesia build a better entrepreneurship ecosystem just like Korea?

SK: To a certain extent, yes. It’s really depending on how you define an ecosystem like how you define entrepreneurship. Just because you’re trying to enhance entrepreneurship, it doesn’t mean “Oh, everybody! Start your own business!”. You can be entrepreneurial with an organization, being a part of companies especially if you’re early on in your career, it makes a lot of sense to do that so that you get the experience first and then when you’re actually ready, you can do it yourself. You have a lot of knowledge, network of people, have different pieces together. When it comes to ecosystem, Indonesia…hmm it’s getting there. This kind of platform and companies… A lot of bigger companies should be more supportive. We wanna hire more people as well. It’s always great to have people to build up that kind of profile.

In the Era of Self-Appointed CEOs

Being a CEO or leader has never been this easy like now. You can easily claim you’re a successful person as you wish, merely because you claim yourself to be so on the social media, whether it be your LinkedIn profile, your Instagram or Twitter bio, even on your page.


I’ve seen lots of people like this. They’re great except that they overestimate themselves. I tell you I’m not that good at tolerating this self-bragging attitude and behaviors. Hence, I’m venting here, on my own blog, which is legal but still I need to watch my words so as not to overly offend those who feel they’re part of the group. Here’s my disclaimer: only A LIMITED NUMBER of startup CEOs, NOT ALL OF THEM.

My story went like this. I met with a guy, a future entrepreneur, who claimed to be a CEO of an online business -which is nothing than a parked domain to me- but still works as an employee of an established corporation. And he claimed he is truly experienced in this field, in that sector, in this area, in that niche. Possibly he’s right in some statements, the rest of them? There’s a huge question mark hanging there. He has done A, been in B, as he claimed on the bio page. Also, he poured it all on his LinkedIn profile, crediting also some hard works of his colleagues. It’s so sickening that you feel this person must learn a lesson:appreaciating someone else’s hard work as well.

So much, I don’t want to be such a person. Awful and obnoxious on so many levels. Desperately seeking for attention of head hunters or potential investors or … ? Maybe that’s the way he is.

Too long a preamble, I suppose.

What I’m trying to say is this:Self-deprecating attitude and behaviors are very much welcome, more than the self-bragging ones. No matter how shiny the facade of a building may get, it won’t impress people much when they get into the building only to find crappy interior design and unclassy taste or savage dwellers inside.

Never brag too much. It won’t work anyway.

A Feast of Translators’ Souls at Erasmus Huis Jakarta (Photo Albums)

I was having a great time at Erasmus Huis #Jakarta , attending a celebration for translators of literary works. On stage the translators and the author of the translated work collaborated to read the original text and translation result as well as to bring the scene to life.

The long haired tall slender guy is Gustaaf Peek,an award winning author from the Netherlands,whose work titled ‘Dover’ is translated in the lit works translation workshop by the participants. And standing by his side,a blonde English lady named Kate Griffin who specializes in intl literature translated into English.

The workshop is an initial step towards an Indonesian literary translation centre,says Eliza Vitri Handayani the founder and director of

An interesting compilation of lit works and photos published by Lontar Foundation. Lontar is a tree whose leaves were used to write on. Lontar to Indonesia is like papyrus to Egypt. It’s what brought our ancestors to the higher civilization, historic age.

Simultaneous translation is such a pain for speakers,translators and listeners. Many distortions of meaning are found here and there unless the translators are actively involved in each and every progress of a given subject matter.

An impressive performance of a passage from Gustaaf Peek’s “Dover” by 3 female translators from Semarang. Mr. Peek himself said the depiction and translation process gave him a different fresh perspective on his own writing. He reckoned “Dover” too horrifying, and kidded “Who wants to watch such a horrifying movie?” as he explained his novel will be filmed.

The panel discussion last night: look at Arif Bagus Prasetyo, the man sitting at the right end. Isnt he an impersonator of mr @budionodarsono  (CEO and founder of ?

It is not a pricey wealth seminar that can bring me a great deal of money but this is something I’d really like doing even if I already have everything in life: arts and languages.


9 Diseases (and Many More) that Drinking Water Can Prevent

Drink more water if you live in the places with daily temp as hot and humid as Jakarta.

 I still remember this morning seeing one of my old friends ranting on Facebook about her migrain-ridden head. She slept in a decent amount of hours the night before. Still she was not feeling any better. So what was wrong with her head? But I had no idea why I suddenly quipped, “Try to drink more water.”

That answer was quite spontaneous. And I all of a sudden recall what F. Batmanghelidj, M. D. says in his book titled “Water for Health”. It says there: “You’re not sick, you’re only thirsty. Drink water and gain the benefits of one of the biggest inventions of all times.” It sounds like an overstatement. I beg to differ a bit. It might not be an invention at all. We all know water is good for the body but we just think it’s just water, with no nutritious substances or healing effects (other than quenching your thirst).

My father is one of those people. I still remember him saying this to me:” Don’t drink too much. It’s only water, no nutrition you can get from drinking a lot of it.” And he ended up developing diabetes and is now advised by his physician to drink more, even at night. He has got that bottle with him every night so anytime he wakes up in the middle of the night he can grab it easily and drink some water without even having to leave the bed.

So now I learn from his ignorance. A lot of people around me ask why I am starting to adopt this healthier life style at a young age. They ridiculously guessed I develop a certain type of disorder which requires me to eat healthily every single day. The fact is I don’t eat healthy foods that much. I’m just gradually shifting to it. I cannot even call myself a healthy life style nut. I eat healthy foods and exercise (yoga mostly) but I also eat eat other people eat. Only with moderation! Gone are the days when I fully and innocently stuffed my belly with foods like satay, or fried rice, noodles or pizza.

And drinking more water is one of the essentials in healthy life style. One can drink more water to heal at least one of these health disorders or ailments:

  1. Stroke and cardiovascular disesases: Water in a sufficient ammount is required to avoid clogging of brain and heart arteries.
  2. Infection: Drinking more pure water may boost one’s body immunity system efficiency to combat infection and cancer cells.
  3. Depression: Instead of alcohol, one can drink more water to stay sane. Water proves to be helpful in replenishing the supply of serotonin nervous transmitter.
  4. Sleeping disorders: Water is needed badly to produce melatonin, a natural sleeping regulator hormone.
  5. Fatigue: With more water on our body, the electric and magnetic energy in each of one’s cell is built. This naturally energizes us.
  6. Addiction: Water curbs several types of addiction, such as addiction to caffeine, alcohol, and a number of medicinal substances.
  7. Osteoporosis: Water helps us form stronger bones.
  8. Lack of concentration: The overly dehydrated brain cannot function well, which is why water should hydrate it in a regular basis to obtain more energy. With more energy absorbed by the grey cells, one can process and store more new information.
  9. Constipation: Drinking more water right after waking up in the morning may cause you feel bloated but then you’ll find it easier to excrete any bodily residue. With more water, your detoxification process in the morning runs more smoothly. And your body will thank you for hydrating him for the rest of the day.

Also, Batmanghelidj mentions some other diseeases too: asthma, alergy, hypertension, diabetes type 2, autoimmune syndrome.

To prevent all these diseases naturally with the help of water, Batmanghelidj recommends this water therapy. But of course please do not take the advice without consulting your physician first, especially if you develop one of systemic or terminal diseases or having special health conditions.

  1. Drink 8-10 glasses of pure water (not syrup, juice, or any other beverages that you think it is just like pure water)
  2. Drink pure water 30 minutes before big meal. That prepares the intestines and the whole digestion system for processing foods.
  3. Drink anytime you feel thirsty
  4. Drink 2,5 hours after huge meal to help the digestion process and provide more water lost due to food processing.
  5. Drink pure water right after waking up in the morning.
  6. Drink pure water in a moderate amount some minutes before exercise
  7. Drink pure water to alleviate constipation naturally and those who don’t consume enough fruits and vegetables are strongly advised to drink more. Water in the morning is your natural yet effective laxative.

Still thinking that water is only water? Time to ponder.

What It Means To Be a Real Entrepreneur


I actually spotted this article in a local publication generally available in the taxi network in  Jakarta. Very tickling, I must say. “Entrepreneur”, “entrepreneurship”, ah you’ll never know how many times I’ve typed these two words on my keyboards in the recent two years. It is such a routine I think I can type them with my eyes closed right now.


The article writer seemed to enthusiastically point out that the definition of a real entrepreneur is not to be taken very lightly. It is not that easy to reach that entrepreneurship “paramount”.  Ok, you have a startup at home or in your own bedroom or, like the late Steve Jobs, in your dad’s garage. So what? You have wealthy acquaintances claiming themselves to be angel investors or even demon investors. Who cares? And it is totally OK if you print out a set of business cards with your name on each of them and a CEO, CFO, CMO or whatever title you have in mind to fill in the blank and distribute them all along the way. Cannot care less. You mingle with one of the most-hyped startup founders and young entrepreneurs .No one notices! You might think,” Wait until my startup and I get covered by local, national, international journalists or TV stations or bloggers or business sites or tech blogs”. But wait, that’s fame, not entrepreneurship. You’re an entrepreneur, not an attention-demanding celebrity.

We have now arrived in the era when entrepreneurship and the thoughtless use of the word and its derivation is so prevalent. Is that all what it means to be a real entrepreneur?

Back to the article I read, the writer classifies the ‘caste system’ into 4: a self-employed person, a manager, a business owner and an entrepreneur as the acme. Yet, the writer stated something I chose to digress. Autopilot???

If I may assume, the definition lacks one thing: innovation. It is the core of entrepreneurship. And by stating there must be an autopilot system, I also assume an entrepreneur delegates FULLY all the tasks in his company/ies to the staff s/he hires. But then, if there is an autopilot system applied to the system, how can it be innovative at the same time? Because autopilot causes monotony to a certain extent whether or not s/he likes it. And monotony, repetition is the enemy of innovation.


And as far as I can observe, an entrepreneur may leave the micromanaging tasks but s/he can never leave the assignments of a concept creator. An entrepreneur is simply born that way, endlessly worrying about the next journey to take. And because the business-as-usual affairs have been well taken care of by manual workers and professionals, s/he now focuses more on the perfection of existing achievements and/ or hungry for subsequent ‘blasts’, business ideas that provide greater and more profound impact on the surroundings.

Any thoughts? Feel free to drop me a line or so of your comment.

Angel Investing in Indonesia: Could It Be The Answer?

Mark Wang, executive director of GEPI, is standing on the podium. GEPI is a part of a wider global initiative called GEP (Global Entrepreneurship Program) growing from an initiative of President Obama and is now a core program at the US State Department guided by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State.

Metaphorically saying, Indonesia is, let’s say, a remote jungle. It is wild, exotic in some way. No established housing is built, too many lice and mosquitoes are around yet some mavericks are still coming and coming.

Indonesia, unlike the US, has no established entrepreneurial ecosystem. The online payment gateway isn’t there yet. Shortcomings as well as challenges are everywhere to see. But that’s what makes it hot to the foreign investors and entrepreneurs.

In building their businesses, new budding Indonesian entrepreneurs have to mostly rely upon their own hard work due to the lack of solid, conducive ‘habitat’. Although entrepreneurship-themed seminars and contests are regularly and sporadically held in the country, almost all of them are mainly focusing on conceptual issues. On the other hand, banks in Indonesia tend to welcome entrepreneurs with more stable, established, profitable, and proven enterprises over startups.

So this just in: GEPI (Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia) just launched a brand new program like nothing before. ANGIN, an acronym resembling the Indonesian word for “wind”,  is meant to foster the development of entrepreneurial ecosystem in Indonesia.

With Ir. Ciputra and Jakob Oetama as the honorary chairmen, GEPI seemed ready to be the first formal institution serving as a bridge between entrepreneur in need of funding and a variety of domestic and foreign angel investors.

Ciputra stated in his welcome speech of ANGIN (Angel Investor Indonesia) launch that what he has witnessed so far led him to forming a formal institution which serves as a melting pot and bridge betwen entrepreneurs in need funding for their startups and angel investors wanting to invest their money in promising new enterprises in Indonesian emerging market. As we all learn, not many parties are interested in becoming angel investors in Indonesia thus far and this has been a great challenge for entrepreneurs in the country to thrive at their best.

“I started my own business around 50 years ago without considerable amount of capital, not to mention external funding. To add to my challenges list was the fact that I had to earn a living for my wife and my first child. At last I began asking for assistance of the government to set up a business with trust and hard work as its main capital. And because of this, my stock ownership in the business I was working for was extremely low, much lower than I actually deserved. I remembered possessed a mere 3 percent of the company ownership as I  started as a novice. I assumed the story would be totally different, much better even if back then I had an angel investor by my side,” the property tycoon related his own experience as an entrepreneur.


Chris Kanter, who serves as GEPI Chairman, stated in his welcome speech that ANGIN is aimed at becoming a bridge connecting funding parties, mentors and connections as well as startups from every sector and improves startup ecosystem in which entrepreneurs get funded by angel investors to create benefits, values and growth, and at the same time provides investment capital apprecation.


ANGIN would focus on startups in need of funds. Startups from all sectors are welcomed though it is said that entrepreneur references and angel investors’ preferences may play role in ANGIN. Investors are encouraged to focus the investment on certain sectors deemed more promising and apt. ANGIN will also provide opportunities of investment in various startups.


Aside from the property legend, the opening workshop themed “The Power of Angel Investing” at Ritz Carlton Hotel, Pacific Place (12/7/2012). John May of New Vantage Group (Active Angel Venture Funds) was on stage to elaborate the overall description of angel investing. A panel discussion was also presenting  Michael Cain, Jaka A. Singgih as a member of GEPI Board and Selina Limman (CEO of, a startup acquired by Kompas Business Group) who happened to be the rep of new budding entrepreneurs in the country.

A Brief Introduction to Food Combining (1)

Food for Life distributes food on an internati...
Image via Wikipedia

Claudia Jones in Namaskar (April 2011 issue) extolled the significance of food combining to our digestive health. So she said this method may help us reduce gas and abdominal bloating after eating, fast eliminate and balance body weight (ok, I need that someday, not for now).

Jones further explained what food combining principles are:

  • Fruit should always be eaten separately 20-30 minutes before other foods. Eating any fruits after a meal is definitely counterproductive.
  • Sugary foods should also be eaten alone, before other foods and never after a meal.
  • Protein and starch should not be mixed together in the same meal.
  • Protein should only be eaten with non-starchy vegetables.
  • Starch should only be eaten with non-starchy vegetables.
Later on my next post, I’ll tell you why these principles matter.
(to be continued)

Social Media Frequency for Personal Branding a la Catur PW

Great slides to share!

Indonesia Technopreneur Community: Bridging is the Key

Startup Weekend: Where it takes only 54 hours to launch a new business!

Indonesia keeps great deal of potential. Great ideas are scattered just everywhere. Smart brilliant youths are not difficult to find. Not to mention the overly hyped natural resources potential. But one thing holds the nation back. We (excuse my diction, peeps!) do suck when it particularly comes to coordinating.

I thus far have attended several great entrepreneurial events like seminars, pitchings, meetups, and so forth but as far as I’m concerned there’s no apparent, real, mutual interest and vision that unite Indonesian entrepreneurs. In other words, these people are walking towards the same destination but they prefer different paths. It’s quite obvious when I found some people from BPPT (Badan Penerapan dan Pengembangan Teknologi? Gosh, too many acronyms and abbreviations in this country) and #StartupLokal community weren’t aware of each other’s presence and existence. And it made me wonder why. The two groups share the same interest, i.e. entrepreneurship, so why didn’t they walk hand in hand? So I arrive to the conclusion that entrepreneurs in Indonesia badly need bridging, consolidating within themselves. The bureaucrat and the grass-root entrepreneurs should go hand in hand.

But certainly things are getting better now. Indonesia Technopreneur Community (ITC), founded and initiated by Nico Budianto, tries to bridge this. He stated in front of the Startup Weekend that the community aims to collaborate with more and more entrepreneurial groups out there. To show that Mr. Budianto meant his words, ITC is currently being actively engaged in events like Startup Weekend along with numerous parties like Universitas Ciputra Entrepreneurship Center, Kauffman Foundation, British Council, Investidea, etc.

Back to the Cradle

Being four months grinding the routine endlessly and getting burned out in and out, I decide to take a leave. Not that long leave but still it’s much better than nothing, really. My well being is a bit shaky lately. Yoga, new circles, Android and blogging can never replace a long break. Break from this tweeting like a robot, break from writing like crazy, break from the Jakartan  lunacy.

So I’ll leave for my hometown tomorrow morning. Just thought the scenery along the train trip is too good to get wasted. See ya!

p.s. : a brief post written at a time when I usually hit the office… Well they’ll understand!

Sarah Lacy on the Emerging World (a.k.a. Indonesia) -part2

The Oprah of Indonesia who empowers women with her company, Puri Ayu Martha Tilaar.

Previously on my last post, we read how Lacy compared Martha Tilaar to Oprah Winfrey. It tickles me a bit to spot this line:

[…] Heavily perfumed and air-conditioned, it’s an estrogen oasis in this hot, humid country. […] (BCC, p 191)

The word ‘estrogen’ serves pretty well to mark the transition from the manly world of erecting skyscrapers represented by Ciputra to a ladylike industry of cosmetics portrayed by Tilaar.  Lacy relates how Martha Tilaar has been taking part in female empowerment, something that goes beyond making money from natural makeups, grooming and pampering.

The proud Javanese woman entrepreneur also teaches women how proudly revealing one’s chronological age is NOT a shame as in:

[…] “I’m 74 years old,” she says proudly. “No facelift and no Botox! Can you imagine if I didn’t look good? Who would buy my products?” She exudes a confident, yet appropriately self-deprecating, charm that any finishing school student could learn from. […] (BCC, p 191)

I myself have hardly ever encountered a woman ‘voluntarily’ confessed her age in public. Tilaar is perhaps a totally different case considering how much time she’s devoted to maintaining her looks. But the grandma’s just not a pretty face. She’s reached the ultimate level of confidence as a business owner since 1960s. Tilaar has the ‘it’ factor an astounding entrepreneur should possess; i.e. idealism (which occasionally leads to a head-to-head battle with the male CEO Hartanto Santosa).

In spite of the differences, it turns out Ciputra and Martha Tilaar share the similar childhood lesson: don’t let anyone, even your parents, say you’re a failure for good! Ciputra was the last born kid in the family. He was the least expected offspring of all to excel in life. Even his dad, as long as I can remember, once said the young Ciputra was the blacksheep of the family. While Ciputra’s peers were already moving on to the higher education, Ciputra (at 12 then) still stayed in elementary school as a second grader. The young boy was wayward, difficult in any possible way.

Martha Tilaar grew as a fragile little girl, lacking health and vitality. A doctor’s verdict stated she was only going to be a not-so-brainy grownup, which she managed to prove wrong later on (Really, how can you call someone whose company’s revenue is worth US$100 million dumb?). Like Ciputra who was looked down by the father, even Tilaar’s mother wasn’t quite impressed by what Tilaar thought of as the acme of her academic achievement (she was the third from the last in class). So the desperate mom saw entrepreneurship as an ‘exit strategy’. She simply wanted Tilaar to lead a better life with entrepreneurial skills because to her the young girl seemed to lack academic skills.