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From high-ranking government officials shaping Indonesia’s national policies, to an accidental face in the fight against sexual harassment; from chief executives of the country’s largest corporations to the technology startup founder committed to providing job opportunities for the disabled; from critically acclaimed film directors, to the self-proclaimed “Trash Princess,” women across Indonesia are leading and defining the country’s government, corporate world, professional landscape, tech ecosystem, creative sector and social activism.

Their voices, achievements and stories have been an inspiration to millions of Indonesians, both male and female. GlobeAsia’s inaugural list of Indonesia’s 99 Most Inspiring Women pays homage to half of the country’s population that are all too often underrepresented. Indeed, this year marks the first time we at GlobeAsia diverged from creating a list of Indonesia’s 99 most powerful women, instead choosing to highlight the members of our society through a more exhaustive and comprehensive lens: their inspirational impact on the Indonesian psyche.

Had we simply continued to publish the list of Indonesia’s most powerful women as we have done since 2007, we would not have been able to highlight the plight of Baiq Nuril, a schoolteacher in Indonesia’s far-flung province of West Nusa Tenggara, who was sentenced to six months in prison and a fine of Rp 500 million ($35,000) by the Supreme Court for sharing a voice recording of the former head of the school where she worked verbally harassing her. Nor would we have been able to profile Tatong Bara, the re-elected mayor of Kotamobagu, a little-known city in North Sulawesi, which under her leadership has won 49 national accolades between 2013 and 2017, including awards for good governance, urban planning and as Indonesia’s cleanest city in 2016.

By listing Indonesia’s most inspiring women, we are also able to salute the likes of Rini Soemarno, Indonesia’s minister of state-owned-enterprises, who was instrumental in the recent sale of PT Freeport Indonesia to state-owned mining holding company PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum).

The stories of these women that fill GlobeAsia’s first quarterly publication in truth represent a small fraction of the inspiring stories that can be found around us daily, the stories of our mothers and daughters and sisters, of our peers and employees and leaders. By highlighting the stories of Indonesia’s 99 Most Inspiring Women, the GlobeAsia editorial team envision that year by year, issue by issue, the nation’s women will be better represented, better treated and better served. For as inspiring as the stories of these women are, there is still much to do to ensure that Indonesia’s future is equally led and defined by women.

Underrepresented, Underutilized, Underserved

It is evident that this future is still far from being realized. From Indonesia’s public arena to private sector to society as a whole, Indonesia has insufficiently capitalized on the potential, and inadequately protected the rights, of women. The Indonesian government currently suffers from low female representation. Only 17 percent of seats in the House of Representatives are filled by women. The April legislative election will hopefully improve this statistic, as all 16 national political parties have met the government regulation requiring a minimum of 30 percent female candidates. Across the country, only 9 percent of regional leaders are women. In the judicial branch, representation is comfortingly higher, with 27 percent of judges nationwide being women.

Yet overall, these low numbers realistically mean that Indonesia is limiting the possibility of greater holistic national development. A case study in India by the Poverty Action Lab and the United Nations revealed that increased women participation in government has led to “heightened police responsiveness to crimes against women, improvements in children’s nutrition and educational outcomes,” in addition to progressive health care, public good and labor reform.

In the private sector, the numbers also paint a less than ideal picture. With women making up nearly 50 percent of Indonesia’s population, the workforce participation rate of women amounts to only 52 percent of the female workforce, compared with the 82 percent participation rate of males. As Indonesia enters a period of so-called “demographic bonus,” where we are meant to enjoy a surge in the working-age, productive segments of the population, the low participation of women in the workforce could potentially turn this phenomenon into a curse of high unemployment rates. The International Labor Organization also noted that Indonesia’s informal sector is predominantly composed of women, leaving them unprotected and undocumented, and exposed to increased risk of discrimination and abuse.

Much like the inherent limitations imposed by low female representation in government, businesses are also likely to suffer without a balanced gender mix. A Harvard Kennedy School study from as far back as 2013 clearly showed that “teams of employees with lower percentages of women have lower sales and lower profits than teams with a balanced gender mix.”

A recent conversation with Indonesia’s minister of labor, Muhammad Hanif Dhakiri, revealed a commitment to improving the working landscape for women. While several proposed programs were discussed that positively impact both men and women, including skills training and improved unemployment benefit schemes, a handful were geared specifically to improve female participation in the workforce. Such laws include one that incentivizes the promotion and protection of part-time workers. Given their biological role in child-bearing, and cultural role in child-rearing, part-time work is an arrangement often preferred by women. Realization of this plan will work towards shifting women away from the undocumented and unprotected informal sector.

Yet sadly, even on the most basic level, Indonesia has not done enough when it comes to the protection of women both at home and in the workplace.

The National Commission on Violence Against Women, or Komnas Perempuan, noted last year that the reported incidents of violence and abuse against women continue to increase year by year. Oddly enough, this statistic may actually positively reflect that Indonesian women are now more willing to report such cases, as the reality is a significant number go unreported due to cultural restraints.

Regardless, the situation remains intolerable, as the country’s minister of women’s empowerment and child protection, Yohana Yembise, stated in October 2018: “one in three Indonesian women between the ages of 15 and 65 experienced abuse within their lifetimes.” Baiq Nuril’s profile serves as a reminder to Indonesia that such cases of abuse against women abound, and like her, we must set an example in our daily lives to speak up and act to safeguard against such practices.

Be it in the private or public sector, from the boardroom to the courtroom, at the office and at home, the role of women must continue to expand.

Ironically, in an ideal world, GlobeAsia would not need to publish this list of Indonesia’s 99 Most Inspiring Women. Doing so begs the question of why we felt the need to specifically highlight women, as if they would not be able to be compete on a list that was blind to gender. This is not the case. The fact remains that Indonesia has a long way to go before reaching a point where equal opportunities and representation and protection are given and achieved and experienced by women. So long as this mismatch exists in Indonesia, this list will remain relevant, as it serves to not merely laud the achievements and stories of the women that shape this country, but also as a reminder of the difficult journey these inspiring women are spearheading in expediting a future equitably led, defined, and enjoyed by women. 

[post_title] => Leading and Defining Indonesia [post_excerpt] => GlobeAsia’s list of Indonesia’s 99 most inspiring women is an homage to half of the country’s population that are all too often underrepresented. It serves to not only laud the achievements and stories of the inspirational women that shape this country, but also as a reminder of the unfinished and difficult path these women have helped to pave. By Anthony Wonsono [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-26 15:25:49 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 22:25:49 [post_name] => leading-and-defining-indonesia [author] => Gimbar Maulana [author_permalink] => /author/gimbar-maulana [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23604 [name] => Cover Story [slug] => cover-story [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23696 [permalink] => cover-story ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23608 [name] => Headline [slug] => featured-2 [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23700 [permalink] => featured-2 ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23630 [name] => WHO'S WHO [slug] => who-s-who [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23727 [permalink] => who-s-who ) ) [permalink] => /cover-story/leading-and-defining-indonesia/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1553652721:273 [_edit_last] => 273 [post_type_override] => FA [post_writter_override] => -1 [post_source_override] => 273 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_yoast_wpseo_content_score] => 30 [_yoast_wpseo_primary_category] => 23608 [_thumbnail_id] => 473022 [kdmfi_featured-image-2] => 473023 [kdmfi_featured-image-3] => 473024 ) [user_author] => Gimbar Maulana [attachment] => stdClass Object ( [width] => 900 [height] => 550 [file] => [sizes] => stdClass Object ( [thumbnail] => stdClass Object ( [file] => 99-Feat-Image1-1-150x150.jpg [width] => 150 [height] => 150 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium] => stdClass Object ( [file] => 99-Feat-Image1-1-300x183.jpg [width] => 300 [height] => 183 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium_large] => stdClass Object ( [file] => 99-Feat-Image1-1-768x469.jpg [width] => 768 [height] => 469 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) ) [image_meta] => stdClass Object ( [aperture] => 0 [credit] => [camera] => [caption] => [created_timestamp] => 0 [copyright] => [focal_length] => 0 [iso] => 0 [shutter_speed] => 0 [title] => [orientation] => 0 [keywords] => Array ( ) ) [post_id] => 473022 ) [feature_img] => stdClass Object ( [_665x450] => stdClass Object ( [meta_value] => 473023 [post_title] => 99-Feat-Image2 [post_excerpt] => [guid] => [post_type] => attachment [post_mime_type] => image/jpeg ) ) ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 472974 [post_author] => 270 [post_content] =>

This versatile actress has successfully drawn on her remarkable talent to portray vastly different characters since the start of her career. She first caught the eye of film lovers with her 2006 debut in “Ekspedisi Madewa” (“Madewa’s Expedition”) starring alongside Tora Sudiro. Since then, more film directors started entrusting her with roles, playing vastly divergent characters.

Marsha has so far starred in 21 films, some of which have gone on to win multiple awards. And while she continues to shine as a serious actress, Marsha has also featured in television commercials for products such as Ponds, Pocari Sweat and Capilan. She has further been involved in producing video clips for famous local music acts such as Project Pop, Gigi, Ada Bank, Java Juice, Naff, Kerispatih and Letto. And as if that is not enough, she has also played in more than 26 television films and a local soap opera.

In 2017, Marsha received a nomination for her role in “Nada Untuk Asa” (“Melody of Hope”), and last year, she bagged a Citra Award for best actress for her leading role in Mouly Surya’s film “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts,” which in a first, won 10 awards in various categories. “For me, the award is motivation to do even better in the future,” she says.

Last year, Marsha also starred as a martial arts expert in “Wiro Sableng 212” (“Drunken Master 212”), produced in cooperation with Fox International Productions, a subsidiary of 20th Century Fox. “As an actress, I want different characters in the movies I play,” she says.

As a film industry veteran, Marsha admits that award-winning movies are often commercial failures. She is therefore happy that “Marlina” had a satisfactory record in terms of sales, despite not being quite as successful as other top films, such as “Dillan 1990,” which attracted more than 6 million views. She says this makes her want to push film industry players to work even harder to improve the commercial aspect of filmmaking.

Marsha was born in Jakarta on Jan. 8, 1979, into a film industry family. In 2012, she married popular Indonesian actor Vino G. Bastian, who has starred in some top-selling films, including “Wiro Sableng 212” and the successful “Warkop DKI Reborn” series. Her sister Sheila Timothy, meanwhile, is a film producer who also worked on “Wiro Sableng 212.”

Marsha is confident that the Indonesian film industry is in an upward trend, based on the rising number of people watching local films. Citing industry sources, she says more than 26 million people flocked to cinemas last year, which was 30 percent more than in 2017.

And at the same time, she also observes a positive spirit among filmmakers to produce more quality films. She says they are also active in different film genres, such as horror, comedy, drama, romance, action and even documentaries. “I produced the documentary film ‘Banda’ in the past and it was quite impressive in terms of the work quality and production,” she adds. The film, which explores Maluku’s Banda Islands, was shown in selected cinemas, attracting a considerable viewership. “It was a breakthrough for an Indonesian documentary film,” she says.

Besides the silver screen, Marsha has also acted in several stage plays, such as “Perempuan-Perempuan Chairil” (“Chairil’s Women”) and “Bumi Manusia” (“This Earth of Mankind”), which was an adaptation of the work by famous Indonesian novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer. Marsha says she enjoys the theater as it not only provides her with fresh inspiration, it also allows her to learn more about the historical background of the story and gain insight into the original message the author wanted to share with readers. She recently also starred in the musical “Cinta Tak Pernah Sederhana” (“Love Will Never Be Simple”) with top Indonesian actor Reza Rahadian. 

[post_title] => A Multifaceted Career [post_excerpt] => As an indispensable part of the Indonesian film industry for more than 13 years, Marsha Timothy has both inspired and won the admiration of many. By Lisa Siregar / Photo By Moh. Defrizal [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-26 10:52:27 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 17:52:27 [post_name] => a-multifaceted-career [author] => Yanto Soegiarto [author_permalink] => /author/yanto [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23604 [name] => Cover Story [slug] => cover-story [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23696 [permalink] => cover-story ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23630 [name] => WHO'S WHO [slug] => who-s-who [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23727 [permalink] => who-s-who ) ) [permalink] => /cover-story/a-multifaceted-career/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1556010546:273 [_edit_last] => 270 [kdmfi_featured-image-2] => 472976 [kdmfi_featured-image-3] => 472977 [_thumbnail_id] => 472975 [post_type_override] => NA [post_writter_override] => -1 [post_source_override] => 270 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [quote] => I produced the documentary film ‘Banda’ in the past and it was quite impressive in terms of the work quality and production,” The film, which explores Maluku’s Banda Islands, was shown in selected cinemas, attracting a considerable viewership. “It was a breakthrough for an Indonesian documentary film, [featured] => false [_yoast_wpseo_content_score] => 30 [_yoast_wpseo_primary_category] => 23630 ) [user_author] => Yanto Soegiarto [attachment] => stdClass Object ( [width] => 990 [height] => 500 [file] => [sizes] => stdClass Object ( [thumbnail] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-19-150x150.jpg [width] => 150 [height] => 150 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-19-300x152.jpg [width] => 300 [height] => 152 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium_large] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-19-768x388.jpg [width] => 768 [height] => 388 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) ) [image_meta] => stdClass Object ( [aperture] => 0 [credit] => [camera] => [caption] => [created_timestamp] => 0 [copyright] => [focal_length] => 0 [iso] => 0 [shutter_speed] => 0 [title] => [orientation] => 1 [keywords] => Array ( ) ) [post_id] => 472975 ) [feature_img] => stdClass Object ( [_665x450] => stdClass Object ( [meta_value] => 472976 [post_title] => Second Image 655x450 [post_excerpt] => [guid] => [post_type] => attachment [post_mime_type] => image/jpeg ) ) ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 472765 [post_author] => 273 [post_content] => GOJEK has, since its launch in 2010, employed more than 1.8 million driver partners in 204 cities across Indonesia and in neighboring countries, offering at least 19 types of services, which has earned the unicorn startup a valuation of nearly $10 billion. This also means that the company has access to reams of data, such as the preferences, habits, daily routes, locations, vehicle types, vehicle license expiration dates and more, derived from customers and driver partners. In this datacentric era, companies with large numbers of customers often have access to massive amounts of raw data, which, once processed and properly analyzed, can become very valuable. This task is usually performed by such companies’ business intelligence units, which in the case of GOJEK, is where Crystal serves as senior vice president. Her path to GOJEK almost mirrors the plot in the 1998 romantic comedy film, “You’ve Got Mail.” It all started by her typing the keywords “HR GOJEK” into Google Search, which yielded the name of Monica Oudang, human resources team leader at the ride-haling firm. Crystal tracked down Monica’s online profile and sent her an email, asking whether GOJEK needed someone to work in its business intelligence unit, and if so, offering to move from San Jose, California, to Jakarta. To her surprise, Monica’s response was that GOJEK indeed had such an opening. Soon after, Crystal was on a plane to Jakarta, the city where her parents originally came from. Despite having been born and raised in the United States, Crystal loves Indonesia, describing her move to the country as “returning home with the spirit of helping GOJEK have a greater social impact.” “I want to make lots of impact and changes in the world. Not only making apps for the millennial generation, but also making changes,” said the 27-year-old, who graduated six months early with a political science degree from the University of California, Berkeley. “In political science, I learned a lot about Nate Silver, one of the greatest statisticians and polling expert in the US, who is known for having correctly predicted [former US President Barack] Obama’s win in all 50 states. Statistics was a big entry point for me to learn and understand data, but it is also a way for me to explain what is happening in the world, what decisions people make and why they make such decisions,” she explained. Crystal, who with her move to Indonesia did her bit to reverse the brain drain many developing countries are facing, explained the importance of data in the development of products or services. “I think I was really interested in polling and being able to understand people’s decisions and what influences them when they make those decisions, because at the end of the day, what I really want to do, is understand why something is happening and use data to explain or identify correlation versus causation,” she told GlobeAsia in a recent interview. Processing raw data can be tedious and confusing, but for Crystal and her team, it is fun. All raw data is properly examined to ensure other teams get the correct information. They also analyze how GOJEK users interact with the company’s app. The ride-haling service has experienced rapid growth in recent years. According to Crystal, the number of orders for Go-Ride, the company’s motorcycle-taxi service, were to equal in the third quarter of 2017 to the total number of Go-Ride orders for the entire 2016. “How we can solve problems for our customers when we see them battling traffic, or a lack of transparent pricing, and what GOJEK can do is provide alternatives, so people are more productive. We can make the process of getting from point A to B more efficient and effective. In focusing on what problems customers face, we can figure out exactly what we need to build,” she explained. “We started out with a package delivery service and soon realized that people were using it to order food, so we added Go-Food to the platform. We not only use data to identify problems, we also use it to find solutions to those problems,” she said. Crystal exudes energy, which also inspires those around her to make a useful impact. She is also co-founder and adviser of Generation Girl, a computer coding program geared towards girls aged 12 to 16. The goal of the program is to get young girls interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and to empower them to break free from gender stereotypes. This is just one more example of Crystal’s unstoppable passion.   [post_title] => A Passion for Big Data [post_excerpt] => In an increasingly digital world, many companies have started to realize that they have been sitting in a treasure trove of customer data for long, but never fully taken advantage of it. But this does not apply to Indonesian ride-hailing firm GOJEK, which relies on technology-savvy Crystal Widjaja to do just that. By Lisa Siregar and Elsid Arendra / Photo By Moh. 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Her big break in the industry came in 1999, when she was featured on the cover of Aneka Yess! magazine. After that, she continued her modeling career until she decided to explore other options. “I wanted something new. I wanted something more challenging. Modeling is like, it’s fun. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I wanted something more, so I started to audition for movies,” Luna told GlobeAsia.

Her first role was a popular girl named Barbara in Upi’s 2004 comedy film “30 Hari Mencari Cinta” (“30 Days Looking for Love”). In 2006, she earned a nomination for best lead actress at the prestigious Indonesian Film Festival – informally known as the Indonesian Oscars – for her role in Teddy Soeriaatmadja’s “Ruang” (“Space”).

She has starred in more than 30 films in various genres, from romance to comedy and horror. Last year, she played the late horror queen Suzzanna in “Suzzanna: Bernapas Dalam Kubur” (“Suzzanna: Still Breathing in the Grave”), which attracted 3,346,185 views, making it the second highest-grossing Indonesian film of 2018.

When asked in what type of films she likes to star, Luna said a colossal period drama or action film, so that she can, “like Julie Estelle, kick ass,” referring to the actress known for her iconic action roles, such as Hammer Girl in Gareth Evans’s “The Raid 2” and The Operator in Timo Tjahjanto’s “The Night Comes for Us.”

Commenting on the current state of the Indonesian film industry, Luna said the market is getting bigger and the films are improving in quality. “[The industry is] just getting better and we started to have many young new directors. They make really, really great movies, so I’m really excited for the Indonesian film industry,” she said.

However, she said there is a need for fresh faces on screen. “Out there, we have 260 million people in Indonesia, so there must be many talented people who just don’t have access [to the industry]. But you know what, with YouTube and the internet now, anyone can have a chance,” Luna said.

She also expressed hope that people will keep supporting local films. “Indonesian audiences must keep believing in our movies. Don’t stop going to the cinema to watch our movies, because it is the moviegoers who keep us alive. Once films don’t sell, the industry will become stagnant. In the end, it’s all about business, so I’m hoping all the moviemakers are serious in their work, and make quality films so Indonesian audiences don’t stop going to the cinema,” Luna said.

A Thirst for Learning

What is the key to becoming an accomplished, prolific celebrity? Luna said although she is grateful that people consider her successful, she does not want to call herself that, as it would make her complacent.

“For me, I don’t consider myself a successful woman, or actress, or whatever. I just like learning and criticizing myself, because if I stop criticizing myself, I will never learn… What stops us from learning, is feeling like we have succeeded,” the Bali-born actress said.

Having spent more than two decades in showbiz, the principle she lives by is “never give up.”

“I know it sounds clichéd, but that’s actually true. I’ve been up and down and I’m still here, because I never give up… In the end, people will always talk. People are always going to put you down. People will always criticize you. Always. But the only people who can make us go forward are ourselves,” she said.

Her message to people aspiring to build careers in the entertainment industry is to enjoy the process and learn as much as possible.

“Please believe in the process. If you have talent, you’ll get there. Just never stop and never believe in shortcuts. For me to get here, it took me 20 years,” she said.

Luna the Entrepreneur

una started dabbling in various businesses in 2007, including property and fashion. This included a collaboration with local clothing brand Hardware to create “LM for Hardware,” but the partnership was later disbanded.

She next introduced her own ready-to-wear line, Luna Habit, in 2014. As the creative director, Luna described the style as “casual, edgy, with a boyish kind of look, but still has a feminine touch.”

The reason she chose fashion was because “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” referring to the fact that her mother used to run a garment business when Luna was young.

With the growth in e-commerce, Luna saw a business opportunity. Although Luna Habit now has several brick-and-mortar stores across Indonesia, it still largely operates online and through social media. However, with the abundance of other online shops out there, she admitted that competition is tight.

“Fashion is a fast-moving business. We must always know what’s going on and what’s the trend. We have to read lots of fashion magazines and websites,” said Luna, who idolizes fashion icon Victoria Beckham.

The hardest challenges she has faced in running Luna Habit are “how to increase sales, how to get traffic and how to get big boutiques,” considering that most of her physical stores are inside other businesses, such as department stores and coffee shops.

Luna has also ventured into the food and beverage industry with several brands, such as Kastera, a cake store, and Martabucks Luna Uya – in collaboration with fellow presenter Uya Kuya – which specializes in folded Indonesian pancakes. Another brand, Waluma, a contraction of Warung Luna Maya, is in the process of rebranding.

Since the food and beverage business is becoming more popular among Indonesian celebrities, how does Luna handle the competition?

“In the end, taste is important. The product is also important. But it’s a huge market. You’re just going to grab the part you’re going to challenge. I’m looking at the middle-low market segment, so it’s pretty challenging, because many others are doing the same. That’s why the marketing strategy has to be good,” she said.

This year, Luna is also planning to launch a cosmetics line for “active women who like natural makeup.”

“I like the no-makeup makeup look. My concept is for those who are not really familiar with makeup and don’t want to trouble themselves with it, but at least they’re going to have something. Just make it fresh and natural,” Luna said.

Luna has been working since last year to prepare the makeup line, expected to launch by the middle of 2019.

[post_title] => Showbiz Icons [post_excerpt] => Luna Maya is a multi-hyphenate in the Indonesian entertainment industry. She is not only a television presenter, actress and model, but also an entrepreneur. Moreover, her 20-year journey in showbusiness has made her a social media influencer with 14.7 million followers on Instagram, placing her among the top-10 most-followed Indonesian celebrities on the platform. By Dhania Sarahtika / Photo By Moh. Defrizal [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-26 10:44:37 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 17:44:37 [post_name] => showbiz-icon [author] => Yanto Soegiarto [author_permalink] => /author/yanto [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23604 [name] => Cover Story [slug] => cover-story [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23696 [permalink] => cover-story ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23608 [name] => Headline [slug] => featured-2 [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23700 [permalink] => featured-2 ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23630 [name] => WHO'S WHO [slug] => who-s-who [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23727 [permalink] => who-s-who ) ) [permalink] => /cover-story/showbiz-icon/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1553922177:273 [_edit_last] => 273 [kdmfi_featured-image-2] => 472971 [kdmfi_featured-image-3] => 472972 [post_type_override] => NA [post_writter_override] => -1 [post_source_override] => 270 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_yoast_wpseo_content_score] => 30 [_yoast_wpseo_primary_category] => 23630 [_thumbnail_id] => 472984 ) [user_author] => Yanto Soegiarto [attachment] => stdClass Object ( [width] => 900 [height] => 499 [file] => [sizes] => stdClass Object ( [thumbnail] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-18-e1553647402546-150x150.jpg [width] => 150 [height] => 150 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-18-e1553647402546-300x166.jpg [width] => 300 [height] => 166 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium_large] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-18-e1553647402546-768x426.jpg [width] => 768 [height] => 426 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) ) [image_meta] => stdClass Object ( [aperture] => 0 [credit] => [camera] => [caption] => [created_timestamp] => 0 [copyright] => [focal_length] => 0 [iso] => 0 [shutter_speed] => 0 [title] => [orientation] => 1 [keywords] => Array ( ) ) [post_id] => 472984 ) [feature_img] => stdClass Object ( [_665x450] => stdClass Object ( [meta_value] => 472971 [post_title] => Second Image 655x450 [post_excerpt] => [guid] => [post_type] => attachment [post_mime_type] => image/jpeg ) ) ) [4] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 472964 [post_author] => 270 [post_content] =>

As one of Indonesia’s most talented filmmakers today, Kamila and the arts have been inseparable. She spent her youth experimenting with many branches of the arts. “In my younger years, I tried many things in life. Music, dance, painting, but nothing, none of it, made me feel good. It always felt heavy at a certain point, when I felt like I always had to push myself a lot. It always ended,” she tells GlobeAsia.

Kamila started making films when she was still in high school. She went on to study sociology and media arts at Australia’s Deakin University, where she discovered filmmaking as her destiny. “It’s always challenging in a good way and I always feel really excited every time I find something hard to face. Every time I find an obstacle, I feel like I want to go through this. I want to overcome this. I think that kind of feeling shows that you belong in that world,” says the director, who was born Jakarta on May 6, 1986.

Kamila lives among filmmakers. Firstly, her husband Ifa Isfansyah is a director and producer who co-founded Yogyakarta-based production house Fourcolours Films. Kamila’s father is Garin Nugroho, one of the legends, who has put Indonesian cinema on the world map. His latest film, “Memories of My Body,” is currently traveling to more than 20 festivals after premiering at the Venice Film Festival last year.

Though she admits that being a filmmaker’s daughter came with advantages, she also struggled at first because people kept telling her what to do. “He made art films and people said: ‘You shouldn’t make art films. You should make commercial films. You shouldn’t follow him. You should be different.’ But in the beginning of your career, you don’t know what it is you’re good at,” Kamila says.

It took her a while to gather the confidence to make the films she really wanted. “I don’t want to make films they want to see. I want to make films I want to see. At that time, I tried not to listen to anything. I just made what I knew, what I loved. That’s it,” Kamila adds.

Another obstacle she faced was people doubting whether it was just a phase that would pass, or as she puts it, “an accident; just another filmmaker’s daughter who wants to make a film.” “If another filmmaker makes a short film, even a five-minute short film, people can see the filmmaker in it. It belongs to that filmmaker. It already has an identity. But not for me. I have to make maybe 10 films, so people can see that it is Kamila Andini’s,” she says.

However, Kamila has proven that she has her own signature. For instance, female characters are always at the center. She says she had no intention of spotlighting women exclusively, but she just wanted to be honest in telling the story. “Having a woman as the main character always helps me get a better perspective every time I make a film, because I can relate to her personally. I know what is inside the mind, the feelings, and the complexity of them. I think there are certain perspectives that are never explored in films,” she says.

Her films are also characterized by not being Jakarta-centric, even though she was born and raised in the Indonesian capital. Kamila chooses to explore other, often relatively underrepresented, parts of Indonesia, such as Bali, East Timor, or Southeast Sulawesi’s Wakatobi district.

“To learn about other cultures is somehow also my research of finding out who I am, because I feel like I don’t belong in a certain, specific kind of culture… I think one of the greatest things every time you explore a certain culture, is that you sort of find yourself as well,” she says.

The director who is a fan of Samira Makhmalbaf, Yasuhiro Ozuru and Sofia Coppola, says she cannot pick a favorite among the movies she has made. “I always treat my film as my own child somehow. Every time my film’s released, [it means] my daughter or son is born. It’s hard to choose which child is your favorite, because every birth has its own story, experience and identity,” Kamila says.

Upward Trend

The Indonesian film industry is experiencing an upward trend, with more than 100 films produced last year alone – 14 of them attracting more than a million views each. Kamila describes the industry as “very vibrant” and the films produced as “more diverse than before.” She says filmmakers have also showed more support for each other’s work and signature style.

However, on the downside, they struggle to be consistently productive because of the gaps in the ecosystem. “Here in Indonesia, every company makes films from A to Z. We don’t have any distributors. We go straight to the exhibitors. The circle of life in the industry is not actually built yet. So, when you have so many things to do but you have to do everything from the beginning to the end, consistency is something we have to achieve in the next several years,” Kamila says.

Another challenge is finding the right market for arthouse films. She says she has known from the beginning that her films would not do well in local cinemas, so festivals abroad are an alternative market for them. “It’s actually every filmmaker’s dream for their films to be watched. It doesn’t mean that when we make an arthouse film, we don’t want people to watch it,” she says.

On the bright side, Indonesian films have gained more attention at international festivals as the number of participating filmmakers increased. When Kamila brought her first feature “The Mirror Never Lies,” to more than 30 festivals in 2011, Indonesian filmmakers were always a small group. Indonesian films were not yet the talk of town.

However, she observed that starting from Eddie Cahyono’s 2014 black-and-white drama “Siti,” which was screened in Singapore, Rotterdam and Shanghai, among others, people began talking more about Indonesian cinema. After that, Mouly Surya’s “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts” and Kamila’s “The Seen and Unseen” stole the hearts of festival juries worldwide. Joko Anwar’s horror hit “Satan’s Slaves” also gained commercial success in cinemas as well as critical acclaim at festivals.

“People started to ask: ‘What’s going on in Indonesia? How come you can make very, very different films in two years?’” She argues that there are two main factors driving the fame of Indonesian films overseas.

“Diversity in the creative aspect and better distribution. They got better sales, funding and everything. They managed to get onto bigger platforms, like big festivals. They won big prizes, which is good acknowledgment for Indonesia as well,” says Kamila, who served on the jury for the Generation Kplus section at this year’s Berlinale. 

[post_title] => Taking Indonesian Film to the World [post_excerpt] => Kamila Andini’s “The Seen and Unseen,” a surrealistic take on a child coping with grief, has gained popularity since winning awards at Tokyo FILMex 2017, Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2017 and Berlinale 2018, among others. Kamila is no stranger to international festivals and her previous film, “The Mirror Never Lies,” bagged at least 15 awards globally. By Dhania Sarahtika / Photo By Moh.Defrizal [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-26 10:28:04 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 17:28:04 [post_name] => taking-indonesian-film-to-the-world [author] => Yanto Soegiarto [author_permalink] => /author/yanto [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23604 [name] => Cover Story [slug] => cover-story [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23696 [permalink] => cover-story ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23630 [name] => WHO'S WHO [slug] => who-s-who [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23727 [permalink] => who-s-who ) ) [permalink] => /cover-story/taking-indonesian-film-to-the-world/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1553609588:273 [_edit_last] => 270 [kdmfi_featured-image-2] => 472966 [kdmfi_featured-image-3] => 472967 [_thumbnail_id] => 472987 [post_type_override] => NA [post_writter_override] => -1 [post_source_override] => 270 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_yoast_wpseo_content_score] => 30 [_yoast_wpseo_primary_category] => 23630 ) [user_author] => Yanto Soegiarto [attachment] => stdClass Object ( [width] => 990 [height] => 500 [file] => [sizes] => stdClass Object ( [thumbnail] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-22-150x150.jpg [width] => 150 [height] => 150 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-22-300x152.jpg [width] => 300 [height] => 152 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium_large] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-22-768x388.jpg [width] => 768 [height] => 388 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) ) [image_meta] => stdClass Object ( [aperture] => 0 [credit] => [camera] => [caption] => [created_timestamp] => 0 [copyright] => [focal_length] => 0 [iso] => 0 [shutter_speed] => 0 [title] => [orientation] => 1 [keywords] => Array ( ) ) [post_id] => 472987 ) [feature_img] => stdClass Object ( [_665x450] => stdClass Object ( [meta_value] => 472966 [post_title] => Second Image 655x450 [post_excerpt] => [guid] => [post_type] => attachment [post_mime_type] => image/jpeg ) ) ) [5] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 472955 [post_author] => 270 [post_content] =>

The sound of heels clicking on the floor becomes prominent as a figure sashays toward our crew. Her elegant bun of thick ebony hair matches her dark-rimmed glasses sitting on the bridge of her nose.

A picture of elegance, Lisa Mihardja sits back and tells us that Alleira Batik featured at this year’s New York Fashion Week.

The brand has already been in New York for the past three years, in the Indonesian Fashion Gallery, and is managed by one of Lisa’s partners. Their latest collection, “Puspa,” was given the same treatment as any other designer during the prestigious fashion show – bright lights, long runway, striking models – but we are going to tell you what really goes on behind the scenes at Alleira.

“Batik for me is an Indonesian art we need to preserve, but preserve it in such a way that we don’t want it to be traditional, we want to keep the tradition,” Lisa explains.


Diving Into International Waters

Alleira started off in a humble garage, where four people had a mutual passion for batik. Although it was not the pioneer batik brand, it is best known for giving the traditional fabric a modern touch.

The act of modernizing it did not mean foregoing the use of wax or hand-drawn motifs, but rather the way outfits made from the fabric are designed. “We follow the international trend to be accepted in the international market,” Lisa says.

This means they must pay attention to the pantone color of the year (a chosen color that guides fashion designers, florists and other consumer-oriented companies) and trends from fashion weeks around the world.

Alleira’s use of gradient and ombre styles with a mix of vibrant and pastel colors is very different from the traditional black, brown and white. Each product also has its own specific home – meaning that an item popular in Indonesia will not necessarily appeal to buyers in the United States.

“For the market outside Indonesia, they really like something simple, so we have to do it differently,” Lisa says. To put it simply, less is more. Instead of wearing head-to-toe batik, the woven designs are only incorporated into one part. “So we work with local designers, for example Singaporean designers, to make sure that it is accepted in the local market,” Lisa says. Alleira is best known for producing batik incorporated into denim jeans – something no other batik brand had done before.

As a homegrown brand, Alleira also works with several groups representing underprivileged people in the country.

“We work with groups of refugee women; we teach them how to make stuffed toys from leftover batik. And when it’s up to our standard, we buy it back and sell it in our store,” Lisa explains. Alleira cooperates with the Indonesian Breast Cancer Foundation (YKPI) every year, but this year, the company will be launching a new movement.

Alleira’s upcoming project will be a collaboration with Australian model Madeline Stuart to commemorate Down Syndrome Day on March 21. Madeline is the first professional model with Down syndrome and she crossed paths with Lisa’s partner during Paris Fashion Week last year.

“There are many kids in Indonesia with down syndrome that have not been, I wouldn’t call it exposed, but they have not been brought up to the next level. They stay at home, or they just go to a special school and that’s it,” Lisa says. Lisa hopes the fashion show will inspire children or adults with Down syndrome to achieve their dreams.


Dream Teamwork

As a mother of three, Lisa’s eyes light up when asked about Indonesia’s young and upcoming designers.

“Indonesian designers are very talented, they have a lot of these crazy ideas but really turn it into something creative, something that I think is an art,” Lisa gushes. However, she emphasizes that though times have changed, one factor always remains the same, and that is the importance of teamwork.

“There are many designers I feel are good in one thing, but they want to take care of everything themselves; they’re one-man shows, and it’s not right for the business,” Lisa says. Especially for a large fashion brand, there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes.

“You really have to work with someone else who is good at what they do. So work as a team, build a fashion brand that does not hit and run, and turn it into a legacy,” she says.

[post_title] => Taking Batik to the World [post_excerpt] => Lisa Mihardja, the brains behind batik brand Alleira, has taken great strides in raising the global profile of this traditional Indonesian fabric through modern designs and regular appearances at international fashion shows. By Joy Muchtar / Photo By Moh. Defrizal [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-26 10:21:42 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 17:21:42 [post_name] => taking-batik-to-the-world [author] => Yanto Soegiarto [author_permalink] => /author/yanto [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23604 [name] => Cover Story [slug] => cover-story [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23696 [permalink] => cover-story ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23630 [name] => WHO'S WHO [slug] => who-s-who [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23727 [permalink] => who-s-who ) ) [permalink] => /cover-story/taking-batik-to-the-world/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1553595565:270 [_edit_last] => 270 [kdmfi_featured-image-2] => 472961 [kdmfi_featured-image-3] => 472962 [_thumbnail_id] => 472960 [post_type_override] => NA [post_writter_override] => -1 [post_source_override] => 270 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [quote] => You really have to work with someone else who is good at what they do. So work as a team, build a fashion brand that does not hit and run, and turn it into a legacy, [featured] => false [_yoast_wpseo_content_score] => 30 [_yoast_wpseo_primary_category] => 23630 ) [user_author] => Yanto Soegiarto [attachment] => stdClass Object ( [width] => 990 [height] => 500 [file] => [sizes] => stdClass Object ( [thumbnail] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-16-150x150.jpg [width] => 150 [height] => 150 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-16-300x152.jpg [width] => 300 [height] => 152 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium_large] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-16-768x388.jpg [width] => 768 [height] => 388 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) ) [image_meta] => stdClass Object ( [aperture] => 0 [credit] => [camera] => [caption] => [created_timestamp] => 0 [copyright] => [focal_length] => 0 [iso] => 0 [shutter_speed] => 0 [title] => [orientation] => 1 [keywords] => Array ( ) ) [post_id] => 472960 ) [feature_img] => stdClass Object ( [_665x450] => stdClass Object ( [meta_value] => 472961 [post_title] => Second Image 655x450 [post_excerpt] => [guid] => [post_type] => attachment [post_mime_type] => image/jpeg ) ) ) [6] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 472945 [post_author] => 270 [post_content] =>

The fact that there are very few Indonesians working in Hollywood does not in any way impede 29-year-old Livi, who became involved in the film industry when she was still a teenager. Thanks to her love for sports, especially martial arts such as wushu and karate, she was introduced to filmmaking as a stuntwoman.

Originally from Blitar in East Java, her family moved to Jakarta when she was still small. She completed junior high school in Jakarta before moving with her parents to Beijing, where she continued her senior high school education and studied martial arts at the Beijing ShiChaHai Sports School. Incidentally, this is also where Hollywood start Jet Li learnt his trade.

Despite living far from her homeland, Livi’s love for Indonesia remains as strong as ever. “If we are in Indonesia, it’s easy if we want to eat nasi pecel [rice with vegetable salad and peanut sauce] or nasi rawon [meat soup from East Java, served with rice]. In Beijing, it is something very rare. And from there, I learnt how to appreciate Indonesia more and more,” she said.

After finishing high school, Livi moved to Washington, D.C., to continue her education. She won several martial arts awards while studying towards a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Washington.



As a stuntwoman, she realized that only a writer, director and producer can change the plot in a movie, so she decided to write her own script.

With little in-depth knowledge on film production, Livi received help from her brother Ken Zheng, who is now a Hollywood actor. Her first movie script, which she offered to many production houses, was rejected by at least 32 before her debut film, “Brush With Danger,” was finally made in 2014. It was released in the United States in September the following year.

“Don’t be afraid of rejection. Being rejected is part of life; it’s part of filmmaking. As a filmmaker, you will face more rejection than approval. So just get used to it,” she said.

Her recipe for when a plan does not come together is to allow herself about three hours’ mourning and then to put that failure behind her and keep trying to improve the initial plan. She normally uses those three hours to search for Indonesian food, which almost always helps her forget her woes.

“If you want to do something, keep focusing on it. Be persistent,” she said.

And she is living proof that this principle works. “Many people will reject you; say your ideas are bad. If I listened to all those things, it [success] would never have come.”

“Brush With Danger” went on to be nominated for an Oscar in the best picture category, among more than 300 other films.

To improve her knowledge of filmmaking, Livi pursued a master’s degree at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. But she still chases another dream – to work an equal amount of time in Asia and the United States. “I love living in Asia; I love living in Indonesia, but right now, most of my work, like 90 percent, is in the US,” she said.


Promoting Indonesia

Although Livi works in Hollywood, she has never forgotten her roots as an Indonesian. “When you do something, don’t forget your roots, because your roots are your inspiration,” she told GlobeAsia during an interview in Jakarta in February.

Livi tries in all her films to promote Indonesia. In “Brush With Danger” for example, she used 50 paintings and other items from the archipelago.

She realizes that most people from the rest of the world know very little about her homeland, even though this archipelago of more than 17,000 islands is the world’s fourth-most populated country. Her dream to shoot in Indonesia has come true in her new film, “Bali: Beats of Paradise,” which she uses to promote gamelan, the traditional ensemble music of Java and Bali, which predominantly consists of percussive instruments. The documentary was released in the United States in November last year and it is scheduled for release in South Korea in April and Indonesia in July.

Her initiative to promote gamelan through a documentary came when she realized that the sounds of these traditional musical instruments were used in several Hollywood films, including “Avatar” and the television series “Star Trek,” but that few people recognized it. Livi hopes to introduce these instruments to the international community with “Bali: Beats of Paradise.”

Right now, Livi is working to complete another film titled “Insight,” which she said would be released soon. Although the entire film was shot in the United States, it contains scenes based on pencak silat, a form of martial arts originating from Indonesia.

For her continuing efforts to promote Indonesia and its culture globally, Livi received the Culture Ambassador Award in December last year at the Unforgettable Gala, which celebrates the achievements of Asian Americans.

At home, Livi was appointed as Indonesia’s youth ambassador for international affairs in March and she received the Tourism Marketer of the Year 2019 award in the same month.

Livi wants to develop the Indonesian film industry, but said there is still a lot she must learn, because the local industry operates very different than in the United States. She added that a lack of cinema screens was another obstacle holding back the local film industry.

[post_title] => Cultural Diplomat [post_excerpt] => “Fighter” may be a proper word to describe Livia Notoharjono, better known as Livi Zheng, the first Indonesian to build a successful career as film director in Hollywood. By Lia Natalia / Photo By Yudha Baskoro [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-26 10:15:31 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 17:15:31 [post_name] => cultural-diplomat [author] => Yanto Soegiarto [author_permalink] => /author/yanto [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23604 [name] => Cover Story [slug] => cover-story [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23696 [permalink] => cover-story ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23630 [name] => WHO'S WHO [slug] => who-s-who [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23727 [permalink] => who-s-who ) ) [permalink] => /cover-story/cultural-diplomat/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1553595201:270 [_edit_last] => 270 [kdmfi_featured-image-2] => 472952 [kdmfi_featured-image-3] => 472953 [_thumbnail_id] => 472950 [post_type_override] => NA [post_writter_override] => -1 [post_source_override] => 270 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_yoast_wpseo_content_score] => 30 [_yoast_wpseo_primary_category] => 23604 ) [user_author] => Yanto Soegiarto [attachment] => stdClass Object ( [width] => 990 [height] => 500 [file] => [sizes] => stdClass Object ( [thumbnail] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-15-150x150.jpg [width] => 150 [height] => 150 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-15-300x152.jpg [width] => 300 [height] => 152 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium_large] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-15-768x388.jpg [width] => 768 [height] => 388 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) ) [image_meta] => stdClass Object ( [aperture] => 0 [credit] => [camera] => [caption] => [created_timestamp] => 0 [copyright] => [focal_length] => 0 [iso] => 0 [shutter_speed] => 0 [title] => [orientation] => 1 [keywords] => Array ( ) ) [post_id] => 472950 ) [feature_img] => stdClass Object ( [_665x450] => stdClass Object ( [meta_value] => 472952 [post_title] => Second Image 655x450 [post_excerpt] => [guid] => [post_type] => attachment [post_mime_type] => image/jpeg ) ) ) [7] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 472944 [post_author] => 273 [post_content] => Shinta is president director and chief executive of the Sintesa Group, a family business that started off a century ago as a rubber plantation, and which since 1999, has been transformed into a major consolidated holding company with diversified interests in property, energy, industry and consumer goods. She has successfully consolidated the group in recent years by focusing on sectors relevant to a modern economy, while selling or even closing unprofitable units. According to Shinta, the group grew by 10 percent over the past five years, especially on the back of persisting demand for consumer goods in Indonesia. While some sectors, such as industry, did experience fluctuations, she says there are still plenty of opportunities, especially for subsidiary PT Tira Austenite, which is engaged in the sale of industrial gas and related products. “We keep adapting and responding to the needs of industries that are still growing. We still see growth in the shipping and automotive sectors, which means more business opportunities for us,” she says. Through intense research and development efforts, Shinta wants to strengthen the group’s position in consumer goods, such as health products and herbal medicines. “There is a lot of room for growth and the opportunities in consumer goods are still big,” she says. While the group’s retail business – managed by PT Tiga Raksa – remains stable, Shinta sees more opportunities for growth in the energy sector. “There is huge demand for energy and from the business side, the energy business provides us with certainty, as state utility company PT PLN is a standby buyer of the electricity we produce,” she says, adding that despite high production costs, this sector remains profitable. “That’s why we purse energy excellence in this sector,” she says. Despite a slowdown in Indonesia’s property sector, Shinta still has high expectations for the group’s special property project, an eco-resort in Manado, North Sulawesi, which is being developed to cater to rising demand in the tourism sector. The group also has several properties, including office buildings, in Jakarta. Shinta’s father, veteran businessman Johnny Widjaja, prepared her from a young age to one day take over the family business, but an independent streak initially took her on a different journey. She obtained a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University’s Barnard College in New York in 1989 before completing Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program in 2002. Shinta, who was born in Jakarta in 1967, started working at the age of 13, selling books door to door. She also took some part-time jobs while studying in the United States to earn extra money. Business Competitiveness Shinta is well known for her skill in presenting her ideas, whether it be at home or in an international forum on economic and business-related issues, on leadership, business sustainability, entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, social and cultural issues and more. She currently serves as deputy chairwoman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Trade (Kadin), where she is responsible for international relations. This position sees her actively lobbying for improvement in the ease of doing business in Indonesia to attract more international investment. Shinta is also deputy chairwoman of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo), a role that involves her frequently liaising with the government on a “link and match” policy to better align curricula at schools and universities with the skills and qualifications in demand in the workplace. “I always urge government to create more training for students to get more qualified workers, and adapting the curriculum to the needs of modern industry,” she says. The mother of four gives the government credit for the progress it has made over the past three years in terms of improving the ease of doing business in Indonesia. She further believes continuous efforts to improve the country’s infrastructure will propel the economy in the future. Shinta is also appreciative of the government’s response to other crucial issues, such as taxation and industry regulations. As an ardent promotor of economic sustainability, she also serves as president of the Indonesian Business Council for Sustainable Development. “I believe business organizations must start thinking more about having a positive impact on society and our planet,” she says. Shinta further serves on the board of advisors of the Indonesian Business Coalition for Women’s Empowerment. “I think the issue is not only about women starting businesses, but about access to funding,” she says, adding that other crucial issues that need attention include mentoring and management skills. More than that, she says, “educating men is also important, so they can understand that women have an important role to play in the economy, while men should also play a larger role in taking care of the family.” Shinta was involved in the launch of Angel Investment Network Indonesia, or Angin, an initiative to assist women by providing them with seed funding to start their own businesses. “I started it with some of my friends and now it has taken off in terms of the number of women who have already receiving funding,” she says. “With technology increasingly replacing humans, women must become entrepreneurs.” She is the founder of Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia, which seeks to promote and support entrepreneurs in the country by providing them with training, financing, and mentorship. “From an economic perspective, at least 2 percent of our population should be entrepreneurs, compared with only 1.7 percent now. This will have a more significant economic and social impact,” Shinta says. [post_title] => A Powerful Voice in Business [post_excerpt] => Smart, passionate, amiable and multi-tasker are words that best describe Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, a businesswoman and leader in many organizations, who has both the professional and leadership skills to stand on the frontline of Indonesia’s business community. By Albert W. Nonto / Photo By Gugun A. 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She acknowledges that her role as businesswoman benefits society, such as job creation for example, but she believes she can make an even greater contribution to society as politician. The businesswoman and socialite says that while the goal of any company is to make a profit and create value for its shareholders, the role of a politician presents a much wider perspective, such as looking for ways to benefit the nation and improve people’s welfare. “Politicians can make laws that positively impact the lives of the country’s people, while businesspeople only work for shareholders,” she says, hastening to add that for a politician to make a positive contribution to society, it requires setting aside self-interest and acting for the common good. “Politicians should have strong empathy, passion and compassion. Through politics, I will have the opportunity to participate, along with others, in making substantial changes for the benefit of so many and for the nation as a whole,” she says. To realize this dream, Liliana took the bold step to become actively involved in politics. As such, she is a founding member of her husband’s Indonesian Unity Party (Perindo), established in February 2015. She serves as chairwoman of Kartini Perindo, the women’s wing of the party, which requires her to travel to various parts of the country to introduce Perindo’s mission to potential voters and drum up support for the party in the April 17 legislative election. Liliana is running for a House of Representatives seat in Jakarta, against Wiryanti Sukamdani, candidate for the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), former television journalist Putra Nababan and Hidayat Nur Wahid of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS). She has vowed to fight for women’s rights if elected, as she believes it takes a woman to truly understand the burning issues fellow women are facing in society. She also wants to tackle the scourge of domestic violence, which severely impacts the lives of many women in Indonesia. Citing data from the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan), she says there were about 350,000 reported cases of domestic violence against women last year alone, and that this demands urgent action. Liliana further plans to take steps to improve access to education and health care for children, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds, while she also seeks to root out all forms of exploitation. “We not only want all women and children to feel safe, loved, respected and cared for, but also to have access to equal opportunities in all fields,” she says. As chairwoman of Kartini Perindo, Liliana has already helped thousands of low-income earners and disadvantaged people across the country receive treatment for various medical conditions. Liliana, born in Surabaya, East Java, on March 15, 1967, married Hary when she was only 19 years old and he 21. She says, like any other couple, they have had ups and downs in their marriage over the years, but that this had brought them closer together. The mother of five, who has graduated from reputable fashion and beauty schools in Canada, says she has always had the freedom to pursue her dreams and passions. The couple further encourage their children, Angela, Valencia, Jessica, Clarissa and Warren, to be actively engaged in social causes. Three of the daughters, Angela, Valencia and Jessica, have followed in their parents’ footsteps by running as legislative candidates for Perindo in various regions in the upcoming election. [post_title] => Throwing Her Hat into the Political Ring [post_excerpt] => Despite her status as the wife of an Indonesian media tycoon, Liliana Tanoesoedibjo is also a successful career woman in her own right, who has now set her sights on something even bigger. By Albert w. Nonto / Photo By Moh. 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A year ago, Dian wowed Indonesian audiences with her striking performance as an investigative journalist in Edwin’s drama-slash-culinary film “Aruna dan Lidahnya” (“Aruna and Her Palate”). The role landed her a nomination for best female actor in a leading role at the Indonesian Film Festival. A few weeks after “Aruna,” she appeared as a Mandarin-speaking, yo-yo-choking villain in Timo Tjahjanto’s action thriller “The Night Comes for Us,” which was released exclusively on Netflix. It was the first time Dian played a cold-blooded killer. She even shared significant screen time with martial-artist-turned-actor Iko Uwais. The big change was long overdue and viewers were impressed.

Dian, whose popularity rocketed after winning a teen magazine cover girl competition and playing Cinta in the franchise “Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?” (What’s Up With Love?”), is ready for an even bigger change. Her upcoming film project is a comedy heist that involves teachers and their very low salaries. The current working title is “Guru-Guru Gokil” (“Wacky Teachers”). The film, which is still in script development without director or cast, will be her debut as a producer.

In a sea of horror flicks and teen dramas, Dian craves to create something different. “Filmmakers and viewers should expand and grow. We should all expose ourselves to other genres that are not horror or romance,” she says.

Dian realized that to be a film producer in an industry that is not yet mature, like Indonesia’s, is a double-edged sword. At the moment, it is arguably hard to understand what kind of stories appeal to Indonesian viewers. A lack of transparency on viewer numbers is one of the factors that add to the confusion.

As an aspiring film producer, Dian says she wants to be able to associate the first film she makes with her identity as an artist. She has been in the industry long enough to understand that a passion project is the thing that will help filmmakers grow.

On the other hand, film is still a business that must be sustainable. “I am actually really torn between finding my own voice as filmmaker and making a movie that is sustainably lucrative. Because I am also facing an economic challenge,” Dian says. And yet, she still believes that finding the balance between both is worth trying.

If anything, what every film producer requires to make the Indonesian film market grow right now, is stability in terms of viewer numbers. “At the moment, the number of viewers is still fluctuating. We need to establish a certain number that projects the size of the Indonesian film market. Therefore, we need more films that meet audience expectations and make them trust our filmmakers,” she says.

As a female filmmaker, Dian thinks the film industry is still very much a male-dominated area, especially in the directing and scriptwriting departments.

The mother of two says she is constantly learning from fellow female filmmakers, from film director Nan Achnas, director and producer Mira Lesmana, producer Shanty Harmayn, and Hollywood actors and producers Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. For Dian, these women have shown that age is not an obstacle to continue producing art.

Dian also has lots of praise for director Mouly Surya for her work on “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts,” which saw her win almost every major category at the 2018 Indonesian Festival Film, including best picture and best director. Dian says Mouly is a good example of a female filmmaker who can translate herself in a patriarchal world, where things do not always work in a woman’s favor. “I think Indonesian cinema had exciting women’s stories in 2018, but we need more,” she adds.

Now that she has control over her own production cast and crew, Dian says she would like to give more opportunities to female filmmakers and actors who want to break free from their typecast. “I think hiring women filmmakers is going to be a priority, so they can have their own voice and tell their stories. Their performance should be on par with our male counterparts. We will expect a lot of things from them,” she says.

According to Dian, she is also planning to involve new talent in her production team, regardless of experience. “I know it’s going to be complicated, because they need to acquire some skills, but there’s a learning curve. We should give them time and energy so they can catch up and perform. Indonesian people are fast learners, and learning should be in our culture,” she says.

At age 36, Dian says she has grown so much as a woman, especially since she became a mother to Shailendra Sastraguna Sutowo (7) and Ishana Ariandra Sutowo (5). She is also busier than ever. Apart from film producing, Dian is also involved in various business ventures, from food and beverage outlets to a beauty clinic and a photography service for special occasions.

“I never run a new business on my own. I always have partners who run everything, and I usually help with the marketing. I won’t be able to do everything, so I delegate,” she says.

When she is not doing business, Dian performs social outreach work through the Dian Sastrowardoyo Foundation, which provides scholarships to five selected female students every year. Dian works with a nonprofit organization to select the students, and she is personally involved in drawing up the shortlist. The foundation has funded 19 students in the past three years.

Dian genuinely wants to help young girls thrive in education. To educate women, is to educate the country and Dian believes in the positive effect that will bring. When she looks back at her younger years, Dian says she wishes she had put more effort into her own education.

“Back then, as a younger girl, I was too distracted by trends, love life, peer pressure, fashion, what people think of me. I should have focused more on my abilities, my education, more books to read and designed my goals. To set your goals, you need to spend some time with yourself. Now I know it’s really important,” she says.

[post_title] => The Making of Women Filmmakers [post_excerpt] => After an 18-year career as an actor, Dian Sastrowardoyo is now making the shift to becoming a film producer. However, she is fully aware that the Indonesian film industry is still in its infancy and that film genres for a wider audience are very limited. By Lisa Siregar /Photo By Moh. Defrizal [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-26 10:08:49 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 17:08:49 [post_name] => the-making-of-women-filmmakers [author] => Yanto Soegiarto [author_permalink] => /author/yanto [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23604 [name] => Cover Story [slug] => cover-story [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23696 [permalink] => cover-story ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23630 [name] => WHO'S WHO [slug] => who-s-who [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23727 [permalink] => who-s-who ) ) [permalink] => /cover-story/the-making-of-women-filmmakers/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1553594897:270 [_edit_last] => 270 [kdmfi_featured-image-2] => 472937 [kdmfi_featured-image-3] => 472938 [_thumbnail_id] => 472936 [post_type_override] => NA [post_writter_override] => -1 [post_source_override] => 270 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [quote] => I think hiring women filmmakers is going to be a priority, so they can have their own voice and tell their stories. Their performance should be on par with our male counterparts. We will expect a lot of things from them. 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It started when family patriarch Hura Kamadjaja was tasked with tending his parent’s small shop, which sold daily necessities, such as sugar and soap, shipped in from Java. But the young Hura soon realized that more money could be made on transporting the commodities to Flores, instead of sitting idle in the shop. On the ship’s return journey, it could also carry local produce, such as copra and coffee, which was in high demand in Surabaya, East Java. “As an archipelagic country, you will never run out of demand for logistics,” says Ivy Kamadjaja, Hura’s daughter, recalling his often-repeated words. Today Ivy and her brother Ivan run the company. He serves as chief executive, having replaced their father, while Ivy, as his deputy, spearheads the company’s marketing efforts. The logistics landscape was vastly different from when the company first started in 1968. Those days were marked by bloody turf war in ports, which nearly claimed Hura’s life several times, if not for his reliable Madurese workers who doubled as his bodyguards. But now, that is just a distant memory. However, as a woman, there were a times Ivy avoided going to the port alone without a team of workers to accompany her. But for Kamadjaja Logistics today, it is all about technology–artificial intelligence, the internet of things, radio frequency identification, automation, improved global positioning systems and more–to help the company in its quest for speed and greater efficiency, Ivy says. “When I started working at the company in 1998, nobody here was familiar with computers and email. Today, we are all about advanced technology,” she adds. Opportunities for women also abound, as logistics today demand more brain power than raw muscle. “As long as you have the logic and passion for doing the work, everything should be fine,” she says, encouraging more women to take get involved in the industry. Kamadjaja Logistics now has an extensive network across Indonesia with 29 distribution centers in 16 cities, serving more than 300 clients. Ivy says this is the result of the company›s more than 50 years’ experience in the industry and its intimate understanding of local culture. “As a local company, we know about the local culture. Indonesia is unique. So many islands and so many ports. You have to know how to behave in different regions, because people working in small ports are very different from those in the large ports,” Ivy says. The company’s crown jewel is K-Log Park, an 180,000-square-meter logistics park and distribution center in Bekasi, West Java, which offers domestic and international freight forwarding, a container yard, warehousing, cold-chain storage facilities and toll manufacturing all in one place. The toll manufacturing service, which involves clients just shipping materials or semi-finished goods to Kamadjaja Logistics to process and pack, streamlines client’s operations, thus lowering overall costs. “The principle of Kamadjaja Logistics is how to provide logistics services at the most cost-effective way possible,” Ivy says. This primary focus on cost efficiency also results in Ivy’s cautious stance on providing logistical services to small and medium enterprises. While acknowledging that SME growth is now in ascendance, thanks to the growth of e-commerce, Ivy says she has yet to see their volumes matching those of Kamadjaja Logistics› existing clients. “It’s still hard to make small deliveries from multiple SMEs efficient. In logistics, it’s about economies of scale,” she explains. However, there a few industry players engaged in that segment, such as Iruna eLogistics, founded by DHL, and state-owned Pos Indonesia. E-commerce platform Bukalapak is meanwhile also investing Rp 1 trillion ($70 million) in the development of a network of logistical services for SMEs across Indonesia. They have all set their eyes on delivering e-commerce sales, which may reach $130 billion by 2020, according to an estimate by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. With logistical costs making up as much as 24 percent of an item›s total price in Indonesia, e-commerce may present a potential market worth $30 billion for companies to tap. “I think we need to collaborate instead of try to compete with each other. It’s very hard to execute. But it’s the intention to collaborate, because we cannot do it alone,” Ivy says. As the de facto face of the company, Ivy spends much of her time participating in talks and attending business meetings across Indonesia. In June last year, British Ambassador Moazzam Malik appointed her as his country’s honorary consul in Surabaya, to serve as liaison between the two countries, especially in economics. “My role is more on the commercial and business side; how to strengthen the relationship between the UK and Indonesia. Of course, I must be balanced in representing Indonesian and UK interests,” she says. Ivy, who has a bachelor of business degree in marketing and management from the University of Technology, Sydney, and a bachelor of commerce degree in marketing and management from the University of Wollongong, has won several awards over the years, including Best Industry Marketing Champion 2017 for the logistics sector from Marketeer of the Year. For her, new targets have been set to take Kamadjaja Logistics to an even higher level. “Today, we have several partners overseas. We would like to be in the Asean region going forward,” she says. [post_title] => The Face of Kamadjaja Logistics [post_excerpt] => Kamadjaja is a familiar name in Indonesia’s logistics industry. With a client roster that includes fast-moving consumer goods giants Unilever and Nestlé, and local food and beverage manufacturers such as Garuda Food and Sosro, Kamadjaja Logistics is one of only a few in the industry that can boast an annual turnover of over $100 million. By Dion Bisara / Photo By Moh. Defrizal [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-26 10:04:20 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 17:04:20 [post_name] => the-face-of-kamadjaja-logistics [author] => Gimbar Maulana [author_permalink] => /author/gimbar-maulana [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23604 [name] => Cover Story [slug] => cover-story [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23696 [permalink] => cover-story ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23630 [name] => WHO'S WHO [slug] => who-s-who [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23727 [permalink] => who-s-who ) ) [permalink] => /cover-story/the-face-of-kamadjaja-logistics/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1553594542:273 [_edit_last] => 273 [kdmfi_featured-image-2] => 472932 [kdmfi_featured-image-3] => 472933 [_thumbnail_id] => 472931 [post_type_override] => FA [post_writter_override] => -1 [post_source_override] => 273 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_yoast_wpseo_content_score] => 30 [_yoast_wpseo_primary_category] => 23630 ) [user_author] => Gimbar Maulana [attachment] => stdClass Object ( [width] => 900 [height] => 550 [file] => [sizes] => stdClass Object ( [thumbnail] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Ivy-Feat-Image1-150x150.jpg [width] => 150 [height] => 150 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Ivy-Feat-Image1-300x183.jpg [width] => 300 [height] => 183 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium_large] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Ivy-Feat-Image1-768x469.jpg [width] => 768 [height] => 469 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) ) [image_meta] => stdClass Object ( [aperture] => 0 [credit] => [camera] => [caption] => [created_timestamp] => 0 [copyright] => [focal_length] => 0 [iso] => 0 [shutter_speed] => 0 [title] => [orientation] => 0 [keywords] => Array ( ) ) [post_id] => 472931 ) [feature_img] => stdClass Object ( [_665x450] => stdClass Object ( [meta_value] => 472932 [post_title] => Ivy-Feat-Image2 [post_excerpt] => [guid] => [post_type] => attachment [post_mime_type] => image/jpeg ) ) ) [11] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 472923 [post_author] => 273 [post_content] => Despite working in different fields, and with different responsibilities, this mother of two has managed to accomplish multiple achievements. She is the epitome of a modern woman, who can wear multiple hats – often at the same time. It is therefore obvious that it will not be easy to simply put her into one box. Born in Jakarta in 1982, Imelda grew up in a wealthy and respected family, which runs the Olympic Group, a pioneer in knock-down furniture in Indonesia. Like her siblings, she was taught to continue the family legacy, but her independent streak took her on a different journey. After completing school in Singapore, Imelda attended Ohio State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology. But upon her return to Indonesia immediately after graduating, she was not ready to join the family business and decided to embark on her own career path. After she was crowned Miss Indonesia in 2005 and went on to be the first runner-up in the Miss Asean beauty pageant, her career took off, with regular appearances on local television and her face adorning a plethora of magazines. “I had no background in modeling or public speaking. It challenged me to be a better speaker, to have better presentation skills and most importantly, to create a brand image for myself,” she says. Along with that, she also became involved in the literary world, writing two books, “You Can Be Anything and Make Changes,” released in 2006 and “Modern Mama: Wake Up, Fight, Repeat!” in 2015. “Writing is like meditation to me. It has always been my dream to share my stories with other women and I hope I could inspire them through my writing,” Imelda says. But being as strong and successful as she is now did not always come easy for Imelda. In an exclusive recent interview in South Jakarta, the 36-year-old businesswoman shared her experiences of the abuse she suffered while attending junior school in Singapore. Her parents sent her to the city-state at a young age to live with a host family, but little did she know what hardships would await her. “Being a 10-year-old old kid and being beaten up, like 70 times a day, really leaves a mark on your character and mentality,” she says. Growing up in a violent environment left deep scars on her psyche, which would eventually result in her suffering from anorexia. “Food was the only friend I had. I became somewhat overweight and I couldn’t control myself,” she says. But Imelda says her unpleasant experiences and painful past also shaped her to become the woman she is today. “It made me a stronger person and it made me humble. I believe that everyone, including me, deserves a second chance. My past made me believe that everyone had a chance to grow and actually, it made me believe that a dark past was no excuse for failure in life,” she says. After exploring many professions, Imelda returned to joined the family business. Her father, who has been one of her biggest inspirations, invited her to consider a role in the group’s new property subsidiary, Olympic Bangun Persada. “I knew I would sooner or later continue the family business, so I joined the company in 2015,” she says. Being the last member of the family to join the company, Imelda says she had to learn everything about the business from scratch. “I can say that the first and second year were quite challenging, but I think every job has its own challenges. Even now, I still face many new challenges, but I’m really up for it,” she says. With a background of involvement in various humanitarian efforts, she also focuses on corporate social responsibility programs, as her focus has always been on strengthening both the foundations and fundamentals of the company. Olympic Bangun Persada is currently involved in the development of a massive mixed-use project in Bogor, West Java. Last year, it sold 20 percent of the residential units in the project, while another 40 percent will be delivered this year. Imelda says the company is also planning to launch a new development in Sukabumi, West Java, within the next three to five years. “We have about 600 hectares of land ready to be developed there, but we are still waiting for the government to review the sites,” she says. Women in Leadership Groomed to eventually take over the family business, Imelda was taught leadership skills from an early age. “My father has been the greatest supporter and role model. He taught me to never underestimate myself and encouraged me to always stay strong,” she says. On her part, Imelda has been encouraging female-focused leadership in Indonesia. Some of the architects, engineers working her are both professionals and mothers. “I understand that some women are nursing and sometimes the nannies are not available to take care of the kids, so they have to bring them to the office. I definitely tolerate this, as long as the work gets done and delivered on time,” she says, adding that effective time management is key to being a successful working mother. “On top of being a career woman, I am still a wife and a mother who has responsibilities both at home and at work. So, it’s very important for us [women] to have good time management so we can take care of both,” she says. Prioritizing family values are very important to Imelda, and she hopes to also instill these values in her children. “With the support of my husband and my family, I am able to achieve success in my career. Women should be successful at work and at home too,” she says. [post_title] => Returning to Her Roots [post_excerpt] => Smart, passionate and amiable are words that best describe Imelda Fransisca, a former Miss Indonesia, author and vice president of property developer Olympic Bangun Persada, who has taken her family business beyond furniture production. By Diella Yasmine / Photo By Gugun A. Suminarto [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-26 10:00:30 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 17:00:30 [post_name] => returning-to-her-roots [author] => Gimbar Maulana [author_permalink] => /author/gimbar-maulana [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23604 [name] => Cover Story [slug] => cover-story [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23696 [permalink] => cover-story ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23630 [name] => WHO'S WHO [slug] => who-s-who [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23727 [permalink] => who-s-who ) ) [permalink] => /cover-story/returning-to-her-roots/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1553594313:273 [_edit_last] => 273 [kdmfi_featured-image-2] => 472927 [kdmfi_featured-image-3] => 472926 [_thumbnail_id] => 472928 [post_type_override] => FA [post_writter_override] => -1 [post_source_override] => 273 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_yoast_wpseo_content_score] => 30 [_yoast_wpseo_primary_category] => 23630 ) [user_author] => Gimbar Maulana [attachment] => stdClass Object ( [width] => 900 [height] => 550 [file] => [sizes] => stdClass Object ( [thumbnail] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Imelda-Feat-Image1-150x150.jpg [width] => 150 [height] => 150 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Imelda-Feat-Image1-300x183.jpg [width] => 300 [height] => 183 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium_large] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Imelda-Feat-Image1-768x469.jpg [width] => 768 [height] => 469 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) ) [image_meta] => stdClass Object ( [aperture] => 0 [credit] => [camera] => [caption] => [created_timestamp] => 0 [copyright] => [focal_length] => 0 [iso] => 0 [shutter_speed] => 0 [title] => [orientation] => 0 [keywords] => Array ( ) ) [post_id] => 472928 ) [feature_img] => stdClass Object ( [_665x450] => stdClass Object ( [meta_value] => 472927 [post_title] => Imelda-Feat-Image2 [post_excerpt] => [guid] => [post_type] => attachment [post_mime_type] => image/jpeg ) ) ) [12] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 472913 [post_author] => 270 [post_content] =>

Maia has been one of the most successful celebrities in Indonesia for a long time. She has written hundreds of songs and produced several critically acclaimed albums, owns a chain of karaoke bars, food outlets, and a line of clothing, outsourcing service and property company. Her business interests have continued to expand over the past 10 years. Genuine effort, combined with passion, a positive attitude and hard work, have contributed to her outstanding achievements, which inspire many.

Music to Cosmetics

While the rest of her business keeps growing, Maia spends most of her time working on her new undertaking as an agent for United States-based skincare brand EMK. The mother of three spent hundreds of millions of rupiah in 2014 to market EMK beauty products among Indonesian celebrities. She says the brand is widely known and famous among global celebrities, such as Madonna, Eva Longoria and Victoria Beckham. Maia’s name also features on the official EMK Beverly Hills website, among prominent global celebrities also associated with the company’s products.

“I have indeed been an EMK distributor in Indonesia over the past few years. I initially sold limited quantities, only to friends, but now EM       K already has about 3,000 customers in Indonesia,” the multi-talented woman said.

“I initially bought it for myself, but after a long time, many of my friends felt comfortable with the product and felt that it suited them. Sales rapidly increased when I started selling it online. Even though I sell it online, EMK products are certified by Indonesia’s National Agency of Drug and Food Control [BPOM],” Maia said.

She invested a substantial amount in 2014 to buy EMK products from the United States and market it in limited quantities in Indonesia.

However, outstanding sales in the archipelago drew the attention of EMK, which asked Maia to help the company develop its business. EMK has seen an impressive increase in sales and accompanying growth in its market share in Indonesia, which many cosmetic industry observers believe was due to Maia’s “Midas touch.” The company has essentially become Maia’s new passion, and along with the rest of her businesses, made her one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs since her retirement as musician.

But Maia is not content to only sell cosmetic products, having recently embarked on a joint venture with Cathy Sharon, another local artist, to open and manage a beauty clinic in Jakarta.

And while the cosmetics business continues to shine, she also makes a point of maintaining her other interests, which include the Allegro Family K-TV chain of karaoke bars, Tipsy Club and Lounge in Kemang, South Jakarta, and STI-Q Maia restaurant in Bogor, West Java, online clothing outlet Kayara and other small food businesses.

Maia married businessman Irwan Danny Mussry last year, about a decade after her divorce from Ahmad Dhani, an Indonesian rock musician, songwriter, arranger, producer and politician.

Prayers, Blood, Sweat and Tears

Maia is a powerful example of a woman who had fallen but refused to stay down. But the success and happiness she has achieved did not just fall from the sky. She says it was accompanied by “lots of prayers, blood, sweat and tears and of course, with God’s blessing.” The divorce was the lowest point in her life. Having been kicked out of her home, lost custody of her three children, and with only a suitcase full of clothes and a broken heart, Maia did not allow herself to be overcome by sadness and self-pity. Slowly, she got up. And while it was the music industry that got Maia through the hard times, her career did not stop there. She kept herself busy and continuously expanded her interests.

“I have had hard times, almost no money, but then I slowly rose up. Some friends cheated me out of tens of millions of rupiah when that amount of money really meant a lot to me at the time. But none of that managed to keep me down. I always ask God to give me what I need. And He always answers by giving me what I need, not what I want,” Maia said. However, she does not describe herself as a religious person.

“My parent taught me well. They said it was better if you always have the upper hand. That is why I always stand on my own feet. I got used to working when I was still in college,” said the University of Indonesia graduate.

Maia and singer Mey Chan formed the band Duo Maia in 2008. Together, they spawned several hits, reaching double platinum and selling more than 300,000 albums.

In 2009, Maia founded Le Moesiek, an artist management and recording company, which managed top Indonesian artists, including Krisdayanti, Julia Perez, Tata Janeeta and the band Pasto. Maia made enough money from her work in music, to buy the house she currently occupies, as well as an office from where she manages all her businesses.

Her wedding last year to Irwan was another step in her life that has moved well beyond the misery of the past and come to embody true joy and happiness. 

[post_title] => Maia’s Midas Touch [post_excerpt] => It is not how you fall, it is how you get up. The saying never gets old for Maia Estianty, a musician, songwriter and successful entrepreneur who has overcome many setbacks in her life. By Elsid Arendra / Photo By Moh. Defrizal [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-26 09:52:26 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 16:52:26 [post_name] => maias-midas-touch [author] => Yanto Soegiarto [author_permalink] => /author/yanto [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23604 [name] => Cover Story [slug] => cover-story [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23696 [permalink] => cover-story ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23630 [name] => WHO'S WHO [slug] => who-s-who [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23727 [permalink] => who-s-who ) ) [permalink] => /cover-story/maias-midas-touch/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1553593811:270 [_edit_last] => 270 [kdmfi_featured-image-2] => 472921 [kdmfi_featured-image-3] => 472922 [_thumbnail_id] => 472920 [post_type_override] => NA [post_writter_override] => -1 [post_source_override] => 270 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [quote] => My parent taught me well. They said it was better if you always have the upper hand. That is why I always stand on my own feet. I got used to working when I was still in college. 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Reflecting on her struggles at the time, Eka sees that many of the challenges that hindered women in the industry back then still do today. “It requires a lot of traveling. Especially in Indonesia, you must be able to travel to very remote areas. Some of the areas do not have restrooms for women. Even small things like that make women reluctant to join this industry,” she says. Eka oversees the Lorena Group, a transportation services company established by her father G.T. Soerbakti in the 1970s. The group is currently engaged in passenger land transportation, logistics and hospitality. Eka says the group is also looking at strengthening its logistics arm, ESL Express, which has a diverse client base, ranging from animal feed producers Japfa Comfeed Indonesia to merchandise seller Shabby Chic Jakarta. “We have 260 million people living in this country. And we are a country that is politically very stable. A large portion of the population is young, between 25 and 40. This means that there is a large group of people who love to use and consume something. It’s a good place to be and do business in,” she says. Eka says she expects increasing competition from foreign players eying the country’s freight and logistics market, projected to be worth about $383 billion by 2023. “Over the next five years, sustainability will be our focus,” she says, adding that the company must have a proper strategy in place to be adaptable to change. “We have to embrace IT. Automatization should be part of our big game. The ability to manage our finances and have support from the financial industry will also be crucial,” she says. Commending massive improvement in Indonesia’s infrastructure over the past five years, she expresses hope that the government will come up with the right policy to allow innovation in this industry to flourish and divert resources for the training of future logistic talent. “The biggest challenge for us in this industry is the quality of human resources. We do not have any education or vocational training in transportation and logistics. There are some transportation schools in Indonesia but most of them teach economics. They are not teaching technical aspects that are crucial for transportation and logistics,” Eka says. The Lorena Group’s focus on sustainability comes from its own bitter experiences. The group’s listed bus operator business, aptly named Eka Sari Lorena, is now plotting a revival after fighting a losing battle against cheap air travel over the past decade. The company has overhauled its strategy by upgrading its fleet and rearranging routes. It also joined a digital marketing initiative last year, along with other bus operators and online travel aggregator Traveloka, one of Indonesia’s four unicorn startups. “The most important thing for us now, is that people can access our service, either online or offline, like at minimarkets,” she says. The company also hopes its presence on a platform such as Traveloka – which is now available in most of Southeast Asia and also Australia – would provide the bus operator with access to a rapidly growing market: foreign tourists. Caesar Indra, senior vice president of business development at Traveloka, says bus operators such as Eka Sari Lorena would complement the train routes and flights already offered on its platform and “allow customers to choose modes of transportation most fitting for their traveling needs.” Indonesia expects to welcome 20 million foreign tourists this year, double the number five years ago. Bus operator Eka Sari Lorena would likely see some of the more adventurous travelers opt for its buses, just like locals who travel between smaller cities that are yet to be served by train or airplane. The company has made it clear to shareholders that its strategy in the coming years will involve steering clear from routes where it would be in direct competition with other modes of transportation. “With buses, we have had quite a significant challenge over the past five years because airfares are very low, plus there has been a major improvement in Indonesia’s train services,” Eka says. “We look at routing for our customers. If it’s not profitable because it takes too many hours, and infrastructure in the area does not support us as an operator, we think we should not be in that area,” she says. So, instead of offering a route between Jakarta and Surabaya, East Java, with a full range of buses for example, the bus operator prefers to only operate its most luxurious buses on this route, while using its lower-cost buses to serve smaller cities such as Wonogiri and Kudus in Central Java. Eka is confident that her company can match the upmarket service levels often seen abroad. Eka Sari Lorena obtained ISO 9001:2000 quality management certification in 2003, becoming the first land transportation company in Indonesia to do so. The company’s motto is “patient, polite and smile,” reflecting its ideals in treating its customers. Eka says she follows the same philosophy in dealing with stakeholders, from suppliers to business partners and regulators, and also in her interaction with her team. “You must have strong compassion. It’s crucial,” she says. [post_title] => Ensuring a Sustainable Journey [post_excerpt] => As a 24-year-old fresh graduate from Ohio’s Wright State University in 1993, Eka Sari Lorena Soerbakti had a daunting task of managing hundreds of drivers and buses. By Dion Bisara / Photo By Gugun A. 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Her path in music was not always smooth, but music has always been an important part of her life.

“Music was my passion ever since I was a kid. I grew up in a family of art lovers… I had big dreams to become a singer, songwriter, producer and arranger. As a kid, I always wrote down my dreams in detail. I believe that when we are sure of our dreams, the universe will find a way to make each of them come true,” the curly haired singer told GlobeAsia.

With her singing and piano-playing skills, Yuna started writing songs when she was only 15 years old. The first song was “Berawal Dari Tatap,” based on her experience as a high school freshman with a crush on a senior.

It was just an outlet for her self-expression and she did not record it until her first album in 2013.

“I’m the type of person who can’t open up to many people. I’m more comfortable expressing myself through writing or through a song that I play on the piano,” said Yura, whose biggest influences are Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and James Brown.

Yura did not pursue music professionally until she participated in The Voice Indonesia in 2013, yet she was eliminated. However, Glenn Fredly, who was one of the judges, saw her potential and offered to produce her first album. “Glenn is one of the heroes in my music career,” she said.

She added that they both share the same dream of making the Indonesian music ecosystem more supportive by endorsing younger, less experienced artists.

“Glenn endorsed me, and I hope that one day I can also help a musician make a name for themselves,” Yura said.

Regaining Strength

Following the success of her first album, Yura launched “Merakit,” named after one of the songs on the album. The word, which means “to assemble” in English, reflects Yura’s process of rediscovering her inspiration and strength in music.

“’Merakit’ became the title track because it shows the long journey I experienced for the past three-and-a-half years. I fell and went through the lowest moments in my life. I felt confined, restrained, and had my path blocked by a certain something and someone. But the thing about a creative soul is that it can never be confined. My worst moments brought me to maturity in composing and songs made me more perceptive of my surroundings and become more independent as a woman,” she said.

Yura wrote the song after performing at Yayasan Tuna Netra Wyata Guna, a foundation for the visually impaired, in Bandung, West Java, during Ramadan last year. It was the first time she sang specially for an audience comprising disabled people.

“What I didn’t expect to see was their enthusiasm. Perhaps audiences everywhere don’t really know how the performer feels. At that time, I was at my low point. I was quite depressed, but I still tried to remain professional,” Yura said.

She cried when an audience member came up to her and said she wanted to become a singer because she wanted to make people happy, just like Yura had made the children happy.

“The genuine, simple words were like a slap in my face… Those words lifted my spirits and reminded me that even people with limitations can dream big and are willing to make them come true,” Yura said.

After that, she composed “Merakit” and asked the people of the foundation to sing in the choir. They also featured in the music video, which was released on Feb. 8.

“I learned that your limitations should never stand in your way of your dreams. It’s okay to fall. Just get up, smile, and keep assembling your dreams.”

Being Independent

Yura does not just sing and compose, but also runs her own label, Ayura. She said she really enjoys the challenges.

“Creating an independent label isn’t easy, but there’s an invaluable satisfaction when our songs and the messages reach the people the way we want to. It’s not easy and we need consistency, focus and a lot of time and effort,” the singer said.

Instead of lamenting the fact that selling physical albums is getting more difficult, Yura celebrates the existence of digital platforms.

“As an independent musician, I feel that the digital era has facilitated me. I’m sure that it’s not just me, but all independent musicians out there who feel this way because the many digital platforms are easy and free for us to access. Now everyone also has an opportunity to promote their work on social media,” Yura said.

Uploading music is now just a click away, but it means there is more competition among musicians. Responding to that, Yura said the key to survival is “making good content” and “being honest in our work.”

Keeping It Local

Since streaming platforms allow anyone to access any artist’s songs, Yura said getting the attention of listeners around the world has become easier. That is why, while some Indonesian musicians use English lyrics to mark their foray into the global market, Yura believes her Indonesian songs can go international.

In her first album, there is an English-language song called “Get Along With You,” which she wrote herself. Yura said there may be another English song in the future, but for now, she wants to focus on “loving Indonesian language and exploring it.”

Yura also has another mission: popularizing songs in traditional languages. To prove that she is proud to hail from Bandung, one of the centers of Sundanese culture, she created a song called “Kataji,” which is Sundanese for “enamored.”

“It’s a very upbeat, Broadway-style song,” Yura said, adding that “Kataji” was created to show fellow Indonesians and foreign listeners how cool the Sundanese language really is.

“I am quite concerned that young people nowadays easily love songs in other languages, such as Korean, while they barely know the meaning, but just because the songs sound cool. I thought, why not [do the same]? I feel that foreign languages sometimes sound ‘sexy’ and fascinating, so I think Sundanese can also sound sexy to the ears of foreigners,” said the singer, who dreams of collaborating with Indonesian singer-songwriter Tulus, British singer-songwriter Jessie J and American singer, songwriter, record producer and dancer, Kehlani.

[post_title] => Singing Her Way to the Top [post_excerpt] => Yunita Rachman, better known as Yura Yunita, captured Indonesian music lovers’ attention with “Cinta dan Rahasia,” a duet with renowned pop singer Glenn Fredly. Released in 2014, the song remains one of her most popular. It has been streamed over 16 million times on Spotify and the official lyric video attracted over 72 million views on YouTube. By Dhania Sarahtika / Photo By Moh. Defrizal [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-26 09:45:23 [post_date] => 2019-03-26 16:45:23 [post_name] => singing-her-way-to-the-top [author] => Yanto Soegiarto [author_permalink] => /author/yanto [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23604 [name] => Cover Story [slug] => cover-story [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23696 [permalink] => cover-story ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23630 [name] => WHO'S WHO [slug] => who-s-who [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23727 [permalink] => who-s-who ) ) [permalink] => /cover-story/singing-her-way-to-the-top/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1553609589:273 [_edit_last] => 270 [kdmfi_featured-image-2] => 472907 [kdmfi_featured-image-3] => 472908 [_thumbnail_id] => 472906 [post_type_override] => NA [post_writter_override] => -1 [post_source_override] => 270 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_yoast_wpseo_content_score] => 30 [_yoast_wpseo_primary_category] => 23630 ) [user_author] => Yanto Soegiarto [attachment] => stdClass Object ( [width] => 990 [height] => 500 [file] => [sizes] => stdClass Object ( [thumbnail] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-12-150x150.jpg [width] => 150 [height] => 150 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-12-300x152.jpg [width] => 300 [height] => 152 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium_large] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Main-Photo-12-768x388.jpg [width] => 768 [height] => 388 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) ) [image_meta] => stdClass Object ( [aperture] => 0 [credit] => [camera] => [caption] => [created_timestamp] => 0 [copyright] => [focal_length] => 0 [iso] => 0 [shutter_speed] => 0 [title] => [orientation] => 1 [keywords] => Array ( ) ) [post_id] => 472906 ) [feature_img] => stdClass Object ( [_665x450] => stdClass Object ( [meta_value] => 472907 [post_title] => Second Image 655x450 [post_excerpt] => [guid] => [post_type] => attachment [post_mime_type] => image/jpeg ) ) ) ) )