Ep 4: A Leader on a Mission | Bisma Jatmika

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Today, we talk with Pak Bisma, director for the Tourism, Industry and Institutions for the Borobudur tourism authority. He’ll share with us insightful things that he is doing in leading Indonesia out of the COVID crisis. With 5 million visitors visiting the Borabodur Temple each year – Pak Bisma faces daily challenges in meeting the expectations of tourists and the local community. Bismas energy is contageous and it is easy to see why its predicted that Indonesia will be the 4th largest economy in the world by 2040 with leaders like him.

Episode Timeline:

Why are you so positive about the hospitality industry and Indonesia in general?

[1:38] Indonesia is a unique cultural attraction. About 35% of the total portfolio is in cultural attraction. The dancing, the crafting, painting, music, are well combined with the beautiful landscape in highland and beaches where you can enjoy sunrise, stargazing, surfing.

What have you learned about leadership and managing people through your career?

 [2:48] Part of me, I assume they are my brothers, my sisters. We fight together, we share happy moments, and we support each other in hard times like this. I learned that working hand-in-hand will give a gorgeous result.

What’s one thing that you wish you knew at the start of your career?

 [7:13] I think that if I know that networking is something huge for me, I will just do my networking. I would just develop my networking. And with networking, you’ll find good fellows, be that friend and you will have a great career.

What exactly is Pak Bisma’s job

 [9:36] I lead the directorate of industry and institution. It is called Business development and innovation division. I do this planning, making the backbone of my company, make a strategic plan, and execute some programs. And also, I coordinate with many stakeholders in the tourism and creative company.

What it’s been like that the growth in tourism in Indonesia has been exponential in the last two or three decades?

 [13:06] If you talk about tourism and the creative economic ecosystem here in Central Java, it actually does some progress. There’s no one say that we’re not supporting tourism. The hardest part is to convince the central government and the local government to work together.

What are some of the things that are being done to make sure that the standard education system is maintained?

 [15:12] We have several University that focuses on tourism under the Ministry of Tourism. We also work together with several other Universities. We also work together with the industry when you set the curriculum of our training, it was made together by the academicians and the industry and so we will know that what is the level of standard, the human resource in tourism has to deliver to the guests.

What are some mistakes that you see experts make when they come and do business in Indonesia?

 [17:53] When I work for a foreign company, sometimes we argue badly. With us in the Eastern culture, we don’t say rude words. Western people, stressful people with high temper especially someone who works from 8 AM to 11 PM.

3 General tips for doing business in Indonesia

[21:00]  First one, find the right partner. In Indonesia, you need to have the right partner who can read the political situation, get access to capital to market your product, and blend with the local people community and strategic partner.

[21:59]  You have to find a clean and clear location to start your business.

[22:25] Start with the local market. You can start with the local market and then expand to the export market.

How Omnibus law will make the international market easier

 [24:10] It simplified the permit process. Another one is about the workforce. The salary, the wages, regional standard, and everything is simplified by the Omnibus law.

Are there any special economic zones for investing in Borobudur

 [26:29] The special economic zone is not available yet. There are many partners from abroad ask about why should they invest in Borobudur? First, we have a UNESCO world cultural heritage. Especially the tourism investment, the tourism market system is well developed. And one more thing of is about our domestic market is growing and the purchasing power is growing as our middle citizen grow our economics better and better.

What’s the first step if an investor wants to invest

 [29:53] They can contact me. The Borobudur tourism authority board can just accompany you.

What’s the biggest challenge in your role?

 [31:19] It’s a challenge for me to create a proper culture in our organization. It’s kind of a long-term perspective because this culture will be embedded until years long. Another one is the coordination and synchronization of our program with stakeholders. We also have this hardest time to coordinate with other ministries. And last but not the least, in this time like pandemic, the hardest part is to keep my team energy, to keep them happy so we can take this challenge lightly.

What has been something that you’ve learned about yourself as a leader in the last 12 months?

 [33:24] Empathy and be more aware and care about your team. I’m not a leader if I don’t have a team. We also try to find out what we can do best in this pandemic event. We have to change rapidly.

What do you want to see in 50 years time in Indonesia?

 [35:34] I want Indonesia to be one of the biggest economies in the world. As market, I dream of food technology, clean energy industry, tourism, digital apps, fashion, and architectural design as our future. I know that we will be the next target for investment growth in Southeast Asia.

Who inspires you in the hospitality industry that I should interview on this podcast next?

 [36:36] I would like you to interview my best friend. He was the president director of Tobar tourism authority. Now he’s the director of operation and innovation in Indonesia tourism development corporation.

Key Quotes:

 [3:33-3:44]: “Working is not all about money. Currently, some say it’s about friendship, helping people, serving the country, or maybe being heard by others.”

[17:53] When I work for a foreign company, sometimes we argue badly. With us in the Eastern culture, we don’t say rude words. Western people, stressful people with high temper especially someone who works from 8 AM to 11 PM.

3 General tips for doing business in Indonesia

 [21:00] First one, find the right partner. In Indonesia, you need to have the right partner who can read the political situation, get access to capital to market your product, and blend with the local people community and strategic partner.

[21:59] You have to find a clean and clear location to start your business.

[22:25] Start with the local market. You can start with the local market and then expand to the export market.

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