Updated: Jun 1, 2020
There are lots of reasons why I have decided to funnel all my energy and time into Indonesia. I can sit back and tell you about how Indonesia is poised to become the world's 4th largest economy by 2050, or how the rising middle class is providing a greater investment opportunity, or how the investment rules and conditions in Indonesia are becoming easier for foreigners or even talk about how there is so much opportunity in the nation that you would be silly to miss the opportunity. But it is more than that.
Indonesia has been a part of my life and family holidays since 2002. We have travelled many time to the Island of the Gods and I have spent time studying in Java. In fact we were meant to be in Bali during the time of the first Bali bombing. That happened during my birthday weekend and we were planning to be there however we couldn't get a flight. We were flying in the following weekend. Flights were then cancelled by the Australian government so we didn't get to see Bali before the first Bali bombing. We eventually got to Bali about 6 months later during the dreadful aftermath when tourism was at its all time low. People stopped going and businesses were closing down. It truly was a horrible experience for everyone involved. Even worse for the families who suffered and lost loved ones during the attack.
A few years later, an opportunity arose for me to purchase a small business in Bali. It was a small hospitality venue located in Legian. Some people may recall it - the Ye Olde Foo-Kin Pub. An English inspired venue built by a friend of mine called John. Sadly John has now passed away - however he gave me an opportunity to start my business career in Indonesia. In fact you can read about it in my first book - Business in Bali, when the dream becomes the nightmare. This small venue allowed me to see past the veil of smiles and happiness that is associated with Bali. This small venue taught me so much about business in Bali and business in Indonesia in general. It taught me about customs, regulations, laws, culture, language, ways of life, expats and so much more. It truly was an eye opening experience and to think that I was only 22 years old at the time. I held that pub for 18 months until I sold my interest to another Australian investor but the lessons I learnt will be with me forever and have become a part of who I am and why I have started this business.
After that time I went abroad and then came home to Australia to start my "real life". However Bali and Indonesia was still calling me. Eventually I had another business opportunity which you can read about in the above book - but that ended badly. So badly in fact I had to declare bankruptcy in Australia as I lost everything to my business partner in Bali and came home literally with nothing to my name. At 30 years of age having to sleep on my sisters couch and facing bankruptcy...it was my worse nightmare (hence the name of my book). I felt ashamed within myself and felt I had failed. Failed myself, my goals and dreams, failed my family and failed as a young businessman trying to make it in the world. I thought I was hopeless and I was stupid. As you know - it is the failures that teach you the biggest lessons. These are the lessons I hope to pass on to others.
So why do I continue with Indonesia? Well there is a couple of reasons. The first is I wouldn't want anyone to have to experience what I went through if they can avoid it. Using my experience, knowledge and network from conducting business and living in Indonesia, I hope to educate investors about the rules, regulations and most importantly the traps and pitfalls that can be encountered when you start business there. This will hopefully make people think twice about how to invest, when to invest and maybe think about not investing their hard earned savings at all. The second reason, over the years Indonesia has become a second home to me. I do love it. I love the language, the food, the lifestyle and the people. I love it so much that I have spent the last 3 years improving my Indonesian language skills at university, while learning about Indonesian laws and investment regulations for foreigners. I have committed my career to this country and I intend to help as many people as I can.
So I guess that's my mission - to help as many foreign investors understand the truth about investing in Indonesia. Teach them the ways of business and teach them what to look for so they do not lose. I firmly believe that education is the key to this mission. Educating investors and making them wiser to the ways of business in this beautiful country. If I help just 1 person and teach them everything that I wished I had known before I moved there the first time, then this business will be considered successful in my eyes. There are so many areas that need to be thought about before you begin to invest in this country. A lot of people (my old self included), think that you can just walk in and get going. Partner with a local friend and start living the dream. It is those people that I am trying to reach. It is those people that need the help. It is those people and their support group that risk losing so much. It is those people that need to learn what I am going to teach. If you are one of these people— then you have come to the right place.
Where to from here? Read my books. They will give you enough information to see that you need help in this journey and you cannot trust the people you think you can trust. Follow these blog posts as I will be educating you for free here. I will provide links to helpful websites and other resources that you can use in helping your business succeed.
If I may give you the biggest piece of advice that I wished I had been given - or perhaps had listened to - it would be - DO NOT RUSH. Take your time and study the market. Study the trends and study the people. Study the language and study the culture. There is so much you need to learn before you put your hard earned money in this country. This country runs on networks and it is more important to know the right people. Knowing people can open a lot more doors than money will. So do not rush, take your time, the nation isn’t going anywhere and there will always be more opportunities.
If you want to know more - feel free to get in touch for a chat - email@example.com
Until next time!