Building Business Through Synergy

Indonesian investments
Indonesian investments
Image by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash.

We were at THINC Indonesia last week. No, that isn’t a typo. THINC is an acronym for Tourism and Hotel Industry Networking Conference, which was held last week in Nusa Dua, Bali. This year was the 4th such event hosted by HVS, The Ministry of Tourism and BKPM (the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board) and it looks like there will be many more to come.

Seven Stones Indonesia was both a Platinum Sponsor and a participant on some very interesting panels and discussions related to tourism and the hotel industry, which makes sense considering that’s what the two-day conference was all about. But we’re a real estate company, we broker land deals, we’re not a hotel business. So what gives?

It’s all about synergy; both personal and business. Let me explain.

Events such as this don’t necessarily have to be directly related to our specific line of business, which is real estate and property. Sure there were international investors there, who we could have pitched on some fantastic opportunities in Bali (we’ve got some); sure the world’s leading hotel brands and some of the major players and shining lights in the Indonesian hotel scene were also there, we could have pitched them as well. We could have run around bugging people with cool concepts and floor plans and spreadsheets (we’ve got those too.) And you know what? We would have ended up just bugging people.

Don’t get me wrong, if we were asked or if the conversation led to a particular topic and we were able to talk about how we could help with real estate and land investments we did. We’re very good at it and we’d be crazy not to, that’s our business, but that’s way different to walking around handing out boxes of name cards and expecting results just because the name on the reciprocal card was followed by the magic letters of C. and E and O.

I mean, they’ve got money right? Imagine how much. Actually, they’ve got so much money they don’t know they want to buy, right? Wrong! So very, very wrong, on so many levels. This approach dictates that it doesn’t matter if people want to buy a villa (or whatever it is you’re selling) or not. The most important thing is money. Not the person or their needs. Not their wants and not their desires. The ethos here is sell, sell and then sell some more. People be damned!

We could have taken a bunch of brochures and gracefully delivered them into the hands of people who would have politely flicked through and made nice comments about the images and the layout and even more politely put them in their goodie bags and conveniently left the whole lot in the bathroom of their hotel rooms as they checked out. Probably smiling that they wouldn’t have excess baggage.

But we didn’t.

We didn’t go to pitch or to sell for that matter; we went to learn. Learn how successful business became successful and stay successful. We went to see connections. We went to make new relationships and to connect.

And I’m glad to say that’s exactly we did.

We learned a lot. We met people with similar approaches to doing business, visionaries on the latest trends in technology, training and marketing. We met innovators, entrepreneurs, M&A experts and heads of multi-billion dollar organisations, who were all singing off the same song sheet.

That, I think, is synergy.

The song they were all singing was about experience, perceptions and value. All about how people feel about you, as a person, as an individual, because how you are reflects on how you do business. Makes sense.

It’s about how we treat people. About doing what it is we say we’re going to do; all about being honest, having integrity, innovating, being creative, adapting, and growing. And in that regard we are in the same business.

We’re in the people business.

People have goals, aspirations and expectations. They also have energy. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not, but it’s energy nevertheless and by simply being aware this energy exists between us makes the interaction different. It makes it more personal, more meaningful, relevant and more real. If we open our minds to how things connect the connections themselves begin to happen.

That, I think, is synergy.

By being who we are and being what we believe we will attract like-minded souls and business will naturally follow.

This, I know, is synergy.

If you’d like to get in touch and discuss how Seven Stones Indonesia can be your partner in growth, send us an email through


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Andrzej Barski

Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Andrzej is Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia. He was born in the UK to Polish parents and has been living in Indonesia for more than 33-years. He is a skilled writer, trainer and marketer with a deep understanding of Indonesia and its many cultures after spending many years travelling across the archipelago from North Sumatra to Irian Jaya.

His experience covers Marketing, Branding, Advertising, Publishing, Real Estate and Training for 5-Star Hotels and Resorts in Bali and Jakarta, which has given him a passion for the customer experience. He’s a published author and a regular contributor to local and regional publications. His interests include conservation, eco-conscious initiatives, spirituality and motorcycles. Andrzej speaks English and Indonesian.

Terje H. Nilsen

Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Terje is from Norway and has been living in Indonesia for over 20-years. He first came to Indonesia as a child and after earning his degree in Business Administration from the University of Agder in Norway, he moved to Indonesia in 1993, where he has worked in leading positions in education and the fitness/ wellness industries all over Indonesia including Jakarta, Banjarmasin, Medan and Bali.

He was Co-owner and CEO of the Paradise Property Group for 10-years and led the company to great success. He is now Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia offering market entry services for foreign investors, legal advice, sourcing of investments and in particular real estate investments. He has a soft spot for eco-friendly and socially sustainable projects and investments, while his personal business strengths are in property law, tourism trends, macroeconomics, Indonesian government and regulations. His personal interests are in sport, adventure, history and spiritual experiences.

Terje’s leadership, drive and knowledge are recognised across many industries and his unrivalled network of high level contacts in government and business spans the globe. He believes you do good and do well but always in that order. Terje speaks English, Indonesian and Norwegian.

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Ridwan Jasin Zachrie

CFO of Seven Stones Indonesia, Jakarta

Ridwan is one of Indonesia’s top executives with a long and illustrious career in the financial world. He holds several professional certifications including being a Certified Business Valuer (CBV) issued by the Australian Academy of Finance and Management; Broker-Dealer Representative (WPPE); and The Directorship Certification for Directors and Commissioners, issued by the Indonesian Institute of Commissioners and Directors.

His experience includes being the Managing Director at one of the top investment banking groups in the region, the Recapital Group, the CFO at State-owned enterprises in fishery industry and the CEO at Tanri Abeng & Son Holding. He’s also been an Independent Commissioner in several Financial Service companies and on the Audit and Risk Committee at Bank BTPN Tbk, Berau Coal Energy Tbk, Aetra Air Jakarta as well as working for Citibank, Bank Mandiri and HSBC. His last position was as CFO at PT Citra Putra Mandiri – OSO Group.

Ridwan has won a number of prestigious awards including the Best CFO Awards 2019 (Institute of Certified Management Accountant Australia-Indonesia); Asia Pacific Young Business Leader awarded by Asia 21 Network New York USA (Tokyo 2008); UK Alumni Business Awards 2008 awarded by the British Council; and The Most Inspiring Human Resources Practitioners’ version of Human Capital Magazine 2010.

He’s a member of the Board of Trustees of the Alumni Association of the Faculty of Law, Trisakti University, Co-Founder of the Paramadina Public Policy Institute and actively writes books, publications and articles in the mass media. He co-authored “Korupsi Mengorupsi Indonesia” in 2009, which helps those with an interest in understanding governance in Indonesia and the critical issue of corruption. Ridwan speaks Indonesian and English.

Per Fredrik Ecker

Managing Director of Seven Stones Indonesia, Jakarta

Per is the Managing Director of the Seven Stones Indonesia (SSI) Jakarta office and has more than 25-years’ experience in Indonesia, China, and Western Europe. He previously worked in senior management positions with Q-Free ASA, Siemens AG, and other companies in the telecom sector. Over the last six years, he has been the Chairman of the Indonesia-Norway Business Council (INBC) and recently become elected to be on the board of EuroCham Indonesia.

His most recent experience is within Intelligent Transport Solutions (ITS), Telecom, and other sectors within the Indonesian market. He is today through his position in SSI and by representing Norway Connect, promoting Nordic and European companies that would like to explore business opportunities in the Indonesian market. He’s also playing an active role to help create the Nordic House concept in Jakarta that will provide an excellent platform for Nordic companies entering Indonesia, where they’ll find a community that can offer support with trusted information and affordable services to enter this market.