Is Bali Ready to Adapt and Thrive?

Is Bali Ready to Adapt and Thrive?
Seminyak Sunset Photo by Chema Photo on Unsplash.

Mr. Quinn was my old Latin teacher. He was a little ‘unorthodox’ to say the least and would often push the boundaries of our educational envelopes and young impressionable minds to places way beyond the confines of a conventional curriculum.

One day, he introduced his lesson with ‘Adapt or Die Trying’ written large, in white chalk, on a green blackboard. He even underlined it. Twice. He explained how Darwin had used this in his “Origin of Species” back in 1859 and how important it was for us to understand that unless we modify ourselves to best suit our environments we’d get left behind and suffer the consequences. Like dinosaurs.

It wasn’t exactly the “Illegitimi non carborundum” kind of class we were expecting but it did make us think. And now some forty something years later in today’s Corona-reset-opposite-new-world-mess it seems to be more relevant than ever, especially when it comes to business.

Seven Stones Indonesia

I think we can all agree that businesses that don’t adjust their models, markets and mindsets are likely to struggle as the world drives full steam ahead into futuristic digital and AI revolutions. At Seven Stones Indonesia we’re certainly trying to stay on track and navigate the minefield of potential possibilities by really focusing on our customers’ needs, fears, dreams, expectations and opportunities – past, present and future.

We see opportunities because we believe in helping our clients, partners and communities create a better world and to focus on what matters most to them. We deliver solutions, peace-of-mind and we help businesses grow, which is why we encourage our partners to use these unusual times to determine what can be done more efficiently to best prepare for the future.

For us it’s common sense because we read, we research, we follow trends, we ask questions and we see solutions. And what we’re seeing is a rapidly evolving customer landscape that we (and others) need to adapt to in order to stay relevant, competitive and alive. Maybe we’re channeling Mr. Quinn.

Domestic market potential

Here’s an example.

For many years the perception of Bali’s tourism industry, especially from a foreign point of view, was that Bali was totally reliant on international travelers. While last years’ figures of 6+ million foreign arrivals broke records we shouldn’t ignore the fact that more than 13 million domestic visitors also came to Bali during the same time frame.

That’s something to take seriously and means shifting focus because the potential of Indonesia’s domestic market is enormous. We’re seeing a steady increase in the number of domestic visitors to Bali either looking for a stress-free escape from their respective cities or looking at longer stays with the view to having a bolt-hole to escape to if and/ or when city lockdowns become more severe.

Local newswires reported that the recent long weekend at the end of October drew more than 16,000 domestic tourists to Bali via Ngurah Rai International Airport. Figures are not readily available for overland visitors, but it has been plain to see a significant increase in the numbers of out-of-island number plates and the return of something we used to call ‘traffic.’

Work-from-home in Bali

Bali’s more relaxed lifestyle, cheaper costs of living and cleaner environment are good reasons to consider moving here. It would also make sense for some of the larger businesses in Indonesia, particularly those based out of Jakarta and Surabaya who are already encouraging their employees to rethink the traditional models of 9-5 office work, to consider leasing (or even buying) property for their employees to use so they can ‘work-from-home … in Bali.’

The Jakarta Post recently reported “more than 3,300 companies across the capital have put in place work-from-home policies for some 1.2 million employees,” according to the Jakarta Manpower, Transmigration and Energy Agency.

FinTechTimes ran an article along similar lines citing examples from the UK, the USA and Japan, all of which have been experiencing significant increases in the number of people looking to move out of cities and into rural areas – and even abroad because of new work-from-home policies.

Adapting to a digital future

Some countries have even gone as far as to offer ‘Digital Nomad Visas’ aimed at encouraging foreigners to relocate. Singapore has introduced something called a ‘Tech.Pass’, which FinTechTimes say “is a targeted programme to attract founders, leaders and technical experts with experience in established or fast-growing tech companies, so as to contribute to the development of Singapore’s tech ecosystem.”

Indonesia has yet to follow suit, but it would make sense to rethink current strategies as digital businesses can more easily thrive from home-based setups. As Southeast Asia’s leader in e-commerce GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume), Indonesia dwarfs the competition. According to Statista, in 2019 Indonesia’s GMV “amounted to approximately USD 20.9 billion. This was forecasted to increase dramatically by 2025, in which the e-commerce GMV in Indonesia was expected to reach USD 82 billion.”

That’s a breathtaking opportunity and certainly something Mr. Quinn would have tried to adapt to. When market forces are clearly pointing in a particular direction, and that direction is digitally based, it makes sense to learn more about what the market needs and explore constructive ways to adapt and not die.

If your business (big or small, foreign or domestic) needs some positive advice on how you can tap into growing trends in Indonesia and make them work for you, let us know. We’d love to help!

Send an email to: hello@sevenstonesindonesia.com

Sources: Forbes, The Jakarta Post, Bali Sun, Statista, The FinTechTimes, McKinsey & Company, Oxford Business Group

 Original article published in Indonesia Expat

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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.