Monday, June 6, 2016

Legit

Speech at Primary School's Graduation dinner. Sunday, 5 June 2016.

"THE PURSUE OF LEGITNESS"



Good evening to fellow parents, and teachers of the graduating class.

Congratulations to all Primary School graduates. A round of applause again to all od them please.

To prepare for this brief talk, I asked my daughter, how she feels about graduating primary school?

She said she is HAPPY, because she will be free of STRESS. She said that Secondary school will be more relaxed, because the teachers are also more relaxed.

Primary school teachers who are here, please loosen up.

Seriously speaking, we parents certainly don’t want our children to be stressed. Because life is meant to be enjoyed, not stressed upon.

I think one of the causes of stress nowadays is Information Overload. In some ways, I am concerned for today’s children. 

When we parents were small kids, there was only 1 channel on TV and my favorite show at the time was DDB alias Dunia Dalam Berita at 9pm. After which was my bedtime. Life was simple.

Back then, we did not have to worry.. did we use the right filter on that snap or IG post? Did he/she like my latest status update?

We did not have any of those, and we came out relatively fine. Which means, graduates, all these advancement in technology is good, but they are not vital to your development as a person.

Having said that, children nowadays still have to deal with at least 3 screens, small, medium and large. I.e. the phone, the tablet and the TV. These three screens have millions of content, some of which are good,  and most of which are bad.

With such information overload, it means the greatest asset that today’s children must have, is the ability to focus.

For the graduates, I urge you to have fun in secondary school, while being able to focus on the important things. 

What are the important things? Number 1 will be family = lean on us, depend on us. We are there for you. Be confident that we want the best things to happen for you, even if some of our methods do not always seem right from your perspective.

Number two would be your studies. Studying is not so much about grades, but about your ability to absorb, learn, and understand things. 

For you to be able to absorb, learn and understand, you have to be able to focus. Not just focus on instagram and snapchat, but also focus on family and your studies.

This brings me to the final leg of my talk, which is the Pursue of Legitness. Legit is a word I hear a lot from my children.

Someone who is legit, is very simply, someone who is real. A legit person acts in accordance to his/her own words, day in day out. Someone who is, well, legitimate.

Whatever your goal and aspiration,  pursue legitness. Because money does not make you legit. Neither does appearance, ..apalagi the latest gadgets.

If you want to be an architect. Be a legit architect. If you want to be a dancer, be a legit dancer. If you want to be a legit boss one day, pursue legitness. 

Parents, to help our children in their pursue of legitness, and I am saying this to remind myself as well, we must also be legit parents. And each of us know what that means.

To close, I want to congratulate all graduates, and all parents, again.

Let's all of us pursue legitness, by enjoying life, focusing on our family, always absorbing learning and understanding, and be there for each other.

I wish each and every one of you all the very best. 

Be legit!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Uber VS Bluebird = WSKP vs. TAXI Indonesia?

Selasa kemarin (22/3) adalah hari yang kelam untuk usaha transportasi di Indonesia pada umum nya, dan karakter sebagian masyarakat pada khususnya.



Kejadian kemarin menggugah saya untuk tulis sesuatu, apalagi belakangan lagi banyak INI vs ITU, ada Superman VS Batman, dan sebentar lagi Capt America VS IronMan di Civil War.

Dengan mengambil analogi Superman (superbird) VS Batman (batbird), saya coba sharing pemikiran mengenai hal ini.

Di alternate universe cerita saya, ada kota Metropolis dan Gotham, dan Blue Bird adalah si Superman. Si burung biru sudah lama jadi superhero taxi, dan sudah sukses menolong banyak orang yang perlu jasa transportasi aman dan terjamin. 

Aplikasi WSKP (Wirausaha Sewa Kendaraan Pribadi) seperti Uber di fairy tale ini adalah si Batman, dengan gadgets yang canggih, dan lebih banyak duit dari Superman.

Batman dan Superman berguna untuk masyarakat, tetapi Superheroes, seperti di film, ternyata juga harus diatur pemerintah. Kalau bisa, pemerintah nya yang 100% memikirkan rakyat DAN pengusaha lokal. Namanya juga dongeng.

Back to the real world.

Kejadian penganiayaan antara sesama supir taxi, dan pengrusakan mobil dan segala ekses ekses lain yang terjadi, pada akhirnya menjadi cermin yang kurang positif terhadap Indonesia di media internasional.




Ada joke yang beredar, bahwa CEO Uber mendapat laporan mengenai kisruh kemarin:

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(Travis Kalanick is the CEO of Uber Technologies)

Employee: "Mr. Travis Kalanick, our operation in Indonesia is facing protest from taxi drivers."

Travis Kalanick: "is it a big protest?"

Employee: "bigger than the france."

Travis: "shit, we should help the insurance claims for our partners, how many fleet are being destroyed?"

Employee: "12 sir, but it's not ours, the protesters are destroying their fellow taxi's fleet."

Travis: "I like this country, we should invest more in Indonesia."

======

Sepertinya (mungkin sy salah) joke ini juga orang Indonesia yang buat. Menertawakan sesama orang Indonesia. Yang memang mungkin layak ditertawakan.

Isu isu yang beredar, aksi pengemudi pengemudi taksi kemarin ada yang "tunggangi." Bau pesing politik menyengat. What is the truth? Who knows?

Pertanyaan yang lebih penting adalah:

Apakah perusahaan taksi resmi benar? Apakah Uber dan Grab dan perusahaan sejenis yang benar? Atau, semua pihak salah, kecuali konsumen?

Daripada fokus siapa yang benar/salah, ada baiknya situasi ini dilihat dari segi makro dan mikro yang lebih balanced.

Sebelum saya lanjut, saya tidak memihak siapapun dalam hal ini, dan tidak ada kepentingan baik dengan Batman atau Superman.


Aplikasi WSKP (Wirausaha Sewa Kendaraan Pribadi) = UBER dan sejenis 

Sebagai fakta, Uber dilarang total atau diatur ketat di 9 negara, termasuk di beberapa propinsi di Amerika Serikat sendiri.


Bagaimana dengan Indonesia? Uber sudah ada cukup lama. Dan karena sepertinya terus berkembang, dan peraturan tidak jelas, akhirnya Grab mulai masuk ke servis sejenis di akhir tahun 2015.

Original business model Uber yang saya tangkap adalah, di middle class countries banyak orang yang punya mobil, dan tidak maksimal penggunaan nya. Uber menjadi "jembatan" sempurna untuk orang orang ini mendapatkan extra income, menjadi "wirausahawan" hanya dengan modal mobil yang sudah dimiliki. Catatan penting nya = si driver adalah pemilik mobil, jadi dia harus tanggung jawab terhadap mobil dan reputasi nya secara menyeluruh, sebut saja ini "model A."

Hemat saya, model A seharusnya sah sah saja. Di mana pun. Kapan pun. Mengapa? Karena model A memberikan kesempatan untuk pemilik mobil untuk memaksimalkan pemakaian aset nya sendiri (kata kunci = mobil milik sendiri). 

Yang penting, perusahaan aplikasi WSKP buka PT/badan hukum di sini, dan menyerahkan data semua Indonesia-based drivers ke dirjen pajak.

Dengan berkembangnya Uber, perusahaan dengan valuation US$ 50 billion mulai ber eksperimen di luar Amerika, bekerjasama dengan perusahaan mobil rental (yang punya banyak mobil nganggur) melalui sebut saja "koordinator," dan mencari drivers-for-hire (yang tidak ada/rendah sense of ownership / accountability nya) untuk menyediakan jasa sejenis taksi. Kita sebut saja ini "model B."

Yang potensi menjadi masalah IMO adalah model B ini, di mana driver dan mobil "gak connect" alias tidak ada keterikatan kepemilikan. Biasanya ada pihak ke 3 yang ikut campur di sini, bahkan pihak ke 4 dan selanjutnya, misalnya = koperasi perpanjangan tangan Uber, perusahaan rental car, dan driver driver "independen" yang ga punya mobil. 

Hemat saya model B lebih sarat resiko untuk konsumen, karena sang supir BUKAN pemilik mobil, dan sang intermediary juga BUKAN representatif resmi Uber/Grab dan tidak bisa di somasi secara legal sampai Headquarters masing masing di luar Indonesia. Karena wadah intermediary hanyalah agent, bila ada kejadian dengan driver-for-hire yang BUKAN staf permanen dari sang intermediary, the parent company (misalnya Uber) bisa selalu ngomong, "kami hanya lah perusahaan aplikasi."


BLUE BIRD DAN TAKSI RESMI LAIN

Apakah Blue Bird = Bad Guy? Maybe. Maybe not.

Berikut ada 2 tulisan mengenai si burung biru, yang pertama dari teman saya mas Angga Adhitya, yang ayahnya adalah seorang ex-staf Blue Bird. Mas Angga adalah seorang profesional sukses di industri perhotelan:

"Just want to share something that is actually really personal to me.

My father worked and had been devoting his life as one of the employees of the taxi company everyone talks about today. From the very beginning of his career life up until his retirement as one of its General Managers last year. And that was also how my father met my mother. She was my father's secretary :)

The company has been a big part of my family's life. As much as I feel that supposedly my father started a business investment instead of spending all of his life to work in a corporation (so there can be something inherited to me - as in business), but nothing to regret about. At all. I faithfully believe that he had a great time for more than 30 years to fulfill his family's needs by being loyal to the company.

Anyway, how much is much? As I grow older, I start to think wiser that my family have everything we need. Not much, not less. We still can afford quality educations and decent lifestyle. All thanks to my father and of course the company he worked in - who was (and I am sure still has been) tremendously generous in giving proper living to its employees, all levels.

I still remember when I was attending several company's events as my father's companion where they granted scholarship options for all employees, including drivers, whose kids had attained and maintained academic achievement at their school. The company even never had any doubt to give school loans to its employees.

Even up until today, his loyalty is still being appreciated although he has retired from the company. My youngest sister, who is still in college now, is still benefiting from the scholarship program of the company - which of course really helpful for my family financially.

I still can imagine how many people, all employees, be it drivers, operational or management staffs, whose life has been financially depending on the company, are very much supported.

I still remember that every year on Ied al-Fitr day, I had the chance to meet and bond with the owners' family and never thought that I'd still be in touch with them as friends. They are indeed very well educated, being so welcoming to everyone, and nurturing all employees' welfare.

We all know that the advancement on digital technology is inevitable, and no exception for public transportation industry. And I am very sure the company is aware of that and has been anticipating it by pulling out all the stops to also leverage such effective & efficient business platform. Even kids these days are demanding for newer smartphones and tablets (which is crazy scary how information has been passed on very quickly before we can really pervade what's right and wrong carefully).

My point is, I just can't stop thinking of the drivers who are still working very hard until dawn to give a proper living for their family and not joining the protest today while some of our people made a snap judgment by generalizing the situation.

Of course we all agree on what some of the drivers did, who partook on the demo today, was utterly false, careless, violent and intolerable. But please take a moment for other employees and drivers whose family's life are still depending on the business from the passengers. I am really sure that even the company doesn't support and is completely disagree on such vandal provoked acts.

Whatever people say about the company, I am still putting my utmost respect and appreciation for all the great things that the company has given to my family: the ability to have decent shelter, the capability to afford quality educations, and the opportunities to have a proper economy.

And certainly this happens not only on my family, but for hundred thousand others."

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Lalu ada blogger dari Nuniek.com yang dulu "loyalis" Blue Bird tapi mulai meragukan sang burung biru:


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Pada intinya kedua tulisan di atas mau support Blue Bird, tapi dari Nuniek.com, sepertinya mengalami pengalaman kurang sedap belakangan ini. Ditambah aksi anarkis hari Selasa kemarin, rusaklah reputasi si burung biru.

IF Blue Bird engineered the demo and it got out of control, they deserve the bad rap. All of it.


PEMERINTAH

Saya pernah bicara sama pengemudi Uber di Jakarta, sebut saja Y, yang kebetulan adalah pemilik mobil. Y sangat berterima kasih ada Uber, karena bisa memberdayakan diri, dan mobil miliknya, mendapatkan extra income signifikan, dengan jam yang fleksibel. 

Secara praktis, berkat aplikasi WSKP (Wirausaha Sewa Kendaraan Pribadi) seperti Uber, Y telah menjadi seorang wirausahawan a.k.a. entrepreneur. Dan karena skala nya kecil, Y sebenarnya adalah seorang praktisi UKM.

Dan bukan kah pemerintah sering gembar gembor mengenai betapa penting nya UKM untuk pertumbuhan bangsa?

Hemat saya pemerintah harusnya membedakan antara C2C (consumer to consumer) yaitu "model A," dan "model B" yang sudah mengarah ke B2C (business to consumer), karena melibatkan koperasi (atau badan usaha lain tapi bukan si Uber/Grab sendiri) yang akuntabilitas nya tidak sejelas sebuah perusahaan taksi resmi.

Model A secara praktis adalah C2C karena menghubungkan pemilik mobil yang menjual jasa transportasi, langsung dengan pemakai jasa, dibantu dengan aplikasi WSKP.

Di lain pihak, pemerintah sudah layaknya mendukung perusahaan TAXI RESMI yang sudah bayar pajak dan melaksanakan kewajiban lain nya, yang berdasarkan cerita mas Angga sepertinya dilakukan (misalnya) Blue Bird dengan cukup baik.

Layaknya, setiap perusahaan aplikasi WSKP harus buka kantor representatif di Indonesia, untuk melaksanakan pembayaran pajak dari hasil 20% komisi (atau sekitar angka ini) yang mereka potong dari setiap job

Perusahaan aplikasi WSKP juga harus memberikan data Uber/Grab drivers (pemilik mobil) dari Indonesia, supaya mereka juga bisa melakukan kewajiban pajak bila penghasilan di atas batas tertentu yang ditentukan pemerintah.

Untuk WSKP business model B (B2C), para "agen/koperasi" yang mengkoordinasikan mobil rental dengan pengemudi lepasan, layaknya melaksanakan kewajiban seperti perusahaan taksi resmi, untuk keamanan dan kenyamanan bersama.


KONSUMEN (you and me)

Hasil aksi anarkis kemarin, pemerintah mengumumkan sedang menggodok peraturan dan sementara aplikasi WSKP adalah status quo, alias "gajebo."

Penggunaan WSKP sudah menjadi part of everyday life bagi banyak masyarakat. Layaknya kita tau jasa apa yang kita beli, karena penggunaan WSKP bukan nya tanpa resiko, apalagi bila si pengemudi "hanya" driver for hire, dan kita sebagai konsumen TIDAK BISA menuntut Headquarters Uber/Grab bila ada kejadian negatif.

Salah satu contoh yang pernah terjadi = penumpang naik mobil WSKP dari biz model B, lalu pengemudi bilang "pak bensin nya ga cukup untuk sampai ke tempat tujuan bapak." Nah... untung hanya bensin.

Di India sudah ada penumpang wanita yang di perkosa supir Uber. Di Amerika asal Uber, sudah cukup banyak pengaduan sexual and other forms of harrasment oleh supir supir Uber.

Ujung ujung nya, menggunakan jasa WSKP lebih murah. Selama kita sebagai konsumen sadar, bahwa harga murah dalam hal ini juga ada resiko, sah sah saja kita menggunakan aplikasi WSKP. 

Perusahaan seperti Blue Bird punya banyak biaya yang harus mereka tanggung, dan adalah hak mereka untuk menetapkan harga. Bila ternyata harga overpriced dan gak laku, dan/atau kualitas servis menurun (seperti contoh dari tulisan di Nuniek.com) dan konsumen kehilangan kepercayaan terhadap si burung biru, mereka juga yang akan merasakan imbas nya. 

The power is with us consumers. If we don't like nor need a product or service, we just stop buying/using it. And vice versa.


GOJEK dan GRAB = WW (Wonder Woman)

Sebelum masuk ke KONKLUSI, topik Gojek/Grab (Ojek Basis Aplikasi) juga layak dibicarakan, karena pada intinya para ojekers di kategori ini juga masuk ke segmen WSKP (Wirausahawan Sewa Kendaraan Pribadi).

Di tahun 2014, menurut Korlantas Mabes Polri, tercatat ada 97 juta Sepeda Motor di Indonesia! Dan bertumbuh sekitar 12% (11.6 juta unit motor baru!) per tahun.

Fenomena Gojek, Grab(bike) dan servis sejenis sudah mewabah di Indonesia. Per bulan Maret 2016, armada Gojek kabarnya sudah melewati 150.000 gojekers di seluruh Indonesia. Grab-bike juga sedang bertumbuh pesat, dengan perkiraan 1/3 angka Gojek = +/- 50.000 grab-bikers.

Secara praktis, dengan 200.000++ gabungan armada ojek-aplikasi, artinya sudah lahir 200.000++ wirausahawan di Indonesia. Tidak semua "wirausahawan" ini baru, karena cukup besar persentase adalah ojek lama yang beralih menjadi ojek berbasis aplikasi. Bedanya, dengan basis aplikasi, para wirausahawan ini sekarang bisa melaksanakan 'usaha UKM' mereka dengan lebih efisien.

The numbers speak for themselves. Kabarnya ada beberapa driver GOJEK/GRAB yang bisa berpenghasilan 15 juta per bulan. Saya rasa ojek model lama (tanpa bantuan aplikasi), seberapa rajin pun mereka, sangat sulit menyentuh angka penghasilan 15 juta per bulan. Dengan fasilitas bantuan teknologi, saat ini praktisi ojek memiliki opsi nyata untuk memperbaiki kondisi ekonomi mereka dengan signifikan.

Tentunya gak semua ojek-basis-aplikasi bisa mendapatkan "omzet" 15 juta tersebut. Tetapi dengan bantuan teknologi, para praktisi ojek benar benar bisa mengkaryakan diri, dan motor milik mereka, menjadi sebuah UKM kecil.

Mau Omzet Besar? Rajin rajin lah terima order, ikuti peraturan, dan layani pelanggan dengan baik. The business rules apply to them more than ever, along with the commensurate rewards (and penalties).

Tentunya ini kabar baik bagi Indonesia, karena para pemilik sepeda motor sekarang punya opsi untuk menjadi true entrepreneurs a.k.a. seorang praktisi UKM.

Hidup Wonder Woman!



KONKLUSI

Seperti di film BATMAN vs SUPERMAN, kehadiran Wonder Woman lah yang membuat film itu 'komplit.' GOJEK/GRAB adalah Wonder Woman di fairy tale jasa transportasi Indonesia ini.

Praktisi jasa transportasi via UBER, Grabcar, Gojek, dan Grabbike (dan aplikasi sejenis), semua masuk dalam kategori yang sama = WSKP (Wirausahawan Sewa Kendaraan Pribadi). 

Sebagai Wirausahawan di sektor UKM pelayanan, mereka pun sekarang harus "tunduk" pada hukum ekonomi dan bisnis pelayanan = Service and efficiency is KEY.

Di awal tahun 2016, market value Uber adalah over US$ 50 billion (IDR 660 triliun), LEBIH TINGGI nilainya dari GABUNGAN 2 perusahaan terbesar Indonesia, yaitu BCA (IDR 320 triliun = USD 24.1 billion) dan ASTRA (IDR 301 triliun = USD 22.7 billion) = USD 46.8 billion.

Apa artinya? Jaman sudah berubah. Sebuah perusahaan yang isi nya just a bunch of servers, bisa melebihi valuation BCA plus ASTRA, yang aset fisik nya "nyata" dan "bisa dipegang." Times are changing, dan praktisi bisnis termasuk Blue Bird, dan kita semua yang juga terlibat di dunia usaha/profesional, must learn how to adapt and survive.

Pengusaha Taxi Resmi, seperti Blue Bird dan Express, sudah layak khawatir dengan perkembangan teknologi yang sudah menohok business-model mereka secara langsung. 

Seharusnya ini menjadi cabukan untuk mereka berbenah, apakah perlu membuat aplikasi sejenis (bukan hanya untuk call taxi, tapi bisa memfasilitasi pemilik mobil untuk jadi WSKP), atau menggandeng perusahaan lain untuk memaksimalkan economies-of-scale, dan/atau memikirkan kembali pricing model mereka, sehingga bisa kompetitif dengan para WSKP.

Berikut adalah sedikit data mengenai susah nya bisnis.

Setelah 5 tahun, hanya 45% perusahaan masih berdiri, artinya lebih dari setengah perusahaan yang didirikan 5 tahun lalu, hari ini sudah tidak ada (Eurostat, EU, Dec 2014).

Setelah 10 tahun, hanya 3 dari 10 perusahaan tetap eksis. Tujuh dari sepuluh lenyap. (Entrepreneur Weekly, Jan 2016).




Business is not easy. Pemerintah sudah layaknya mendukung praktisi bisnis yang mau mengikuti peraturan, dan mem fasilitasi business environment yang mengutamakan fair play dan consumer safety.

Pemerintah harus membedakan regulasi antara WSKP model A (Consumer to Consumer/C2C), dan WSKP model B (Business to Consumer/B2C).

Business model C2C seperti Gojek/Grab, dan Uber/Grabcar via pemilik kendaraan, layak didukung sepenuhnya, untuk memberi kesempatan masyarakat yang sudah memiliki aset kendaraan roda dua/empat, untuk memaksimalkan penggunaan aset tersebut dan menghasilan income secara halal.

Sebagai konsumen, mari kita bijak bijak menggunakan jasa transportasi, apa pun itu.

Baik sebagai praktisi ataupun pemakai, ada satu hal yang penting = JANGAN ANARKIS!

Now back to the fairy tale... Anda team Batman atau Superman

Saya team WW.




PHOTO CREDITS:










Wednesday, May 6, 2015

#TBT - September 2011 speech on networking

Honorable Sponsors, Friends and Fellow Alumni of USC:

I like to say "It's a Good Day to be a Trojan." TODAY I'd like to use a slightly different phrase, "It's a GREAT day to be a Trojan."

Today we are here because of the Trojan Family Network. 

What is networking? 

The term networking, in a social context, is defined as " An extended group of people with similar interests or concerns who interact and remain in informal contact for mutual assistance or support."

When joining a network, many people begin by asking, "what's in it for me?"

Having a network is like having talent, it is useless if you don't use it. Herein lies the paradox. Using a network in fact, does not begin with the "what's in it for me?" question. To be an effective part of a network, its members have to start with the question "what can I bring to this network? In what ways am I willing to contribute?"

Once we start with a commitment to partake in a network, the next natural step is to learn and observe. And in this regards, I am a grateful student of the USC alumni network.

AUSCI was founded in 1996 by Dr. Anugerah Pekerti, and I learned a lot from this patriarch of ours. Dr. Pekerti is a very low key, yet highly dedicated professional in everything that he does. And from him I learned the importance of staying grounded.

Another teacher is Pak Kenny Wirya, who shared with me the importance of social entrepreneurship. Two months ago, Kenny invited me to have lunch with Dr. Kim Tan, a billionaire biophysicist, who really really went out of his way to help develop social entrepreneurial projects in forgotten areas of Africa, Cambodia, and India, to name a few. This billionaire likes to travel, but he doesn't go to vacations in France or Bali, but he spends time, for example, to develop a game/hunting park in an African country, where over 50% of the population is infected with AIDS.

There's no shortage of teachers in the USC alumni network in Indonesia. As Indonesia was fretting about our national soccer team losing to Bahrain earlier this month, there was an Indonesian Trojan, Rory Hidayat or Rory Hie, who ensured merah putih was flying high on the very same day, by winning a 200k professional golf tournament in China. Rory, who went to USC on a golf scholarship, is the first Indonesian to win an international golf event. I was fortunate to have a round of golf with Rory last year, and from him I learned a lot about perseverance.

Another teacher is Robby Budiman, someone who is very gracious and generous. Robby taught me the importance of being active. Just last week, he asked me if I want to join him in Adidas King of The Road 10km running event, which happened this past Sunday. I asked Robby, "did you say I have to run 10km?" When he said yes, my response was "maybe I will join you next year, when either my legs are bigger or my body is smaller."

Being in a network, we can learn directly and indirectly from each other. For example, our most senior panelist today, Pak Edwin Soeryadjaja, is the 2010 Ernst & Young Indonesia Entrepreneur of The Year. In his interview upon winning the award, Pak Edwin cited choosing the right partner as one of the critical success factors in business. And my guess is it'd be easier to find the right partner if we were in the right network.

All I can say is, I am humbled, and I am thankful that the AUSCI network has allowed me to learn and develop, as part of the network.

Today is one of the climaxes of being in the Trojan Family Network. An event of this magnitude is not an easy event to implement, and let's thank all the committee, sponsors and partners who made today possible. Please, a big round of applause for them.

I would like to close by mentioning the topic of magic. The AUSCI network has in fact allowed all Trojans, and friends who are willing, to be magicians. How so? It is through the AUSCI network that we were able to establish ties with BNI, our sponsor for today's event. I've had the pleasure of working with Pak Dodit, the PIC for all BNI Credit Cards, who had the vision and the belief that this partnership with the AUSCI foundation will be mutually beneficial. Thank you Pak Dodit for the vote of confidence, and of course to Pak Gatot, Bu Felia and the entire management team of BNI.

The culmination of our meetings with BNI is this event, and, a very special card that no other alumni of foreign university in Indonesia have = The AUSCI BNI Visa Platinum card. It must be noted that yayasan AUSCI the foundation is a separate legal entity from our alma mater. This is the first and only card for an alumni association of a foreign university in Indonesia. BNI has been aggresive with promotions, so there are lots of discounts. Yet, for me, the best feature of this card is that for each charge that we make, a commission goes to primary school children of Indonesia. By that I mean, for every charge that we make, a percentage goes to AUSCI's library building program, at NO extra cost to users.

I am asking you to be fellow magicians with me. With this card, you can help build libraries, just by using it as a normal credit card, which I am sure 99.9% of us already do everyday. No extra cost or effort, yet you are building libraries just by using this card. And you get reserved parking at Plaza Indonesia on weekends too, courtesy of BNI.

As we are all business practitioners, most things come down to the numbers. Building a simple library costs 40-50 million Rupiahs. At 0.03% fee per transaction set aside for the libraries, it would take a cumulative spending of 15 billion Rupiahs to make one library. Fifteen billion seems like a lot, but if the 400-500 of us in this room were using the card, it would take 3jt usage per month, to build one library per year. Imagine if each of us spend 10 million per month. Three libraries out of nowhere. Wow. Magical, isn't it?

BNI showed their confidence in the AUSCI network. Fellow Trojans, let's show them our appreciation by using this magic card!

This card is bigger than AUSCI, and it's open to all. In fact, we even accept UCLA applicants.

Before we move on to our last panel discussion, I would like to mention one last great teacher, someone that all of you know, Pak Husodo. Husodo had the courage to envision an AUSCI that will exist permanently.

And how do you go about establishing something that will exist forever? You have to establish an endowment fund. So we calculated the necessary principal, and the figure came to over 3 billion rupiah. Husodo's first step is to donate a significant amount himself, and next was calling on his network of Trojans to pitch in as well. Today, AUSCI has over 2 billion rupiahs in the bank, and we are very close to reaching our target. My lesson learnt from Pak Husodo is this: think big and long term, and commit yourself when doing something, it doesn't have to be money, but the commitment is most important.

In the nice neighborhood of Los Angeles where USC is located, the phrase is "if you wanna talk the walk, you gotta walk the talk." So Pak Husodo, thank you for this lesson.

That's it from me. Let's use our network, whatever they may be, and start contributing in each of them.

And now, let's take a moment to recognize today's Trojan panelists, as well as the donors of the AUSCI Husodo Endowment Fund.

Thank you.

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PS: the "libraries for rural primary schools" CerdasBang (mencerdaskan bangsa) campaign went from 2011-2014, with a total of 58 libraries built in the corresponding number of SD Negeri (state primary schools) in Sidoarjo, Padang, and Sleman, more than a couple of which were the direct result of the AUSCI Visa BNI cooperation mentioned above.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

LKY

I grew up admiring how safe I feel when I am visiting Singapore. How clean the city is. How organized things are.

Back home in Jakarta, everything seems comparatively haphazard. For the record, Indonesia is my home and my heart is here.

The passing of LKY makes me ponder though, what kind of Indonesia would we be in, today, had we been led by someone like LKY. I am NOT talking about race. I am talking about character, implementation of ideas, and everything else.

Sure enough, managing an island state like Singapore is NOT the same as managing the 4th most populous country in the world. Add 15,000 more islands, plus over 200,000,000 people, and you may be in the same ballpark.

LKY was not without faults. He was authoritarian and perceived as uncompromising to others getting in his way. To this day, there seems to be no real opposition to the ruling party in the lion city.

They say, though, the proof is in the pudding. LKY stepped down as PM of Singapore in 1990. Twenty five years later, the Singapore of today has proven resilient. It went through two bouts of global financial crises relatively unscathed. That is a quarter-century of proven pudding, or legacy if you will.

I doubt that LKY would have approved the Marina BS (pun intended) had he been the PM in his prime.

Going forward, I fear Singapore's much vaunted gambling dens will bring more harm than good to the island state, but that is a topic for another day.

As a foreigner, I am somewhat amused that the city symbol of Singapore may be slowly shifting, perception wise, from one M (the Merlion) to the other M (the Marina BS).

Back home, gambling is just one of the topics that we are concerned about. There is the half-built and fully-abandoned Monorail structures in the major streets of our Capital. There's the seemingly concerted effort to weaken the Corruption Eradication Commission. And then there's the growing drug problem, perhaps the biggest threat to Indonesia's next generation.

Indonesia recently made regional headlines with our stance against drugs, by announcing the planned execution of convicted drug traffickers. As Indonesia's noted journalist Desi Anwar stated in her aptly titled article, this is "like cheering the shooting of a couple of burglars while forgetting that the entire house is already run by thieves." 


So, "what kind of Indonesia would we be in, today, had we been led by someone like LKY?" 

We will never know.

What we (or most of us) know, a true giant passed today. 

Let us all carry on, warts and all.

Rest In Peace LKY.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bajak JKT 2014 race review

Brand Centang kembali mengadakan #bajakJKT tahun ini, setelah tahun lalu (2013) untuk pertama kalinya mendobrak dunia pelarian Indonesia dengan acara bajak yang pertama.

I had fun last year. Finish masuk ke stadion GBK dengan sorak sorai menunggu, walaupun hanya rekaman, ternyata sesuatu banget. Sebagai perbandingan, satu bulan sebelum bajak 2013, merk elektronik Korea juga mengadakan running race di sebuah stadium, di GOR Soemantri, tetapi IMO yang bajak lebih dapet "seru" nya.

Tahun ini bajak dimulai dengan banyak misteri. Waktu race yang di pilih jelas "tampil beda," yaitu Sabtu sore jam 16:00. Lokasi dan rute race tidak diumumkan sampai 1 minggu sebelum acara. Di Lapangan Banteng!

Secara fair, si Centang sudah kasih warning jauh jauh hari:

* YOU VS. TRAFFIC
* YOU VS. JKT

Fast forward to race-day.

Jam 16:00 race belum dimulai. Telat. Biasanya ini not a good sign, for any race. MC bilang keterlambatan karena jalanan/rute lari belum berhasil ditutup. Akhirnya, jam 16:06 lagu Indonesia Raya berkumandang dan jam 16:08 peserta di lepas dalam perjalanan #bajakJKT

Waktu di KM 1 lewat Gn Sahari, sy kaget juga bahwa EO berhasil tutup 1 sisi jalan, sehingga mobil dan bis bis harus lawan arah di sisi jalan sebelah. Di sini, traffic masih bisa jalan dua arah.

Dari Gn Sahari belok kiri ke Krekot. Setelah Pasar Baru dan sebelum Pecenongan ada putaran, di sini mobil dan motor sudah ngantri mau putar dari jalur sebelah. Ini baru KM 2 dan wajah" yg sy lihat di mobil2 dan di motor masih dipenuhi muka heran (belum muka marah), mungkin dalam pikiran mereka.. "apa nih lautan kuning stabilo yg nutup jalan gue?"

Masuk Batu Ceper dan keluar di Hayam Wuruk, kita berlari ke arah perempatan Harmoni dan Juanda. Di sini terlihat lautan mobil/motor dari Harmoni sudah macet tidak bergerak. Ini KM 3. Klakson2 sudah mulai kedengaran. Dan yang paling buat cemas, tidak terlihat pengalihan lalu lintas ke jalan alternatif.

Nyeberang ke Medan Merdeka ke arah Gambir dan di perempatan2 yang kita lewati, semakin banyak dan nyaring bunyi klakson. Omelan2 pun sudah mulai kedengaran.

Setelah lewat patung Tugu Tani, kita lewat rel kereta di Kwitang. Sempat terlintas, "gimana kalau ada kereta mau lewat?" Di sini sekitar KM 7.

Dari Kwitang kita belok ke Senen. All hell broke loose here.

Pelari berlari samping2an dengan lautan mobil/motor. Bis bis dan bajaj bajaj yang sedang macet di Senen juga ngebul asep yang makin parah.



Akhirnya saya bosen isep asep dan mulai pakai masker di daerah Senen, di mana polusi knalpot paling parah, karena kita benar benar ada di tengah lautan mobil/bajaj/bis/motor.


Pikiran saya sepanjang race.. "let's just finish this damn thing. And hope no one got injured during this un-safe race."

Akhirnya saya finished just under one hour. Bila di bajak tahun lalu saya merasakan eforia finish, tahun ini I was just glad it ended. It was a "differently fun" experience, tetapi saya kepikiran dengan pelari pelari yang masih belum finished termasuk istri saya. Kecemasan utama saya, semakin lama jalanan ditutup, apakah amarah pengemudi kendaraan yang pastinya meningkat, akan menjadi keributan?

Acara si Centang kemarin memang unik. Tetapi at what cost? 

This foreign brand was lucky no one got serious injury, or died, during this un-safe exercise.

Dari cool-ness factor, brand Amrik tersebut dapat angka "A."

Mereka dapet marketing message yang mereka inginkan = YOU VS TRAFFIC. Plus YOU VS BAJAJ. Dan YOU VS JKT.

Unfortunately, they did this at our expense. And yes, we were willing and guilty participants. YOU VS. JAKARTA menjadi kenyataan. YOU yang dimaksud si Centang adalah kami, para pelari (betul, salah sendiri kami mau daftar dan partisipasi) yang telah "diadu" melawan ibukota kami sendiri.

Setelah selesai acara, dan mendengarkan klakson" dan melihat sendiri kemacetan yang saya ikut sebabkan (yes I am guilty as charged), saya dan beberapa pelari merasa di eksploitasi untuk mengangkat brand asing menjadi cool. Nothing more.

Pertanyaan yang tersirat, apakah masyarakat awam akan menjadi "negatif" terhadap pelari, dan olahraga lari, terutama ribuan pengemudi mobil/motor yg kena macet-tanpa-sosialisasi, dan TANPA RUTE ALTERNATIF (this is the real buzz-kill), selama 2 jam bahkan lebih?

Ada yang membandingkan acara bajak dengan demo buruh. Demo buruh (dengan skala bajak dan rute demo 10 km) harus ijin RESMI pihak yang berwajib, dan akan ada notice di sosmed, untuk membantu masyarakat merencanakan rute perjalanan pada hari demo.

Saya bisa bayangkan, misalnya saya adalah salah satu dari ribuan orang di kendaraan yg kena macet kemarin, dan tidak diberikan jalur alternatif, mungkin 30 menit pertama masih toleransi. Tetapi setelah itu saya juga akan kesal. Masih untung klu hanya kesal. Bagaimana dengan yang ada acara penting, ke stasiun Gambir ngejar kereta, atau sedang nganter ibu mau melahirkan/orang sekarat ke RS? 

Perhaps a fitting end to this rambling is by going back to basic = acara lari seharusnya mempromosikan hidup sehat.

Yesterday's event was a lot of things. But a healthy activity it was NOT.



LARI? No.  BAHAYA? Yes.

NB: mohon maaf kepada para pengguna jalan yang terganggu kemarin.



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Some of the more colorful comments as a result of #bajakJKT 2014
(posted in public fora such as twitter and blogging sites)








The swoosh's slogan = JUST DO IT!

They DID It. And All the Above. 

Congrats.