Besides working full time, I love doing independent projects to realize other people’s dreams. I feel fulfilled every time I help people to realize their dreams.
First of all, in 2009, a new Dean of the Industrial Engineering Department of Borobudur University, a local Indonesia university, shared his dream that he wanted to improve the quality of courses, specifically by getting department curriculum accredited. I volunteered myself to assist the Dean to develop a new curriculum. Through a series of workshops with the Dean, professors, alumni, and the government agency representatives, I developed a new curriculum through vision and mission alignment, benchmarking with other universities, regulation analysis, and competency assessments. The curriculum was successfully accredited in 2010. In addition, for a year, I taught some new courses such as business simulation.
Secondly, my aunt, Dasna is a great home cook. She sold some food in front of her house. However, she had a dream that someday she could open her own restaurant. Using my own savings, I helped my aunt to realize her dream. My aunt and I worked together to develop a business plan to open a restaurant. The plan included a location plan, concepts, menu selection, people planning, and a financial forecast. By understanding my aunt’s competitive advantage and assessing market potential, we named our restaurant “Kedai Sambal Nusantara” (“Indonesia Chili Paste Restaurant”) that serves various chili pastes from all regions in Indonesia. Kedai Sambal Nusantara was opened in November 2010 with four employees. It ran smoothly and exceeded its target revenue within five months.
Finally, two of my friends and I shared the same vision to develop housing clusters for medium income people. We wanted to test our hypotheses that developing affordable and quality housing in strategic locations is feasible. We later successfully secured a partnership agreement with a land owner of 856 square meters of land in Depok, West Java, Indonesia. The team then developed a business plan for a housing cluster, “Tugu Tirta”, consisting of development, marketing, and financial plans. Moreover, all team members’ tasks were divided into land licensing and legal processes, marketing and finance, and project management. I was a team lead and project management lead. Furthermore, we hired an architect and a marketing agency, who helped the team create architectural drawings, a cluster site plan, and a marketing brochure. Finally, though the team delivered the marketing brochure and the legal and licensing processes on time, we discovered that we underestimated costs of land licensing and legal processes. After a thorough analysis, we decided that the project was not feasible given that the proposed housing prices would not match the target customers’ price range in Depok. However, this experience reinforces my long term aspiration to transform the real estate industry in Indonesia.