Where are you originally from?
I am from Singapore and am 3rd generation Singaporean with Indonesian roots. My grandfather was originally from Pontianak, Indonesia. Just before the 2nd World War, he brought the whole family to Singapore.
When did you move to Indonesia and where were you living before Jakarta?
I have been in Jakarta for over a year now but this is my 2nd job posting to Indonesia. I was in Surabaya from 1997 to 2001 with my previous employment. My stay in Surabaya was extremely interesting during the difficult years in Indonesia. When I left Indonesia, I never thought I would be posted back to this country again so soon.
Before Jakarta, I was the General Manager of Fraser Place Shenzhen, China and just before Shenzhen, I was living in Bangkok and Manila.
What is it you do here?
I am the General Manager for Fraser Residence Sudirman Jakarta, the city’s newest international serviced residence. Fraser Residence Sudirman is the first footprint into Indonesia for Frasers Hospitality, the world’s leader in serviced residences, and I was assigned to open the property here in the shortest possible time frame of three months from renovation to soft opening.
What drew Frasers Hospitality to Jakarta?
The steady growth in foreign investments and the political stability which directly increases the number of foreign expatriates seeking the ultimate level of accommodation drew us to this beautiful capital city. Frasers Hospitality saw the opportunity to meet the unique needs of its corporate clients and residents – both locally and globally through its innovative lifestyle offerings and customer-centric service culture.
What would you say makes Fraser Residence Sudirman Jakarta stand out from the competition?
Fraser Residence’s design is distinctive; contemporary and minimalist from the interior the overall décor of the property. Its location is in the Central Business District but still gives one a feel of a sanctuary and a quieter environment that’s ideal for the extended corporate stays. Fraser Residence is designed to complement the lifestyles of its guests with the highest levels of personalised, intuitive service from dedicated Fraser associates. We are committed to providing a home-away-from-home where every resident is treated as part of the Fraser Family. In summary, our strong reputation amongst the global fortune 500 companies in particular, in the extended stay market, made us stand out immediately from the rest of the local players.
How are you enjoying life in Jakarta? Were there any aspects you found particularly difficult to adjust to?
Having lived in many major cities in Asia, it is very easy for me to adjust to life in Jakarta. It is a capital city full of pleasant surprises in every corner one turns; be it its rich culture or wide array of food choices. Traffic jams are probably the most difficult for me to adjust to as it makes exploring the city so much more challenging and time consuming. The public infrastructure as well as the speed of how things are done needs to be much improved.
If you were to move out of Jakarta, what would you miss most?
I guess it will be the traffic jam but on a more sincere note, the warmth and friendliness of the locals and the many wonderful friends I have made here and of course, my golfing, which is my weekend ritual that I look forward to.
Do you celebrate Chinese New Year? If so, what are your plans for this year?
Yes, Chinese New Year is big for me and my family. To me, this is bonding time especially as this is one occasion where all my family members come together from all corners of the world to join in the celebration. This coming Chinese New Year is the year of the Dragon, one of the most auspicious amongst the 12 animals under the Chinese zodiac. It is believed to bring in good tidings for all.
This year celebrations will be in Jakarta as I would like to experience it “a-la-Jakarta”. One of the advantages of my job is to be able to enjoy the diversified cultures across the globe and how the same festival is celebrated differently in different parts of the world. Very enriching experience indeed and I am sure that I will enjoy my Chinese New Year in Jakarta.