Magazine

Editor’s Note

2016 has been a turbulent year to say the least. Continued stagnancy in European economies, fear of a slowing Chinese economy and the plunge in oil prices created the perfect storm for a global equities rout as markets plunged to levels unseen since 2008. In June, the UK decided to abandon ship and leave the European Union, creating another wave of panic selling across the globe.

At the time when markets needed a piece of good news, American voters dumbfounded the best of pollsters and pundits with the election of one of the unlikeliest presidents of all time.

Closer to home, things are not quite as rosy. Indonesia’s expected growth of 5 to 6 per cent from 2016 to 2017 is hardly enough to combat inflation, much less fulfill the government’s ambitious plans to bring growth and development to its millions of citizens. The Nov 4 demonstration in the heart of Jakarta, capital city of the largest Muslim-majority democracy in the world, exposed ethnic fault lines long thought to be dormant.

Many more are asking if there is another chapter to the Indonesian growth story.

Millionaireasia Indonesia has weathered many storms since its first beginnings a decade ago, much like this issue’s cover personality Arcandra Tahar, who went through a public scandal that saw him removed from his ministerial role just 20 days into office. Reappointed the vice minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, his story of a phoenix rising from the ashes represents a new future of Indonesia, one that goes against all odds to thrive.

This resilience is reflected in pioneering online entrepreneur Shinta Dhanuwardoyo, who was at the forefront of Indonesia’s e-commerce, a pertinent business aspect that this issue will espouse on.

Amidst the changing face of the country’s political and business landscapes, the wind of change is similarly felt in its blossoming art scene, evident from the recent success of Art Stage Jakarta, as well as its design scene, seen through the faces of Sebastian Gunawarman and retail boutique ARA.

The luxury end, too, is seemingly getting redefined in this part of the world. We quote one of our interviewees, principal designer Chris Godfrey (pg 27), “The ultra rich are beginning to understand that less is more, and personality is more important than brand. There’s this zeitgeist that luxury isn’t just about money.”

More young people are also taking up the responsibility to continue the legacies in the country’s politics, economy and social needs, such as entrepreneur Pamela Ardana and young politician Prananda Surya Paloh. A crucial determinant of a fertile ground is when new life grows from it.

2016 truly has been a turbulent year — but an exciting one too. To all the readers, I wish you renewed courage for the next year. The courage to brave unknown markets, seek new business opportunities, and the tenacity to believe that tomorrow can be better. This, my friends, is the spirit of the new Millionaireasia Indonesia.

Jeremy Peh
Managing Director