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Driven by Growth
Interests: Reading, technogadgets, health, audio books, learning, meditation.
Recent Activity
Not only Indonesia’s population is large and economy is growing rapidly, the demographic trends are also in the country’s favor. There are 240 million people out of which around 75 million are middle or above class, whose monthly household spend is IDR 2 million or above (i.e. around USD 180 p.m.+ or USD 2200 + per annum). And this class is expected to increase by 8 to 9 million every year (McKinsey report). More than 60% of its residents are in their principal working years i.e. between 20-65 years. And another 27% is below 15 years i.e. low dependency ratio... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2013 at A thinkers blog
Today I will cover some key taxation requirements. Income Tax: All residents are required to pay income tax, which is progressive with top tax rate @ 30% applicable on the income over IDR 500 million per annum (appx USD 45k). Corporate Tax: The rate of corporate tax on profits is 25%. The regime encourages share listing, as the corporate tax rate is lower at 20% for entities with 40% or more shares listed. SMEs with a turnover of less than IDR 50 billion (appx USD 4.5 million) are entitled to a discount of 50% of the tax rate. Withholding Tax:... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2013 at A thinkers blog
In this post I will cover some legal aspects more relevant from foreign investors' standpoint. Most of the legal system follows European Law. About convertibility - IDR (Indonesian Rupiah) is fully convertible without any restrictions. Though there are certain rules such as notification to BI (Bank of Indonesia) if the amount is more than USD 10,000. Channeling of funds should be through Indonesian resident banks. But nothing restrictive. Similarly entities are allowed to avail foreign loans though notifications and regular reporting is required. In some cases pre-loan notification is also required such as when the loan tenor is more than... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2013 at A thinkers blog
This is my first post with respect to Indonesia, and this is mostly about the macro economic factors. It is possible that one would find different numbers from different sources and it can be all over the places. For an example GDP per capita figure ranges between USD 3680 to USD 5000 by some accounts. However, it does not change the fact that the 240 million population based economy has either crossed or just about to cross $1 trillion mark. The growth rate is healthy since 2010, growing over 6% and is estimated to grow at the rate of 6.2%... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2013 at A thinkers blog
I stopped writing my blog a while ago because I did not want to write what is already there on the web nor did I want to make it a personal diary. I plan to start writing again as I have recently shifted to Indonesia and there is lot to absorb from the business environment, which I plan to pen down in my blogs. While this can be a good starting point for any potential investor / manager in Indonesia, it will also help me in organizing my learnings. Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2013 at A thinkers blog
Vishal added a favorite at A thinkers blog
May 23, 2011
For the first time I have come across the concept of Open Innovation while reading the interview of Henry Chesbrough. I must say the concept is quite intuitive as instead of supporting manufacturing over services or visa versa Henry is propagating adoption of services by the manufacturing sector to come out of the commodity trap. The increased flow of knowledge has reduced the product life cycles thereby increased threat of commoditization of the products. He advocates that companies should tear down the wall of it's R&D and ask the question, 'How can I make my product a platform?'. Platform is... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2011 at A thinkers blog
One of the major changes post-crisis has been in evaluating the life and career options. HBS Professor Clay Christensen (Author of Innovator's Dilemma and Seeing What's Next) was asked to address this question to the class of 2010. Instead of providing for straight answers, he asked the class to find cogent answers to three questions - 1) How can I be sure that I will be happy in my career? 2) How can I be sure that I will find the enduring source of happiness in relationship with my family? 3) How can I be sure to stay out of jail (i.e. lead a life of integrity). He does offer his answers and methods that he applied to find these answers. For the first question the author allocated one hour every day from his extremely busy schedule (while studying) to think about the purpose of his life. For the second, he kept reminding himself of taking decisions for the long term i.e. investing time in building relationship. For the third question, he has very accurately summed up in one sentence - it is easier to hold to your principles 100% of the time than to hold 98% of the time. One last advice he offers is to choose the right yardstick to measure the success in life. He measures his by the number of people he has positively impacted. Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2011 at A thinkers blog
It is always refreshing to re-read some classics and in business writings Daniel Goleman's original article on What Makes a Leader in HBR is one of the such articles. It was originally published in 1998 and still demands compulsory reading for anyone looking forward to becoming a leader or recruiting one. The author, based on extensive research, points out that the old model of IQ and technical skills heavy requirement of leadership is now replaced with Emotional Intelligence (EI) heavy model where EI has become twice as more important than IQ and technical skills. In my experience most of the... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2011 at A thinkers blog
There are many books on presentation skills focusing mainly on the style. Bill Lane, Jack Welch's speechwriter, focused mainly on the substance in his book Jacked Up. He elucidates the importance of presentations in internal communications (whereas, most of the other books are directed towards external communication) of any company. He describes in detail how Jack Welch used this effective tool in changing the internal language of the behemoth GE. Some of the valuable tips apart from the usual ones of being short, prepare thoroughly, do not be a figurehead, tape your presentation - rehearse, should not be boring, use... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2009 at A thinkers blog
I was discussing with one of the consultants regarding advertisement strategy of our products - hows and whats. In a consultants usual lingo there are many complexities involved in formulating the advertisement strategy. However, simply put advertisement is just another form of a 'story' around the object. And the ingredients of any good 'story' - characters with whom one can relate, mystery to trigger the imagination, anticipation, surprise element, and a satisfying climax - are precisely the requirements of any advertisement. I think in most of the life and business situations 'stories' play one of the most important roles and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2009 at A thinkers blog
Summer of 2009 is behind us and now it is time for businesses to plan for the next year. This is the time when most of the management time is invested in formulating strategies, both short-term and long-term. All levels of the management are active during these sessions to contribute in the process. I have found that many times people get lost when some words such as 'vision', 'strategy', 'execution' and the likes are used in such brainstorming sessions, due to which the businesses may be devoid of some good ideas that may come from unexpected lower level source. Simply... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2009 at A thinkers blog
Recently I was referred to a service named as Evernote, which is a great service to save emails, receipts, web clippings, and pictures. One can click picture of business cards and transfer it to 'Evernote', which in turn will recognize the text on it. Its compatibility with mobile phones will make utilization limited only by imagination. Some of the excellent tips for its use are offered by Guy Kawasaki and Jennifer Van Grove. Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2009 at A thinkers blog
One basic premise that runs through most of the self-help books is the Western philosophy of 'law of attraction'. I am not against this philosophy but it seems incomplete to me as I believe that certain principles need to be followed for law of attraction to work and there is a limit to the power of thought beyond which one has to surrender. I do not fully believe in the Eastern philosophy either, which places excessive importance on pre-determined destiny. I believe that one can find some answers in the Eastern philosophy and some in the Western philosophy. A blended... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2009 at A thinkers blog
A Case Study of Utilitarian Income Redistribution, by Harvard economist N. Gregory Mankiw, Weinzierl proposes the optimal taxation on height. The idea of taxation based on the height of a person instead of the income is so ludicrous that is should be ignored without any further waste of time. But if the case study is conducted by an economists of Harvard, it warrants a reading. The main framework economists use to think through tax policy supposes that when a government needs to raise tax revenue, it wants to spread the burden of taxes among its citizens in the least painful... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2009 at A thinkers blog
When it comes to the praise and recognition, managers and their reports have two different opinions, as the former feels ample is being provided and the latter thinks it is absent. Any manager runs a risk of demotivating their employees by not showering enough praises. At the same time the question which we ask ourselves as a manager is, if it is possible to praise excessively and run a risk of sub-optimal performance. Usual answer to such questions lies in finding the right balance. According to Gallup data, the key to effective recognition is that it be honest and based... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2009 at A thinkers blog
I picked up a book titled Brainwashing,The Science of Thought Control from a local library without knowing what to expect. Majority of the book covers technical aspects of the brain functioning and brainwashing (and how to avoid being brainwashed), which I skimmed past. However, I did find some useful information in the neuroscience section where the author elucidates the reasons behind brain change, beliefs, emotions, how brains generate actions, self-control, and free will. Author poses some intriguing questions such as, 'does the feeling of an emotion comes first and trigger the bodily responses, or is it the other way round?'... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2009 at A thinkers blog
There are two ways to study the current recession - either to cast it as an accident, mishap, or misfortune and try to recover from the shock by using all possible therapies available and forget about it following recuperation. Or it can be likened to any natural cataclysmic event, such as storm, earthquake, tsunami, or forest wildfire, which are nature's way of cleansing the system and creating stronger subjects. Werber, global CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, believes that recessions are like forest wildfires - a rush of destruction that affects everything in their path. In a forest fire, destruction leads... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2009 at A thinkers blog
We have all heard the advice that if you find your passion then you never have to work. Finding passion is easier said than done, but is worth the search. Methods range from reflecting back on your school days to listening to your heart. However, various loose definitions of passion have resulted in many people mistaking their extra-curricular activities or past time hobbies as their passion, thereby not striving to find their real passion which necessarily requires sacrifices and willingness to take risks. I have found a couple of advices very useful on this subject, one of which from Steve... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2009 at A thinkers blog
Behavioral economics has always been influential in shaping managers' decisions. Findings by the behavioral economist, Dan Ariely, in his book Predictably Irrational gives three different pricing tools to managers. 1) CONTEXT: “most people don’t know what they want unless they see it in context.” - Dan Ariely – Predictably Irrational Offer customers three options at different price levels - the middle one being the one you want them to buy. This helps the customer to compare and decide within the context. 2) DECOY: Decoy pricing is giving customers three choices; 1) The product you want them to buy at the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2009 at A thinkers blog
I have just finished reading ‘The Ultimate Sales Machine ’ by Chet Holmes, which has several high-octane suggestions on sales. There is nothing new in the suggested sales steps, which may be put differently by different authors but it follows the same steps of rapport building to need creation to value offering to desire building to removing objections to closing the sales and then follow-up. The suggestions, which are different from the other books, are the importance of and how to hold internal workshops for setting up a sales strategy, implementing new sales policy, and providing training to sales staff.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2009 at A thinkers blog
When the resources of an organization are not applied effectively with its vision / mission, the organization is not aligned and as per research more than 50% of the organizations are not aligned. I have heard many middle managers complain (senior mangers confide) about the non-clarity around vision / mission / goals and most of them are aware of the disconnect between their daily actions and the vision of the organization. I have observed that several definitions of vision, mission, and goals blur the distinction instead of creating clarity, also being one of the causes of disconnect. One effective way... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2009 at A thinkers blog
Dan Pink makes a convincing case suggesting the mightiness of intrinsic motivation over extrinsic motivation. In past few months, we have heard lot of studies backed findings against the extrinsic motivations from the field of social science. The studies became more frequent as the news related with executive bonuses started making to front pages, due to which I find these skewed. On the subject of motivation, after Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I have found Edward Deci as one of the most incisive thinkers. He had his book published in 1995 in which he propagated the concept of extrinsic and intrinsic... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2009 at A thinkers blog
John Baldoni writes that leaders can use 'stories' to inform, to involve, and to inspire people. Jim Rohn, the business philosopher, uses the term 'story-teller' to quote from the Bible, signifying the age-old importance of connection with stories. My four-year old developed fascination with the stories before he could speak. We are apparently hard wired for connecting with stories, the reason for Stalin's (or Erich's) quotation, 'the death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic' to ring true. Similarly, the other tool leaders can utilize is 'metaphors' - an appropriate and correctly timed metaphor... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2009 at A thinkers blog