Tell us a little bit about yourself? Your background, how it has shaped you as a person?
I am a Bugisnese, born in Makassar, Sulawesi but have had the chance of living in several different parts of Indonesia, because my father was working for the government. So I have had the chance to experience the different cultures in Indonesia.
When did you decide to get into the hospitality industry?
I went to college in Makassar, and then my Master’s in Singapore. After I graduated, I sent out my CV to different companies, and the first one that accepted me, shaped my career. And I’ve been loyal to the industry until now.
Have you always worked outside your home town?
The first job I got was actually the one took me back to my hometown, Makassar, for a hotel. That’s my beginning. I moved to the north Sulawesi, worked there for almost 3 years, then moved to Java, for another 2 before I got promoted and later started working for IntiWhiz, where I’ve been working for almost 2 years now.
Do you go back to Makassar a lot?
I try to. At least once every two months. But my mother visits me every other week!
What do you do in your free time?
Watching movies, traveling, but in my free time, I do like to have the day to myself, rest and recharge. But actually I have a serious side, which is politics. I love political topics a lot, inside and outside Indonesia. For example, like the news about the US election, which was very emotional for me! I can talk about it all day long nonstop.
That’s interesting, considering your professional background. Did you ever consider pursuing a career in politics?
That’s definitely a dream, but I honestly think I am not ready yet. I am a very idealist person, I will fight what I believe. But sometimes I can be very self-oriented, and if you’re in politics, you will need to be all out and sacrifice your personal interests because you’re representing the people. So if you’re not ready to kill your ego, and forget about any financial gain, you’re not going to be a good politician. Ppeople who voted for you, are the people that you should vote for.
Do you think one day you’ll be involved in politics?
Maybe. But politician or not, I know that I want to represent people and fight in a good way. If I were into politics, I keep telling myself “Edi, if you’re going to be a politician, you are not going to be like one of them”.
Do you have time to travel, when you’re in Jakarta?
Jakarta is as large city, there is a lot to explore. But I haven’t got the time to.
As someone coming from outside, what do you think of Jakarta?
Jakarta is a crazy place with such an immense energy. For someone that has a lot of energy, this place is can energize you even more, and make you even stronger, a better person. This is the place where people like me, who are passionate about ideas, creativity, and expressions will thrive. You can be successful everywhere you are, but the biggest opportunity is here.
Has Jakarta changed you in any way?
It has changed me a lot. The biggest lesson I learned would be that, the most successful people here, are the ones that can seize the opportunity the fastest. It doesn’t mean that you’re greedy, but it means that you will need to do a lot of prevention and precautions.
What’s the difference between working in Jakarta and other places?
The energy of big cities like Jakarta, pushes you to be better, to seize the day. You never know how far you can go if you’re not put to the very edge, like how it is in this city. Jakarta is like a melting pot of people from different countries, cultures, and I can feel the energy. When you start saying that ‘it is too much’ than you begin to limit yourself, and I think we shouldn’t do that.
Do you consider yourself a positive person?
I am very positive and optimistic. I am very passionate in what I do, and have very clear objectives in life. I have plotted and designed of where I want to be, and even where I am now. I already knew where I would be right now, 10 years ago, and where I will be 10 years from now. Because the universe promises one thing: you will be able to achieve whatever you want, if you use it a good way, and if you believe it.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Probably in politics! But until then, I want to train myself of putting my ego to the side, and focusing on the greater good. To balance between taking care of oneself, and others. Because I believe that no matter how smart and creative you are, if you only think about yourself, it’s going to be a waste. Life’s too short for that.
Five words that describe yourself?
Confident. Motivator. Sensitive. Optimistic. Open-minded.