Jakarta, 25th September 2012
The economy seems to be booming in Jakarta according to the project manager. If we may believe the latest forecast we may have trouble finding reliable and experienced contractors to fit out the building in time for the scheduled soft and grand openings. We discussed time schedules today during our project coordination and interestingly meeting the schedules deadlines seems to rely on the availability of contractors! I know this picture of the economy is way different in Europe and other parts of the world but Jakarta somehow is booming with building activity. However the market is volatile for sure. Some developers rely on European or Chinese markets and as a result must be financially affected at times. Some projects may suddenly stop or go on hold for no apparent reason; some may suddenly rush into an unreasonable fast finish!
Doing business in Asia requires a certain mental attitude. Nothing is ever straight, yes does not mean yes, and “no problem” definitely does not mean no problem. Cultural issues such as loss of face continuously play in the back ground and you need to be flexible and take things one step at the time. Patience is definitely a virtue in this part of the world. Know your stuff and don’t stress! It is very easy to stress out and over the years I have seen many lose their marbles not knowing how to deal with “situations”. But to survive you need to understand (this does not mean necessarily agree!) the local culture and find your balance between what you believe are realistic targets and what is realistically possible within the local market environment. Note that we are hired to push the envelope a bit with our international experience, not just comply to local habits. I think clients expect that. But we need to do that diplomatically, with understanding and with full respect of our client.
Light Watch 3-144: There is still a long way to go between design and realisation. Below some renderings (how good they look!) and the reality of the building site. Building is in full swing (a lot of progress was made since last visit) but we have still a way to go. Mock up room scheduled for completion in at least another 2 months and soft opening of the hotel is targeted for Q1 in 2013