Jakarta International College

Today's Meet the Alumni has Yosua Tji, JIC alumni, a Marketer, and an Entrepreneur. 

Yosua took JIC's Australian Degree Program, in the Diploma of Business (Part 1 & 2), before transferring to Monash University Australia, majoring in Banking and Finance, minoring in Management.

Why choose Banking and Finance?

In JIC, most of Yosua's friends aim to take Banking and Finance as a major; hence he decided to take the same major. However, after transferring to Monash University Australia, he discovered that taking Management as a minor was an option.

He then explained that generally, in the Banking and Finance major, he learned how banks operate, money movement, etc. In addition, influenced by his family business background in property, he also learned the banking system in delivering loans, mortgages, etc. Yosua also mentioned that an essential part of running a business is knowing how to manage it, hence his decision to take Management as a minor.

What is the difference between work and college?

According to Yosua, the college focuses more on learning the basics and different theories. On the other hand, work is more practical, but 'learning' doesn't stop in college, as some aspects of running a business are not available in textbooks. "My father used to say that 'Work' is great. Because it's like 'Studying,' but you get paid," he said.


What valuable lessons did you obtain from studying abroad? And what activities do you recommend for future students?

Yosua also shared that studying abroad offers excellent valuable learning experiences on being independent. Here are some of them:

  1. Living as a student in Australia, there is no housekeeper to help with chores. So he starts to manage all independently.
  2. Managing your spending, as studying abroad pushes you to be more responsible for using your own money.
  3. Observing and understanding different cultures and ways of living. Understanding trends and analyzing the possibility of bringing them back to Indonesia.

Yosua recommended joining communities such as churches, especially for future study-abroad students. Joining such communities allows you to create new relations and friendships that will make you feel more comfortable living in a foreign country. This is because not all of your friends will live near your place, which may trigger feelings of loneliness. Yosua also mentioned that joining organizations such as PPIA (Persatuan Pelajar Indonesia Australia) will help you build your network while increasing your experience in managing and being a part of an organization.  

Furthermore, working part-time in a fast-food chain is also an excellent option for Indonesian students studying in Australia. As the student visa allows working part-time, it is a perfect opportunity to gain experience and have additional pocket money/income. From his experience part-timing in McDonald's Australia, he learned how having a good standard is excellent for any business. For instance, he was taught how to maintain the quality and time of production of foods ordered in his case. He added that even the training was dumb-proof and easily understandable for anyone within 30-60 minutes as it has clear standards.

What he did after graduating from college.

After graduating from Monash University, Yosua started working in his family's business, primarily in marketing and event. Such as in some malls his family owned (BTC Fashion Mall, Jatinangor Town Square, and Solo Paragon Mall). After a while, simultaneously, Yosua manages several of his own business. Here are a few:

  1. Youre.at: are apartment units rented for AirBnB that Yosua managed. These are original units from his family-owned Hotel & Apartment business. The covid-19 pandemic hits the hotel industry quite hard, resulting in hotel units being turned back into apartment units. Despite the pandemic situation, the company is doing well. Yosua and his wife decided to redecorate several apartment units into the Youre.at concept to adjust to the rising AirBnB trend.
  2. Black bird: Like Youre.at, apartment units are up for rent through Airbnb with a slightly different concept. It focuses on long-term rentals (monthly and yearly).
  3. Bakjer Arena: A sports complex located in Bandung. Initially, it was a tennis field and an empty land bought by his parents to build a new house. However, the plan was cancelled, and the Tennis field business wasn't as effective. Since then, Bakjer Arena has generated more than five times more income than the tennis field. Yosua took the opportunity to develop his family's land into a Futsal and basketball field that he manages by himself, as he sees its potential near a university student area. Taking his part-time experience in McDonald's Australia into account, he is currently adjusting the SOP (standard operating procedure) to be as simple as possible to allow standardized business operations.
  4. Naura Family Spa: A Day spa located in BTC Mall Bandung. His parents initially founded the business to boost traffic in one of their family-owned malls. However, at that time, Management wasn't practical. Hence, Yosua took over and managed it by himself by incorporating digital media into the marketing operations, and it has been doing better.


Continuing the Family Business

He told us that he started working in his family business to learn. Working at his family's company provides its challenges and learning experience for Yosua. Mainly at the start, he joins meetings and listens. Then he started filling the position of head of marketing that was coincidentally vacant.

"My parents always say that if I have ideas, do them. However, you still need approval from all the directors," he added. That, in itself, is the challenge. Trying to convince all of the directors is not easy to have a unanimous vote. Each director may have different views, and age group difference also contributes to the challenge. Yosua believes that we need to adapt, be agile and flexible, and make quick decisions in this era.

Furthermore, especially in this covid-19 pandemic, there is a lot more pressure as income is affected. However, Yosua believes this, too, shall pass, and we should take it to step by step. He shared that he has felt sad facing a 'low point', but then he picked himself up again the next day. Yosua mentioned that people at the 'low point' tend to beat themselves down. He suggested that we should embrace it and get over it.


Opportunities and Challenges in being an entrepreneur.

Yosua shared that his previous experiences allow him to see opportunities through observations. In building and managing his businesses, traveling and observing interactions will enable him to understand how a company could prosper and how it grows. In addition, his experience working in malls is a privilege as malls are the center for fashion and other businesses, allowing him to see where the trend is currently heading.

For Yosua, one of the biggest challenges in developing a business is the start. Overthinking, planning, and looking for many suggestions could hinder us from starting. He said it is better to take the first step and observe what works and what's not. If you see a good result, you can proceed to step 2. In Yosua's case, one of his other challenges is managing his family business while simultaneously starting his own business. "The start is always the most hectic. We should determine the SOP and then train our staff. When it has run smoothly, we need to check and review it. Standard is important," he said.

Leading a business during the pandemic

The ongoing pandemic has brought new challenges for businesses worldwide, and Yosua's no exception. Here are a few tips that he shared:

  1. You have to have an entrepreneurial mentality.
  2. Start with what you have or what your family has. Don't overthink.


Advice for students or future graduates

Yosua has some advice for students and future graduates: who are facing a 'low point':

  1. A wasted opportunity is an opportunity you never take.
  2. You'll regret something you never make/take.
  3. Just do it. Take the first step.

Especially in running a business, there is a lot to take care of. According to Yosua, it is better to work first to gain experience and practice before starting your own business. For instance, work in a fashion-related company if you want to open a fashion business. Practice what you've learned on the weekend. It's better than directly starting the business and struggling.