I have been serving as the Honorary Consul of Indonesia in Istanbul since 2008. I regularly go to Indonesia and try to contribute to the development of the commercial and cultural interaction of the two countries as I am also the Chairman of Turkish-Indonesian Business Council in DEIK (Foreign Economic Relations Board). Honestly, I serve with great honor and joy.
Last year, we opened a representative office of Hitay Investment Holdings in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. During the construction, the Indonesian cleaning staff of the building asked my teammates if there was any vacancy for him in the office. A young decent man, speaking a few words in English, in the late twenties… Apparently, his dreams were more than only being the cleaning staff of the office. My teammate told me about him. We had an interview when I went there. He was decent and seemed very excited, enthusiastic and positive for this kind of a job. We hired him as an office boy. It has been over a year since he started to work. His name is Firmansyah (It is spelled Feer-mahn-shah, but we call him Firman). He became more than an office boy; he is our right-hand man in Jakarta.
We had some troubles in communicating with Firman, so we provided him with private English lessons. His English improved a lot. It was not over yet; I found out that Firman was a secondary school graduate during one of my visits to Jakarta. I said to him “Come on Firman, graduate from high school”. Firman goes to school and takes exams in order to graduate from high school through open education high school. Firman showed me his exam grades when I went there two months ago. His grades are over 90 out of 100. Firman is graduating from high school next month. This time, I assigned him one more task one day before my return. I said “You will be responsible for the bookkeeping . Search what schools you can attend after high school”. Most probably, Firman will start studying in a college or a university in next academic year.
I cannot tell the bliss he has experienced with all these developments. Firman is smart and open to improve. He never ignores what we ask him, always fulfills his duties right in time and he is an extremely good mixer.
It goes without saying that it is important that he is endeavoring to work with us and trying his chance. But, he was the one who created this very chance. I always emphasize when we sometimes meet with students in the conferences; in the business life, there are also other points to take into consideration as important as being a good student, such as connections, social life, being sociable, seeing the chances timely, evaluating and taking steps in the right time possible. Firmansyah is just like the person I describe. He took his chance, tried his best and managed to change his life in a very positive way. He has also become a good teammate for us.
By the time, Firman had his third child last year. He asked my opinion regarding the baby boy’s name. I suggested my own son’s name and said “Let it be Kerim”. He called his son Kerim and I became his child’s eponym, too… Life is full of opportunities and coincidences. But, they can be easily missed unless we find them and take an action. We should always be careful; therefore, this could lead us to the chance of finding great opportunities. My son, Kerim and I had a trip to Jakarta and Bali last year. We visited Firman’s home, too. Elder Kerim met baby Kerim.
When it comes to Indonesia… I have been searching about in what business I can invest since I started to work as an Honorary Consul but I had not started an enterprise yet.
When Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), President of Indonesia, decided to visit Turkey in 2010, I also decided in what business to invest, talked to Chairman of Indonesia Investment Agency and explained my plans. My goal was to generate geothermal energy by obtaining geothermal energy exploration licensing in Indonesia, which has 40% of the world’s geothermal resources but still utilizes only 5% of it. The process, which started in June 2010, is still running for three years. I aim to obtain geothermal energy exploration licenses from Indonesia Ministry of Energy through the companies I have founded in Indonesia which are connected to Hitay Energy Holdings I founded in Singapore.
This is a long term business. May God help us.