710x350-Tigor Siahaan.jpg Higher purpose

Veteran banker Tigor Siahaan always knew he wanted to go into finance and from the day he joined Citibank in 1995, he had his eye on his current job. In under two decades, he became the first Indonesian to be appointed chief country officer of Citibank Indonesia and is probably the youngest to occupy the office.

In the American bank’s 44 years of operations here, no local has risen to the top this fast. “Ever since I came in, this is the job I wanted,” he tells The Peak. “I did not know whether I would get it but I wanted a shot at it, so along my career I picked up all the knowledge and skills I would need to do the job.”

Those skills came in handy when he assumed the leadership of the largest foreign bank here, which has assets worth $6 billion and 5,000 employees, in June last year.

710x350-John Spence.jpg The fruits of Karma

Australia-based Karma Royal Group owns and operates a portfolio of luxury resorts in far-flung locations like Goa, Mykonos and Bali, has an annual turnover of $109 million and is aggressively expanding its network in Europe, South America and the Middle East – yet what is perhaps most impressive about founder John Spence is that he never borrowed any money to develop his properties.

“Our first time – ever – using money from the bank was just recently, as they came to us with an offer we couldn’t refuse,” says Spence, who started the group with the Goa property in 1993. “Although I have to admit I do miss my ‘I never borrowed money’ pitch!”

Unsurprisingly, one particular island where Spence is keen to expand is Bali. His group currently has two Karma resorts on the island. Bali has traditionally been seen as a destination owned and run by expats, but Spence is sure that nowadays, it’s “Jakarta money” that is driving everything up. “It used to be when that they saw a white person, suddenly the price would double. Now it’s the other way around.”

710x350-Avip Priatna.jpg The classic choice

As a college freshman undertaking studies in architecture at Parahyangan Catholic University in Bandung, West Java, Avip Priatna would never have guessed that he would end up a leading figure on Indonesia’s classical music landscape.

He believes that the genre is now seeking a whole new audience here, on its way to breaking down some stereotypes of the music being old and monotonous.

“There has been a steady increase in the number of young people attending classical music concerts. Surprisingly, this particular group is emerging more in Indonesia than in Europe,” he reveals. “In Europe, everything seems to be available at your doorstep – I think the limited options to enjoy classical music here have in turn built a stronger curiosity.”

December 2012 Issue