Interviewer : Ria Sasmitha Utami
14 October 2017
Question : In this occasion we got the chance to interview to our client, Chinatsu Ishiodori, about her business experience in Indonesia, Bali.Good afternoon Chinatsu-san, thank you very much for your time today. In this occasion we’d like to ask you about your experiences. But firstly… Would you please share to us how was your first time visiting Indonesia? And why did you choose Indonesia in the first place?
Answer : Before I went to Bali, I went to Sumatra first. Actually I had a dream, even before I go to college, to participate in social activities to protect the environment, to protect the forest. So on that time I looked for a place which has rainforest in its area. But 20 years ago, looking for information in the internet is a difficult thing to do. So I can only find one agency that is able to channel volunteers and also able to teach in Japanese. Actually I wanted to go to Vietnam, but unfortunately the agency I was in didn’t have any brach yet on that country. So they offered me to go to Indonesia instead, Sumatra, to be exact, while I wait for Vietnam branch to be opened. In the beginning I completely didn’t know that Indonesia is a name of a country. I thought that Indonesia is a part of India, for its similarity of name. But after I looked up in the world map, I found out that Indonesia is an archipelago located in tropical area. I thought that because it’s an archipelago, there should have beaches everywhere. So do rainforests. With that on my mind, I agreed to go to Sumatra. But when I arrived, I instantly feel bored. There was nothing there, mostly only oil companies. That’s why after 2 years teaching there, I requested to be repositioned to Jogjakarta. From there, for the sake of better job opportunities, I decided to move to Bali.
Question : And from there, how did you begin to open business in Bali?
Answer : So I started in Bali since 2001. I started by teaching as a private teacher of Japanese Language. I went by my own motorbike to my pupils houses and got paid per hour. I teached Private Lesson around 1 year. After going for a year, I got invited by a colleague to open a private school to teach Japanese. But after 2 years, my colleague decided to stop and I continued the school by myself That was the history of SIKI Bali.
Question : So after SIKI Bali, you are now running many businesses in Bali. Can you share to us what is your main motivation to keep going on business?
Answer : The main motivation is my family. So since I was still with my parents, they always say that if I have kids, they want my kids to be raised just like how they raised me. So to make an ideal environment for that, I have to make my own way. Beside, by opening this business, I feel like I helped people around me to find job opportunity, for those who needed it.
Question : Wow, what a compassionate purpose. So, most of your business is education-related. Is there any special reason for you to choose that field?
Answer : One of the reasons is because that was one of the things that I am capable of. I started it the first time because I was a Japanese Language Native Speaker, so even without license, I was able to work as a teacher. I didn’t feel like I suit a job under other people’s command, so I took an initiative and tried to freelance, so I opened my own business. So that’s where I see the opportunity that I can do more by doing my own business.
Question : After these time your run the business in education field, can you share your opinion about Indonesia’s education currently? I also see that you also have children so that must be one of your concerns also.
Answer : Ya, but my children are still in playgroup so I still don’t know very much about the education of Indonesia. But from a business person point of view, I can see it when I tried to hire people as staffs. So from there I can see how Indonesian education affects to their strength and weakness. Let’s say, there are still people who have small initiatives and cannot do work without orders. So I think that is thing to improve for the education method in Indonesia.
Question : Running a business is very hard indeed, especially to look for partners to cooperate with. And speaking of cooperation, can you tell us why you choose us Timedoor Indonesia as your webmaster?
Answer : Actually everything was decided because Tokunaga –san was a pupil in Indonesia Language class of SIKI Bali. On that time we were sharing about our businesses, and then I found out that Tokunaga-san will start a website business in Bali. On that time I also happen to need a webmaster. Though I was also looking around for possible candidates, and also got recommendations from my Japanese acquaintances. But Tokunaga-san offer me a very good deal, so I say, why not? And ther result turned out good! So I am satisfied.
Question : How do you think about our work? Are there anything that we can improve again?
Answer : Yes of course it’s already good, especially when I can communicate directly to Tokunaga-san. For another staff of Timedoor maybe it’s a little bit different, but mainly I communicate with Tokunaga-san. Ya tentu saja memang sudah bagus. Terutama saya bisa langsung komunikasi langsung dengan Tokunaga-san. So what to improve is Timedoor should keep good communication and work quality for their clients. The design of website is already suit my imagination and our business’ image. Basically I myself feel so difficult to realize my ideas, but Timedoor really helped me to do so.
Question : Thank you very much for your advice! So after all this time the website run, is there any result that came out from the website? Or maybe you can tell us about another media like advertiser.
Answer : Oh, there’s none from advertiser. Almost all our customer, for example Rumah Kecil, came from internet search then to the website. Also mostly for our Japanese customer, they all come from friends’ recommendation. While others like locals and other foreign country, they searched via internet. The same happens to our other Kids Learning Center, Badak Bali, where customers know us from internet. For SIKI Bali, at the beginning mostly come by friends recommendation. But after we had a good homepage, and since now our lives is moving to technology era with internet, the newcomers coming from website now increased. Also since Tokunaga-san advised us to put a chat box, we have so many questions from people who’d love to join SIKI Bali, and most of them are Indonesian. For Japanese clients mostly still like to use e-mail.
Question :We’re glad that Tokunaga-san’s advice helped you. But there’s a message from him that said please also don’t forget to log in, online and respond to the incoming mails.
Answer : Ahahaha, yes. Sometimes our staffs forget to log in and be online there. I’ll be more alert about that every day.
Question :Seeing your ongoing business now, maybe you can share to us a short story about your big vision of your future business?
Answer : About SIKI Bali, we are a language institution and we teach Bahasa Indonesia, English, and also Japanese. For our future we have a plan to build “LPK” – a training institution that will train chosen people to be ready to work in Japan. We hope that SIKI Bali can be a bridge that connect Japan and Indonesia, to build a good relationship and communication between two countries. Especially nowadays, more and more school don’t teach Japanese Language anymore. So that result to a decline in Japanese Language Teachere. With SIKI Bali hopefully we can introduce and educate people to Japanese culture. For our TPA – Child Care, especially Badak Bali, it has a concept to take care of children whose parents are young, working parents. So they will have a safe place to belong while their parents work. I hope Badak Bali can fulfill the needs of small families around. We will also grow our Child Care to also expand so we can also take care of kids of elementary school, where they can spend ‘after school’ time so they won’t be alone at home when their parents are still working. For Rumah Kecil, currently we only handle for playgroup. We’ve been going for 3 years now. Currently we’re having a project to expand the area of Rumah Kecil. To be exact, it will be the new area behind Rumah Kecil building, that we will dedicate for a new Kindergarten. We’ll start from making a small class called ‘Kelas Nol Kecil’ or ‘TK Kecil’. And maybe after a year we’ll make the next class called ‘Kelas Nol Besar’ or ‘TK Besar’. And if we’re allowed, we’d like to expand to the next step where we’ll build an elementary school.
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