In this issue’s Business Profile we meet Bill Lloyd, Managing Director of Asian Tigers Mobility Indonesia. Bill is an American expat who has been based in Indonesia since 1999.
Bill, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. You’re originally from California, USA, and grew up surfing, which is the reason that you ended up on Indonesia’s shores. What did you first start doing when you moved here?
I was given the opportunity to chef on a surfing charter boat that chartered off Anyer to Ujung Kulon National Park and around the Krakatau area. I worked on this yacht through 2002.
How did the opportunity to head up Asian Tigers Mobility come about?
I was the GM for a local competitor for a time, but once I realized who was who and what was what, I went after the best company in the industry. I look back on that decision and how proud I was to join the Asian Tigers, which has only grown stronger over the last decade.
What services does Asian Tigers Mobility provide to customers in Indonesia and Asia?
We are a one-stop shop for complete relocation needs, starting with visa and immigration services to house finding, school placement, tenancy management, cultural and language training, orientation tours to our core original business of packing and shipping personal effects/household goods. Providing a full menu of services is where the corporate relocation industry has changed and grown in recent times, and I believe in the future, if you are not providing this full menu of services, you won’t even be able to have a look at a lot of the corporate business and may even eventually be shutting your doors.
Asian Tigers Mobility has 30 offices in 14 countries, with an annual turnover of over US$115 million, making your company one of the strongest relocation experts in Asia. What are the key drivers in your business?
Asian Tigers are not only the market leaders and specialists within Asia, we have a differentiating factor of getting to choose the absolute cream of the crop partners when shipping outside of our own proven Asian Tigers network. We are not forced to ship within one network worldwide, which allows us to carefully select the best agent for any particular shipment or area. We only work with FAIM accredited agents that are audited by Earnst & Young every two years. This ensures our clients the same and very best service no matter where they are shipping globally.
Tell us about your responsibilities at Asian Tigers. What is a typical day in your shoes?
Well, we have seven branches within Indonesia that need looking after, along with a team of more than 100 employees just here in Jakarta. I am still very much active in our day-to-day sales, as well as everything else you would expect, even still doing surveys and move management for VIPs, friends and diplomats. I have such a great team that is so supportive and we have created something really special at Asian Tigers. Folks work with me, not for me, and that makes every ‘typical day’ that much easier!
As a relocations expert, are you noticing more expats moving into Indonesia this year, or is the number decreasing somewhat, due to the tightening of immigration laws?
For the last few years, the inbounds have far outweighed the outbounds, but I would say 2014 finally saw the tide turning back to normal where plenty are coming in, as well as going out; a nice and normal flow of contracts turning over with replacement transferees taking over from those moving along to their next posting.
What other logistics trends have you noticed this year and what do you predict 2015 has in store in Indonesia?
I think the logistic industry, as well as mobility industry, is a reflection of a country’s economy. More big things await in 2015 for Indonesia – you can bet on it!
Tell us a lesser known fact about the world of mobility.
When we talk about mobility and the world of relocation services, taking the boxes and trucks out of the equation, it is a totally female dominated industry!
Jakarta, and Indonesia, is becoming extremely modernized, and people are becoming more open to diversity. How is this progression good for your business?
Well, as Indonesia continues to grow and diversify, as well as the economy continues to do well, more and more Indonesian nationals are getting posted in overseas positions. This is great from a few angles that includes more business for us, being the Indonesia relocation specialists, but also those returning nationals continue to bring slices of the world’s rich and awesome diversified cultures, which in turn feeds the machine further for growth and diversity. Divine balance, I call it!
With our new president and Jakarta governor in power, do you believe it is getting easier or harder to do business in Indonesia, and why?
It’s early days with the new presidency, but I have the utmost faith that the new government will continue in the same direction of progress that SBY and his cabinet were able to spearhead. Foreign investment and international businesses are a huge driving force behind modern Indonesia and its success. Jokowi knows this to be true, while also keeping Indonesia’s best national interests in mind.
Do you still enjoy surfing? Where is your favourite escape from Jakarta to ride waves?
I am sporting a standard sunburn at the moment from a three-day weekend trip out to my favourite surfing spot in the world, Pulau Panaitan in Ujung Kulon. I still religiously check meteorology charts daily to monitor swell forecasts and weather patterns. Modern technology allows us to see the best surfing days coming before they arrive and I’m still all over it on the days that matter.
Your life’s motto is ‘forward ever, backward never’. How does this motto tie in with your work ethics?
It goes hand in hand; you have to put your best foot forward every step of the way. Nobody is perfect and part of the beauty of moving forward is making mistakes and learning from them. If you are completely transparent with learning from those mistakes, the people you work with recognize this and appreciate you all the more for being human!
Tell us how Jakarta has grown on you over the years?
It’s been 15 years of living here now, and about 20 years of coming and going. I’ve watched quite a bit change in Jakarta in that time and, being the optimist that I like to think I am, revel in how far it’s come. For me personally it’s an honour to have the opportunity to live and work in such a diverse and progressing city and country. It’s also amazing to live and work in the epicentre of the Indonesian economy, yet be able to balance it out with more than 40 incredible and world class golf courses, as well as having the isolation and Jurassic Park beauty of Ujung Kulon only a drive and boat-ride away. Did I mention divine balance?
Thank you, Bill! To get in touch please email: [email protected]