Henry Kartono (right) and D. Owen Fernando (left).

Henry Kartono (right) and D. Owen Fernando (left).

An interview with Henry Kartono, CEO of Investaland

Henry Kartono together with his partner, D. Owen Fernando and Nancy Johan, started Investaland Indonesia at the end of 2013, having focused on developing boutique property projects in Bandung; Investaland will soon look for opportunities in other cities around Indonesia.

In 2002 Henry graduated from Curtin University of Western Australia in Perth with a bachelor’s degree in Commerce, Finance & Information Systems, and more recently Chinese Language Degree from Beijing Language and Culture University. Prior to launching Investaland, He was Directors in a few companies including a retail company, a plastics products manufacturing company and a chemical company. He started his career in the Financial Industry working as a stock and investment broker.

HQuarters Business Residence, a vertical business residence or popularly known as SOHO (Small Office Home Office), is now under construction by Investaland as another prime project in Bandung following by their previous successful pilot project, Condominium Hotel De Paviljoen. A condotel development that so well received that the project sold out more than 90% of its units in first 5 months. At the moment, HQuarters has achieved 50% of the construction underground, and is expected to complete in year 2020 at Bandung’s most prominent address, Jalan Asia Afrika.

Future Office Spaces

Social, political and demographic affect changes in each generation, including changes in global business, organizational structure and individual freedom. Supported by an increasingly sophisticated information technology infrastructure, it has an impact on the fast-growing and dynamic way of work culture.

Humans inevitably will continue to require places to gather and work together, whether it is in the office, meeting rooms, or while doing other activities. Whatever the case, when working, people need to interact with a team, exchange ideas, discuss, and inspire each other. Nowadays, with various facilities that already exist, changes continue to occur until the rise of alternative workplace choices for each individual. What is the evolution of the Office in the future? Are there things that need to be anticipated to provide for the needs of increasingly varied human needs?

Arkdesign Quarterly [AQ] : How did you start Investaland?

Henry Kartono [HK] : We started in 2013 right at the end of the Indonesian property boom cycle. I and my partners felt that it was a good time to enter the property market with a boutique project. We as a newcomer to the industry of course had to be very aware of the challenges. We knew we could not compete with much more established names if we were to do similar projects, which was why we decided that Investaland should focus on developing medium sized boutique projects

AQ : It is very interesting to know much more about the story behind the success of a company that is classified as young company like Investaland. What is the basic concept that needs to be fulfilled before you decide to develop a property?

HK : Property that are in the best locations, unique, sustainable, high quality, aesthetically pleasing and at the same time, able to give the highest economic return possible to all our end users and investors. Being boutique of course we focus a lot on good design, which was why we are used the services of good experienced consultants including Pak Paul of Arkdesign.

AQ : What makes you so sure and excited about initiating the Business Residence concept in Bandung? What is the concept of HQuarters like?

HK : Of course we start with the Highest and Best Use Analysis before we start any property projects. And right after we acquired a golden piece of land in Jalan Asia Afrika which is the CBD of Bandung, we knew we would have a great commercial project to develop. Well we are super excited because this will be the first SOHO building in Bandung. Yes, that’s the concept. SOHO or in our case we term it as a Business Residence. We are sure because of course we have done our research and we see a shift in the way people work, especially the younger generations where the working and living line is a little blurred now.

Building Facade of HQuarters Bandung

Building Facade of HQuarters Bandung

AQ : How do you see the future development of the Office with how people work today? As it is known that more people can work from anywhere, no longer depend on the place. Is it an opportunity or a challenge?

HK : Yes that’s very true, it is an opportunity at the same time a challenge. With technology advances and improving everyday literally, there is no longer a need for anyone to be confined to work in a conventional work space. Take me for example, I live in Jakarta and all my projects are in Bandung. With the internet I can work from home. We collaborate on files stored in the cloud. Sometimes we video conferences when the need arises. Video conferences and WhatsApp groups are redefining what it means to collaborate. But… those are just things related to work efficiency and productivity and it doesn’t take away the value of a face to face collaboration work.

So with that in mind, we Investaland felt that any work place that we develop now should have an added value. If it’s just another office space, why would people bother since they can work from anywhere. What we offer with HQuarters is not simply just working/living space but also a community. A like-minded creative working community where we hope ideas thrive. We provide as many facilities to facilitate discussions and presentations like common meeting rooms, presentation spaces and communal social areas.

AQ : Investaland and you act as a bridging between investors and users or potential property buyers, how do you keep balance in terms of meeting both of their needs?

HK : We need both that’s for sure. Investors only look at their return of investment, we of course as even our company name suggested must provide that to our Investors whether it be good capital return or good recurring income. But we also need end users in our projects, they are the ones that bring life to our developments. We have a way making them both happy, invest in our projects and you’ll find out.

AQ : What do you need to anticipate as a developer when developing projects like this or office building?

HK : In my opinion, feasibility comes first whether it’s a condotel or a SOHO building. We look at a location we have a good feeling of the kind of project we want to develop. For example, when we first looked at the site of De Paviljoen, we knew straight away from the location that it has the potential to be developed into a hotel. Then of course all the proper study and analysis had to be done. In those we try to anticipate as many factors as possible such as economic, political, competitions before we go ahead.

AQ : At HQ, are you providing for co-working space that can be rented out? How do you think about the rise of co-working and co-living space that starts to be developed in Indonesia?

HK : Yes we will dedicate one or two floors for co-working spaces. I think that’s the way of the future. The rise itself means that the popularity of this concept is well accepted, right? Co-working and co-living I think by definition is working or living together, with shared spaces, which allows for independent activity or in the case of co-living, a private space. In my opinion, these concepts are attractive because of the potential synergy of interests and ideas people can get from co-working and co-living respectively.

AQ : In your opinion, what is the future of the Office in Indonesia and how should an office get developed both in terms of efficiency and effectively of its users?

HK : In the future, of course conventional office spaces will still be there. The standard definition of efficiency and effectivity of course is different from company to company, from worker to worker. But I think in the future we will see more and more of developments where the work, live and play line is becoming more undefined. Ideas and creativity are very important now, people have seen the rise of billion dollar companies from ideas, just look at Gojek and Tokopedia. In the future, we will see co-working spaces becoming more and more popular because more people now prefer to do self-directed work but they also value the synergy of interests and ideas that co-working can bring. As a note, I recently went to the Unilever office building in BSD, I went in and I thought it was a Mall *laugh*. It has food courts, cafes, minimarts, collaborative spaces where people work, socialize, have meetings in cafes, if you ask me, that’s probably what the future office will look like.

AQ : How does HQuarters adapt the current trends that begin to involve smart building and digitization components in the property industry?

HK : We try as best to use the latest and newest technology in our projects. In HQuarters we will try to incorporate as much of these smart building technology features as possible to automate and semi automate the building’s operations to include heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, security and other systems. We hope such features will help in building maintenance and also make the building more efficient. One interesting feature will help in building maintenance and also make the building more efficient. One interesting feature that we are planning to use is using a parking app on our mobile phones to call our cars parked on the vertical parking building. For information, HQuarters will feature the highest vertical parking building (using car lifts) in Indonesia.

AQ : Are there any sustainability concern carried out by Investaland so that it can still contribute to the environment and work culture of workers in Indonesia?

HK : Well, we do as much as we possibly can. Like I mentioned, with good design combined with the smart building features we hope the building will be lean in terms of energy use. For example, in the first project we built, we were able to save a lot energy use by smart designs. These are actually simple things, but people just don’t seem to care. Take for example the separation of organic and non-organic recyclable trash, that’s very simple and it helps the environment a lot, but do you see it get done? No. This awareness has to be instilled, it has to start from every household. As for work culture, with HQuarters we hope to contribute something different to Bandung’s work culture, we hope HQuarters will be seen as a benchmark for good work culture and a hub for creativity.

Meeting Room at HQuarters, Bandung

Meeting Room at HQuarters, Bandung

Ballroom at HQuarters, Bandung

Ballroom at HQuarters, Bandung