An Eye for Opportunities

Jerry Hermawan Lo
Owner, JHL Group

With more than 35 years of business experience in property, hospitality, restaurants, wellness, automotive, media and mining, Jerry Hermawan Lo has gone through all the highs and lows to get to where he is today. Asia Dreams talked to him about his strategy for business success.

Jerry Hermawan Lo

Q: You are managing seven different businesses, ranging from hospitality to mining. Tell us about how you first started?
A: I started working as a salesman for a multinational company in Jakarta at the age of 16. At that time, I felt that I was gaining a lot of knowledge, so I immediately wanted to start my own business. After six years selling, I decided to start my first business selling cream detergent, which was in high demand at that time. Along the way, I tried several other avenues, but most failed. However, I never gave up. Finally I ventured into the automotive business, which also happens to be a pastime of mine. My success in this business encouraged me to branch out into other businesses.

Q: What led you to open a hotel?
A: I saw an opportunity. The tourist industry in Indonesia is growing rapidly, especially since our government announced 10 new tourist destinations beyond Bali. With the government’s attention towards tourism, of course there will be more tourists, who will all need accommodation. I like to do business in this industry because it “only” requires a smile, hospitality and a good view. I am currently planning a 150-hectare integrated tourist area in Tanjung Lesung, West Java.

Q: Can you tell us some of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job right now?
A: Running a business needs capital. My biggest challenge is to get the trust and support from other people to invest. I believe with the good relationships that I have built up over the years that these challenges can be overcome. When my work or businesses are recognized by the community, that’s when I feel successful. One of our company’s properties, Jeep Station Indonesia (JSI) Resort in Bogor, West Java, has an increasingly growing target market. This is the only resort in Indonesia that combines permanent off-road tracks, restaurants and hotels in one area. Also, JHL Solitaire Gading Serpong, a D’Varee Collection has been recognized as a significant contributor to the Gading Serpong area in Tangerang, which is a business and tourism centre. Last but not least, I’m happy that my businesses are opening up a lot of jobs in the community.

Q: As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?
A: The environment around me. Every second can bring an opportunity, big or small. I am always restless, actively observing and analysing every circumstance. When I find a delicious meal in a restaurant, I enjoy the dish and then contact the chef at my hotel and discuss whether we can create something from this. I believe in five things that power success that I call Panca Krida (five principles): opportunity, intelligence, hard work, getting work done and loyalty. I always promote Panca Krida to all my employees.

Q: What advice would you give to people looking to establish a business?
A: I think with any business, the key to starting is always perseverance. If you have never done something before, you can learn. If you don’t have capital, you can find a partner. If you don’t understand, you can ask. It’s that simple. Meanwhile, if you have the capital, are highly educated and you understand the business, but you have no will, you can never run a business.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time to unwind?
A: I like to go off-road to remote areas of the jungle, both in Indonesia and abroad. I feel an adrenaline rush when I’m in nature with all its simplicity and adventure.

Q: What’s your next project?
A: This time, I want to open an integrated tourism area in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. I see a promising opportunity in tourism there. Next, a plan for a 480-room hotel located close to JHL Solitaire Gading Serpong, a D’Varee Collection is also currently in development.

JHL Solitaire Gading Serpong, a D Varee Collection

Jalan Gading Serpong Boulevard Barat

Gading Serpong, Tangerang 15810, Indonesia

T: (+62) 2139503000


Asia Dreams August – October 2019