Nurturing Growth & Development
As director and COO of Plaza Indonesia Realty Tbk, Mia Egron has an extensive remit encompassing a diverse portfolio of retail, lifestyle, commercial and residential properties including Plaza Indonesia Shopping Centre, The Plaza office tower , Grand Hyatt Jakarta, Keraton Hotel and Residence and fX Lifestyle Centre. Asia Dreams sat down with her to discuss her career, her thoughts on millennials and how she relaxes.
Q: Both your degrees are in communication, what attracted you to this subject?
A: I went to university aged 16 and frankly I wasn’t really mature enough to make a proper decision. My father wanted me to take up law, but I was put off by the 10 years of study to earn the degree. At that young age, I was fascinated by television newscasters and thought it would be an interesting job. Now, I wish I had taken law or business!
Q: Could you tell me what your role as COO of Plaza Indonesia Realty entails?
A: In a nutshell, it’s taking care of the company’s operations, but in more detail it involves designing and implementing business strategy, setting comprehensive goals for the company’s performance and growth, as well as analysing and evaluating the company’s performance, managing relationships with clients, tenants and partners, assisting in fundraising ventures and participating in investments, acquisitions, joint ventures and business development. It’s very wide ranging, but I really enjoy it.
Q: Plaza Indonesia Realty supports a large number of charities; can you tell me something about this?
A: The company strongly believes in corporate social responsibility and Plaza Indonesia Foundation supports schools in our vicinity by improving facilities and infrastructure. At the same time, the heavy foot traffic in Plaza Indonesia shopping centre makes it an excellent platform to raise awareness for social good and to disseminate information, such as the importance of cancer screening, planting trees and saving our planet, so we support a lot of foundations in that way. Raising awareness is just as important as fundraising.
Q: So shopping centres are more than a place to shop?
A: We believe they should be a place where people can be enriched by arts, culture, social good and even young talent. In 2018, we are dedicating areas in Plaza Indonesia to young Indonesian millennials with small retail and F&B start ups to sell their products, so they can grow their businesses and we can improve the diversity of our tenants.
Q: What other projects do you have lined up for 2018?
A: Renovations at Grand Hyatt Jakarta involving the rooms, F&B and facilities; more tenants for The Plaza, our office tower; while the mall, which is the face of the company and probably the most dynamic of our properties, will have around 40 new stores, including two or three big new retailers, in addition to the revamp of the youth areas and start ups.
Q: What do you think are the most important qualities of a company director?
A: Personally, I think it should be someone who practices good corporate governance because the shareholders trust you with their company. Second, being able to cascade the shareholders’ vision and mission to the employees and making this a reality. Third, would be ensuring the company’s assets are optimised, and, of course, being able to ensure sustainable growth and profitability. And lastly, having the resilience to withstand challenges and disruptions, manage complexity and recover from difficult times.
Q: Do you have a message for young people looking to attain the heights of your own career?
A: You know, I think the millennials are really impressive; they can multi-task, they are fearless and bold, and they are open to change. The only advantage that the older generation has is wisdom, because that comes from experience. So all I would say is follow your passion and don’t give up, but they do that already!
Q: How do you relax away from work?
A: Travel is the best way to relax. First, we are disconnected when airborne. Second, there is the time difference. Europe, for example, has a big enough time difference that I have a window of six to seven hours of no e-mails and messages that demand immediate attention. You’re always in reach these days!