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Fielding calls left and right from multiple entities in the US, Europe and around Asia, all the while processing contracts and documents to manage Hemera International Group, is a typical workday for Justin Lim. In an interview from Malaysia through Zoom, Tatler Indonesia sat down with the amiable leader to learn about the latest plans he has for Indonesia to help with the country’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the group’s subsidiaries, PT Hemera International Indonesia, is partnering with LG International to build world-class laboratories in several locations around Indonesia with an investment close to US$100million.

Thanks to a collaboration with EONE Laboratories Korea, the testing swab-PCR result comes out through an application after just two hours. “By working with EONE, we want to create jobs and to transfer knowledge from South Korea to Indonesia, especially when it comes to handling pandemic situations, such as with Covid-19,” said Lim. “Moreover, with guidance from these experts, we are planning to build facilities to produce test kit locally so, if yet another epidemic should happen, then Indonesia will be self-sufficient.” Besides being open for Covid-19 testing for the general public, these labs is first and foremost to screen the health of incoming and outgoing travellers both domestically and internationally.

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Hemera Group is working together with airport providers and authorities to provide these testings at booths in the vicinity of the airport. So far, Hemera is processing 13 labs permits to operate within airports from Medan to Jakarta, Semarang, Surabaya, Samarinda, Denpasar, Makassar, and many others. “Seeing that the pandemic could last at least for two more years, we have to pivot with out-of-the-box ways to serve the needs during this uncertain time,” he said. “We used to sell test kits, but rather than just being a distributor, I see an opportunity from my network and relationship that such partnership would be more beneficial for everyone in the long run.”

Outside of building business to answer demands during the pandemic, with another one is the opening of glove factories in Malaysia, Lim is looking ahead to cater needs after a new normal has settled. With travel being a necessity especially for frequent business-class fliers, Hemera is starting a light-jet service based in Indonesia out of the Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport. “We are acquiring HondaJets from the Honda Aircraft Company, among other makers, which are small private planes with a maximum capacity of five people. With this capacity, it will be easier to enact health and safety protocols like disinfecting with UV light and making sure the HEPA filtration system works well.” Starting from September, should all go well, two out of the total 20 jets would be ready to serve short to medium distances around the region through a membership-based programme.

Beyond the year 2020, when the global economic and business climate is more stable, Lim is looking forward to more ambitious plans in Indonesia. One part of the mission is to plant a US$900million joint-investment in the country for commodities and automotive industries, among other interests from different investors, which harkens back to Hemera in its earlier days mostly as a company dealing in resources and intra-Asia port businesses.

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“Even though almost all businesses are down during this pandemic, when the situation is more favourable, the Indonesian government has welcomed us with a ‘red carpet’ to start the projects in hopes of providing jobs and reviving the industries,” he said. On the automotive side, Hemera is bringing Weststar Maxus G20 MPV and Maxus V80 commercial vehicles into Indonesia.

With all of these agendas on the table, it is of no surprise that he is busier than ever although he has been working from home these days. “I like to create something of substance out of nothing. But, in the end, success is to achieve goals beyond profiting. It is also to do things to benefit others and being charitable, which will give more satisfaction above all else,” Lim concluded in a parting message. “I wish to be remembered as someone who always thinks of others above himself. As a leader, when we build the people’s dreams, we are making our dreams come true.”

This story appears in the September 2020 issue of Tatler Indonesia. For the full story, grab the copy at your nearest newsstand, or subscribe here.


Photography by Kahmun Ho. Styling |  Art Direction by Sarah Saw.