A gap year of world travels led Jacqueline Sariman to an enlightening moment. Back then, she was just fresh out of a Master’s in London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor’s degree in the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Upon returning to Indonesia, the young heiress would have a spot secured within her family’s expansive business realm. However, she was seeking growth before claiming her rightful place. “I took one year off to rest and take care of myself while looking for work opportunities,” she said. “Suddenly, I came upon this article for a job in a consulting firm where they welcome people from a non-traditional educational background. The story busted the myths that you have to take the traditional business route to become a consultant.”
Jacqueline then landed a position to work on consulting in a Big Four in Singapore. As a young graduate of psychology and social and public communication, she struggled with the fast-paced, competitive corporate world. “I had to motivate myself and have the willingness to learn,” she said. “Once you have the right mindset, your perception starts to change. It was hard work, but I listened well both to others of experience and the capacities within myself.” The position she was in also helped Jacqueline expand her connections with many other talents from different backgrounds. After learning all she could, Jacqueline was ready to take flight with her enterprise.
While in the transition from her current post, Jacqueline had been busy setting up FairConnect Ltd Pte with her friends. “This would be an intermediate service startup based in Singapore to connect foreign investors with companies in the Asia-Pacific region,” she said. “It would tackle some of the biggest markets in Asia, including Indonesia and China.” Moreover, she was also ready to inherit one of her family’s businesses in Indonesia— pending a more favourable time to travel back.
With the entrepreneurial spirit running strong in the Sariman family, among the many companies they run was Gunung Mas Danapati. “It is a relatively new player in the textile industry, serving business-to business clients,” she said. “Looking at the size of the Indonesian market, expanding this company would be an opportunity to advance the industry.” Although she had never been in this industry and would have to travel back-and-forth between Singapore and Indonesia, never once was Jacqueline deterred. “I see challenges as an opportunity to grow and transform positively, just like how I learned consulting by doing,” she said. “By recognising the potentials inside yourself and developing it for the good of others, that is what an entrepreneurial spirit means to me.” She applied the same principle to become a better leader who knows well her strengths.
This story appears in the January 2021 issue of Tatler Indonesia. For the full story click here.