Eddy Hussy: Hard work, perseverance formula for winning in future

Text & photo: Aulia R. Sungkar. Originally published in The Jakarta Post.

At the helm of a national developers’€™ association, Eddy Hussy is communicating his expertise and leadership know-how as a means of striving to reshape Indonesia’€™s property sector.

Eddy Hussy believes that strength comes from the efforts of hard work and determination. As such, his belief has become the bedrock of what he refers to as his leadership approach to managing some 3,000 developers under the auspices of the Indonesian Real Estate Developers Association (REI).

‘€œHard work is an essential factor in building a dedicated team. But hard work itself will not make a team successful. It takes perseverance to create a solid team,’€ the REI chairman asserted.

As the head of the organization, Eddy has a lot on his plate, and Bank Indonesia’€™s (BI) down-payment rule has attracted his attention.

BI’€™s new loan-to-value (LTV) regulation requires first-time buyers to provide at least a 30 percent down payment; and 40 percent and 50 percent for second- and third-time buyers, respectively. The regulation does not apply to houses with floor space of less than 70 square meters.

‘€œAlong with the country’€™s improved economy is the big shift from the lower to middle class. According to Infobank, the number of middle-class Indonesians has reached 150 million. As their incomes increase, so does their purchasing power. This means more and more Indonesians are looking for houses bigger than 70 square meters. We really hope that BI can reduce the LTV requirement. The ideal down-payment requirement is 15 to 20 percent of a home’€™s value,’€ Eddy said.

Under his leadership, the REI has religiously engaged in dialogue with government institutions such as BI, the Public Housing Ministry and the National Land Agency (BPN). ‘€œThere has not been much progress. We’€™re still facing a deadlock on some related issues, including LTV and property ownership by foreigners. Our hard work and perseverance are what solidify us to keep striving to break the deadlock.’€

Property ownership by foreigners is an issue that the REI has long been struggling with. Other ASEAN member nations, such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, have long allowed foreigners to buy property in their countries, Eddy remarked. ‘€œWe need to catch up fast, especially since Indonesia, as the largest economy in the region, has the potential to play a major role in the ASEAN Economic Community, which will soon begin in 2015.’€

‘€œNever be a one-man show if you want to grow your business or organization’€

‘€œIndonesia’€™s property sector offers lucrative investments for foreigners, which could contribute to the country’€™s economic growth as long as the government sets clear regulations for foreign buyers, such as imposing a property tax higher than that of local residents. This way the government can generate more income tax,’€ he explained.

‘€œWe will keep up our hard work and perseverance in the struggle of calling on the government to revise its regulations, to allow foreigners to own property in Indonesia.’€

Wearing many hats

Eddy started his property business in Batam in 1995, during which time he built his first housing development on a 9-hectare plot of land.

At present, he runs three development companies in Batam, as president director of both PT Ekadi Trisakti Mas and PT Tanamas Duta Niaga, and director of PT Rezeki Graha Mas Utama. In addition, he owns shares in two contractors where he takes a role as commissioner.

‘€œBatam is really growing, especially with the offshore industry, resorts and tourism, and electronics. Most of the projects that we are currently working on are housing and shop houses. I’€™m glad that my children help me with the business, as my stint as REI chairman requires me to reside in Jakarta,’€ he said.

Eddy was elected as REI chairman in November 2013. The role requires him to regularly visit 34 REI Regional Representatives Councils in 33 provinces across the archipelago. ‘€œBut most of the time I stay in Jakarta. I commute to Batam at least once a week,’€ he added.

In addition to his role at the forefront of the REI, Eddy is also the chairman of the Indonesian-Chinese Social Association (PSMTI). ‘€œWe do a lot of social activities. The PSMTI owns a funeral home and an international university, Universitas Internasional Batam [UIB]. Currently, there are around 5,000 students enrolled in various programs at the university.’€

Taking concurrent leadership roles at a number of organizations and companies is undoubtedly no easy task, but Eddy has a simple recipe, ‘€œNever be a one-man show if you want to grow your business or organization. So, you have to find the right people who you can trust in certain strategic positions. It takes understanding people’€™s characters to deal with human resources.’€

Eddy measures success differently. ‘€œMy businesses are scoring success in terms of monetary gain. The PSMTI has achieved success for its social contributions. The REI is still facing obstacles with some issues. Our concern with the country’€™s property sector and our dedication to the organizations are reflected in how we seriously address the issues. It may not be a success yet, but we will stay on track with our aim to win in the future.’€

‘€œSuccess is not something that comes on a silver platter. You really have to work hard to earn it,’€ he said as he concluded the interview.

Place & date of birth :
Tanjung Pinang, June 22, 1959

Organizational experience :
He has been the chairman of the Indonesian Real Estate Developers Association (REI) and Indonesian-Chinese Social Association (PSMTI) since 2013. Previously, he was REI secretary-general (2010-2013) and REI vice chairman of foreign affairs (2007-2010).

Business experience :
He is in the property development business with several developers, namely PT Ekadi Trisakti Mas as president director since 1997, PT Rezeki Graha Mas Utama as director since 2001 and PT Tanamas Duta Niaga as president director since 2001. In addition, he has been commissioner of infrastructure at mining contractor PT Mustika Anugerah Semesta (MAS) since 1988, and commissioner of civil works for contractor PT Mitramas Rancang Bangun since 1997.

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At Ease

Sports as a hobby
Nothing can beat golf as my hobby. My recent busy schedule of activities has led me to take a break from golfing, but this hobby has stayed in my DNA and I will soon in the future be back to play again. Swimming is my other hobby, and at least I still regularly do it.

Travel buff

I like visiting different places across the world whenever I have time. I’€™m amazed with the heritage buildings in many European countries. Aside from its nice weather, Europe has a wide range of fun hangout places. The US is a very modern country, but it has distinctive features that make it stand out. In Asia, Singapore is a nice getaway because of the country’€™s cleanliness and outstanding infrastructure.