The young men who founded the Indonesian Young Executives Community like to think big. Their vision and passion have enabled them to reach the top of their game at age when most people are only starting their careers.
Meet Billy Boen. Having graduated from Tunas Karya high school in North Jakarta, Billy moved to the United States to study business administration at Utah State University. He finished his bachelor degree in only two-and-a-half years. He then continued his studies at the State University of West Georgia and achieved his masters within a year.
Returning to Jakarta after his studies, Billy worked for a sports apparel distributor where he successfully developed and expanded the company. At the age of 26, he was appointed general manager. At 29, he was managing three subsidiaries of a large publishing group in Indonesia. Billy, now 31, is probably one of the youngest chief executives in the nation.
However, he’s not one for resting on his laurels. Having reached the top at a relatively young age, he wants to inspire young men and women to achieve their own success.
Billy wrote a self-development and motivational book, “Young on Top”, which was released in April . The book, which shares the success secrets of young Indonesian executives, became a best-seller and has been reprinted five times already.
The success of the book prompted Andy F Nova, the host of the “Kick Andy” talk show on Metro TV, to invite the author to appear on his show in May 2009.
Billy invited his sources for the book, Antonny Liem, 33, a managing director of a marketing consultation company, and Yan Hendry Jauwena, 29, branch manager of an international shipment company, to the show with him.
“After the show, we kept in touch”, Yan said. “Then, Billy and Antonny concocted the idea to establish the IYEC on Facebook and I decided to join them.”
“All of us are hard workers,” Billy said. “And we all care a lot about the younger generation of Indonesians. So we thought, ‘Why don’t we create a community for Indonesian young executives, where they can share and discuss ideas?’ ”
“At first, we intended the community to be for young Indonesian executives below the age of 40, from the supervisory level up to CEOs,” Antonny said. “But as we progressed, we realized there are a lot of entrepreneurs and students who want to join us. So, now we don’t limit the membership of our community.”
“We have to share our successes, as well as our failures for [students] to learn. Hopefully, they can be better than we are now,” Yan said.
“We want to nurture young Indonesian leaders,” Billy said. “Just imagine, 10 to 15 years from now, these young people will become the top-level executives in Indonesia. If they are rotten, they could lead their companies to bad things, and as a result, they could also ruin our country.”
Today, the community has over 3,100 members online.
In its discussion forum on Facebook, the group exchanges ideas and experiences. On Mondays, Antonny also sends motivational e-mails to members. Billy and Antonny also host a Wednesday night radio talk show program on 95.1 Kis FM, “Young on Top.”
“We try to use as many channels as possible to share our knowledge and information,” Antonny said. “Our biggest challenge right now is how to bring this online community to the real world.”
“We aim to help develop people, not just meet to make new friends,” Yan said.
“However, it is also important to network,” Billy added. “In our gatherings, you can meet great individuals who have made it in the world of business. And we only invite C-levels to speak in our gatherings.” C-levels are top executives who hold top positions, such as CEOs and CFOs.
Besides offline gatherings, IYEC also participates in other events, including the Indonesian Community Expo in November.
“At the ICE, we were the only group in the ‘professionals’ category,” Antonny said. At the expo, the IYEC booth provided career guidance and behavioral tests for students to find what professions suited them.
“We are also planning to formalize the organization,” Antonny said. Besides establishing the IYEC as a formal body with budgets and statutes, they are also creating a Web site for their community and plan to re-register members.
“We’re also planning to add a branch, probably in Surabaya,” Antonny said.
“It’s a big plan,” Yan said. “It also has a big vision. We’re very serious about making a contribution to the country.”