BINUS International Office

Guest Lecture: “Starting a Business in Indonesia: Tips for Foreign Investors, Large & Small”

Over 300 participants were present in BINUS UNIVERSITY’s guest lecture titled “Starting a Business in Indonesia: Tips for Foreign Investors, Large & Small”. The guest lecture was held on Friday, May 21, 2021, from 2:00 – 3:30 pm.  

The guest speaker for this lecture is Mr. Nathan Scott Kamstra. Nathan, originally from the United States, is a versatile entrepreneur in the field of HR, insurance, IT finance, and others. He runs a fintech backed by a major bank as well as an HR tech company in Indonesia. Nathan is now a Partner and CIO at Urbanhire, a company that helps organizations in Indonesia and Asia find and hire talented individuals. Nathan had first-hand knowledge in international business expansion, and especially in starting and running a business as a foreigner in Indonesia.  

Lea Simek, International Communication, Engagement & Student Recruitment Manager from BINUS Global, had a chance to start the guest lecture with opening remarks. She mentioned that as a university, BINUS is dedicated to bringing international knowledge to the students and partners, as there was a need for international students to understand better how the international business is run in Indonesia.  

Nathan started his session by introducing his background. He then moved forward to the main points of the discussions, including why he chose Indonesia to start his business, as well as the opportunities, how to build a business, and the lessons learned.  

Nathan mentioned that since starting his career in the 1990’s he saw Indonesia as a country that was always able to ramp up its development, including in technology. The opportunities that he mentioned were the growing middle class, talent, government investment, as well as a shift in business. Nathan then emphasized why investment in human capital is important in Indonesia. 

In this lecture, Nathan shared his experience in building a small business, from making contacts, choosing partners, investing in Southeast Asia, as well as considering some different cultural and ethical aspects. He then also shared his experience in failing so that others can learn from it. Finally, wrapped up his lecture by stating that Indonesia is an amazing place to start a business investment, where new opportunities will grow. He also mentioned that investors must consider how their business will impact people in Indonesia and give value to them.

The guest lecture attracted mostly BINUS University students. However, many lecturers and BINUS University partners were also present. Participants were actively participating in the Q&A sessions, most of them want to know more about Nathan’s experience in facing challenges.