The dream of Winston and William Utomo to build a media company for the future is close to being a reality. Starting with only one person sitting in CoHive, now they have conquered Jakarta with a team of over 110 people.
IDN Media is a multi-platform digital media company for Millennials and Gen Z in Indonesia. It currently operates 2 digital media: IDN Times and Popbela.com; a video production house: IDN TV; a creative digital agency: IDN Creative; an event agency: IDN Event; a creator marketing agency: IDN CreatorNetwork; and a cooking video portal, Yummy. With these products, IDN Media have given their clients a beneficial, high quality and fun media contents. Up until now, each one of them has made Indonesia’s media world more vibrant and breathtaking.
On 27th of July, I had the privilege to interview Winston Utomo, CEO & Founder of IDN Media. Their office is located near Palmerah Market, with a big IDN Media logo in front of the building.
What caught my eyes was on the side of the building there is a huge graffiti painted with their famous quotation “Diversity is Beautiful”. Information on their quotation can be found on their website, which explains that “We don’t hire people based on a certain label. We hire individuals. Because none of their background matters. Great attitude, strong work ethic, and passion matter. Not their race, religion, or gender. Diversity is our core value, and we will always embrace it.”
I’m moved by that because to achieve success, we should be humble to appreciate people’s differences and mistakes to continue learning and innovate fast.
My Questions to him were as follows:
Could you enlighten me on how CoHive helped your company to be where you are today?
We started as a small company in Surabaya back in 2014. But the problem was, every famous brand and agencies were located in Jakarta. So, William started to come to Jakarta once every week to find clients, but never succeeded. When we moved to Jakarta, we didn’t know anyone. We only needed a small space for our company, and because we were invested by EV, we moved in CoHive the Maja Coworking Space. But most importantly, The Maja itself provided us the perfect space & location for our media company to expand. Because we always invite clients to visit our office, and they all loved how open, cozy and homey the space was for them.
What is your most memorable experience with CoHive?
Once, I had to make one of CoHive employee open on a Sunday because of an urgent project meeting, and she helped & waited for us until the project was over. It showed that the people in CoHive treat their members like their own family. They care about our needs and troubles, and offer a solution to them.
What are your long-term plans for your company, and how would CoHive be involved in them?
I want to create the number one New Media Company in Indonesia. In addition, I want IDN Media to become the voice of Millennials and Gen Z and to bring positive impacts to the society.
I will also want to make a collaboration with CoHive for hosting events and seminars. My past story was, I got invited last year by EV to deliver a free presentation on “How to make a viral content”. After the event, there was this lady from a cement company who asked me to come to their office to help them advertise. Eventually, she asked me to advertise her company several times after the first contract.
If I can ask you for one suggestion as how CoHive could improve their services to you, what would you reply?
I would suggest CoHive to make a mobile app. Because CoHive has many locations, it would be easier for people and potential clients to book or see available spaces online. And of course, to provide higher quality and seminars with a larger impact.
Did you have any major obstacles in the last 3 years? If so, how did you overcome them?
When we moved to Jakarta three years ago, we didn’t know anyone in this business, so we had to build connections from zero. Another issue was that we started with only 20 people in our team, and as we began to emerge with more staff, we had trouble communicating with each other. Also, lots of popular and famous Indonesia Media Platforms before us had been in the business for more than 15-20 years, so we had to work extra hard to prove to our clients that our concept of the new media would work in Indonesia, even though we were new in the business at that time.
Looking back, is there anything you would have changed?
My personal principle has always been “it’s better to make wrong decisions than no decisions.” Every mistake was a learning process for us, to grow and develop. Personally, I wouldn’t have changed anything. But if I could change one thing now, it would be to make my decisions faster.
Last Question, could you give us one tip or advice on new startups, so they could reach a position such as yours?
Always believe in your people. Because people are the ones who build businesses, not business build people. Prioritize the ethics, not only their intelligence, and make them feel like home in the office. Build a company that connects each other to learn and have fun together.
Here is a fine example of how two young men who had a dream and were able to being close to making it a reality. In fact, they have surpassed it far beyond their original expectations. They started as a small startup company, with a dream to become the voice of Indonesia’s Millennials and Gen Z news and entertainment digital media. Quickly realizing they would have a better chance to grow outside of Surabaya, William and Winston bravely decided to concentrate in Jakarta.
This is one of our successful member which discovered that to grow their company, they didn’t have to rent a huge office to start. Because with Coworking Spaces in Jakarta like CoHive offered the flexibility and productivity of working they needed. I am proud to say that CoHive is always more than just a workplace. It highly values community, and every one of our members is a part of an important network of entrepreneurs. With a futuristic workspace that boosts your productivity, inspiration is always there to be found. Grow your startup just like IDN Media with CoHive!