Helmy Yahya: Blending Business and Entertainment Sector

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This celebrity-cum-businessman has had a varied career. One of his most prominent professions is producer of television programs, particularly quizzes, and, lately, reality shows. However, his involvement in business has also earned him a lot of respect, as evident in the fact that he was once named a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year. The event was organized by Ernst & Young, a leading accounting firm. “I was not the winner but was in the 15 best and this was an outstanding achievement. I thought my company was the smallest of the 15 companies named finalists,” said Helmy in his office in Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta.

His achievement is attributable to his perseverance in life. A graduate of the State Institute of Accounting (STAN) Jakarta and University of Miami, Florida, U.S., he is astute at seizing opportunities. He spent 10 years assisting and, therefore, learning from Ani Sumadi, the televisionProgram Queen”.

For Helmy, Ani Sumadi was his “teacher” in entertainment and also in how to become a true entrepreneur.learned from her how to manage the production of a program and at the same time how to manage a company,” said Helmy, who was born in Palembang, South Sumatra, on March 6, 1963.

Helmy, who is typically a hard worker, began his career from the lowest position. For example, he compiled quizzes. In 1999, he parted company with Ani Sumadi and set up his own production house with friends. Their first production was Kuis Joshua (Joshua Quiz). Later he established his own company, PT Triwarsana.

Helmy comes from a family with a great love for entertainment. His father, Haji Muhammad Yahya Matusin, was fond of singing while Helmy and his four siblings also liked singing. Helmy became acquainted with the entertainment world when he was a young boy, though back then it was just a hobby. Later, Helmy and his elder brother, Tantowi Yahya, became profession entertainers. Unlike Tantowi, who is famous as an MC, Helmy tends to be an entrepreneur although his business is inseparable from entertainment.

Indeed, as a civil servant with accounting expertise he had no an ambition to be an entrepreneur in the entertainment sector. His entrepreneurship came to the surface during his university days, when he took part in a number of extracurricular activities, like playing in a band, joining a theatrical group and organizing music events. That’s how he got into the entertainment world. “Thanks to these activities, I met many artists and musicians and they eventually asked me to join their management teams. It was my contact with the art world that finally got me into the entertainment world,” Helmy said.

For Helmy, time management is his greatest challenge: how to prepare himself and learn to say “no” to anything that it is impossible for him to do. He has indeed received a flood of offers, but he is unable to accept many due to time constraints. However, it is here that the temptation lies, he said.

Few people can imagine the ups and downs that Helmy has gone through in his career. He is the most disappointed when he is cheated. He has also had to endure slander and gossip. But when he is down, he will try his best to get up again don’t consider someone’s success from how many times he falls but from how many times he can get up again after falling,” he noted.

Luckily, there are many people who care about him when he is down. This has led him to believe that when someone goes through an ordeal, he will be “promoted to a higher class”. Life has its ups and downs, its ebb and tide. The most important thing is that he can bear all that happens to him. “If you wish to be a creative person, hesitate to try your best,” said Helmy, who is considered to be blessed with a million ideas. He also always tries to be open-minded or open to all input.

“Either directly conveyed to me or from reading, it helps me predict future trends and what people will like,” he said.

Helmy said that some entertainers can obtain material gain easily. But being an entrepreneur is different and more challenging as he must think about a number of things, for instance, investment and profit.

Helmy, who was initial interested in marketing, said his accounting background helps him a lot in managing his company. He does not find any difficulty finding a connection between entertainment and entrepreneurship.

Despite his success in the entertainment world, it seems Helmy is yet to feel fully satisfied. It is this that prompted him to set up a consulting firm with management expert Rhenald Kasali. The company is named Here, an acronym of their names, and its business covers consulting, public relations, marketing, entrepreneurship and communications.

Today, Here is inactive due to the tight schedule of its founders.true I set up a company with Rhenald Kasali, but the company has stopped its activities for now. However, privately, I still provide consultancy to those who need said the father of three. (Iwan Suci Jatmiko)  

The Jakarta Post, March 01, 2007  

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