Creating Goliath, David’s Helper

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In the Bible, the story of David and Goliath tells of a fight between an ordinary human being and a giant. Although Goliath was far stronger than David, David won the duel due to his cleverness. In the hands of Yoris Sebastian Nisiho, however, Goliath has become a collaboration project that will help many Davids grow into hit-selling musicians.

With the Goliath Project he is now preparing, Yoris is making his way toward further success following his successful “I Like Monday”, a program at Hard Rock Caf‚ that he initiated 10 years ago. In this current project, Yoris is planning to mix various activities such as collaboration involving various musicians, workshops, the making of albums and the making of a musical database that can help businessmen in the music area to develop their businesses.

Yoris, who represented Indonesia, presented his Goliath Project before the panel of judges at The International Young Music Entrepreneur of the Year (IYMEY 2006), organized by the British Council in London between late June and early July. “The preparation was short. The idea came up just before I had to leave for London,” he said.

Although he went to London in an individual capacity, Yoris said he was quite proud because he represented Indonesia and had to compete against music practitioners from 10 countries with their respective superiority and uniqueness. Yoris devised the Goliath Project as a vehicle through which music can be developed on the basis of investment support from Goliaths.

The Goliaths in Yoris’ vision are rich young men aged a maximum of 35 years, those who have a lot of spare money who can use it helping Davids, who can be just about anyone in the music business, such as solo singers or local bands with great potential for future development. However, this investment must yield a profit for these Goliaths.

“Besides reaping a profit, they can help new talents emerge in the music arena,” he said.

Since his participation in IYMEY 2006, Yoris has become even more convinced that music is a highly promising business. He also believes that the creative industry, which includes the music industry, may contribute significantly to the state’s coffers if it is run properly. In England, he said, the music industry is ranked second after the financial services industry in terms of contribution to the country’s revenue.

What about Indonesia? There is still quite a long way to go before the music industry becomes a prime business sector here. Still, Yoris will consistently strive to build this industry in Indonesia. His interest in music can be summed up in just one word: passion. He has made up his mind to totally immerse himself in building a career for himself in the entertainment business. To focus on the entertainment business, he gave up his studies at the accounting department of Atma Jaya University in Jakarta

When he was a senior high school student, he joined a teenage magazine in Jakarta as a freelance worker in order to start developing his professional skills. He also initiated the organization of Pangudi Luhur Fair, a high school art festival capable of drawing in sponsorships worth up to hundreds of millions of rupiah. When he later decided to give up his university studies, he spent his time selling various things, ranging from advertisements on the launch of albums of new artists to consumer goods and sports products.

In 1993, he was offered the position of assistant advertising and promotions manager at Hard Rock Cafe (HRC) in Jakarta. He then devised a program to feature local bans in this cafe. Called “Local Sunday Band”, this program presented, among others, Java Jive, Kahitna, Porotonema and rif.

When he was entertainment manager of HRC, he made a new program called “Save Ragunan Zoo”. He collaborated with Air Supply to collect funds for the renovation of Ragunan Zoo.

Yoris, who was born in Makassar, South Sulawesi on Aug. 5, 1972, is also very interested in technological development and has come up with an initiative for a video request program, which is relatively new in Indonesia.

For this program, he has adopted VDS (Video Distribution Center) technology, which will make it possible for the promotions of albums held at HRC in Jakarta and Bali to be screened at HRC in several other countries. The head office of HRC in the United States has given him the go-ahead for this program and Dewa will be the first Indonesian music group whose album promotion will be distributed through VDS.

“Hopefully, this effort will make our local artists known in the countries where HRC is found,” he said.

Of all the programs that he has devised, the one Yoris is most proud of is “I Like Monday”, a program featuring local bands and singers that has been held every Monday since 1996.

Yoris, then advertising and promotions manager at HRC, wanted to introduce a breakthrough for his cafe every Monday, which is generally considered a slow business day because it is perceived that people are reluctant to go to cafes on the first day of the business week.

Many artists that Yoris invited to perform in this Monday program have been happy to perform at HRC and HRC has made a good profit because the number of visitors on Mondays has become as big as, or sometimes even bigger than, on weekends.

Although HRC is a franchised cafe with its own standards and management procedures, innovations and local touches are still needed to ensure that HRC is a big name in the entertainment business. In this respect, Yoris has successfully made HRC one of the most famous cafes in Indonesia.

Thanks to this success, on April 1, 1999, he was made general manager of HRC and, upon assuming this position, became the youngest general manager in HRC’s Asia chain and the first local national to be appointed general manager.

At the same time, he was also the second youngest general manager in HRC worldwide. Generally, the post of general manager goes to an expatriate, be he a U.S. or Singaporean national. As GM, Yoris has paved the way for Indonesian artists to perform at HRC in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Owing to his talented marketing skills, Yoris has been able to introduce a number of marketing breakthroughs, which is why he was presented the Young Marketer Award by IMA-Mars in 2003.

He learned everything about marketing through self-study, said Yoris, who likes to read in his spare time.

One of his popular marketing and business concepts is “coopertition”, a combination of cooperation and competition. While other people view cooperation and competition as two different things, Yoris believes that competition can be used as a means for cooperation so that something can be done for the benefit of all parties.

Under Yoris’ leadership, HRC has also been named the Most Admired Company in Indonesia. This award shows Yoris’ great capability in leading and managing HRC. While noted marketing expert Hermawan Kartajaya has popularized the principle of Marketing in Venus in terms of leadership, Yoris chooses to lead in the style of Management in Venus or, in his own words, a good-natured management style.

The days when a boss could use force to command respect from employees are gone, he said. In his view it is not enough for a leader to merely demonstrate good and correct leadership because a good leader must also be wise and inspire his employees. “He must be firm, not stern,” Yoris said. (Maulana Yudiman)

The Jakarta Post – August 16, 2006