WITHIN a relatively short time, Henry Husada has made a name for himself in Bandung, where he has built nine hotels. Henry is interested in the hotel business because it offers ample opportunity. He claims that the demand for hotel accommodation in Bandung is quite high and increases every year. He also finds the hotel business challenging and dynamic.
The first hotel he established in Bandung was Grand Serela, located on Jl. R.E Martadinata. His other hotels are Henry Palace Hotel, Hotel Carrisa, Gino Hotel, Golden Flower, Grand Seriti Boutique Hotel, Banana Inna Hotel and Spa, RR Hotel and Carradin Hotel.
However, Henry acknowledges that it is not easy to develop a hotel empire. Still, the key to his success is shrewd strategy. He plans to build more hotels in strategic locations in Bandung in the near future. “The greatest challenge lies in the operation process, which is why I established Kagum Group Hotel Management. It handles the hotel business. Kagum Group Hotel Management is under Korek Api Guna Mandiri, which is the parent company that also has factory outlets as subsidiary companies,” he explained.
In Henry’s opinion, competition in the hotel business is quite stiff but is quite healthy in Bandung, with hotel owners racing to enhance the quality of their services and the facilities to meet customers’ demand.
Henry’s hotels have a unique character and attract a particular market segment. “The hotel business in Indonesia is developing rapidly along with the development of tourism in each area and this business is dynamic, as can be seen in the occupancy rates. Of course, the growth of the hotel business is in line with the country’s economic growth,” said Henry, who was born in Bandung in 1963.
Next to enhancing the hotels’ image and brand, Henry also provides training for his employees, which he regards as assets. Using selected and professional human resources, Kagum Group Hotel Management conducts continuous training for their development.
After enjoying success in the hotel business in Bandung, which has been called the Paris of Java, Henry plans to establish hotels in other cities in the country. However, for the time being, Kagum Group Hotel Management is still focusing on Bandung. Before entering the hotel business, Henry, who is well built, concentrated on the fashion business. Henry recalled that in 1980, Bandung lost its luster as the jeans city of Indonesia, so he tried to revive the image in 1990 by establishing his first store called Korek Api Jeans. During the same year, he expanded his wings by acquiring more shops in the Cihampelas area in Bandung until he finally had dozens of shops.
Korek Api Jeans was a kind of generator that helped the jean business in Cihampelas progress. Henry, who is the fifth of six children, thought that as a service and tourism city Bandung should have a unique icon for a shopping area or place. Therefore, his factory outlets were welcome by the public and draw many customers as each of his factory outlets has a unique and strong character.
In his business, Henry never gives up when the going gets tough. Henry, who likes to appear casual, adheres to high discipline to his work schedule. This seems to be one of the secrets behind his success.
Henry said that Bandung has long been known as a textile industry city, which is closely related to the garment industry and the numerous factory outlets found in the city. Initially, the industry garment focused on the export market. However, with the decrease in orders due to the financial crisis, the garment industry had to turn its attention to the domestic market. Thus started the era of factory outlets.
At first factory outlets were mostly associated with stores selling excess export items. Gradually, they attracted fashion lovers in the city and then the country. Soon, numerous factory outlets flourished in Bandung, and now almost each corner has several outlets that sell brand new and fashionable products.
Next to Bandung residents, Jakartans also flock to factory outlets in the city. With the opening of the Cipularang Jakarta-Bandung toll road, more Jakarta customers are drawn to the city. Henry’s main mission in the fashion and garment business is turning Korek Api Jeans Group into the largest fashion retailer in Indonesia as well as making Bandung a tourism and shopping hub for both domestic and foreign tourists. To accomplish this, Henry always makes available high-quality fashionable products in his stores.
Henry’s aim is to become just as useful as korek api (matches), which may be small items but they can be used for many things, like creating light in the dark. In his work and business, Henry is always in high spirits but remembers to rely on God’s guidance in every step he takes. Despite his busy days, Henry makes time to tend to his arwana fish, which originate from the Mahakam River in Kalimantan and, along with his other fish, are a source of joy for him. (Faisal Chaniago)
The Jakarta Post, October 14, 2009