CEO News

“Instant Office” : New Businesses Within CBD Area


As business picks up in the world economy, demand for office space is also on the rise. In Jakarta Indonesia, signs are also pointing towards this positive trend as business activities and the demand for office space increase. In Jakarta, the serviced office / instant office industry rides along this wave as witnessed by the steady rise in its demand by at least 10% to 15% increase in occupancy levels since 2003.

“If last year’s market is considered vibrant, we can only look forward to a better year this year,” confirms Mee Kim, President of CEO SUITE, a reputable and well-established provider of serviced offices in a few leading cities in Asia.

Without the right fundamentals, many of such operators have unfortunately been forced to shut down involuntarily in these recent past years. And fortunately for the few operators who survived the storm, the recent surge in demand for serviced office space would mean a bigger share of the enlarged pie, as the clients’ list of CEO SUITE shows more of an influx of entrepreneurs hailing from other Asian economies such as Korea, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore in addition to the regular investors from Europe and the Americas.

But despite the long-presence of the serviced office concept in Indonesia, this concept however stays relatively unexplored by most. But the fact remains, that it takes little, or almost no effort for investors or multinational companies to set up an office (representative or regional) in a matter of hours, in a location as prestigious as the business district of Jakarta.

CEO SUITE provides such serviced office spaces with the capacity for 1, and up to 20 persons – essentially furnished and facilitated with office peripherals such as ISDN facilities, high speed internet, unified messaging phone systems, video teleconferencing and more importantly, software such as professional office assistants including bilingual secretaries.

With the trend moving towards a leaner staff scale, and in the modern business environment where executives need not anymore be so office-bound, the concept of a large and often unutilized office premise is fast losing its regard. And as much as technology is an essential and important tool in the business world of today, the lack of economies of scale will continue to prove its maintenance and upgrade to be costly, or even unaffordable.

“It is very fashionable these days for bosses to maintain a high-tech office that requires little of their attention in terms of office management and maintenance”, explains Maya, the General Manager of CEO SUITE. “And the beginning of a new operation is usually slow. The demand is thus for us to assist them with all the initial requirements.”

With instant offices, the lack of huge capital investment, and/or a limited budget poses to be a minor problem to new investors – the “sharing” concept pools together a group of companies with the same requirements to share out the costs of maintaining a prestigious, modern, and fully-equipped office in the “golden triangle” of Jakarta, in the Sudirman area of Central Jakarta including Wisma GKBI and the Jakarta Stock Exchange.

And for just US$100 per month, a “virtual” package for the maintenance of a business address and answering services can be arranged. For an additional fee of US$50 per month, clients are entitled to use all the other office facilities provided, including one workstation for free an hour a day.

For CEO SUITE, the initial successes of its 2 centers in Jakarta form the main engine of growth and expansion in the next 7 years to follow since 1997, with the opening of 3 more centers in succession in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai. The further success of their latest addition of CEO SUITE in Shanghai shall again be the main catalyst for the opening of more centers in other major cities in China such as Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

“In China, there is a huge prospect for further development and expansion in this industry and market. The recent inclusion of the Chinese market in the WTO would mean greater liberalization, and perhaps more investors into the Chinese market,” enthuses Mee Kim. And as more investors and multinationals shift their focus to China, the recent set-up of CEO SUITE at the Hong Kong New World Tower in Shanghai could not be more timely as the demand for ready-to-use offices with international-quality standards increase.

“With Shanghai’s reputation as a cosmopolitan and modern city on the world map – it would make sense for us to have CEO SUITE Shanghai as the nucleus for further development in China,” discloses Mee Kim.

But while the number of foreign investors increases still at an alarming rate in a such an economy as China – China’s human resources to cater to the expatriate markets remain still lacking. And in comparison, “the overall cost of operations in Shanghai is three times higher than it is in Jakarta,” cautions Mee Kim.

Well, while no one promises a bed of roses any where in the world, CEO SUITE is still keen to open the right doors as and when the right opportunities come knocking!