It is understandable if Mee Kim, president of CEO Suite, which provides instant office services, has a broad smile on her face. Early in December, CEO Suite, the company under her leadership, opened its 10th branch at One Pacific Place in the Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD). This new building is a business and commercial center united with serviced apartments, a hotel and hi-end shopping center.
According to Mee King, many multinational companies make use of the instant office services her company provides. It is common for them to choose professionally managed ready-to-occupy offices, which is why she was prompted to open a new branch in Jakarta, after providing the same services on the 39th floor of the GKBI building and on 17th floor of the Indonesian Stock Exchange (BEI) building, with an occupancy rate of 85 to 95 percent.
Aside from these three office locations in Jakarta, which have been in operation since 1977, CEO Suite also has office locations in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai Puxy and Shanghai Pudong.
The improving economy, marked by the entry of foreign direct investment, Mee Kim said, has made Indonesia increasingly more attractive in the eyes of foreign investors, which is why there is a bigger demand for serviced offices. "We focus on serving the premium market requiring hi-end services, ranging from office space, human resources, sophisticated technology and any other services that tenants may need," she said.
Serviced offices are the type of offices that business players in major cities in the world, Jakarta included, need. Take Yogswara, for example. This accountant requires an office in Jakarta's Golden Triangle. Although he has a spacious house in an upmarket area in the eastern part of Jakarta, which he could use as an office, he feels the need to have a more strategic business address.
That's why he needs the services of a company that rents office space in the Central Business District (CBD). And it is not just any office space that he needs, but office space that comes with modern office facilities such as a fax machine, a telephone, an Internet connection and, most importantly, secretarial services. According to Yogas, the facilities provided in this office space are more than sufficient for his business. "I feel as though I have hired my own dedicated secretary," he said.
For an accountant like Yogas, an instant office is a wise choice. To rent office space is common, but not the type of office that he is renting. Although his office is not as vast as an office on the fringes of town would be, it is more than adequate for his needs. Plus having all the facilities available helped keep his initial financial layout low. This type of small office is indeed made available by the office building management for those desiring a virtual office, which may be used just as a mailing office or just for an identity.
There is indeed nothing new about having a (low-cost) office in a prestigious building. Providers of office space services, for example, operate like a business center. It is not just the space but the space plus office facilities, such as chairs, desks, telephone lines, a fax machine, filing cabinets, electricity and air-conditioning. A meeting room is also available, as are secretarial services to deal with appointment schedules, sending facsimiles and photocopying files.
These business center rooms can be rented monthly at competitive rates. A person wanting to rent a room is merely required to submit copies of their resident identity card and business license (SIUPP) and then pay the rent. A room measuring 16 to 20 square meters rents for Rp 3 million to Rp 4 million a month. This includes office equipment such as a chair and a desk for the director, a telephone line, a filing cabinet, office boy service and a cleaning service. There is a meeting room that can be used alternately with other tenants. Usually, each tenant is given a schedule for this room. Bigger rooms are also available for rent.
The serviced office concept has developed over the years, with services becoming more complete and more sophisticated. It is not just empty rooms that are leased but complete office services. Besides CEO Suite, there are several other serviced office providers in Jakarta, like The Executive Center in the Sudirman area and Marquee Executive Offices, which manage office space on the 11th floor of the Mayapada Building (Sudirman) and the 28th floor of Menara Karya (HR Rasuna Said). In the works is the company's premises on the 28th floor of Talavera office park (TB Simatupang).
Cost efficiency is indeed one of the things that makes serviced offices attractive. Marquee rates, for example, start at Rp 11 million per month for a 170-square-meter room, which is large enough for four people. This rate includes furniture, reception service, electricity, air-conditioning, cleaning service and around-the-clock security.
Meanwhile, for a virtual office the rate is between Rp 800,000 and Rp 1.9 million a month, depending on the features and facilities. A virtual office enables you to enjoy virtually all facilities of a permanent office without having to pay rent for the building. At the same time you can enjoy the prestige of having an office at such an address.
Marquee provides an individual phone line with a trained secretary. The secretary answers, on your behalf, all incoming telephone calls and takes messages or forwards calls to you. You can also use the meeting room any time. This room is large enough for 38 people. In addition, you can enjoy other instant office facilities such as a scanner, a photocopier and a fax machine. Audio-visual equipment is also available. "In short, our service is highly customized. We serve to suit our client's needs," said Lena Thong, director of Marquee Executive Offices.
Marquee, whose motto is "one-stop business solutions" is an Indonesian company with global affiliations in 230 strategic locations in major cities across the globe. In Jakarta, Marquee not only chooses strategic sites but also buildings of the highest standing. The Menara Karya building, which it manages, has earned the Award of Excellence in Architecture (Arquitectonica) from The Miami Chapter of The American Institute of Architects.
Menara Karya was developed in 2006 by a business group quite famous in the development of office buildings. The group also developed the Cyber Building (1995) and Menara Kadin (1997). Currently the company is developing Cyber2. This office building, located at the junction of HR Rasuna Said - Prof Dr Satrio and Jl. Denpasar Raya, is of the latest design and will have the latest facilities. "Designed by a reputable architect company, AVRP of USA, the building is a reflection of the latest technology supported by connectivity," said Cynthia Sulistyo, marketing manager of Cyber2. And Cyber2 is the next project for Marquee. What is to be said here is that serviced offices are not the kind of business that you can do just for fun. "What we provide is the best. The best building. Number-one facility. Professional human resources. Business made easy," Lena Thong said. (Burhanuddin Abe)
The Jakarta Post, January 22, 2008