Marquee Performance
    Category: Philanthropy By : Alissa Gwynn Read : 2978 Date : Tuesday, August 06, 2013 - 06:12:45

    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    Lena Thong knows a good idea when she sees one. While working in real estate more than a decade ago, she learned about the best office spaces and buildings in Jakarta. She used those mental notes to help launch her business, PT Karya Central Bisnis, operating under the name Marquee Executive Offices. Beginning with only 900 square meters, Lena's company now manages one hectare of serviced office space. She was recognized for her achievement by consultancy Ernst & Young as a finalist in its Entrepreneurial Winning Women program in 2011.

    For Lena, the transition from property consultant to entrepreneur was a natural progression in her career. Following her studies at York University in Toronto, she worked in marketing at property management companies Procon Indah and Plaza Business Centre before venturing out on her own in 2006. “I spotted the market demand for Marquee because, if you think about it, all companies need an office to start up their businesses. I felt like I was at an advantage to start my serviced office company because I was familiar with which buildings had great locations,” she says.

    As a native Jakartan, she was also knew that the country's growth would attract international investors—who would need office space. Thus, she established Marquee Executive Offices with an investment of $350,000. Her predictions were correct—following the opening of her first office center in Mayapada Tower, Marquee quickly took off and opened a new center every year for the next three years. Lena now has eight serviced office centers in key buildings across Jakarta—among them the Cyber 2 Tower, Equity Tower and Menara Karya. 

    Lena positions her offices at the top-end of the market. Marquee's offices have personalized telephone answering, 24/7 accessibility, onsite IT support, conference facilities, video and audio conferencing, and free flow refreshments, among other services. Marquee also boasts a conference center that can accommodate 300 people, the only one of its kind in the Jakarta serviced office industry. Although the average office is about 25 square meters, Lena also offers a range of office spaces, from 12 square meters to 70 square meters with the average office 25 square meters. The rental prices also range from $500 to $7,000 per month depending on the size of the office.

    With such a large range in size and pricing, Lena can offer clients a great deal of flexibility when it comes to customizing office spaces for them. Lena says, “Nowadays, people look for effectiveness and efficiency, and using our serviced offices means flexibility. With us, you just pay for what you need and when you need it.” For example, clients can choose to rent meeting rooms—at an hourly or daily rate, along with additional equipment such as LCD projectors, flip charts or DVD players.

    The serviced office industry, although not a new concept, has started to boom in Jakarta. Todd Lauchlan, country head of real estate advisory firm Jones Lang Lasalle (and Forbes Indonesia columnist), says: “The serviced office industry is a barometer of the health of a country's economy. When businesses are looking to expand and use serviced offices abroad, it means that foreign money will be going into that country.” Serviced offices eliminate the hassle, cost and risk of securing a permanent office—international firms can quickly enter a market and get started, and they can later move to a regular office at their convenience (or stay in the serviced one).