Business Environment

Balancing Practice and Management in Working in Indonesia【The Dilemma for Technical People】



Changi Airport immigration counter mechanization impresses

I recently left Singapore for visa renewal and flew back to Jakarta the next morning, and was impressed by the mechanized departure immigration at Changi International Airport.


The gray square is an entry stamp and the green circle is an exit stamp.

It seems to have just been introduced on a trial basis next to the previous human exit procedure counters, and an Indian officer was sorting out only those who looked suspicious from the line of people leaving the country and guiding them to the machine, so fortunately I was in the less suspicious group.

However, when you leave the country, when you are mechanized, your passport will no longer be stamped with an exit stamp, so it's unclear how the Indonesian side will know when and where you have entered the country from.

I don't have the time to worry about other people's dilemma, such as whether there might be some immigrants who are sad because they are relocated due to the mechanization, so I thought about the dilemma of working as a technician in Indonesia.

Indonesian in practice and Japanese in management

As stipulated in Article 45 of Chapter 8 of Law No. 13 of 2003 (Pasal 45 ayat [1] huruf a UU No. 13/2003), Japanese nationals working in Indonesia are supposed to "transfer their skills and expertise to Indonesian nationals" in principle, but inevitably Indonesian employees will be responsible for practical work that requires technology and expertise in the field, while Japanese employees will manage the work.

From the point of view of cost performance, it is more cost-effective for the company to increase profits by increasing the number of clones of excellent Indonesian engineers in charge of practical work, rather than having Japanese engineers handle all the practical work on their own.

In order for Japanese to manage Indonesian clones, even if they are not so well versed in the field, they need to understand at least the theory of customer requirements from Japan, which will be a hindrance in giving instructions to the engineers who will be working in the field.

It is often said that you will drop off in a short period of time when you are away from the work site, and if you are used to giving instructions to Indonesian engineers in IT work, you will forget how to write While and Select sentences when you open the editor to code after a long time. It is natural that your Japanese expatriates know more about your business operations than you do.

Japanese expatriates who are customers of the company know more about their business operations, while engineers from manufacturers who come from Japan on business trips are more knowledgeable about their expertise. Isn't it?

You can't keep your practical skills unless you're aware of them.

This is a cleaning robot we encountered on the way to the Lion Air boarding gate after passing through the automatic departure immigration at Changi Airport, but it's a little eerie to see a big robot cleaning by itself, as I had a strong image of a home-use Roomba.

You have to move your body before your head to do practical work, but if you are usually doing only management work, you will lose your "on-the-spot instincts" and when you start doing practical work, your hands will not move as you would like, it will become a bother and your motivation will plummet.

In my case, if I don't pick up the practical skills of software operation and coding by myself, I will be caught in a sandwich between the customer who is doing the practical work in Japan and the Indonesian engineer who is doing the practical work under my direction.

People say that it is difficult for a person who has worked in a Japanese company for many years to maintain his or her instincts in the field after becoming a manager, but the same thing can happen to Japanese engineers working in Indonesia. And before you know it, you may have lost your job to a cleaning robot.

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