IR­WAN DANNY MUSSRY

In The Mo­ment

Prestige Indonesia - - Contents -

“I’VE BEEN IN THE lux­ury watch business for a long time, and I don’t know how many watches I own,” says Ir­wan Danny Mussry, Pres­i­dent and CEO of Time In­ter­na­tional. “But the en­joy­ment is not about how many time­pieces I might have. It’s about the sto­ries that go along with col­lect­ing watches. That’s what lux­ury is about. That’s what I en­joy.”

“I don’t have one favourite watch,” he says. “I open my drawer and pick out what I want to wear at that mo­ment. It’s all about the mo­ment for me.” Surabaya-born Mussry points to the mag­nif­i­cent limited-edi­tion Pi­aget au­to­matic watch on his wrist. “If you’d asked me last night, I wouldn’t know I’d be wear­ing this watch right now,” he says. “It came down to how I felt this morn­ing.” Then the jovial en­tre­pre­neur breaks into a smile. “When I picked up this watch, I had Pres­tige and this in­ter­view in mind. I’ve had this model for over 10 years, but it still looks brand new. If I told them it was a week old, peo­ple would be­lieve me be­cause it looks so good. What I like about it is that, when it came out, it was thin but it still had all th­ese dif­fer­ent func­tions - like the dual time zone, and the day and night in­di­ca­tor. It’s hard to imag­ine how to cal­i­brate that when you have to put the parts to­gether in a case that’s so thin. The watch­maker must have spent a good amount of time de­sign­ing and mak­ing this watch. I’m in awe of the per­son or tal­ent be­hind the watch. You need to have amaz­ing ex­per­tise and ded­i­ca­tion to your craft to be able to cre­ate some­thing like this.”

From a young age, Mussry has had an affin­ity for the finer things in life. After com­plet­ing his stud­ies in 1983 at Cal­i­for­nia State Univer­sity, Los An­ge­les, where he ma­jored in Business, he re­turned to In­done­sia. “What mo­ti­vated me to stay in the lux­ury business through­out all th­ese years was the de­sire to share the dream of lux­ury with a big­ger au­di­ence,” he says. “Peo­ple per­ceive lux­ury as some­thing that’s far from every­day re­al­ity. But through our prod­ucts and ser­vices, we are bring­ing the dream closer to peo­ple - whether they look up to a cer­tain celebrity or like to get in­volved with mo­tor rac­ing or div­ing, or some other sport or ac­tiv­ity.

Un­der 52-year-old Mussry’s in­spi­ra­tional lead­er­ship, Time In­ter­na­tional has built a pow­er­ful brand port­fo­lio that boasts many of the great­est names in haute hor­logerie: Aude­mars Piguet, Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoul­tre, Pi­aget, TAG Heuer and Vacheron Con­stantin, to name just a few.

“What’s im­por­tant to me about lux­ury prod­ucts are the sto­ries and ex­pe­ri­ences that come from ac­quir­ing beau­ti­ful things. It’s the same when I’m buy­ing paint­ings. I never plan to get a par­tic­u­lar watch. But when I see it, and if I like it, I ask peo­ple for their opin­ions and sto­ries.” This avid time­piece enthusiast says he doesn’t feel fully dressed with­out a watch on his wrist. “A watch is a choice, part of a life­style. I think, per­son­ally, I look at my watch more than my phone. I’m more com­fort­able when I have my watch on. If you’re at a nice din­ner party, it’s not po­lite to keep look­ing at your phone to check the time, is it? A watch is a piece of jew­ellery, yes, but it’s also a ne­ces­sity in a sense.”

Mussry es­tab­lished Time In­ter­na­tional to pro­vide a one-stop ser­vice for watch lovers. The business op­por­tu­nity oc­curred to him when he was buy­ing his first watch in the 1980s. “I was look­ing for a Gucci watch that was in trend then. Be­cause the ser­vice wasn’t very good and I felt that the brand wasn’t rep­re­sented well, I saw a business op­por­tu­nity. This is how Time In­ter­na­tional started. I ap­proached the brand and pre­sented to them what I could do for them. This re­ally brought us to where we are to­day.

“We’ve started to have this en­tre­pre­neur­ial feel in the company, be­cause we don’t work for each other – we work with each other.”

Time In­ter­na­tional is proud still to be rep­re­sent­ing Gucci watches in In­done­sia.”

Time In­ter­na­tional has al­ways been a pi­o­neer in the lux­ury watch business here. HYT, a Swiss company that cre­ates cre­at­ing ex­clu­sive hy­brid me­chan­i­cal time­pieces for watch con­nois­seurs, is the lat­est ad­di­tion to the company’s watch brand port­fo­lio. “2014 has been an ex­cit­ing year for us,” says Mussry. “We have done a few open­ings to­wards the end of the year – our sec­ond Cartier bou­tique after 20 years, at Plaza Se­nayan, and a new IN­Time branch at Grand In­done­sia. We’ve started to have this en­tre­pre­neur­ial feel in the company, be­cause we don’t work for each other – we work with each other. We now have bet­ter lead­ers in the company who will help Time In­ter­na­tional to keep grow­ing. Our strength is in our peo­ple. Our re­sults for this year are above the tar­get we set for our­selves - and that was a chal­lenge, be­lieve me. I’ve learned over the years that I’m a peo­ple per­son. I like to work with a good team. I can give in more in­put if I work with a team - not merely by lead­ing, but also through shar­ing ideas.”

Mussry goes on to il­lus­trate his point with an anec­dote about Time In­ter­na­tional’s re­cently con­cluded part­ner­ship with HYT. “We nor­mally look at brands that are ma­ture and es­tab­lished. But part of the rea­son we chose to work with HYT was be­cause the brand has been built by a group of busi­ness­peo­ple who are hip, young, and to­day’s business peo­ple. Some of the share­hold­ers are watch spe­cial­ists who have been in the business for quite a while, man­ag­ing other brands or un­der­stand­ing the tech­nol­ogy of watch­mak­ing. They are a tech­nol­ogy-based company, but they work with one of the best move­ment mak­ers in the world. It’s an in­ter­est­ing group of peo­ple. When you com­bine this, it’s the birth of a solid, pow­er­ful brand. It’s not just the brand, but it’s also the peo­ple and story be­hind the brand.

“For the past five years, the num­ber of watch afi­ciona­dos in South­east Asia has been grow­ing rapidly - a lot of new money, new busi­nesses, younger and suc­cess­ful en­trepreneurs in the world of business. They’re new and edgy peo­ple, so they’re look­ing for more in­no­va­tive things. It’s very pos­i­tive and helps a lot of the in­de­pen­dent brands and drives new tech­nol­ogy in watch­mak­ing. Women and men are also get­ting closer in terms of their pref­er­ences in watches. It’s now hard to de­ter­mine which watch is ex­clu­sively for women or for men. A lot of ladies are buy­ing men’s watches to­day for the big­ger size and com­pli­ca­tions. It’s get­ting closer. It’s good that women are com­fort­able wear­ing that. About 65 per­cent of the mar­ket in In­done­sia is for men’s watches. How­ever, out of that per­cent­age, I think eas­ily 20 per­cent of the buy­ers are ladies. I think this change in taste can be at­trib­uted to life­style choices. The con­sumers in In­done­sia have be­come more ma­ture and knowl­edge­able, with all the in­for­ma­tion they can get through var­i­ous chan­nels. How­ever, the chal­lenge is still to share the ex­pe­ri­ence and sto­ries with new cus­tomers.

“Next year, we’ll put even more in­vest­ment into our team. This is what will make the company grow and suc­ceed fur­ther. Team­work

re­ally leads the company, and what I look for in peo­ple is in­tegrity and re­spect. When they have that foun­da­tion, then come all the other things like be­ing en­thu­si­as­tic about the prod­uct and ex­press­ing your­self. A big no is hypocrisy or pol­i­tick­ing in the company. I hope to have bet­ter and big­ger lead­ers in the or­gan­i­sa­tion. We are in the mid­dle of re­struc­tur­ing again, be­cause we want to build a struc­ture that nur­tures lead­er­ship and en­trepreneur­ship.”

Mussry says it’s im­por­tant for suc­cess­ful en­trepreneurs to give back to so­ci­ety. “We’ve worked with Happy Hearts Fund to re­store and re­con­struct a school in Marga­mulya vil­lage in Tangerang that was badly dam­aged by floods,” he notes. “For many years, we’ve had CSR (cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity) pro­grammes. I think it’s part of our re­spon­si­bil­ity, but also our character as a company. The team re­ally sup­ported this. After all, chil­dren are the back­bone of the na­tion’s fu­ture. By build­ing our first school, we hope to help and con­trib­ute the wel­fare of the com­mu­nity. We give back, and through that we gain a lot of pos­i­tive en­ergy that mo­ti­vates us.”

Mussry ad­mits that man­ag­ing his own busy sched­ule while lead­ing more than 600 em­ploy­ees is no easy task. “I re­spect and value time,” he says. “I’m a ‘mo­ments per­son’, so when I’m here with you now, I’m re­ally here – in the mo­ment. What­ever I’m do­ing, it’s for that mo­ment. I wouldn’t want to be any­where else but here. Man­ag­ing time is a very big chal­lenge. I tell my­self, if I’m late for some­thing, it wouldn’t max­imise my time be­ing there. I’d rather be early and pre­pared so I can per­form bet­ter. Be­ing on time has a lot more pos­i­tive im­pli­ca­tions rather than if you’re rushed. I don’t think you can ever master the art of time man­age­ment - you con­tinue learn­ing to master it.

“I’m blessed with what I do. I’ve felt that for a long time. It’s not easy to come to the of­fice day after day for 30 years and still feel the vibe, the ex­cite­ment. I’m not old, but I’m not a young man any­more ei­ther. I’ve worked with dif­fer­ent gen­er­a­tions of peo­ple. More and more, I re­alise that work­ing with a strong team and try­ing out new ideas is re­ally the key to con­tinue be­ing happy. I can’t imag­ine not work­ing here at Time In­ter­na­tional. I’m at a time of my life where I could make the choice not to come to the of­fice, but I wouldn’t want to do that. It’s not be­cause I’m mi­cro­manag­ing things, but I re­ally en­joy be­ing around great peo­ple. They say it’s all about who you choose to be around. I be­lieve I got where I am to­day be­cause I have a great team to help me. There’s no other way I could be here with­out their support.”

With so much zeal for fine time­pieces and de­vo­tion to the company he founded as a young man, it seems that Ir­wan Danny Mussry is still re­ally hav­ing the time of his life.

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