“I wanted to be a doctor, but my dad wants me to be a TikTok influencer”– the generation after Gen Z

Me back in 2020 at @pikbakinghouse store, trying to sell Hawaiian Papaya Ci Mehong Style.

In recent months, commodities like nickel, bauxite, and even seaweed have dominated headlines and filled the election debate, but one commodity stands out among the rest, and it’s not what you might expect: followers.

The realization hit home when President Joko Widodo began engaging influencers during the 2019 election. Suddenly, it became clear that social media followers were a valuable commodity, perhaps one of the most crucial in today’s digital age.

Fast forward to now, and the importance of followers has reached unprecedented heights. This trend is especially evident in the lead-up to the 2024 election, with many candidates incorporating follower count into their campaign strategies. Some are even going so far as to recruit celebrities and their spouses as legislative candidates, leveraging their massive social media followings.

What’s intriguing is how this trend extends to unexpected individuals, like my friend’s mom, Tjioe Nofia Handayani, affectionately known as Ci Mehong. Despite her seemingly niche market of selling high-end goods like geoduck and abalone, her years of dedication and countless social media posts have amassed her nearly 400,000 Instagram followers and over 420,000 on TikTok. For once, this might just be the best way to capitalize on the massive followers that she has.

This phenomenon has prompted some to reconsider traditional paths to influence and power. While I have other friends of which many have grown up in families entrenched in politics, the allure of social media influence may signal a new era in politics and beyond.

Interestingly, this shift in focus towards digital influence might explain why consumer industries, typically buoyed by election cycles, haven’t seen the expected boost. Instead, much of the campaign funds are likely being funneled into digital marketing and endorsements, capitalizing on the power of this new hot commodity.

So, perhaps the next time a member of Gen Z expresses aspirations to own a nickel or gold mine, they might consider the potential of becoming an influencer instead. After all, in this digital age, followers aren’t just numbers; they’re pure currency, paving the way to fame, fortune, and influence. It’s a whole new frontier where likes and shares hold more power than gold nuggets.

Danzel Aryo Soerjohadi

Investments at Heyokha Brother


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“I wanted to be a doctor, but my dad wants me to be a TikTok influencer”– the generation after Gen Z

Me back in 2020 at @pikbakinghouse store, trying to sell Hawaiian Papaya Ci Mehong Style.

In recent months, commodities like nickel, bauxite, and even seaweed have dominated headlines and filled the election debate, but one commodity stands out among the rest, and it’s not what you might expect: followers.

The realization hit home when President Joko Widodo began engaging influencers during the 2019 election. Suddenly, it became clear that social media followers were a valuable commodity, perhaps one of the most crucial in today’s digital age.

Fast forward to now, and the importance of followers has reached unprecedented heights. This trend is especially evident in the lead-up to the 2024 election, with many candidates incorporating follower count into their campaign strategies. Some are even going so far as to recruit celebrities and their spouses as legislative candidates, leveraging their massive social media followings.

What’s intriguing is how this trend extends to unexpected individuals, like my friend’s mom, Tjioe Nofia Handayani, affectionately known as Ci Mehong. Despite her seemingly niche market of selling high-end goods like geoduck and abalone, her years of dedication and countless social media posts have amassed her nearly 400,000 Instagram followers and over 420,000 on TikTok. For once, this might just be the best way to capitalize on the massive followers that she has.

This phenomenon has prompted some to reconsider traditional paths to influence and power. While I have other friends of which many have grown up in families entrenched in politics, the allure of social media influence may signal a new era in politics and beyond.

Interestingly, this shift in focus towards digital influence might explain why consumer industries, typically buoyed by election cycles, haven’t seen the expected boost. Instead, much of the campaign funds are likely being funneled into digital marketing and endorsements, capitalizing on the power of this new hot commodity.

So, perhaps the next time a member of Gen Z expresses aspirations to own a nickel or gold mine, they might consider the potential of becoming an influencer instead. After all, in this digital age, followers aren’t just numbers; they’re pure currency, paving the way to fame, fortune, and influence. It’s a whole new frontier where likes and shares hold more power than gold nuggets.

Danzel Aryo Soerjohadi

Investments at Heyokha Brother


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That day, I strolled along the main road of Cikini around Menteng. Jakarta’s weather was neither too hot nor rainy. It seemed as if the capital was in a good mood.

Quietly, I admired the colonial architecture still present in the Cikini area. The cafe’s interior and the sidewalk were only separated by a glass window. I began to imagine how Dutch ladies in that era would leisurely drink tea, sip coffee, and exchange gossip, without the rush of work or the immediacy of WA messages or emails demanding immediate responses. Honestly, in that moment, a feeling of jealousy emerged within me.

Engrossed in my own thoughts, out of nowhere, an old man approached and said:

“Sir, I’m actually embarrassed to say… I need a little bit of money to go home by train from Gondangdia station. But my wallet is completely empty, sir. Please help me get home.”

I sensed a tone of despair from the man when he showed me his tattered, empty wallet.

Perhaps due to my preoccupied mind, I automatically mustered a “Sorry, sir…”, assuming it was another one of those frauds in my beloved Jakarta.

As if he could read my mind, the slight look of desperation on the man’s face immediately turned into one of disappointment as he apologised, “I’m sorry for disturbing you, sir… I really am.”

Just like that, the man shook his head and walked away. It was hard to guess why the man shook his head. What was he feeling? Who knows?

About five minutes later, a wave of regret slowly washed over me. I felt something odd, something unusual. The man didn’t force me. In fact, he apologised. A single glance at his eyes confirmed that he was embarrassed to do so. Or maybe he’s a great actor. Who knows?

Stricken with confusion and regret, I turned around to look for the man. But he had disappeared, as if he were a ninja.

So I let out a sigh, turned around again, and continued my journey. However, this time, I didn’t gaze at the beautiful Dutch-styled window displays along Cikini road. The only thing I could picture was the man’s gloomy face, which continued to resurface in my mind. I kept asking myself, “What if the man really couldn’t come home?”

I should have followed my heart more often. Occasionally, I ought to try listening to my inner voice and extend a helping hand to those suffering like the man. However, in my case, it was far too late now.

At times, the fast-paced lifestyle of being a “Jakarta person” can numb our conscience, credited to our frequent experiences of deception and dishonesty. The fear of being taken advantage of often compels us to shut ourselves off from our inner voice. I found myself in a moment of silence, deeply contemplative. However, this time, it wasn’t about the Dutch ladies.

This time, my thoughts shifted to a culture that we face daily. In an organisation whose culture focuses on office politics and backstabbing, members would be busy “building gates” to fortify themselves. In this survival mode, our inner voice often gets ignored. But so what?

On the other hand, in an organisation where members genuinely care for each other and sincerely communicate with each other, we become part of the lives of fellow members of the organisation- in other words, a true community. We all yearn to be part of something greater than ourselves, feel safe and happy, and dare to be ourselves.

This courage to “be ourselves” comes down to the desire to build bridges instead of gates. It involves listening to the whispers of the heart that keep us from becoming overly cautious “Jakarta people”. These whispers from the heart make us willing to be attentive listeners, opening ourselves to the stories of our neighbours.

I try to remind myself that listening with genuine attention and appreciation is the key to good social relationships. It is the foundation for building social bridges—pathways that lead us to happiness, success, good health, and the many joys life has to offer.

Written by Wuddy Warsono, CFA


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That day, I strolled along the main road of Cikini around Menteng. Jakarta’s weather was neither too hot nor rainy. It seemed as if the capital was in a good mood.

Quietly, I admired the colonial architecture still present in the Cikini area. The cafe’s interior and the sidewalk were only separated by a glass window. I began to imagine how Dutch ladies in that era would leisurely drink tea, sip coffee, and exchange gossip, without the rush of work or the immediacy of WA messages or emails demanding immediate responses. Honestly, in that moment, a feeling of jealousy emerged within me.

Engrossed in my own thoughts, out of nowhere, an old man approached and said:

“Sir, I’m actually embarrassed to say… I need a little bit of money to go home by train from Gondangdia station. But my wallet is completely empty, sir. Please help me get home.”

I sensed a tone of despair from the man when he showed me his tattered, empty wallet.

Perhaps due to my preoccupied mind, I automatically mustered a “Sorry, sir…”, assuming it was another one of those frauds in my beloved Jakarta.

As if he could read my mind, the slight look of desperation on the man’s face immediately turned into one of disappointment as he apologised, “I’m sorry for disturbing you, sir… I really am.”

Just like that, the man shook his head and walked away. It was hard to guess why the man shook his head. What was he feeling? Who knows?

About five minutes later, a wave of regret slowly washed over me. I felt something odd, something unusual. The man didn’t force me. In fact, he apologised. A single glance at his eyes confirmed that he was embarrassed to do so. Or maybe he’s a great actor. Who knows?

Stricken with confusion and regret, I turned around to look for the man. But he had disappeared, as if he were a ninja.

So I let out a sigh, turned around again, and continued my journey. However, this time, I didn’t gaze at the beautiful Dutch-styled window displays along Cikini road. The only thing I could picture was the man’s gloomy face, which continued to resurface in my mind. I kept asking myself, “What if the man really couldn’t come home?”

I should have followed my heart more often. Occasionally, I ought to try listening to my inner voice and extend a helping hand to those suffering like the man. However, in my case, it was far too late now.

At times, the fast-paced lifestyle of being a “Jakarta person” can numb our conscience, credited to our frequent experiences of deception and dishonesty. The fear of being taken advantage of often compels us to shut ourselves off from our inner voice. I found myself in a moment of silence, deeply contemplative. However, this time, it wasn’t about the Dutch ladies.

This time, my thoughts shifted to a culture that we face daily. In an organisation whose culture focuses on office politics and backstabbing, members would be busy “building gates” to fortify themselves. In this survival mode, our inner voice often gets ignored. But so what?

On the other hand, in an organisation where members genuinely care for each other and sincerely communicate with each other, we become part of the lives of fellow members of the organisation- in other words, a true community. We all yearn to be part of something greater than ourselves, feel safe and happy, and dare to be ourselves.

This courage to “be ourselves” comes down to the desire to build bridges instead of gates. It involves listening to the whispers of the heart that keep us from becoming overly cautious “Jakarta people”. These whispers from the heart make us willing to be attentive listeners, opening ourselves to the stories of our neighbours.

I try to remind myself that listening with genuine attention and appreciation is the key to good social relationships. It is the foundation for building social bridges—pathways that lead us to happiness, success, good health, and the many joys life has to offer.

Written by Wuddy Warsono, CFA


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We drive our mission with an exceptional culture through applying a growth mindset where re-search.
re-learning and reflection is at our core.