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Born and raised in an entrepreneurs family, Shinta Widjaja Kamdani has always been taught to work hard ever since her young age. In 1989, she joined one of her family’s companies, Tigaraksa Satria after she graduated from Barnard College, Colombia University, New York. She started her career from an entry-level position in promotion and marketing.

Ten years later, Shinta made her way as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company. She changed the company’s name to Sintesa Group and consolidated all subsidiaries under Sintesa Group. It also marked a new era for the business with a focus on four pillars namely property, energy, industry and consumer products. Apart from her role at Sintesa Group, Shinta is also the Deputy Chairwoman of Indonesia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) for International Relations and the Vice Chairwoman of Indonesia Employers Association (APINDO). And recently, The Asia Corporate Excellence & Sustainability Awards (ACES) presented her with the Women Entrepreneur of the Year award.

What is the one thing that you would love to master?

I would like to master in law.

What’s the best advice you ever give to someone?

I would say never give up, always learn from your failures.

What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

Two things that I remember. One is parasailing. So I was water-skiing and then with parachute going up. The other one would be jumping from a helicopter, doing snow-skiing.

What’s the one issue you feel passionate about and why?

Woman empowerment. I would like to empower more women, make an impact on more women’s causes.

What’s the one thing you really want to achieve?

I always think of Mother Theresa, what a person. A selfless person who never thinks of herself but always care for other people. I think if I can be like her one day that would be an amazing experience for me.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I think I would like to live a more balanced life. Life balance is so important but also I want to do more social work to be able to be on the ground. Doing more things with people that can help them and support them.

Who are three Indonesian businesswomen or businessmen you adore the most?

First would be my father. He is my role model, my mentor. Second would be Ibu Kartini Mulyadi, she is a lawyer. Do you know? Until today at the age of 90, she still works and she has such a great mind. The third would be Pak Sofyan Wanadi. He has taught me a lot from businessman and now he becomes more politician doing more national service. I think those are the three people that I adore.

Describe Indonesia’s economy in one word

The Indonesian economy is full of potential. The right word would be potential.

What is the most important thing women should start to do at a young age?

I think it’s important for young girls to build their self-confidence.