An Indonesian Business Student Talks About Culture
Ngurah Linggih | #TalkbackTuesday
Hi, and welcome to #TalkbackTuesday. This week’s interview is with Mr. Ngurah Linggih. See his interview below.
Talkback Tuesday is a weekly interview with everyday people. It is always inspirational to look into the life of another person and realize it is just as complex and large and confusing as your own.
1. For the readers, who are you, what do you do, and what is your current side project?
My name is Ngurah. I know its hard to read for most people, so I like to spell it as “Nura”. Although I am originally from Indonesia, I’m currently living in Germany to complete my MBA.
I am almost finished with my degree and am currently in the beginning [stages] of doing a master thesis. I take this master thesis as my project as it will be a business plan that I am working on together with one of my classmates. We will try to make this business plan as implementable as possible, so we could also use it to pitch to potential investors.
At a Glance: Ngurah (or Nura) is studying Business in Germany and is working on a business plan as a thesis and a future avenue.
2. Without giving away key secrets, can you describe your business plan? Also, what excites you about this project and what would be your ideal success milestones?
Currently, we are still in the idea generation stage, with different kinds of ideas that we want to focus on. But in general, we want to work on a digital business that can be scaled up without huge initial capital. It could possibly be related to e-commerce or software as a service (SaaS).
What excites me the most is the possibility of taking this business plan to the next level, which is launching the prototype and getting initial funding.
I think the best success milestone for me is an increasing number of returning customers and/or users that actually use our products a number of times.
3. As an Indonesian, why did you decide to pick a German school? What are some of the cultural differences you found are the most interesting to you? Which one is the most enlightening?
I think Germany is a good study destination, considering the two most important factors, which are the cost (lower than the most grad school in the UK or USA) and working opportunity (thriving economy with lenient working permit).
However, I also found that some parts of the German culture are a bit different from mine, or most Asian cultures. Things like punctuality, straight talking, and rules-abiding are very German.
For me, the best thing about Germany is how I am learning to be faster and more efficient in everything. From daily life when buying groceries (people have to pack their groceries really fast in the counter) to doing university work, where group meetings are less important than individual work.
4. Considering you are used to a changing culture, what would you say are the 3 principles you need to be adaptable and ready? How would you apply those if your project doesn’t work out?
- Be flexible, and don’t compare everything to what you are used to. That will make you ignorant.
- Watch and listen to people. I think this is the best way to understand a new culture, especially in a country where you don’t speak the language fluently.
- Keep being yourself. To stand out from the crowd, we should also keep our own culture and uniqueness.
I think I still have to learn a lot about understanding different cultures. In my project now, I will be working with an Indian student. I feel we have more or less the same approach to things. Maybe it would be more difficult if I work on a project with [someone with] a very different mindset.
At a Glance: Don’t compare new things with your lifestyle. Observe and interact with as many people as you can. Cherish your uniqueness.
5. Great. Finally, what can you leave the audience with? What should they explore next?
For people who like to understand more about culture, I suggest to travel more and have fun with life. If you would like to learn more about Indonesia, come and visit Bali, a great place to understand the connection between people and nature.
Thank you for reading Talkback Tuesday with Ngurah Linggih! Did you enjoy it?
Next, check out the previous interview from last Tuesday with Kirit Sankar Gupta by clicking on the image below. Kirit is an entrepreneur and ethical hacker who works to educate India and raise its abysmal cyber-security standards. He spoke to us about ethical hacking and IT security.