Gratitude in Adversity

by Alisjahbana Haliman
April 17, 2020
Alisjahbana Haliman

I am writing you from my home office and trust you are all well and healthy. It is difficult time for most of the world if not all. However, the earth is taking a break… How much longer this thing will last? What the world will look like when business and activities start rolling again? I am not sure whether there is an exact answer. But I know for sure that one, this pandemic will end, and two, the business and activities will open up again. How is it look like? Maybe not much of a difference, except for those industries that involve some sort of social gatherings i.e. travel, hospitality, and F&B among others.

I read when Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson who have since recovered from Covid-19 commented “we are taking it one day at a time”. In many aspects, I have guided our companies through this pandemic time the same attitude. We are taking it one day at a time, and make the most of it each day. Let’s get as many things done today, and repeat the same the next day. I am trying to get myself and our colleagues avoid that question “when this thing will end”. Let’s not think about it too much. The most important is the present. How we can do more work and deliver more each day. Meetings are done on a short notice and no one seems to be bothered by this, I hope not, at least not me personally. I have been amazed on how much we have achieved for the last two months since this whole virus thing emerge to be something present real danger and disrupt our lives.

 

To begin with, we have started to shield ourselves and our facilities early on to drastically reduce physical contact with customers and vendors. And we implemented strict rigorous preventive measures in all our entrances to our facilities, and lately about half of our work force have been working from home to have less dense population in the office. All in all, we acted early and so far, we have been productive and we continue to run our production to satisfy the increasing needs of our valuable customers. We even hired few people thru ZOOM and I am looking forward to see them face to face soon.

 

I trust many of you had noticed that during the last two month, Talasi had managed to launch a few new products. They were results from collaborated work among our colleagues via virtual. How exciting is that?  This is exactly the skill and mindset we actually need in our organization. An ability to work together across different functions and locations to come out with an idea, brainstorm it and at the end, see the product being listed on our online shopping and then being delivered to our customers like you. Talasi is about discovering the Origin of premium products to be formulated and put together in a package or in a bottle. We have presence in many areas sourcing and developing our supplies, and they too have been very productive in getting on the ZOOM to work along effectively.

I must say I have been busier than ever, and yes, tension is sometimes high, and this ZOOM meetings are tiresome. And gosh, when the connection is bad, patience can run low. But overall, I have not been deterred nor impeded by this pandemic. I have been very productive, not any less, comparing to normal time. But then again, running business has never been easy. As we read often the statement “the moment you are comfortable with your business, it starts to go downhill”. I have been there in few of these financial crisis, of course none of us had been thru this kind of magnitude. For me, they are crisis and require the same panicky. A good panic, a feel of adrenalin running thru our body and tell us “let get this done today” so we are better off tomorrow. This guide me personally and I am leading our companies thru this attitude and mindset.

Now it is just about time for me to have dinner with my wife and my daughter at home. A togetherness I would not have had, if they have not been staying home. We are blessed.

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How can I contribute? How do we create a better livelihood? How can we use the abundant natural resources and add more value to their lives. This was my purpose calling and I have spent my adult life in the business of adding value to Indonesian natural resources. 

After a few days in Sumba, I was reenergized and felt the urge to start a new journey. This new endeavor will be different. This time I intended to bring more power to the smallholders and farmers in creating a sustainable chain that can give value and impact on their lives. And I named this enterprise Talasi which in sanskrit depicts trees that always bear flowers, fruits and new leaves, and a sweet fragrance or cornflower in Latin America.

Talasi is about exploring and discovering the potential in the obscurity. Talasi is about setting up and operating at the Origin. Talasi is about working with the community, providing them with knowledge, skills and tools. Investing at the grassroots level and connecting the chain to sustain and maintain nature while enhancing livelihoods. With the end game of empowerment to the people of the land.

With the creation of our premium honest brands, Watu and Toye across food and natural ingredient products, everyone can be part of this vision with each purchase in support of the same values and mission to empower the grassroots communities.

We will soon complete our full facilities and retreat in Sumba which is currently roasting our Watu cashews. And our Batukaru Talasi Retreat, Bali opened earlier this year with Flores next in line.

I am excited about what the future holds for “the Origin” and I would like to take this opportunity to extend my personal humble invitation to each and everyone you to visit us and “Experience Talasi”.

Let’s discover the Origin,
Alisjahbana Haliman
Founder