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Introducing Indira Setia Putri: Meet The Entrepreneur Behind Global Millionaire’s June 2024 Edition

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In a world often obsessed with youth and fleeting beauty, Indira Setia Putri stands as a beacon of grace, resilience, and purpose. A mother to a 13-year-old boy, entrepreneur, beauty queen, and seasoned professional in the IT industry, she embodies the essence of modern-day multitasking. From her early days as a professional model to her current role as a Senior Account Director in sales, her trajectory speaks volumes about adaptability and tenacity. Recently crowned Mrs Grand Australia 2024, Indira’s journey is a testament to her multifaceted talent and unyielding spirit. Adding to her accolades, Indira is the latest cover star of Global Millionaire magazine, further cementing her status as a role model and influential figure.

Indira’s professional journey spans over 20 years in the IT industry, where she has carved out a distinguished career. As a Senior Account Director, her strategic acumen and leadership have driven significant growth and innovation within her organisation. Yet, it is her entrepreneurial spirit that truly sets her apart. Indira’s ventures, including Gaijin Japanese Restaurant and LARi Active, reflect her commitment to creativity and community. Gaijin Japanese Restaurant offers a unique culinary experience, blending traditional Japanese flavours with modern twists. LARi Active, a fashion-forward athleisure wear brand, focuses on bold, stylish designs, high-quality production, and responsibly sourced materials. Through these businesses, Indira is reshaping the landscape of fashion and food, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie among her customers and peers.

Beyond the boardroom, Indira finds solace and strength in her pursuit of physical fitness. An accomplished Taekwondo practitioner, she clinched the Taekwondo National Champion title in 2018 and 2019. Her diverse array of activities, from yoga to participating in half marathons and community runs, contributes to her holistic wellbeing. These endeavours underscore her commitment to a balanced lifestyle and her dedication to giving back to the community. Her active involvement in these activities highlights the importance of physical health and community engagement in achieving overall success and fulfilment.

In the grand tapestry of life, Indira Setia Putri’s story serves as a poignant reminder that beauty isn’t merely skin deep. It is a reflection of the passion, purpose, and resilience that define us as individuals. Indira’s journey, marked by professional excellence, entrepreneurial success, and a dedication to physical fitness and community, redefines what it means to be truly beautiful. Her life is a testament to the power of embracing one’s multifaceted nature and striving for greatness in all aspects of life.

Global Millionaire magazine recently caught up with Indira to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:

We note that you’ve been an IT professional for over 20 years, what have been some of the biggest challenges you have faced as a woman in the IT industry, and how have you overcome them to achieve your current position?

The biggest challenges include the underrepresentation of women in IT leadership, lack of access to leadership opportunities, and maternal bias. In May 2023, women held less than 20% of IT leadership positions, and a significant pay gap persists. Fortunately, these issues have been less pronounced at the two IT companies I’ve worked with since 2004. Maternal bias extends to workplace treatment; as primary caregivers, women should be afforded flexible working hours by default. While quality performance is crucial, this flexibility should be standard. I speak up, challenge the status quo, and raise concerns when necessary to overcome these obstacles. Building a support system of positive and influential peers has been vital. Continuous learning and embracing life experiences, whether good or bad, have also helped me grow as an individual and professional.

Photo Credit by Patrick Rybicki (@melbourne.moment)

Over the past two decades, the IT industry has undergone significant changes. How have you seen the industry evolve during your career, and what major shifts have you had to adapt to?

The IT industry has transformed dramatically over the past 15-20 years. The lines between Telco, ICT, and Cyber Security companies have blurred, leading to the rise of end-to-end solution providers preferred by SMEs. High-profile cyber security breaches have prompted the Australian Government to mandate compliance with the ASD Essential 8, and the 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy aims to position Australia as a global leader in cyber security. AI and RPA have become crucial for businesses seeking to balance resource retention, cost-cutting, and productivity. Adapting to these changes requires agility and a keen awareness of market trends and needs.

Parenting a teenager comes with its own set of challenges. What have been some of the most significant challenges you’ve faced raising your 14-year-old son, and what strategies have you found effective in addressing them?

The transition from primary to middle school posed significant challenges, with my son adapting to multiple teachers and more complex subjects. My husband and I support and guide him, helping him navigate these changes until he finds his own path. His commitment to soccer, with training five days a week and games on Sundays, requires our active involvement. We listen to him, support his passions, and ensure open communication. We praise his achievements and provide constructive feedback when needed, fostering a transparent and supportive environment.

Balancing a full-time job in the IT industry and entrepreneurship with being a mom can be demanding. How do you manage your professional responsibilities while ensuring you remain actively involved in your son’s life and development?

Juggling multiple roles requires strong organizational skills and a solid support system. Being structured, determined, empathetic, and firm helps me manage my responsibilities. My family and friends are incredibly supportive, and my husband and I work together to stay involved in our son’s life and development. Balancing professional and personal life involves multi-tasking and adaptability, ensuring I meet my commitments in all areas.

Managing both an active wear brand and a Japanese restaurant must be challenging. How do you balance your time and resources between LARi Active and Gaijin Japanese Restaurant, and what strategies do you use to ensure both ventures thrive?

Balancing time and resources involves multi-tasking and staying agile. I might handle a conference call while driving to a client meeting or think about strategic plans during a run. Adaptability, creativity, and innovation are crucial, along with a strong support system and partnership. My operations manager, who is also my best friend, and a skilled culinary team manage the restaurant. Talented business partners with diverse expertise contribute to the success of both ventures. Gaijin Japanese Restaurant, established in 2009, and LARi Active, founded in 2020, continue to thrive through our e-commerce and consignment platform.

Photo Credit by Patrick Rybicki (@melbourne.moment)

What inspired you to create LARi Active and Gaijin Japanese Restaurant, and how do these inspirations reflect in the brand’s ethos and the dining experience?

The inspiration behind both ventures is my desire to create and lead my brand. Owning a business allows for limitless creativity and control over strategic direction. LARi Active was born out of my passion for fashion and the need for vibrant, comfortable activewear. Our products, mostly made from sustainable materials, reflect our commitment to ethical production. My experience in modeling and pageantry enhances my network and business growth. Gaijin Japanese Fusion Restaurant offers unique dining experiences, including an All You Can Eat Sushi & Sashimi menu and a focus on healthy eating through collaboration with Mum’s Kitchen. These elements, combined with a welcoming atmosphere, set us apart in the market.

Sustainability is a key focus for LARi Active. Can you share more about the sustainable fabrics you use and why integrating eco-friendly practices is important to you?

Understanding climate change and the 5Rs (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle) of environmental principles is essential for responsible business practices. LARi Active uses sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, bamboo cotton, and regenerated nylon from fishing nets. These materials are sourced from reputable suppliers who are pioneers in regeneration technologies. We also use compostable packaging for our products. Integrating eco-friendly practices helps mitigate climate change and protect our mother Earth.

How do you ensure a unique and memorable customer experience both in the shopping experience with LARi Active and the dining experience at Gaijin Japanese Restaurant?

Customer feedback is at the heart of our operations. We listen to our customers and respond positively to their feedback, constantly seeking improvement. Creating a unique and memorable experience involves collaboration between owners, managers, and staff, ensuring we meet and exceed customer expectations.

Photo Credit by Patrick Rybicki (@melbourne.moment)

For LARi Active, bold and fashion-forward design is a hallmark. Can you talk about your design process and how you stay ahead of fashion trends in the active wear industry?

Our design process involves close collaboration with our in-house graphic designer, suppliers, and manufacturing team. We are heavily involved in every step, from fabric selection to quality control. Depending on the product’s complexity, the process can take 3-6 months. We focus on fashion-forward designs with versatile cutting and fabric choices, catering to a diverse age range and body types. This approach ensures our products are stylish, comfortable, and suitable for various activities.

What are your future plans and goals for LARi Active and Gaijin Japanese Restaurant? Are there any exciting projects or expansions on the horizon that you can share with us?

We continually strive to innovate and expand. Recently, Gaijin collaborated with Mum’s Kitchen to offer a healthy eating menu. For LARi, we launched new collections in February and May 2024 and expanded to Jakarta and Bali through partnerships. Our future plans include more exciting projects and expansions. Stay tuned by following us on our social media channels for updates.

You can follow Indira on Instagram by visiting this link: @indi_melb

You can follow Gaijin Japanese Restaurant on Instagram by visiting this link: @gaijinmelbourne

You can follow Gaijin Japanese Restaurant on Facebook by visiting this link: @Gaijin

You can follow LARi Active on Instagram by visiting this link: @lari.active

You can follow LARi Active on Facebook by visiting this link: @LARi.Active