04 April 2017
Golf Builds Business Relationships
One of the main sponsors of the 2016 Indonesia Open was PT JCB International Indonesia, an International payment company which has been present in Indonesia since 1986. The company, which offers payment services such as credit and debit cards, saw that golf provides a fantastic opportunity to promote their brand to the Indonesian market. “If we sponsor these events, more people know of our brand,” said Koichiro Wada, Director of PT JCB International Indonesia. We met with the 42-year old who work at JCB over 20 years to have a chat about golf as his hobby, his most memorable golf experiences, and JCB’s involvement with golf events.
Could you tell us a bit about your own personal experience with golf, how did you get introduced to the sport?
When I was 25 years old and worked at JCB company in Japan for Domestic Business, there was a CEO of one Japanese company who introduced me to playing golf. He said that if you want to be a good businessman, you have to play golf.
That’s good advice; there are certainly plenty of deals that happen on the course. So, do you remember the very first time you hit a golf ball?
I practiced golf at a driving range. It turned out that it’s difficult to hit a golf ball. I was baseball player in university and I always hit a moving ball. So, when I started to play golf, I thought it’d be easy to hit a golf ball. Then, I missed! It’s totally different, hitting a baseball to a golf ball.
Yes, golf is a surprisingly difficult game! What else have you learned from golf?
Golf is not just a sport. It teaches me how to manage a strategy and apply course management. It is similar to business - you are not just meeting people and talking. You have to do your strategy planning and everything. Golf also helped me build business relationships and make new friends.
Is there one experience in golf that stands out as the most memorable?
Most memorable? I think when we supported the Indonesia Open last year. The experience was more memorable than simply playing golf.
You've been living in Indonesia for over seven months now, do you have a favorite course?
Pondok Indah Golf Course. The course is very difficult for me because the fairways are very narrow. It motivates me to challenge the course. New Kuta Golf Club is also interesting for me. Each hole is very strategic and challenging, and the view is beautiful.
Given that you also played back home in Japan, how do Indonesian courses compare to Japanese golf courses, are there many differences?
Every time I play golf here I’m very impressed by the course maintenance. They are very good. The courses are mostly wider than Japan’s and the greens are also faster than Japan’s.
If you could pick a dream fourball who would yours be?
It would probably be Isao Aoki, Hideki Matsuyama, and Lee Bo-mee, the Korean ladies player.
JCB was one of the sponsors of the Indonesia Open last year. What were the goals of JCB associated to supporting this tournament?
One of JCB’s biggest goals was to launch BRI-JCB card for our customers using that big event. The other goal was that JCB wanted to create an image through the Indonesia Open.
So, does JCB have any goals for the future that are involved with golf?
Yes, we’ll support golf associations in Indonesia. We’ll also work together with golf courses to accept and provide JCB Card services for our customers.