Melcher Klink works for Tebodin in Jakarta. As a business developer, he oversees major projects such as the construction of warehouses and offices for a cocoa-processing plant in Surabaya, located in the province of East Java.
Honking horns, swarming mopeds, congested streets. Whenever Melcher Klink, originally from the Netherlands, has to drive to a business meeting in the Indonesian capital, he’s sure of one thing: The commute could take awhile.
Melcher Klink is responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction management of major projects. Right now, he is overseeing the construction of a 17,500-square-meter complex with offices and storage rooms for the chocolate factory Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. Construction began last year, and everything is expected to be finished by the end of June. Indonesia is the world’s third-largest producer of cocoa beans; demand for high-quality cocoa products has increased with rising incomes, especially in Asia.
Klink’s main responsibility is to acquire new customers and develop business relationships in Indonesia. He serves as the go-between for customers and project heads. “I discuss the customer’s wishes with our team and then, together, we look at how we can implement these ideas,” he says. The team is made up of more than 120 colleagues who work on-site in Jakarta. Together they manage customers from the processing, food, drink and fine-chemicals industry such as ABB, Heineken, Knauf and Unilever.
For Klink, moving to Jakarta was like getting back to his roots, as both of his parents come from Indonesia. He may have grown up in the Netherlands, but many of his relatives still live in the Indonesian capital. The business developer has now started his own family: He’s married to an Indonesian woman and has become a father. His family background benefits him in many ways. Because of it, he is fluent in the language and understands what matters to the locals.
Klink likes the Asian culture, so the decision to leave the Netherlands was an easy one for him. He especially enjoys the proximity to other countries like Singapore or Malaysia, as he loves to travel. He can easily imagine staying in Jakarta for a while. The mountains, the lakes, the shopping: All of these things translate to quality of life for him. He has been particularly impressed with the openness of the Asian people: “It’s really easy to make friends here!”