Daniel Mananta is a man of confidence and passion, but most of all, he is a man of many talents:he is an entrepreneur, a presenter, a film producer, a judge of a talent search show, and, as of late, a brand ambassador of Most Valued Business Indonesia. He is the mastermind behind Damn! I Love Indonesia, the popular and trendy clothing line, and an influencer that promotes the spirit of modern patriotism among the country’s young generation. One of Daniel’s most remarkable traits is his enthusiasm and cheerfulness – despite his busy schedule. On a recent afternoon, Daniel talked to usabout his biggest inspirations and his dreams for Indonesia’s youngsters.
You are an entrepreneur and entertainer – how do you define yourself and your true passion?
The common thread of everything I do is public speaking, and this is my true passion. Whether as an entrepreneur or entertainer, I love to inspire people. There once was a guy who came to me and said that when he saw me on television, he was inspired to learn English so he could pursue further education overseas. Now he won a scholarship to Australia and said to me that ‘maybe I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you’. To hear a story like thisis very fulfilling – and that is why I love my job.
Who inspired you to be a public speaker in the first place?
When I was in elementary school, my friends and I visited a church and saw this very inspiring priest. His sermon was very moving and encouraging; he could make everyone laugh with his jokes, but when he said something deep and touching, he made people cry too. I was in awe; I found it amazing that one person could control the emotions of hundreds of people. In that moment, I knew I wanted to do something similar in my life.
Tell us about the latest developments of Damn! I Love Indonesia.
The eight-year journey of this clothing line has been very exciting. I am directly involved in choosing the design, creating the campaign and so forth. We have nine outlets in Indonesia so far and a team whose members are experts in their respective fields. Our products have been shipped overseas to Japan, South Korea, Canada and most recently, America. Damn! I Love Indonesia is Indonesian street wear that highlights Indonesian culture, and our mission is to promote modern patriotism among Indonesian youngsters. We want to spread this spirit to all over the world through our products and various creative activities like music festivals, concerts, bazaars and many more.
As an entrepreneur, how would you define a good business?
A good business is not only about profit, it has to have a positive impact for environment and society. I think by default every business should have sustainability, a good business practice, ethical employment, safety and security, customer service and respect as well as environmental concern and corporate values. This is what I do with Damn! I Love Indonesia, and I think every business has to follow and promote these values so the businessesdo not only benefit themselves but also the surrounding communities.
What do you do if you need to relax and recharge?
I am a movie enthusiast and have now become addicted to binge-watching Netflix serials. I also love traveling; during my vacations, I love to experience what the locals do which always resulting in remarkable adventures. I just came back from a trip to Japan and will go to Germany at the end of the year. When it comes to local destinations, Inever get tired of Bali, of course.
What do you like the most about Bali?
Bali has this distinctive, incomparable smell that cannot be found anywhere else. Maybe it is thesesajen that the locals put in almost every corner of the island. That smell brings back many sweet memories for me, especially because I spent a lot of time in Bali during my early career as a VJ. From sunbathing at the beach or unwinding at a hotel pool, Bali is a great place to unplug from Jakarta’s hustle and bustle.
What is next for Damn! I Love Indonesia?
We will have a new campaign that we call ‘generation of determinants’ because we believe that today’s youth is not just a ‘successor’. They are the agents of change who will decide the fate of this nation in the future. The younger generation should dare to voice their opinions and to make a change, that’s the spirit that we want to promote. We will also have a collaboration with an augmented reality company that handles big brands such as the Billionaire Boys Club clothing line belonging to Pharrell Williams. This project will be huge and we’re very excited!