What has brevity got to do with business? If you think about it, everything. Deciding to start a business, be an entrepreneur and change the market landscape is a big bold decision that needs brevity and fearlessness. You also need to be an explorer looking out for opportunities, trying your hands at different viable solutions, eagerly learn what you can and implement it to find solutions. Someone like Naz Schinder who graduated from an art school served as a teacher, honed her language skills in English and Chinese but refused to settle down with a job. Instead, she decided to build a business that she truly loved. She studied at the Hong Kong Fashion Institute and created her own fashion brand, set up 16 stores and became one of the youngest female entrepreneurs in the region.
Finding the True Destination
In the early days as an entrepreneur, Naz was frequently challenged by the lawyers she hired. Her bold decisions and out-of-the-box solutions were often questioned and stumbled upon the legal roadblocks, resulting in low efficiency and even tension. Her being a woman leader was another underlying issue. So she decided to find the solutions herself and thus began her legal career.
Since then, Naz has been proving herself as a lawyer and as a woman leader by solving one problem after another efficiently. At work, however, she seldom differentiates between men and women and instead focuses on the work itself and dedicates herself to it as a human being. “Occasionally, I wonder if I could have achieved more if I were a man. I know there is no true answer, but I firmly believe that my success today comes from my hard work and dedication. I am devoted to challenging myself through the use of my strengths rather than my gender,” says Naz.
Schinder Law Firm (SLF) is one of the most successful leading law firms in Indonesia and is proficient in a wide range of legal services with an impressive roster of globally positioned clients.
SLF provides clients with a comprehensive spectrum of domestic and international legal services, from the initial foreign investment decision to the establishment and operation of a successful Indonesian business. It supports its clients with its expertise in business formation, compliance, acquiring properties, obtaining permits, hiring workers and contractors, and every other legal need for their business.
The firm also has the unique ability to not only guide clients with practical solutions and advice on Indonesia’s complex, dynamic regulatory landscape including all corporate and commercial issues from every day to the uncommon but also function as a principal partner in all legal matters. SLF’s practise encompasses the whole range of commercial and financial disputes including arbitration and mediation, insurance litigation, banking litigation, administrative law matters, proceedings for judicial review, and more.
As Naz watched the popularity and wide application of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) grow both internationally and regionally, she knew she wanted to put Indonesia on the international ADR map. So in 2017, she launched Bali International Arbitration and Mediation Center (BIAMC) as a Founding Chair and CEO. “We could hardly ignore the game-changing global initiatives such as ASEAN, OBOR, and APEC or the local Indonesian primary directives to increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI),” recalls Naz.
Today, BIAMC has also become an educational and training resource for the international arbitration and mediation community. It offers introductory and certification programs in collaboration with various regional universities, institutions, and organisations in both forms of dispute settlement. As a private, neutral, non-profit organization, BIAMC aims to develop Indonesia’s arbitration and mediation capabilities through international cooperation and education.
Amid the pandemic in 2020, as the pace of digital transformation accelerated, SLF has been paying more attention to digital development, privacy, and data protection. Therefore, together with Indonesian and foreign experts, Naz established Indonesia’s first official Association for Data Protection Officers (APPDI). APPDI is a non-profit organisation that provides a forum for professionals to share their practices and to learn and understand personal data protection principles. It provides certification courses and training on data privacy and cyberlaw for professionals such as Data Protection Officers and grants qualifications to create new employment opportunities. APPDI is dedicated to building a broad network of privacy and data protection professionals in Indonesia to share our ideas, knowledge, and passion for protecting individual’s rights in the digital era.
With so much on her platter, one is bound to think about how does Naz manage everything and what keeps her motivated to give her best day after day. Naz is driven by her daughter who constantly touches and inspires her. She says, “I am motivated by being a role model for her. I thrive to shape my best self and keep improving in all aspects of myself to influence and inspire my daughter.”
Her colleagues and employees motivate her as well as challenge and positively stimulate her and their dedication and hard work inspire her to do her best as a professional and their leader. Although separated from her team physically due to the pandemic, Naz feels everyone has grown closer as everyone is willing to contribute and help each other in this globally tough time.
A secret mantra that has kept Naz going through all the ups and downs in her professional, as well as personal life, is “If others can do it, you can do it.” Naz repeats this mantra to herself to overcome her fears. Her life has been marred by incidences that brought her grief and made her face fear. Being a tough soul, she has taken everything into her stride and stood firm on her beliefs. “Whether it is the pain or the joy of life, I regard it as a precious experience. Be brave to face setbacks and grief but to embrace the moments of happiness. If others can do it, I can do it too. I believe these experiences have shaped the person I am today. I also believe that those who succeed do not dwell on the past but aim to create a better present and a better future,” adds Naz.
The Industry and its challenges
The legal landscape in Indonesia is extremely complex for a variety of reasons. Many laws have vague provisions and poor operability. As a result, there are many contradictions and conflicts between laws. For SLF’s clients, particularly foreign investors, the constant changing laws, and regulations create a lack of continuity in law enforcement, making it difficult for them to fully meet and grasp the latest requirements. Another factor that makes the legal environment challenging in Indonesia is the deep-rooted religious sentiments and culture that influence or even displace common legal practice.
Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on everyday life. As a result, the law industry is undergoing significant changes. Legal service is witnessing the trend of intelligence technology and professional lawyers. Therefore, this new pattern of “law + science and technology” can improve the efficiency of legal services, and through the use of technology, SLF is ensuring the professionalization of legal services. However, these changes will pose challenges faced by lawyers changing the landscape of the law industry.
Staying Ahead of Competition
Naz’s life philosophy centres around always putting clients and her people at the heart of everything she does. She says, “Our people have an absolute focus on core areas of law to ensure we create the genuine depth of expertise our clients expect. Investing in our people would never stop regardless of competition because I believe that only excellent people can provide excellent services.”
The age of data is also an age of competition for intelligence which also requires creativity, imagination, leadership, and responsibility. Naz feels that the focus has shifted from knowledge to creativity, innovation, constructive and independent thinking, and independence. As such, her future goal is to work in education to motivate and encourage young people with inspiring stories and insights and provide them with a clear path to success and to follow their dreams. “I have managed many different companies in different industries, and I gained wisdom and experience from corporate leaders during our collaboration. I hope to make use of these experiences to give back to society and teach young people who are eager to learn and improve,” adds Naz.
Mentoring Young Women
For young women entrepreneurs who take inspiration from her journey, Naz says, “Success means achieving what we set out to do or reaching beyond that. In everything that we aspire to do, the ultimate benchmark in achieving success and happiness. After all, happiness is the ultimate goal of all decisions we make in life.”
She urges them to understand that success does not have to be about wealth, knowledge, talent, or power but the secret lies in one’s mindset and belief. “Let go of distractions and doubts about your ability, especially when it comes to gender bias. Get rid of negative, passive, and other ideological obstacles, broaden your thinking, understand your advantages, build up confidence, and be positive when dealing with difficulties and challenges,” emphasizes Naz.
Naz’s other significant achievements are
- Awarded as the Asian Outstanding Awards in 2021
- Awarded as the Leader in Law of the Year in Indonesia in 2021
- Contributor to the World Bank Group’s flagship knowledge products certificate in 2020
- Member of the Indonesian Delegation to the United Nation UNCITRAL Working Group II on Arbitration and Conciliation Dispute Settlements since 2019
- Awarded as one of the Top 50 Business Women in Asia in 2018