Industry Update
Opinion Article30 April 2021

EHL Success Stories: Startup Edition - Project Planet

By Silvia-Cristina Vasquez, Bachelor student and Communications Intern at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL)

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EHL Success Stories: Start-Up Edition is a new series to show support to our EHL Family and, more specifically, our hard-working AEHL entrepreneurs. This project aims to showcase EHL's entrepreneur mindsets, support new and upcoming ideas and businesses. While overcoming a challenging time for all companies, these Start Ups prove that resilience and hard work can overcome any problem.

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For this feature, we present Project Planet: a non-profit organization that centralizes all information and activities surrounding sustainability in Indonesia. Their vision is to make Indonesia environmentally and socially mindful in policies, actions and responsibility.

We had the chance to speak to them about their brand, motivations and challenging times.

Can you present yourself in a couple of words?

Hi there! My name is Stephanie Clarissa. I graduated from EHL in July 2018 and recently moved back to my charming hometown of Jakarta in Indonesia.

Can you tell us about Project Planet?

Project Planet Indonesia is a non-profit organization, educational platform and community. A one-stop platform for information and activities surrounding sustainability, made to increase awareness and individual action towards environmental and social issues in Indonesia. We aim to be the solution to the primary barriers to environmental progress, which are awareness, knowledge and care.

Can you tell us the story of how it all started?

After living in Europe and moving back to my home country, Indonesia, it was a huge shock to me that sustainable living is quite inaccessible and difficult here. It saddens me that with the abundance of natural resources and beauty this country has, the citizens are not looking after it well.

I wanted to be more active in trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, so I looked for sustainability events, volunteering activities, vegan restaurants, and platforms that I could simply learn more from. However, the search was quite difficult as there are not a lot of reliable information and platforms around. My friends around me seem to be asking the same questions as well, so I thought "why not compile all the information and activities surrounding sustainability into one platform?". And that's how Project Planet Indonesia was born!

How long has your company been around?

Project Planet Indonesia was founded in February 2020, right before the pandemic hit.

How did EHL play a role in developing your ideas?

As Project Planet Indonesia is providing a service, the knowledge I gained from EHL surrounding service values has really helped me in better understanding and serving our audience. Also, thanks to the management skills we learned, I am comfortable managing the business development, marketing and finances of our organization.

How did Project Planet experience the pandemic?

The biggest challenge for me is to connect and lead a team remotely. It is my first time leading my own team and I have not even met over half of them! To me, building strong relationships, team bonding, managing the personal growth of each team member and the professional growth of the organization are really important. We do have online team bonding sessions where we play a game and chill together, but it definitely is not the same as meeting in person. Hopefully I will get a chance to meet the whole team soon!

What advice would've you given your 2019 self?

Be open-minded and take opportunities as they come. Life does not always go as you planned it, sometimes it exceeds your expectations in ways you can never imagine. In 2019, I pictured myself having an international career for the next few years, and was not planning or ready to go home yet. However, when I arrived home and couldn't work abroad due to the pandemic, I found so many opportunities. I often think I should have come home earlier!

How did you keep your team's motivation during the past challenging months?

We have online game sessions where we just chat and chill. As we really believe in personal and professional development, we are organizing guest speakers to come and share their knowledge to the team. Also, since it might be hard to gauge your performance when you are working remotely, we make sure to have monthly individual feedback sessions with the aim of growing personally, and as a team and organization.

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