Cover Story / March 2019

Maia’s Midas Touch

Maia has been one of the most successful celebrities in Indonesia for a long time. She has written hundreds of songs and produced several critically acclaimed albums, owns a chain of karaoke bars, food outlets, and a line of clothing, outsourcing service and property company. Her business interests have continued to expand over the past 10 years. Genuine effort, combined with passion, a positive attitude and hard work, have contributed to her outstanding achievements, which inspire many.

Music to Cosmetics

While the rest of her business keeps growing, Maia spends most of her time working on her new undertaking as an agent for United States-based skincare brand EMK. The mother of three spent hundreds of millions of rupiah in 2014 to market EMK beauty products among Indonesian celebrities. She says the brand is widely known and famous among global celebrities, such as Madonna, Eva Longoria and Victoria Beckham. Maia’s name also features on the official EMK Beverly Hills website, among prominent global celebrities also associated with the company’s products.

“I have indeed been an EMK distributor in Indonesia over the past few years. I initially sold limited quantities, only to friends, but now EM       K already has about 3,000 customers in Indonesia,” the multi-talented woman said.

“I initially bought it for myself, but after a long time, many of my friends felt comfortable with the product and felt that it suited them. Sales rapidly increased when I started selling it online. Even though I sell it online, EMK products are certified by Indonesia’s National Agency of Drug and Food Control [BPOM],” Maia said.

She invested a substantial amount in 2014 to buy EMK products from the United States and market it in limited quantities in Indonesia.

However, outstanding sales in the archipelago drew the attention of EMK, which asked Maia to help the company develop its business. EMK has seen an impressive increase in sales and accompanying growth in its market share in Indonesia, which many cosmetic industry observers believe was due to Maia’s “Midas touch.” The company has essentially become Maia’s new passion, and along with the rest of her businesses, made her one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs since her retirement as musician.

But Maia is not content to only sell cosmetic products, having recently embarked on a joint venture with Cathy Sharon, another local artist, to open and manage a beauty clinic in Jakarta.

And while the cosmetics business continues to shine, she also makes a point of maintaining her other interests, which include the Allegro Family K-TV chain of karaoke bars, Tipsy Club and Lounge in Kemang, South Jakarta, and STI-Q Maia restaurant in Bogor, West Java, online clothing outlet Kayara and other small food businesses.

Maia married businessman Irwan Danny Mussry last year, about a decade after her divorce from Ahmad Dhani, an Indonesian rock musician, songwriter, arranger, producer and politician.

Prayers, Blood, Sweat and Tears

Maia is a powerful example of a woman who had fallen but refused to stay down. But the success and happiness she has achieved did not just fall from the sky. She says it was accompanied by “lots of prayers, blood, sweat and tears and of course, with God’s blessing.” The divorce was the lowest point in her life. Having been kicked out of her home, lost custody of her three children, and with only a suitcase full of clothes and a broken heart, Maia did not allow herself to be overcome by sadness and self-pity. Slowly, she got up. And while it was the music industry that got Maia through the hard times, her career did not stop there. She kept herself busy and continuously expanded her interests.

“I have had hard times, almost no money, but then I slowly rose up. Some friends cheated me out of tens of millions of rupiah when that amount of money really meant a lot to me at the time. But none of that managed to keep me down. I always ask God to give me what I need. And He always answers by giving me what I need, not what I want,” Maia said. However, she does not describe herself as a religious person.

“My parent taught me well. They said it was better if you always have the upper hand. That is why I always stand on my own feet. I got used to working when I was still in college,” said the University of Indonesia graduate.

Maia and singer Mey Chan formed the band Duo Maia in 2008. Together, they spawned several hits, reaching double platinum and selling more than 300,000 albums.

In 2009, Maia founded Le Moesiek, an artist management and recording company, which managed top Indonesian artists, including Krisdayanti, Julia Perez, Tata Janeeta and the band Pasto. Maia made enough money from her work in music, to buy the house she currently occupies, as well as an office from where she manages all her businesses.

Her wedding last year to Irwan was another step in her life that has moved well beyond the misery of the past and come to embody true joy and happiness.