A creative approach to the law
Tania is a partner in the Indonesian law firm, Suryomurcito & Co., a member of the Rouse network.
In a number of recent surveys, ‘creativity’ has been ranked one of the most important job skills for the future. Tania agrees. She is currently responsible for managing client relationships with some of the world’s leading brand owners and says being creative and flexible is essential.
Tania’s natural creativity was apparent from an early age. She loved sketching, particularly fashion, and initially considered a career in design. Even now, when they see her sketches, people often tell her she could have had a career as a fashion designer. She also loved the theatre and acting and in her final year at school was cast as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. Very early on, however, she knew she wouldn’t pursue either design or acting professionally.
She grew up in Jakarta where her father worked for a shipping company and her mother was an accountant. Both spoke English and Tania was encouraged to learn English from an early age. She started in primary school with an inspiring teacher called Mimi, who is no doubt partly responsible for Tania’s now fluent English. She did well at school, joining in just about everything, including softball. Her teammates are still her best friends. Two of them have careers in IT, one is a copywriter for an advertising agency, one a brand manager with Johnson & Johnson, and one married to a Diplomat.
When the time came to choose a career, Tania’s parents were happy for her to do whatever she chose, but they encouraged her to study and have a profession. At this point, she was greatly influenced by an uncle, her father’s brother, who had started his working life as a journalist and later become a Diplomat and Indonesian Ambassador to Switzerland, publishing a book entitled Mr Ambassador: from photo journalist to Ambassador. Tania describes him as one of the most generous and inspiring people she has ever met, and when he suggested she study Law, she enrolled in a law course at Atma Jaya University.
She was introduced to IP in her final year, writing a paper on the long-running Davidoff trade mark litigation and, in the process, meeting Gunawan Suryomurcito, who was acting for Davidoff. That was her first introduction to Rouse.
When she graduated, she took a job as assistant to the General Secretary of the Indonesian Intellectual Property Association, which, together with the University, was, at the time, giving seminars on IP protection in various cities in Indonesia. Tania was involved in arranging the seminars and, in the process, got to know more about IP. She decided to pursue a career in the field and after a few months left to join MakkiMakki, a leading Indonesian brand consultancy. She was there for two and a half years during which time she learned a lot about brand development and management and, because she spent a lot of time talking to clients, realised the importance of effective communication. All this time, she had kept in contact with Suryomurcito and Rouse and when, in 2007, the opportunity of a job with Suryomurcito arose, she jumped at it.
Then, in January of 2008, she met Renvi, her future husband. They had, in fact, been at the same High School and she already knew him by sight, but he’d been a year ahead of her and they had never spoken. When they met in 2008, he had just graduated in Dentistry and was doing his practical training a three-hour flight from Jakarta. Despite the distance, things moved quickly. In April he proposed and they were married in November. Tania says that although at times she has a tendency to overthink things - “when it’s right, it’s right”! Now, 12 years later, they have two daughters: four year old Aila and Mysha who is one and a half.
Life is busy, but not stressful. Tania and Renvi bought a house ten years ago, but they are currently living with Tania’s parents, much closer to work - only a five minute drive away. In Jakarta, which is one of the world’s most congested cities, that’s a huge advantage. There’s another advantage too, just as important. Living with Tania’s parents, means that Aila and Mysha can have a close relationship with their grandparents. There is a live-in nanny and someone to do the cooking so Tania’s parents are free to devote their time to the children. Weekends tend to be family time for Tania and Renvi: taking Aila to ballet, eating out, and generally relaxing.
These days travel is usually restricted to beach holidays in Indonesia with the children – there are lots of good beaches nearby and at the moment it’s the ideal holiday. That will no doubt change as soon as the children are a little older. Sometimes, however, Tania does have to travel for work and when she does Renvi is very supportive, stepping into the expanded caring role with ease and good humour. When she was at INTA one year he sent her a photo of himself and Aila, who was then about nine months old and had woken during the night, He was up, providing her with an imaginary high tea. The message accompanying the photo read: “Look what our daughter is doing to me!”.
Tania says she is very lucky to be at Rouse: she has been given every opportunity and feels she has really grown up and developed within the firm. She is also grateful for being able to maintain a healthy balance between family and profession.