I think that the most creative and awarding business in Indonesia is the business of kost-kostan in Bandung.
Why, you say?
The average kostan of Bandung has evolved quite drastically in the last few years. The typical kostan, 5 to 10 years ago, consisted of a bed, hot water (optional), bathroom (private ones were privileges), desk for studying, laundry (clothes can be taken at the top floor, usually where they are sun-dried), and a public kitchen used by the whole house.
These days, the average and expected kostan, consists of many luxurious facilities such as cable TV, internet (preferably LAN so its more stable), water dispenser and kitchen in every floor, rice at all hours, clean laundry delivered straight to the door, private bathroom with hot water and glass-door shower, a queen-sized bed, cleaning service, spacious parking, security guard, and lots of electric plugs so that you can utilize any electronic things needed, such as a TV, AC, a fridge, you name it.
Of course, the prices have skyrocketed as well. When back then a price of Rp 500,000 was already re-considered by some, these days a room of ‘standard’ facility can cost from Rp 1,500,000 to Rp 2,000,000. Per month! That’s about the same as renting a house of small proportions.
In my opinion, this interesting phenomenon has happened partly due to the fact that more and more people from the cities, used to better facilities and services, have come to Bandung to pursue their education. With them, they brought their habits and lifestyle, that is obviously far from that the citizens of Bandung before.
True, that building a kostan is definately not cheap-change. But its also very potential business-wise. Any kostan, if it has the standard facilties above, and is a reasonable distance from a respected university, will almost always be filled with occupants the minute that it hangs up the sign “menerima kost putra/putri’.
Currently in the kostan that im staying in, once an empty room is available, people actually come by and have to pay in advance so that nobody can take it before them. There is an actual queque to live here. Its almost surreal,considering that my kostan is not very near to campus, and its not really near anywhere desirable, like a supermarket or well-known cafe. Its practically at the edge of a street of a housing complex. So there’s really nothing to do or anywhere to go once you get to the kostan. And still people find it desirable enough. It sometimes mystifies me how demand and supply really works in real life. Its weird.