Shuttler Jonatan Christie after defeating China's Chou Tien-Chen in the men's singles final at the Asian Games 2018. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)

TCB Every Day: Pro Athletes Keep Side Hustle Going to Prepare for Retirement


JUNE 15, 2020

Jakarta. Starting a business has become many athletes' preferred safety net to protect them from crashing into financial ruins after their professional career is over. 

Jonatan "Jojo" Christie – Indonesia's current number one badminton superstar who has won numerous gold medals and die-hard fangirls – is one of these athletes-cum-entrepreneurs.

Jojo, still only twenty-two, is now in seventh place in the BWF men's singles ranking with 74,590 points. Along with another singles player Antony Ginting, he had qualified to compete in the Tokyo Olympics this year before it was postponed to 2021.

Although he is still at the top of his game, Jojo already has a plan B in mind.

The Asian Games 2018 gold medalist is the co-founder and brand ambassador of Satoe-Noesa, a local clothing brand, which sports the "I am Indonesian" concept.

"I won't be a badminton player forever. I have to have a plan about what to do in the future," Jojo told Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Zainudin Amali on Instagram live on Saturday.

"When my playing days are over, I won't mind running this clothing business and make a living from it," Jojo said.

Satoe-Noesa is an apparel business selling t-shirts, caps and hoodies adorned with the national symbol Garuda, a sacred eagle, and the state motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika ("We are all different but we are one"), or Unity in Diversity, printed in bold letters.

Jojo and his business partner Ryan Bilardi have been selling their products on Instagram and at badminton tournaments, including the Indonesia Masters 2020.

Best of Both Worlds

Jojo is not the only badminton player who has kept a side hustle going while winning medals and tournaments. 

Men's doubles player Muhammad Rian Ardianto recently launched his own clothing line called Krall, which specialized in hoodies. But during the pandemic, Rian decided to make face masks for the time being. 

"I like running a business. As long as it's fun and does not interrupt with badminton, [there's nothing wrong with] learning a new thing," Rian told Indonesian Badminton Federation (PBSI) in an interview on its website.

Both Jojo and Rian have donated some of the profits from their new business ventures to help Covid-19 victims. 

Rian also runs a cafe in Bandung with his partner Fajar Alfian. The duo is currently ranked sixth in the BWF men's doubles ranking.

Don't Spend Your Winnings

Minister Zainudin has been telling athletes to better manage their money to prepare for retirement. 

The minister even held a short online course on financial management for athletes and coaches last month during Ramadan. 

"We can't ignore the fact that many former athletes struggle financially. It's a familiar story, when they're at the height of their career, winning thousands of dollars in prize money, they don't know how to manage it and just spend it all," Zainudin told the athletes during the short course.

Last year, the government granted a bonus of up to Rp 200 million ($14,104) for SEA Games 2019 gold medalists. Without financial planning, their hard work will go down the drain, the minister said.