Bouncing Back

“What the values most important to you for making difference in the lives of others?” I was inspired by John C Maxwell’s question. I borrowed it from Astra’s Library at Headquarter, I read it during my three hours trip to ICE BSD in my trip to visit BCA Expoversari from Sunter.

I was questioning myself, Do I have life that matters? What are values that I have? What skills and knowledge or “sweet spot” that I can do best for providing value to others (my closest friends, colleagues, and company)? Do I have surrounded myself with like-minded people and partnering with them?

What is my sweet spot? I feel Strategy is my sweet spot. Strategy is the thorough, systematical, and intentional action to achieve a goal.

How big and audacious the goal is? Since 2014, my biggest goal is join Corporate strategy team, in which my first time meet consultant from McKinsey, I was imbued by what they did. The moment is the beginning of my pursuit to work in Corporate Strategy. I wanted to be like them, explore opportunities and create values for company.

Do I made it three years later? The answer is not (yet).

What is my Bigger Goal?

I reminisced goals I set at Malang State University in 2008 at Astra’s Lily Soeryadjaja Gym. It such a boon, 10 years later all of them are accomplished. Which are Jakarta, National Business Coverage, Graduate School, a golden ticket to work for Jardine Matheson and Astra International, through an opportunities given by FIFGROUP and SPEKTRA.

A Podcast by The Investor Podcast ,talked about how to set a bigger goals and the importance of challenge status quo based on facts cited by book from Ray Dalio and Jim Collin. Those podcast intrigued me on what is next goal that scared me the most? Still the same, to have an opportunity to work corporate development conducting green and brown field venture. I still feel that is plenty gap that in need to fill to get the job that I want.

Therefore, I studied at a business school in 2013 until 2015. In 2015 I joined startup accelerator such as Founder Institute. I failed both in Hong Kong in 2015, and Jakarta in 2017. I dropped out, both of the business was about Coffee. But for two different reasons, first because of inability to setup a company and the second coffee is not my core competence. I had interviews with coffee bean aficionados. I facilitated a group discussion; Found out that who purchased a coffee bean are snobs. They asked about how coffee beans are harvested, fermentation methods, roasting methods. I was not confidently addressed most of the questions. My core competence is not about coffee.

Am I Have a strong why?

Questions from mentors about my coffee project, such as Andy Zain, Ashraf Sinclair, and Ancali gave me a hints about “The why” and how strong is my commitment to do that for life? Do you can do it best compare to others? That reminisced me about an offering few months ago to lead the coffee project in which I said no.

My Failure in entrepreneurship endeavors has been leading me to new subjects, such as venture capital, private equity, and alternative finance such as financial technology. My Failure also has been teaching me of the importance to find our why (the driver of our courage to take action) and to create a team and partnership. We can’t never achieve something big alone.

I have two failures, the first in 2016, I was not succeed to join Innovate Jardines team, In 2017 I was not succeed to join Astra Corporate Strategy. I am thankful because of my friends help; Adisty, Christel, and Adri, I was able to had interviews with the Chiefs. I have elucidated “my why”, I wanted to learn Corporate Venture Capital and Corporate Development, especially merger and acquisition, valuations, and corporate innovations. I also worked at Business Development, in which the waterfall methods of project management has led to time development to create a new product is around six months, compare to SPRINT methods by Google Venture which only need five days. Nowadays Speed or time to market is paramount. Although at the end of the day, company which has more cash will tend to be win, but I personally doubted that since we are dealing with digital savvy customer.

I think 2017 is paramount for corporations to spot imminent innovations before it becoming too pricey, vigilant new players that might gnawing market share, and embrace entrepreneurial spirit of a startup. Major conglomerates has been setup Venture Capital, which are mostly listed overseas, such as: NSI Venture (Northstar), Ardent (Sinarmas), and GDP Venture (Djarum), Venturra (Lippo),  even Toyota has setup its Artificial Intelligence Venture.

I read Astra’s classic book “Dare to Do, the story of William Soeryadjaja”  by INSEAD’s Charlotte Butler in 2002 and “William Soeryadjaya, The Rise and Fall” by Amir Husin Daulay in 1993. Those Books described how aggressive Astra was during 1957-1990. I believe that the company has an entrepreneurial DNA, and I wanted to be part of it. It was Industrialization that accelerates Astra growth. But now I believe technology is capable to benefit all sectors in its portfolio.  Astra’s 150 Million Investment to Gojek is a good sign that the company is ready for faster digitalization.

Embrace failures, find a way to serve, and excel what I do

My failures may not be my future failure. if I truly wanted it, I must have grit and faith that I can make it happen. Do I feel frustrated? Yes. But I must adapt to embrace the reality and support priority of organization, in which I think fair enough, the company has been giving me plenty opportunities to grow since I joined the company by end of 2010.

My boss told me that I should learn to spot opportunity by combining risk management and marketing responsibility in one person. My role for last 9 months are marketing and risk management for Astra Financial Services in which it’s financing unit contributed to 25% of Indonesia $35 Billion industry. Working at risk management has helped me to think in an integrated way, not only about credit risk, but also nine other risk categories which is required by regulators, but also able to help company navigate business risk. In Marketing, I am learning about four wheeler automotive in which has different competition landscape, that the industry of four wheeler financing having tough battle with bank backed financing, despite the automotive sales only grow 2% p/a. Those assignments complement my previous experience in business related to two wheeler motorcycle and consumer financing.

It might sound foolish, to share my failures, my ventures and endeavors. But I believe that failure is a motivation for me to keep mettle to triumph my vision.

Coconut Ivory

18/02/17 | 01.45 PM.

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