Industrial development in an increasingly digital era requires companies to be agile and able to adapt to the environment. Business transformation is needed to deal with disruption and serve consumers who increasingly want speed and simple processes. Do you have a dream to succeed in building an agile and resilient company? The story of Bayu Seto, former Grab Indonesia Country Business Development Director, can be an inspiration.
Bayu Seto has succeeded in changing several companies and driving their business growth. This man who was born 34 years ago now holds the position of Chief Commercial Officer at Gig by Indosat Ooredoo. Of course, there were many challenges he went through to achieve success. To Parish & Co., he recounted his career journey which was full of “blessings in disguise”.
Simple Beginnings Full of Meaning
His journey started humbly after graduating from the Bachelor of Industrial Engineering Study Program at Parahyangan Catholic University in 2007 with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.1. Graduated with a not-so-good GPA and 5 years of study, Bayu never found it difficult to get a job. The first job call he got came from CV Intellect Light Media Advertising, a small company in Bandung, to become a sales and telesales agent. Their daily activities are to offer advertising media to restaurants or tourist attractions that want to advertise in our media.
His income is approximately IDR 1,200,000 per month (including a basic salary of IDR 500,000, travel allowance of around IDR 200,000 and bonuses or commissions). Bayu thought that his career as a sales agent and telesales at that time was bad and he was even embarrassed to meet friends. Now his opinion has changed 180 degrees.
“Now I realize that it was my most expensive career. Why? because from there I learned a lot. I really learned from the bottom. I started my career from scratch,” said Bayu.
After working for almost a year in Bandung, Bayu migrated to Jakarta to work and study. Bayu worked at 2 companies, Octobrand and Indonet, while continuing his master’s degree in marketing at Prasetya Mulya Business School. In both companies, he studied research. He interns as a researcher at Indonet and is also a researcher (read: distributing questionnaires) in the Word-Of-Mouth research project at Octobrand.
Turning Point: Acquaintance with Business Transformation and Management Level Entry
After graduating from Prasetya Mulya, Bayu chose to work at Mount Sewu Kencana. He aspires to enter the world of marketing and branding, but instead he manages a pineapple plantation in a location that can be reached about 2 hours drive from Bandar Lampung. The plantation belongs to a subsidiary of Gunung Sewu Kencana, Great Giant Pineapple, which is the 3rd largest pineapple company in the world.
Bayu had to familiarize himself with plantation operational issues for 4 months. However, that time prepared him to ‘level up’. Great Giant Pineapple attempted a transformation. To achieve that goal, the company gets help from consultants. Bayu was interviewed and made it into the corporate strategic planning team led by former McKinsey associate, Antony Wangsanata, an alumnus of Stanford University and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
It was the first time he entered management. While in the corporate strategic planning department, Bayu learned about management, how to transform a company, and optimize operations. He was also able to meet with many consultants. In addition, no less valuable, it hones presentation skills. Finally, he got exposure to company officials, such as CEOs and company owners — very valuable experience for conveying ideas to top management.
Business Development in Corporations
In 2011, Sinar Mas Land was looking for a Program Management Office (PMO) manager to transform the company. The criteria is that the candidate must have experience in transforming a conglomerate company. Bayu was offered the position. He is responsible for creating a new organizational structure (because the company is in the merger stage of BSD and Duta Pertiwi), the first Key Performance Index (KPI) and standard operating procedure (SOP).
The job of the PMO manager is not permanent. Therefore, Bayu was assigned as Head of Business Development for Emerging Business as well as Head of Marketing for Emerging Business. Even though there weren’t many team members at that time, he led Sinar Mas Land into new businesses apart from its core business. The projects they handle include theme parks, food and beverage businesses, facility businesses, and fiber optics.
New Adventures at Startup Grab and GIG by Indosat Ooredoo
About two or three years later, Bayu tried his luck at GrabTaxi (now Grab) by becoming the Country Head of Business Development. When he joined, the ride-hailing startup from Singapore was still small