Erajaya Swasembada

Erajaya Swasembada won the gold award for 'Excellence in HR Change Management' at the HR Excellence Awards 2021, Indonesia.

In this interview, we speak to Andhi K. Chandra, VP Human Capital, Erajaya Swasembada on the initiatives undertaken to be agile and adaptive to the changes driven by the environment to not only survive but thrive.

Q Tell us a little bit about your journey reaching here – how did you get here and what was most important to you during this process?

Since being registered as a publicly-listed company in 2011 (ERAA), Erajaya Group focused on strengthening our main business as smartphone retailer and distributor as an authorised company, and gradually expanded from main provinces into districts, which also impacted our employee size (from 1,000 to 8,000+ employees). Soon after, Erajaya Group was well recognised throughout Indonesia and we felt the urge to grow beyond this. We then transformed our business in 2018, with clearer results expected in 2019, where our new business portfolio (expansion plan) and new organisation structure (super holding, holding & business unit, with vertical & horizontal focuses) was produced.

The most important thing in this process was change management. We catered to this by creating an integrated & structured action plan, followed by building a 'Transformation Champion Committee & Squad', and designing seamless change management communication channels. These actions were required to ensure the success of business transformation, as led by the Board of Management (BOC & BOD), leadership team, and human capital as change enablers. Today, we have approximately 10,000+ employees not just in Indonesia, but also including Malaysia and Singapore.

Q What would you list as your company’s most meaningful contribution to employees in the last 12-18 months?

We has been able to sustain our high productivity, equipped with a wellbeing programme (hybrid work, technology and digital system to support, vaccination, high safety protocols, etc.) during the pandemic. Referring to our 12-18 months of company achievements, this was reflected in the productivity that resulted from the engagement between the company and employees. Throughout the past year, the human capital continued to act as a relevant partner to all organisational units, which means going beyond being a strategic partner, by providing fast responses, appropriate solutions, being proactive, and taking initiatives to solve business pain points.

By utilising this partnership, the human capital division has been able to build good relationships with external parties, including employees and all related stakeholders.

Our focus in 2021 that will be carried through to 2022 is to reinvent the employee experience by driving impactful performance & enhancing integrated technology to improve employee wellbeing.

Q What are some challenges you've had to overcome, both as a CHRO and as a people leader, and how did you get past them? What was your biggest learning?

The biggest challenge as a people leader lies in how to adapt and adjust to rapid changes. Those changes relate to the work environment, technological development, and the effect of the pandemic situation which has gone on to affect our ways of working. In conclusion, we have to be agile and adapt to the changes as fast as we can to survive in this situation. In Indonesia, this pandemic situation has been going on for two years, so we have no excuse to say that the pandemic situation is our huge obstacle. As people leaders, we have to implement new ways of working to support employees' productivity and evaluate these methods regularly to get feedback from others. Furthermore, leaders have to undertake the role to develop their team members. They could prepare the next generation of leaders, including developing them based on their strengths and areas of development.

Q Onwards and upwards! Can you share some highlights of your year ahead in 2022, and what your workforce can look forward to?

In 2022, human capital at Erajaya Group will focus on providing the best employee experience by utilising enhanced technology development.

This will support the process of monitoring both organisational & employee performance, yet also developing an agile and supportive team environment. Our best interest is in providing the most positive workplace for our employees, as well as ensuring our employees' health and wellbeing. Going upwards, we’ll implement the hybrid work concept as a form of adaptation to the pandemic conditions, while still maintaining high productivity. To consider employees' growth, human capital will implement an accelerated development programme, in which we will aim for creating leaders from within. To sum up, employee experience will be our main highlight, onwards and upwards!

Q Bring out your crystal ball - 10 years down the line, where do you see the future of HR?

The future human capital function of Erajaya Group will be able to successfully develop technology as an integrated system, which includes monitoring end-to-end business processes, from onboarding, people development, managing performance, to offboarding. This integrated technology aims to ensure the achievement of business targets, high effectiveness of the organisation, complemented by the support of high quality employees. If technology has be fully integrated, the role of human capital will be able to focus on productivity enhancement, such as ensuring a positive environment in the workplace and facilitating employee wellbeing (physically and psychologically).


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