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Winning Secrets: How the competencies of each leader at Blibli are continuously being updated

Winning Secrets: How the competencies of each leader at Blibli are continuously being updated

Eunike Indriani Poedjianto, Talent Development Assistant VP, on gaining the collective efforts of all parties to forge business success through a focus on leadership development. 

Established in 2010, PT Global Digital Niaga Tbk is a pioneer omnichannel commerce and lifestyle ecosystem in Indonesia. The company’s commerce platform – Blibli, integrates online consumer shopping experience through its e-commerce platform and offline shopping experience through operating physical stores for leading global brand partners.

At the fifth annual edition of HR Excellence Awards - Indonesia in 2023, Global Digital Niaga's CEO, Kusumo Martanto, won the bronze award for being the 'Most People-Focused CEO', as well as the company won gold for 'Excellence in Leadership Development'.

To celebrate this milestone, we catch up with Eunike Indriani Poedjianto, Talent Development Assistant Vice President, PT Global Digital Niaga Tbk (Blibli), on how the company gains the collective efforts of all parties to forge business success through a focus on leadership development.

Q Congratulations on your top performance at the HR Excellence Awards! How has your HR and people strategy contributed to your success this year?

Blibli believes that people are the driving force behind the success and sustained growth of the company in this competitive business landscape. However, for us, the vital key for achieving organisational success is the readiness and competence of our leaders. These are non-negotiable factors to ensure leaders possess the ability to guide, motivate, and inspire their teams to achieve the company's goals.

Apart from that foundation, the primary strategy established by Blibli is to focus on nurturing the leadership team. Blibli is aware that leadership preparation is not solely about fulfilling current leadership roles but also about cultivating a reservoir of talent for long-term efficacy, so this strategy involves identifying leadership potential within the existing workforce and among prospects.

Blibli is also differentiating and specifically tailoring various leadership programmes to answer specific needs. Blibli offers a leadership development programme (LDP) for existing leaders, spanning a year with tailored curricula and case studies targetted to assess and solve challenges on day-to-day practices. Blibli’s future leaders' programmes include a 1.5-year management development programme for fresh graduates in operations or commercial, a two-year internal management trainee & a fast track programme for high-performing employees.

Moreover, there’s an annual initiative for high-potential yet high-performing employees. This annual programme represents their higher appreciation to this group of employees by providing special development programme where they can learn and sharpen several competencies and keep up with the latest business trends. This group of employees, which are called 'Blibli Stars', have the opportunity to apply their ideas into real projects while being mentored by the brightest minds from the top management level.

Lastly, monitoring leadership readiness through integrated assessments is another priority. The main goal is to establish a robust and enduring leadership cadre capable of stepping into pivotal roles when needed.

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Q Looking back at your achievements, what aspect of your HR initiatives are you most proud of and why?

The outcomes of leadership development at Blibli encompass leaders at every organisational level, extending to potential future leaders within the company. It's worth highlighting that Blibli's CEO has garnered a plethora of prestigious awards as the 'Best CEO' in recognition of his exemplary leadership.

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Pictured above: Blibli CEO & Founder, Kusumo Martanto at the 'Indonesia Best CEO Award' for Online Mall Category held by The Economics Research & Consulting on 2022.

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Pictured above: Blibli CEO & Founder, Kusumo Martanto in Marketeer of The Year - By MarkPlus in 2021. (Photo was taken at a green screen studio due to the pandemic situation)

Next is the COO, Lisa Widodo, who has been featured in a prestigious national magazine, Fortune, as one of the 20 Most Powerful Women of 2023 in Indonesia. These accolades not only serve as a testament to the C-level's remarkable abilities, but also underscore the organisation's commitment to fostering top-tier leadership at every level.

Moreover, Blibli's adeptness in cultivating its leadership is underscored by its ability to expand a comprehensive business ecosystem, exemplified by strategic partnerships with entities such as and Ranch Market. These ventures have not only flourished but have also contributed significantly to the company's remarkable success.

The presence of strong leadership at every level within Blibli is a source of great modelling, as it constitutes a pivotal factor in assessing the readiness of their human resources to swiftly adapt and navigate towards business changes in line with the evolving needs of the company. This, in turn, empowers Blibli to thrive within the rapidly-evolving complexity of the business ecosystem. 

Q During your HR journey, what were some significant obstacles you faced, and how did you overcome them to achieve excellence? 

Undoubtedly, the swift pace of business transformation has become a challenge for Blibli. Frequently, what Blibli has meticulously planned must undergo alterations midway due to the introduction of new business strategies aimed at confronting existing competition. The rapid changes in business needs necessitate a continuous update of competencies for each leader. Differences in expectations between the company and its leaders regarding success indicators in achieving results, as well as variations in leadership characteristics ultimately influence the implemented leadership style.

Despite the challenges posed by the ever-changing omni-channel commerce industry, Blibli acknowledges that the company cannot forge ahead alone; Blibli requires the collective efforts of all parties involved. Therefore, Blbili has maintained close and transparent communication with each stakeholder.

Blibli has garnered recognition from superiors and upper management, who have consistently championed its implementation. Their unwavering commitment to tasks and active participation in discussions has remained resoundingly positive throughout. 

Q How does your organisation measure the success and impact of your HR initiatives? 

A remarkable transformation has occurred in Blibli's current leaders' development journey. Over 75% of participants have elevated from 'average' to 'high performance' status. Moreover, Blibli’s organisation-wide employee engagement survey has revealed a notable increase in confidence in leaders from 2021 to 2022.

Leaders have received endorsements for their ability to drive positive change, a clear testament to the trust they inspire. Additionally, this might also have played a part in how the leadership programme has been successful in Blibli, which is how employees express satisfaction with the proficiency of their immediate supervisors and find communication with them to be open and comfortable.

Leaders in Blibli can continue to grow and earn good credit from their teams, which is the result of trust and openness that occurs with senior leaders during their growth process. 

In developing programmes for future leaders, Blibli has also shown an excellent track record of programme success. The programme's track record has been consistently remarkable, boasting a success rate of graduating participants with honour ranging from 76% to 83%.

Half of the participants have demonstrated the capability to sustain their performance at the level of a highly distinguished employee, while the remainder have attained the status of high-performing employees.

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Pictured above: Testimony from 'Operations Management Development Programme' (Ops MDP) graduates. This programme was initiated in 2018 due to the rapid growth and extensive reach of the operations department at Blibli. With operations across multiple cities in Indonesia, we recognised the need for future young leaders to fill crucial positions. Success is measured by cost savings, implementation of efficient systems/programmes, and process improvements. Blibli is proud because they have become successful leaders in the company. 

Q In what direction do you see the HR/people function evolving in the future, considering the emerging trends?

Blibli is always looking for ways to make its standards better and make sure they match up with the company's overall objectives. The company also makes sure to keep track of evaluation results and have clear goals for leaders as part of the training and development strategy. They also make sure to keep developing their training standards and that the strategies they're implementing are connected to the company's overall goals and needs.

For example, in the Blibli leadership development programme, where annually, Blibli equips the senior leadership team, to ensure they exemplify positive interpersonal conduct for the entire team. We can see through this programme that there has a change before and after the programme being conducted. 

At the end of the day, Blibli's commitment to leadership development is driven by the desire to have competent leaders who can consistently provide the company with excellent business partners.

Leaders at Blibli need to possess a strategic and analytical approach, and always be prepared to respond to any challenges that may arise. To achieve this, Blibli must foster greater collaboration between all of its business teams, as well as the human resources function, which is also an integral part of the company's strategic role. These accomplishments are sufficient to earn the company a gold award for 'Excellence in Leadership Development'.

Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section!

All images inline / Provided by Blibli
Lead image / 123RF

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