EP #12: Acing FinTech Digital Strategy Like IndoAlliz During COVID-19

EP #12: Acing FinTech Digital Strategy Like IndoAlliz During COVID-19

About this Podcast

Let’s face it – COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down. From our workplaces to politics to the stock market, each day seems to take us further into a state of unsettling unknowns. To gain a deeper insight into how the Fintech sector in emerging markets is adapting, we caught up with Denny Dilham, CEO of IndoAlliz in Jakarta, Indonesia. IndoAlliz aims at making financial management easy for Indonesians. The platform also helps facilitate seamless transactions between financial and non-financial services. Denny highlights the following:

  • Change in consumer behavior patterns: its effect on the brick-and-mortar business
  • The impact COVID-19 has had on the Insurance and Lending business
  • The importance of a CEO’s positive mindset at this time to identify gaps and how companies can level up through digital transformation

Listen in to understand the value of dynamic digital strategy in the Fintech sector during these uncertain times.

Episode Transcripts

Saket Kumar Jha/ Prashant Pramhans: So, but really, how are you doing?

Denny Dilham: So this challenge, right, so you know right, IndoAlliz is doing the application mostly on the payment and upper sale management. So I think I could say that for the payment, that- pretty much the online payment – somehow it got a slightly increasing trend. Yeah, because, I think we know that people are working from home at the moment, right? And for sure, their-their electricity consumption (is) actually increasing, right? And also their data – data package consumption (is) also increasing. And also the air time and- air time consumption as well. So we saw a slight increase in terms of the digital product selling, yeah, for the online- so we could – yeah – we could say from the electricity token; from the data package, from the air time – we showed traction of increasing. But somehow we also have the used taste of the-the physical transaction or the online transaction so – I mean, the user actually comes to our merchant and also get the transaction in the cashier, by using the QR code; that’s pretty much, actually, suffering, because people is (are) not going to convenience store; going to the market, yeah? Yes, there are still some-some-some transactions we saw, right, about – it is not as high as the earlier ones, so it is not the normal ones, actually; so, but we know exactly what the reason is, right, so people are avoiding going out to the market. So we see that but we just – the things that we have hatched actually, from the product completeness category which- what we don’t have actually (is the) online marketplace, yeah, so that our user can order online and then somebody gets to refer to the – the – doorstep, yeah? Okay, that’s something we are catching up at the moment, so we see that – we – the-the situation makes us aware that we are not complete in terms of the whole usage of the transaction. So it gives us, yeah, chances to utilize that, and then we move in to complete the whole case of the payment. So that’s one thing that we actually – we – actually catching up the side of the product completeness. So from the financial management product perspective, for sure, branding is dying, yeah, because our partner actually didn’t feel the branding, yeah, for sure, almost all of them – 99% of them are stock booking, because they know that there is this pretty much higher booking at the moment but when I talk to my friends in the banking, they-they – yes, they are reusing but they are not stopping all the-whole business; they can still choose their so-called affluence segment, their middle and up segment which is long historical (history) with the bank, you can do branding business with those people. So that makes us suffer because we are actually dealing with the branding, not with the bank because they demanded that we have what is going to the unbankable at the moment. So from the lending perspective, yeah, we are really suffering; from the insurance perspective, we got slightly high, increased traction because we have so-called the insurance, that we can extend the coverage into the COVID-19. So pretty much off track but somehow in balance because when the revenue is much higher than the insurance revenue, so that makes us having – sustainable situation at the moment; the top line is challenging at the moment, but seeing those, those space, for sure, I think you also understand that we also have a thing going into the business, like B2B kinda deal, right, because the one we have at the moment, we are also sending it to the potential partner-one of the partner that actually engages with the office, so we are selling our platform to them. We cannot do that at the moment, because nobody wants to invest at this time, right, so that- all the resources that I have collected, I am focusing on the product we are working on.

Saket Kumar Jha/ Prashant Pramhans: That’s interesting, that’s interesting. In fact, that’s what I also wanted to understand, from your position, most of the teams are working from home; how has been your experience of the last few weeks, handling the teams, like, in terms of looking at the share you are looking at?

Denny Dillham: Right, in the beginning, I was skeptical – is it productive or not. But somehow-somehow, it worked, on collaboration online, with them – my feasibility is more clear, what we are doing; most of them – because I say you know, that I’m – a lot of things I haven’t seen in the detail, right, but everything now, it has somehow become transparent, in terms of the productivity, we do have trackers on that, in terms of the – because we also engage- we also use the Google suite collaboration tools right, so it also makes us forced to go to transformation; last time we – our tech bring the offline work on the Microsoft office, because we also have the license on the Google Suite, so it forces us to go to the online because I want to see actually everything that – progressing that – last time, I was skeptical that all the things we have is moving forward, but somehow it is moving forward. In terms of feasibility in terms of the team, also, improving somehow we are online-

Saket Kumar Jha/ Prashant Pramhans: That’s totally similar to what we thought, that work from home might reduce efficiency, and this experience in our company as a whole; we’re like – we have also adapted to a lot of new technology like video conferencing, it was there for a good amount of time, but the kind of usage it has started, with the (current) picture, that is totally unprecedented. And then even the engineering team, the support team, they have kind of adapted to new technology, to collaboration to kind of make optimal use of the situation currently. 

Denny Dillham: One of the interesting – I just want to say this thing – one of the interesting things from my team is that they are more exhausted from doing the work from home because they have to – having the meetings back-to-back, right? 2 to 3, 3 to 4, 4 to 5, to 6, right? There’s no like travel time in between because let’s say-

Saket Kumar Jha/ Prashant Pramhans: There’s no breathing space.

Denny Dillham: Exactly! Exactly, so the – somehow it is more effective, I mean, more productive in my perception, I mean there are good things about the – like we are forced to go to the online collaboration in terms of working, yeah.

Saket Kumar Jha/ Prashant Pramhans: Right. I also wanted to have your thoughts around – from the CEO angle, during this kind of period, for other kinds of CEOs, what are you suggesting; what are the things you should be looking at, at this period.

Denny Dillham: Yeah, I think – for sure, I think all of the CEOs must be facing the same challenges, right? For sure, the topline is struggling right, because they couldn’t execute what they actually planned to do at the beginning of the year, right, or the – end of last year, because so many things have changed. Mostly, the daily way of doing people’s activities, right, like I was saying about the offline transaction that we expect; but somehow, during this condition, it falls down, right? So I think it is similar to what I mentioned. It is the time for us, like the CEOs, to do internal consolidation, right, okay let’s refer to the product – actually, it is not prone to conditions like this. We have the same situation as next year or now, we expect that, but we’ll be ready, we’ll be ready with our business model. 

Saket Kumar Jha/ Prashant Pramhans: It’ll be better eventually.

Denny Dillham: Yeah, that’s something we prepare at the moment, yeah? Because again, like the OTA- it has suffered a lot; we don’t have any new business model that actually works, I don’t know, because we are not ready with it. The thing that I saw is that there’s some creativity with the technology companies, Like AirBnB- I think they got a very interesting initiative that their community actually picked the FDO, for the people to enjoy the situations in the destination. So that could be something – I think it is creative, I’m not sure in terms of the commercial model, but somehow we need to think like that. We need to think about something that’s not prone to conditions like this.  We need to have a more solid business model, that can actually fight in any condition, to think that, you can say, yeah.

Saket Kumar Jha/ Prashant Pramhans: Right, I think consolidation is the important aspect that which you have mentioned, wherein we kind of, in terms of us preparing, so we are well prepared for any kind of challenges in future.  Yeah, I think those are the questions I had; I think the sort of insights you have given are really good, I think there’s a lot of things to learn from you, part of the reasons we connected to you, and get your insight on how you are managing in quarantine and what are the insights for – coming from IndoAlliz directly, that should help a CEO. So thank you so much!

Denny Dillham: No worries!

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