The Elephant in the Room
    Category: Financial Revolution By : Ardian Wibisono Read : 345 Date : Friday, March 02, 2018 - 00:12:45

    Toto Santiko Budi for Forbes Indonesia

    Surjawaty Tatang, 47, took a brave step when she decided to leave her comfort zone working as the vice president director of the well-established Chinese bank, ICBC Indonesia, and moved to become president director of PT Bank Ganesha in March 2015. At the time, Bank Ganesha was a small player with an unhealthy NPL ratio above 4% at the end of 2014, close to the Financial Service Authority’s (OJK) 5% maximum threshold. But with over two decades of experience in the business, she felt that the bank could be restored to good growth, especially given its affiliation with the Gajah Tunggal group. “A bank will perform well if it’s managed well. With the experience I have, the strategic partner and a huge affiliated business group [Gajah Tunggal], I believe the bank could be improved fast,” says Surjawaty at her offices in Wisma Hayam Wuruk, Jakarta.

    Surjawaty is among a few women in the country’s financial industry. A veteran banker, she started her career as a banker in Bank Tamara back in 1991 after graduating the Philippines School of Business in 1990. She holds a MBA from the University of California Los Angeles and the National University of Singapore. Aside from Bank Ganesha and ICBC, she has held various positions at Bank of America, Citibank and Bank Windu International.

    Surjawaty immediately worked to solve the problem. At the end of 2015 gross NPL was already below 3% with net NPL just at 1.6%. By mid-2016, Surjawaty took Bank Ganesha public, selling over 63% of its shares and raising over half a trillion rupiah of fresh capital, boosting the lender’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) to nearly 34%, or four times the minimum 8% standard.

    The bank has continued to shine, based on the lender’s last year third quarter report. In the past two years it has posted a 157% CAGR in profit after tax to Rp 42 billion, and a 51% CAGR in assets to Rp 4.6 trillion, all on the back of strong loan book growth at 43% CAGR, due to the much stronger capital base following its IPO. The bank’s NPL now stands below 1%. Overall, these figures make Bank Ganesha one of the best performing banks in its category.

    Surjawaty is not stopping yet. Bank Ganesha has moved from its core capital 1 (buku 1) category to core capital 2 (buku 2), with core capital 4 (buku 4) as the highest and being the most flexible in business.

    “Now we have more products to offer our customers. We also can develop our digital channel as well as credit cards, bancassurance and wealth management. Customer expectations are changing, and we can address that,” she says. With 115 banks in the country and most are at the same level as Bank Ganesha, Surjawaty has to make the bank stand out from the crowd. To that end, the bank recently introduced a fresh look for its corporate identity and branches. In its main branch in Wisma Hayam Wuruk, for example, the bank’s interior looks fresh with warm lighting and Javanese traditional ornaments.

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