Dash or Distance, Why Not Both?
A conversation with our Head of Tech Hub Vincentius Ivan and Head of People and Culture Richard Andries.
Creating a business is one thing, but running it is another story altogether.
Many experts consider building or growing a business is very much akin to running a race. Some organizations prefer to dash, burning a lot of resources in the process to reach their goals as quickly as possible. Others, on the other hand, prefer to run at a slower pace, carefully managing resources to ensure they always have enough to go the distance.
However, due to the volatile and dynamic nature of the market is volatile and change, there is no silver bullet strategy for running a business. When the track abruptly changes, a “sprinter” organization may run out of steam and be unable to continue. A “marathon runner” organization, on the other hand, risks falling behind its competitors and missing out on opportunities.
With the ups and downs of each race, how does DKatalis intend to run?
Q: Hello! Thank you for sitting down with us. Could you share what DKatalis does and what we want to achieve?
Richard Andries (RA): We are building a business in the financial services area, powered by technology. Our long-term goal is we want to be there for good and be one of the key players. We want to be the leading organization, place, and the leading community of techies in data, software engineering, and other areas. We are not talking only about technicalities, but also personality as we aim to balance between the professional and the personal. So not only our community has exceptional technical skills, but they are also nice, communicative, and encouraging to each other.
Vincentius Ivan (VI): Yes, so picture a community of bright minds solving the most complex problems in many areas. And we also want [our solutions] to be in every event of our customer’s life.
Q: And how do you plan to accomplish those goals?
RA: To achieve long-term goals, in my opinion, we need stamina. Referring to the marathon runner or sprinter analogy, which one do we want to be? Somehow I think we need to be both. We need the muscle to run far the distance but at a relatively faster pace. Why? Because if we move too slowly, we can’t compete with the fast-changing market. That’s our challenge: how to run far at a relatively fast pace?
Somehow I think we need to be both. We need the muscle to run far the distance but at a relatively faster pace.
VI: Additionally to that, I guess nobody knows how long the track would be. What DK wants to build is a familial environment where we can collaborate with each other openly. No silos, just enjoy it. The exact word is community. A community of people who work together to tackle problems as part of their learning to grow, share the problem together, collaborate and deliver value by solving those problems. We are offering problems around the financial service area, and we hope can challenge some of the brightest minds.
This [financial service] is a sensitive and challenging area. If you can’t get access to what you need, you’ll get annoyed. In terms of necessities, money is always on the top stratum. If you can’t get access to your money for, let’s say, 3 minutes, you’ll start to get nervous. It brings the next level of complexity in terms of problems faced.
RA: So, we’re inviting everyone with the same belief and vision. If you believe in running the long distance, continuously growing and building, we are very welcome. People who hold short-term mindsets are very different from those who believe in the long-term, and it trickles down to how they plan to achieve something. This philosophy will also reflect in operations, including HR and finance.
Q: Where are we now in terms of performance?
RA: Well, we continuously move the goalposts and aspirations forward. But I can say that we’re on track there.
VI: Yes, we have grown from 35 talents back in 2019 to around 400 talents now.
RA: We want to build something big but in stages. And in every stage, there are resources that we have. Our principle is to cautiously manage those resources in accordance with the necessary business context at that time. We still maintain the habit now, as we never know how the future will be.
VI: The keyword is scale. As we progress, the scale grows larger, and we must maintain the proportion. So that we can remain scalable, the same principle must be applied in each stage and scale. This mindset has been instilled in our fundamentals.
Q: Could you elaborate on the “mindset”?
VI: Despite being formed like a startup, DKatalis has a different nature and mandate to execute. As an organization, we already have implemented a financially prudent mindset since the beginning. Let’s just say that we have strictly allocated a certain amount of budget for each area, like learning, hiring, and others. When we start growing, we will adjust the number accordingly, still in proportion. Without that mindset, people tend to go crazy and gun-blazing [with their budget]. I guess that’s the difference.
RA: DKatalis already know its long-term goals, and our founders and top leaders also hold a long-term vision. We already know what we must do along the way. Will we join the game? Of course, because we still want to compete. But we are not going to blatantly copy others’ strategies, like how they play in the market. We have our own belief, our own style. By consistently sticking to our belief, we hope to run far and fast. We will play in the competition, but we will not follow others. We will play our own game.
Q: DKatalis has been around since 2019, any significant changes since then?
RA: If I recall correctly, no. We never did any major changes like shifting business directions. But we are continuously adapting to changes. I mean, there are unforeseeable circumstances like COVID-19 and war, and we must adjust accordingly. I’m not saying that we are the type of company that strictly follows a predetermined path to a t. Our way is, we know the direction, but the way we play is flexible. We are constantly cautious.
VI: Continuous improvement is already part of our DNA. Our aim is to support our partner in terms of engineering and data capabilities. In terms of that, our growth is exponential, including how we engage the talents and capability support.
Q: We’re heading towards a new year in just one month from now. Will there be any changes in direction or playing strategy?
VI: As much as possible, we want to be offensive, but still prudent and cautious. Like total football, we have to read the atmosphere of the game; knowing when to switch back to defense or if can I still press on the offensive. We already have planned accordingly, with checkpoints. Priorities will also be the same. From our leaders, they have amply prepared the strategy for 2023. It’s still the same, to get the best talent in the digital space.
RA: Our objectives and priorities will stay the same. We have implemented this cautious and deliberative resource management principle for a long time. It’s already our habit, we will continue doing this.
VI: Yes, when we said that our fundamental is healthy as a result of this cautious and careful management, we’re just going to continue with that.
Q: Alright, let’s wrap up with a message to the community.
VI: For everyone, the global economic recession is real. Nobody is immune. Then again, I believe DKatalis, with its cost consciousness and prudent habit, is more than ready to face the winter.
RA: Well, everyone has different priorities and aspirations. But we welcome anyone in the tech community who believes that our aspirations and values align with yours. And also everyone who is eager to contribute and be a part of this community. We are inviting you, as we still have a long runway to do so.
VI: And we have enough necessary resources to take on those growths.