Telum Talks To... Harumi Supit, Head of Corporate Communications, OVO
Telum spoke with Harumi Supit on her decision to join fast-growing FinTech company OVO, about how digital brands can stand out and build trust with consumers, and on her own experience as an independent consultant.
Can you tell us a bit about your role and why did you decided to head up OVO?
I’ve had a lot of very different experiences ranging from entrepreneurship to advertising agencies to NGO work, but the common thread was always communications and strategy, which I found I really enjoy. I think it’s really common sense but in practice, many organisations find it difficult to decide on what to communicate and how to connect it to the core business objectives. So I really enjoy the process of doing that and building clarity and consensus around what we are communicating, and why.
You have worked a lot with startups, what advice can you give about startup comms in Indonesia?
The digital world is fast-paced and highly competitive. You need to understand the vocabulary and landscape of your sector, as well as who your audience is, and you also need to be ready to react quickly. At the same time, the basic rules and objectives of PR and communication continue to hold true.
As the digital space is very competitive, how do you think brands can make their stories stand out?
First of all, I would look to the business model and proposition of the brand. What are you offering and why? What makes your products or services stand out? If you really don’t know, then you really have a problem! Presuming that you do have a unique or strong proposition though, then you think about how to communicate that to the target audience in an authentic, interesting, consistent, cost-effective and sustainable manner.
That’s a long list of adjectives! But I think each is important - for example, your story has got to be interesting and stand out, but it’s also got to be communicated in a way that’s sustainable and cost-effective, you can’t burn up all your cash at once.
OVO is one of the pioneers in the Indonesian e-wallet industry, how does it build trust with consumers, especially with older generations?
I think consistent customer-focused execution has really been key. By delivering tangible benefits and a good experience, over time we’ve been able to win and consistently grow market share. I’m continuously impressed by the effort and collaboration that my colleagues across different teams put into doing this, especially this past year during COVID-19 when we were all working remotely. It’s not easy to run an organisation of this scale - OVO is one of Indonesia’s largest digital payment platforms - especially in a remote working environment, yet I find that my colleagues are unflaggingly helpful.
As a former independent consultant, do you think it’s sustainable for a PR to be self-employed in Indonesia? Why?
Absolutely. If you are able to deliver value to clients and build trust with them, people will come to you, and they will pay for it. This is true anywhere in the world. That said, it does take time to build one’s reputation and relationships, so for those of you who are planning to give self-employment a try, I advise putting some savings aside to fall back on, and or securing a couple of clients before you give up the day job.
The other thing to note is that PR skills lend themselves to a wide range of occupations. So self-employment could mean PR, or writing, or really any occupation where good communication and people skills are essential. After all, we’re presumably pleasant, flexible and good at forming relationships! Robots and artificial intelligence can take over many tasks, but so far nothing can replace the human connection.