Amidst the number of students who passed out from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Singapore, there exists a cohort of exceptional alumni who have risen as radiant stars, solving real-world problems as entrepreneurs, and touching the lives of many. Let’s embark on an inspiring journey of Karina Saridewi, Director of WENETWORK, whose impact and accomplishments influence people and leave an indelible mark on the world.
Karina Saridewi is an experienced recruiter specializing in executive-level positions within HR, Finance, and Legal functions. With a background in finance and accounting, she brings a wealth of knowledge from her previous roles in the Fortune 500 manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and FMCG sectors. Her track record exemplifies her expertise and commitment to delivering exceptional talent solutions for organizations.
In this interview with CEO Insights Asia, Karina Saridewi sheds light on her professional journey and advice budding entrepreneurs on how to achieve success.
Could you give a brief account of your professional background and experiences?
I completed my accounting studies in the United States and worked as an accountant there for two years. Following that, I took a one-year break to study Mandarin in Shanghai before returning to Indonesia in 2011. I began my career working for German listed firms in Indonesia as a business controller. I then ventured into commercial finance roles with pharmaceutical and FMCG companies listed in the United States and Europe.
In 2014, I made a pivotal decision to become a recruitment consultant, specializing in finance professionals. This shift has defined my path for the past nine years. I have been groomed and trained by a renowned UK-based recruitment firm for six years, honing my skills and expertise.
Driven by my entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to provide more opportunities for others, I co-founded WENETWORK. The recruitment industry captivates me with its dynamic nature, fast-paced environment, and the immediate rewards it offers. Connecting with people, assisting them in their career transitions, and continuously learning are sources of great joy in my daily life.
Could you tell us about the unique experiences the National University of Singapore offers and what did you learn from the campus beyond academics?
The NUS EMBA program has been an exhilarating and life-changing expedition. It placed me among a diverse group of accomplished professionals hailing from various industries and countries. Our cohort boasted CEOs, COOs, CFOs of listed companies, the Chairman of a prestigious healthcare organization in Singapore, business owners, and directors from renowned media companies. This program bestowed upon us countless opportunities to learn from their business acumen, gain insights into the challenges and opportunities they encounter, and forge enduring friendships. The immersive learning experiences, including visits to Vietnam, China, Singapore, and Indonesia, where we engaged with esteemed companies, proved invaluable. This entire journey not only deepened my understanding of diverse cultures and work practices but also fortified my resilience in the face of adversity.
How would you define WENETWORK as an organization and its current position in the market?
WENETWORK is a rapidly growing recruitment company, expanding globally. Our aim is to offer comprehensive solutions to clients with agility. Alongside recruitment services, we provide additional offerings like payroll hosting, virtual career fairs, and employee background checks. Our company culture is a blend of fun and openness, coupled with a strong work ethic and professionalism. Despite being relatively new, we have earned the trust of established local and multinational organizations, including technology firms, reflecting the expertise of our partners and consultants.
Could you please elaborate on your main offerings and the additional benefits that customers can anticipate from your services and solutions?
We specialize in offering recruitment services for a wide range of managerial positions, spanning from entry-level to senior roles, across various functional areas such as Technology, HR, Finance and Accounting, and Commercial B2B and B2C. Our aim is to provide competitive nimble solutions while ensuring exceptional candidate experience, and fostering strong customer relationships. We strive to excel in all these aspects and provide our clients and candidates with a comprehensive and dependable service.
Tell us about your leadership approach.
I firmly believe in setting a positive example and understanding the perspectives of those I lead. I acknowledge the tremendous value our team members contribute to our organization, as they greatly influence our brand's reputation in the market. With this in mind, I prioritize recognizing and harnessing their unique strengths, empowering them to maximize their potential and create significant value. The principles that guide me in leadership are challenging, and I am constantly striving to improve in this aspect. For me, striking the right balance between empathy and holding individuals accountable is a fundamental quality of an effective leader.
What is the future destination you are heading towards?
Our current strategic focus is on establishing a strong presence in Asia. We will launch in Vietnam and Japan this year and will actively seek opportunities to expand into other markets as well. At the same time, we are committed to further strengthening our existing foothold in the markets where we are already established. Our goal is to broaden our reach and enhance our impact within the region.
In light of your strong experience within the industry, what advice would you give to budding industry leaders?
I believe that placing emphasis on attracting, hiring, and retaining the right individuals is crucial. Moreover, prioritizing customer service and efficient delivery, along with establishing an internal framework that encourages positive behavior and aligns rewards with the desired outcomes, can greatly benefit any business.
Karina Saridewi, Director, WENETWORK
Karina Saridewi is an experienced recruiter specializing in executive-level positions within HR, Finance, and Legal functions. With a background in finance and accounting, she brings a wealth of knowledge from her previous roles in the Fortune 500 manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and FMCG sectors.