The General Insurance industry in Indonesia is a thriving sector that plays a crucial role in providing protection and managing risks for individuals and businesses. With a dynamic market and evolving customer needs, this industry requires strong leadership to navigate challenges and drive growth. One such leader is Dr. Totok Sugiharto, the CFO of PT Lippo General Insurance. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) from Maastricht School of Management (MSM), Netherlands, along with a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) and a Bachelor of Accounting degree. He empowers the sector with his innovative thinking, intellectual abilities, and belief in the quality of management and teamwork. His high self-monitoring and trustworthy nature make him a trusted and respected figure in the General Insurance industry in Indonesia. Let’s hear more from him.
Could you give a brief account of your professional background and experiences? What is the motivation that fuels your daily routines?
As an experienced investment manager, I possess a Wakil Manajer Investasi (WMI) license from the Indonesian Financial Services Authority and a Certified Financial Management Professional (CFMP). I have held senior positions in various financial services companies, including Life and General Insurance, Consumer Finance and Leasing, and Asset Management. Currently, I am serving as the Director, CFO and CTO of PT Lippo General Insurance Tbk, a prominent general insurance company in Indonesia.
Throughout my 25+ years of professional experience, I have gained valuable experience in a range of industries. I have actively participated in significant projects such as digital transformation, M&A, financial restructuring, and more. Additionally, I have shared my knowledge through seminars and contributed articles covering various topics such as knowledge management, strategic management, investment, and the capital market.
My daily motivation stems from a dedication to providing exceptional service to others and contributing to the growth of the financial services industry in Indonesia. I approach my work with a structured and dedicated mindset, focusing on business administration, financial management, and investment practices to achieve these goals.
How would you define PT Lippo General Insurance as an organization and its position in the market? What is the unique proposition that your organization offers to clients?
PT Lippo General Insurance holds a prominent position as a market leader in the general insurance industry in Indonesia. Additionally, it has established itself as a leader in health insurance for corporate employees. The company's unique value proposition lies in its commitment to customer success, surpassing mere customer satisfaction. One of that, PT Lippo General Insurance offers a digital application called E-Benefit, available on IOS and Android platforms, which provides personalized, easily accessible, interactive, informative, and secure features for technology users and customers in the general and health insurance sector.
In the future this organization is required to anticipate rapidly changing market dynamics such as demand for behavior-based insurance which is also a challenge for the company to respond it.
You have accumulated approximately thirty years of experience. Could you share your journey towards achieving success and your guiding principles?
I believe that adaptability is crucial for navigating through turbulent situations. Striving to consistently deliver excellent results and fostering strong teamwork to achieve synergy are essential for future success. A success mantra that has deeply resonated with me is outlined in Peter Senge's book, 'The Fifth Discipline'. It comprises five foundational pillars that can be applied in both professional and everyday life: Personal Mastery, Mental Models, Shared Vision, Training and Development, and System Thinking. These disciplines shape my approach as a CFO, guiding my daily activities.
As the CFO, how do you determine the profitability of an investment of the company?
As the CFO, I assess the profitability of company investments by considering several factors. Our investment objective is to achieve optimal returns while considering investment risk, liability compatibility, and compliance with regulations. To meet this objective, we employ selection strategies and investment periods that prioritize the following considerations: security to minimize financial instrument risk, liquidity to avoid short-term cash flow mismatches, profitability to seek optimal short and long-term results while considering risk and liquidity levels, and solvency to ensure the company's assets can fulfill all obligations.
Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines or methodologies you follow to lead your team?
I follow several important methodologies. Personal Mastery involves continuously improving myself, clarifying my vision, and staying objective. I also understand the impact of Mental Models, which are our ingrained assumptions, and the changes brought by digitalization and transformation organizations. Team Learning through training and development is essential for fostering a culture of growth. Building a Shared Vision helps create genuine commitment and open communication within the team. Embracing Systems Thinking, with the help of advanced of information technology, allows for a comprehensive approach to business processes, fostering the use of automatization processes, the use of big data analytics, machine learning and AI technology. These methodologies shape my leadership style, ensuring effective team management and navigating the complexities of the organization.
What are your future goals and aspirations?
In terms of my business mission, I aim to manage my own investment company, actively contributing to the growth and development of the Indonesian capital market and investment industry. On the social front, I am dedicated to devoting significant time and effort to inspiring and educating the younger generation in the field of financial services and investment.
What advice would you give to budding industry leaders?
Aspiring industry leaders can benefit greatly from starting at the lower levels and gaining practical, academic, and experiential knowledge. Learning from others' experiences and combining various perspectives will enhance their ability to lead effectively. It is crucial for these emerging leaders to understand the dynamic nature of the financial services market, encompassing changes in market and customer behavior, social factors, and industry regulations. Additionally, humility and grounded-ness are important traits for prospective leaders to embody.
Totok Sugiharto, CFO, Lippo General Insurance
Totok is a highly accomplished leader in the general insurance industry, making a significant impact as the CFO of PT Lippo General Insurance in Indonesia. With a strong educational background, Totok possesses a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field.