Swandi was a graduate of Electrical Engineering faculty from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Perhaps like most other fresh graduates back in the late 1980s, he never thought about getting into insurance industry, but as fate has it, he eventually joined PT Asuransi AIG Indonesia and pursued his career there for more than 20 years. He started as a management trainee and worked his way up to become AIG Indonesia’s Director in 1997, and then later on in 2003 was appointed by the shareholders to become its Vice President Director.
While work life had been quite comfortable for him then in AIG, towards the end of 2010 he was asked by the shareholders of PT IBS Insurance Broking Service to become its President Director and head up IBS Group. PT IBS Insurance Broking Service was established in 1975 as the first insurance broker licensed to operate in Indonesia. It is one of the largest and leading insurance brokers in the country, providing consultancy and advisory services in insurance and risk management to its clients, through its 100+ staff. The clients range from individuals, to SME companies, to large corporate entities – both local and multinational firms.
IBS is a fully independent insurance broker and risk consultant, getting its business and gaining the trust of its clients purely through its expertise, service excellence and professionalism. Its broking service teams comprise of professionals dedicated to serve specific industries such as finance & banking, forestry & agriculture, real estate, manufacturing & logistics, mining and energy, among others. Their unrivalled concentration of knowledge and experience provide them with real insight into client’s business risk profile, and hence optimum risk solutions to suit the needs of the clients.
Together with its subsidiary companies, which are in reinsurance broking (in Jakarta and Singapore) and risk management services, and its sister company (PT Cipta Integra Duta) which solely focuses on employee benefits and welfare, IBS Group is a fully integrated group of companies delivering a seamless and complete range of insurance and risk solutions to the highest international standards for the benefits of their clients.
Back in late 2010 though, IBS was not in its top form. The preceding few years’ revenue showed a downward trend, and the shareholders detected some potential major issues in the organization which then led to the appointment of Swandi to lead the group. A major shake-up was carried out, and while IBS Group subsequently lost quite a number of its managers to its rival back then, and consequently also lost a significant amount of its revenue, Swandi was determined that that the organization could be positively turned around based on its strong foundation, a good mix of human capital, and implementation of top IT system and infrastructure.
Together with his team, they restructured the organization, identified and recruited professional human resources both from within the companies as well as from the market, put in place new strategies together with their execution plans, embarked on building new company culture, and introduced good corporate governance. While the first year was tough because of loss of some revenue, a strong foundation was put in place for sustainable growth. This was clearly shown in the organization’s result in the subsequent years, indicated by strong revenue and profit growth at least at double the rate of the average industry’s results.
The competition in the Indonesian insurance industry is getting tougher every year, and there are more and more foreign players getting into the market. But Swandi is optimistic that many other national insurance brokers including IBS will continue to flourish. “While IBS has always been a leader in the Indonesian insurance broking area, we envision that we would also become an important regional player as well. IBS is the only Indonesian insurance broker and risk consultant that has an operation in Singapore, and we intend to use that as our stepping stone to expand into other markets in the region,” Swandi said. The important thing is that the team members in the organization share the vision and mission of the company and row the boat into the same direction. Obviously there will always be obstacles along the way, but he believes that for every issue there are always options and solutions. “You just have to make the right decision based on available details and information on hand, and continue to move forward”. For that, he prefers to empower his colleagues with some trust and authority, and encourage everyone to share their thoughts and inputs. This would not only instill a sense of ownership among team members but also ensure that the company can deliver its best performance from time to time.
Being in the service sector, Swandi believes that there are always rooms to continue to improve and strive for better quality and professional service to ensure that the clients are satisfied. But most of all, he ensures that everyone in the company upholds the value of integrity and professionalism in servicing their clients.