My love-hate relationship with Indonesia
If you knew me well, you’d know that behind my bubbly self lies an over-critical and over-thinking person who tends to point out the inefficiencies in systems. And if you know anything about Indonesia — it is that things tend to be quite inefficient, which has made living in Indonesia quite difficult and negative for me. Although I had only spent 4.5 years in the United States for university and for my first job out of college, reverse culture shock was extremely apparent for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my country. So much in fact that I decided to forgo my 3 year STEM OPT to “go home and make a difference.” Even the very reason for choosing the majors I graduated with was to help Indonesia’s population who are disproportionately affected by environmental externalities. I grew up in a comfortable household where my parents would always remind me to look for opportunities to think about the solutions I can create to make the lives of the unfortunate class better — a perspective that I have carried over to other parts of my life.
McKinsey and Public service
My life thus far has been about figuring out what I don’t like in the hopes that it will help me figure out what I do like. I learned that no matter how you meticulously you plan your life, opportunities and failures will lead you to choices that could gravely deviate you from your initial plan (and sometimes for the better).
I returned to Jakarta headfirst into McKinsey with the hopes to learn the state of Indonesian industries and find out what opportunities persist for me to make the most impact. While at McKinsey, I was gratefully offered the opportunity to work with an Indonesian minister through the referral of my Professor at Berkeley (thanks George!), which I eagerly accepted. Both experiences had their respective pros and cons but I continued to feel that I was too far from the front lines of creating the impact. So I decided to start a few things on my own where I learned about how important passion is when starting a business or building a product. Nevertheless, throughout all my experiences, I was irked by the speed at which I was creating impact, as well as the fact that I wasn’t developing much (in terms of my technical skills).
I was first introduced to Xendit as a student back in Berkeley when one of my seniors was working in Xendit and said that she was working on a tech product for Indonesia. A different business model then, Xendit has gone through pivots to find product market fit; and now, Xendit is now one of Indonesia’s leading payment gateways. I was then introduced to the Xendit team during a Berkeley Alumni event. Long story short, Moses and I share the same alma mater and passion to advance Indonesia’s human capital by distributing knowledge of best practices from abroad back home and so I came onboard Xendit.
Unfortunately, my first job at Yik Yak in the US spoiled me. I had an amazing manager and team, was building an interesting product and the company culture was pretty amazing. There was no hierarchy and we could collaborate across teams without friction. My coworkers were of different races and came from diverse backgrounds, which helped me view and solve problems in different ways. Yik Yak pretty much set the bar for me when it came to the close-to-optimal startup culture. Ask my friends, and they’ll tell you how this bar for company culture (diversity, collaboration, learning curve, etc.) was never met during my 3 years in Indonesia, until I joined Xendit.
Despite my short time at Xendit, there’s a lot I’ve experienced and here’s my 3 favourite things I’ve enjoyed at Xendit:
At Xendit, it’s not about the hours, but about what you execute. Although often this means spending more than the usual 8-6 working hours, Xendit places so much trust on you to execute that you feel a sense of accomplishment when you actually do deliver. Here at Xendit we believe that you start with 100% trust until you prove us wrong and then we start taking that task away. I think trust is also well portrayed by the way Xendit pushes their employees to opt for employee stock options (ESOs) just so the people can feel a sense of ownership and reap the benefits of what they have built.
People and Speed
Things move quickly at Xendit. As someone who loathes inefficiencies, this is one of the key reasons Xendit is such a delightful place to work at. As anyone working in the working world knows, the pace of things is set by the people of the organization. I was very fortunate to find a group of people who shared the same delight for speed of execution as I do. You need to execute fast because you are accountable to your peers who are working at 1.75x the speed at which you work. The best part is — the reason you want to keep up is not because you have to but because you want to. My peers at Xendit have driven me to want to match their speed on numerous occasions, a challenging but fun experience.
The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know and I have to learn. In my role at Xendit, I am challenged to do things way outside my area of expertise. Learning is often uncomfortable but can be extremely rewarding. I was fortunate that my team has been forgiving and patient enough to let me learn while honestly telling me where I need to step up (one of the things I really appreciate is how straight to the point people at Xendit are — they’ll tell you that your work sucks if it does but with actionable steps on how you can improve). No matter the role that you fill, Xendit pushes each person to learn the business from end to end — new joiners need to do at least 1 sale, spending time doing a customer success shift, learning postman, etc.
Whether you are a fresh graduate or have been working for years, we will curate a role for you. Xendit is a place where you find the excitement of Southeast Asia with a sprinkle of the best parts of Western company culture.