Feb 14, 2020|

Jakarta Journal: A culture of trust and empowerment drives growth at JD.ID


By Martin Li

For 26-year-old Indonesian Christofer Surjadi, his four years of experience working at JD.ID has been an amazing journey. JD.ID is an e-commerce joint venture of China’s largest retailer, JD.com, in Indonesia, the country with the largest population in the ASEAN region.

“I’m managing three teams with a total of 30 members,” said Surjadi, who is manager of Warehouse Planning and Development, Supply Chain Management, and Transportation Management.

“All my team members are older than me,” he said. Surjadi joined JD.com as a management trainee in Beijing, China in 2016 and was assigned to work at JD.ID in Jakarta one year later. The position of management trainee is offered to a young talent who has demonstrated potential to be a manager in the future.

“A manager can’t just assign tasks. I share what I learn from JD.com with my team members. Providing appreciation and a sense of ownership are also pivotal,” he said.

Surjadi is trying to empower his teams in the way he has been empowered. He learned that management style from his mentors and managers from both JD.com and JD.ID, who have empowered him to take on his current role, and he hopes to apply the same approach to his team.

At JD.ID, young and ambitious people like Surjadi are trusted to develop and grow from scratch, and are empowered to unleash their innovative leadership potential.

“Young employees are creative and innovative. We should trust them, empower them and tolerate their failures,” said Zhang Li, CEO of JD.ID, who has been with JD.com for more than 10 years. Zhang added that it’s also very important to respect young people and maintain communication with patience.

From left to right Broderick Wijaya, Christofer Surjadi, Timothy William Tjia, Jiang HaiyuFrom left to right Broderick Wijaya, Christofer Surjadi, Timothy William Tjia, Jiang Haiyu

“Equipped with JD’s successful experience in China and real practice in Indonesia, these ambitious young people are expected to become a driving force behind the whole e-commerce industry in Indonesia,” said Zhang.

According to e-Conomy SEA 2019, an annual report by Google and Temasek, talent remains a pressing need in Southeast Asia’s developing Internet economy.

At JD.ID, outstanding young people with great potential are paired with seasoned mentors to guide them on their career path at the company. .

“At JD.ID, when you approach others for guidance, people are very happy to share their experience. It is a proactive environment, and everyone who has relevant knowledge shares openly,” said Timothy William Tjia, a 28-year-old Indonesian, who heads Corporate Retail Strategy and Business Improvement.

“I lead a team of 17 people, which I didn’t expect to do at the beginning,” said Tjia, who studied accounting and joined JD.ID in 2015.

“In 2017, I was tasked to manage four people, and this group was named Business Development. There were many competing demands from other departments, and I learned how to establish teamwork from my mentors and managers,” he recalled.

Tjia said he also learned how to nurture a culture of trust and a provide a sense of belonging and commitment.

“I’m on the way to empowering my own team members,“ he said.

The mindset of trusting and empowering people is also shared by Broderick Wijaya, a 31-year-old team leader of Category.

“At the beginning, when I encountered problems, I intended to solve them by myself. However, with the company growing and the number of problems increasing, the best solution was to delegate them to team members and trust them. When I assign jobs to them, they are very happy.  They can feel the sense of trust.” said Wijia.

He added that it’s very exciting to work at JD.ID, a four-year-old company. “I was given tremendous freedom when I joined the company four years ago, and leaders taught me to see things with a broader view. What I saw was business as a part of the picture. They know what the whole picture looks like,” he said.

Jiang Haiyu, who is manager of JD.ID’s social media team and is from China, also said she is impressed by the discretion the company gives young people to be themselves in their positon, as well as the chance to grow fast.

Thomas Husted (left), CFO of Go-Jek, Soon Sze Meng (middle), President International and Vice President of JD.com, and Zhang Li (right), CEO of JD.ID, launched the opening of new office of JD.ID in central Jakarta on Nov.19.Thomas Husted (left), CFO of Go-Jek, Soon Sze Meng (middle), President International and Vice President of JD.com, and Zhang Li (right), CEO of JD.ID, launched the opening of new office of JD.ID in central Jakarta on Nov.19.

Jiang joined JD.com four years ago in China and started working at JD.ID in 2019. After spending half a year supporting different departments, she was assigned to lead the social media team.

“When I was starting out at JD.ID, I struggled to take full advantage of my skills, and I hardly knew this new market. Our marketing head, Mia, gave me guidance, support and most importantly, confidence,” she said. “People from China like me have worked with local employees closely, happily and fruitfully. We will continue this trend.”

The company also provides Indonesian language training for Chinese employees once a week. “I attend the class each week,” said Jiang, who is able to speak basic Indonesian now.

“I also teach my Indonesian team Chinese. My biggest gain is my team. They are young and keep inspiring me,” said Jiang.

The young managers said that JD.ID is a perfect platform for them to realize their career dreams.

“I want do more projects, see things from a strategic point of view. Put simply, I want to take e-commerce in the Indonesian market to another level,” said Tjia.

For Surjadi, his dream is even bigger. “In China, logistics is highly developed. JD.com is a very good example. I want to improve logistics in Indonesia, where there is a big difference between the western and eastern regions of the country, and there is significant potential,” he said.

With its own logistics facilities, JD.ID has already achieved same-or-next-day delivery for over 60 percent of its orders throughout the country – an impressive achievement in a country of scattered islands.

There are around 1,200 employees at JD.ID, 95 percent of whom are Indonesian. The average age is 33 years old.

The prevailing culture of empowerment at JD.ID, which is inherited from JD.com, is aimed at upskilling young people in the burgeoning e-commerce industry in Indonesia. This culture lays a solid foundation for the fast growth of JD.ID.

This year marks the fourth year of JD.ID, which has gained increasing popularity among Indonesian customers for its commitment to” Dijamin Ori”, which means authentic products in Indonesian.

During the Singles Day (also referred to as “Double 11”) shopping festival on Nov.11 last year, the company witnessed an increase in daily active users of over 93 percent. The most popular categories were grocery, health care products, electronic gadgets like mobile phones, as well as home appliances. Plus, the company’s strength in supply chain has drawn partners like IKEA, which is using JD.ID’s warehousing service.

Indonesia is also home to an AI experience store built by JD.ID and the first pilot of drone delivery in the region.

All of these positive developments are encouraging the people of JD.ID in pursuit of making joy for customers by providing authentic products and fast delivery.