An interview with Dan Harsono


Sainsbury: What are your priorities for the next 12-18 months?


Harsono: Our main priority for the next 12 to 18 months in the marketing team is to ensure we continue on the brand journey to “Make Life Simple” as our brand value proposition. We have delivered simplicity in many areas, but there are many more areas that we need to work on. We will also continue our focus on customer centricity and understanding customer insights as top priorities for us this year as well.


Sainsbury: Where do you see the greatest opportunities to leverage technology to enhance the Bank of Ayudhya’s marketing initiatives?


Harsonso: We have leveraged technologies in many areas. For instance, in order to “Make Life Simple”, we have introduced an automated account opening solution that does not require customers to fill in any forms. We have introduced “Simple Q” that allows customers to swipe their ATM card or bank book at our state-of-the-art queuing machines  and to key in their transactions, thus again eliminating the need to fill any forms. This increases accuracy and the speed of transactions. We have also launched Krungsri mobile apps on mobile devices, allowing our customers to access their accounts and conduct transactions anytime anywhere.


Sainsbury: Reaching the ‘unbanked’ is a recurring theme in South East Asia. What do you find to be the most effective way to engage with unbanked customers? 


Harsono: One of the most effective ways in which to reach out the unbanked is very simple from our perspective; we need to be an active part of them and their community.


Sainsbury: What opportunities do you see to further develop your mobile banking channels? 


Harsono: Krungsri mobile apps gives us great headway to tap into the mobile banking channels. We now need to extend similar applications to non-smartphone devices. The other key opportunity would be to expand the raw numbers userbase and educate our customers that the transactions made though mobile devices are secure.


Sainsbury: What opportunities do you see to leverage customer data to improve engagement and retention? 


Harsono: There are great opportunities in being able to leverage customer data as part of our customer relationship management systems to improve engagement and retention. We could identify the right products and services based on customers’ behaviours and needs. We have the ability to offer instant marketing programs at the point-of-sales of our partner merchants. For retention, we could come up with offers that suit our customers to retain them, both on the deposit and lending products. There are plenty of opportunities there.


Sainsbury: What advice would you offer to a young executive looking to step into a CMO role in financial services? 


Harsono: One of the key ingredients to success in marketing is the ability to understand customer needs. Some of the needs are unsaid, and we as marketers need to be able to uncover those needs.


Sainsbury: If you were not working in financial services, what would you be doing?


Harsono: I love financial services so I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else; it’s very dynamic and adapting to those changes is exciting. That said, I am also interested in the service industries as I enjoy interacting with other people. 


Sainsbury: What tools or references keep you abreast of emerging technology trends?


Harsono: Reading helps, but talking to and observing the Gen Y gives me more insight than anything else in this job.


Sainsbury: Every leader has a legacy they wish to be remembered for. What is yours?


Harsono: For me I would simply like to be remembered for my ability to grow and execute.