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In a career spanning a decade, Aryabimo (Bimo) Harfiandi has ridden the wave of digital transformation in Indonesia. He’s created products that have touched the lives of millions.
Bimo manages the entertainment and media portfolio for Jakarta-based XL Axiata, a subsidiary of Malaysia’s Axiata group, one of Asia’s largest telecommunications conglomerates.
Back home in Jakarta, after graduating from UTS with a Bachelor of Science and Information Technology, he started out setting up networks for companies. He moved into software, and then started focusing on creating new business opportunities in digital services.
“Through marketing and business development you actually connect more with society, rather than just being the technical guy that sits at the back,” he says.
Looking back now, he graduated from university in Australia at a critical time in the history of technology - 2007 - the year Apple launched the iPhone and mobile took off around the world.
He initially worked for Lintasarta, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s second-largest telco, Indosat – where he had a boss who also mentored him – before being asked to join XL Axiata, owned by Malaysia’s Axiata group.
He’s helped create a variety of digital products – including launching a streaming media service with one of the biggest production houses in Indonesia. It gained more than a million active subscribers in less than a year.
He developed a whole new business model for Indonesia’s commercial music industry, creating a 10 million-strong customer base in a collaboration with leading artists. And in 2015, he co-founded an ecosystem of 1,300 Internet of Things developers as part of the government’s Smartcity project.
Bimo says his time at UTS played an important part in his later career success. His first job aligned closely with his major in IT networks, so finding a job was easy.
And the soft skills he developed – communication, collaboration, and how to present ideas and concepts – were vital.
“The thing that helped me a lot is the way you communicate with people. It enables you to adapt to you working environment easily,” he says. “From my experience, it is really important to be confident when talking to people.”
And mixing openly with other students helped him improve his understanding of people and knowledge of the world.
Within the next five years, he’ll probably start a new business. He’s keen to stay at the forefront of digital services – seeing an opportunity for more agile innovation with a smaller team.
“The thing is,” he laughs, “I’m not the kind of person who likes to be in their comfort zone.”