Partner & Managing Director, Jakarta
At BCG, Allies bring a sense of collaboration and excitement to their teams. They create an atmosphere of trust and support in which people can do their best work. Ernest goes deep to understand challenges.
The best thing about being at BCG is that you can define your own development path and experience. The firm offers a wide array of opportunities to choose from and always supports us to pursue our passions outside of project works.
BCG continues to create space for me to develop myself. When I first joined, I was exposed to a steep learning curve immediately. My first case required me to build a valuation model, something totally new to me given my background in engineering. Since then, BCG exposes me to various opportunities, starting from projects in a wide range of sectors, international project assignments, business executive program training in London, an ambassadorship to BCG Chicago, and a secondment to the World Economic Forum in New York.
The BCG brand is truly unique. It gave me credentials to build my network and pursue the causes I am passionate about: badminton, education, and community development. I currently sit on the committee of the Badminton Asia Confederation, aiming to mainstream the sport all around Asia. In addition, I was elected curator of the Global Shapers community, Jakarta Hub, in 2014-2015, allowing me to lead projects related to education, social entrepreneurship, and community in Indonesia.
Ernest holds a BS (summa cum laude) degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and an MS in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received the Robert T Haslam (1911) Presidential Fellowship and the Rosemary Wojtowicz award.
Q: What did you learn in your first year on the job?
A: Most of the learning I've had at BCG is from on-the-job mentorship. My project leader in my first case gave me a practical tutorial on how to build a valuation model and I would say that was the most effective "classroom training" I've ever gotten.
You also build a strong mentorship culture within the firm. People I consider my mentors are always there to brainstorm how I could push my potential further and share their experiences. This is something I value that I aim to also do with my team and mentees.
Q: What international experiences at BCG have been the most interesting for you?
A: The 20 months I spent in the US as an ambassador at BCG Chicago and a secondee at the World Economic Forum are among the most interesting experiences I've had at BCG.
Working with clients in the US expanded my knowledge on how firms think about both developed and emerging markets. It also allowed me to work on advanced topics I’m interested in, such as transaction banking.
My secondment at the World Economic Forum allowed me to pursue a topic I am deeply interested in: financial services innovation in emerging markets. I was able to tap into over 30 leaders of leading emerging market financial institutions and multilateral organizations, which was a great platform from which to learn and share experiences on the topic. In addition, I was given the opportunity to share my experiences at various Forum events, including Davos and regional meetings in India and East Asia.
Q: What’s the biggest impact you have had with your work?
A: I will always remember the project we did to transform a major Asian bank because of the impact we had.
First, the bank grew its profit more than ten times within just three years, becoming a market leader. But most important, we totally changed the culture of the bank. When we came in, bank leaders were losing confidence and were distressed over the lagging performance, but now the bank is a confident organization, driven to take on initiatives to cement its leadership position. In this process, I've built many friendships that I will always cherish.