Nurul Ginting (Digital Business Development Manager)
On this year’s International Women’s Day #IWD2020, we spoke to Nurul, our Digital Business Development Manager on what her typical day at Shell is like, her love and hunger for learning around digitalization and what would she advise young women on career development that she wishes someone would have told her when she was younger.
Tell us about yourself, how you started in Shell – your role with Shell, your background and aspirations, and what moves your world?
After a decade of working in FMCG industry, I took a 2-year break from work to get my second master’s degree in business analytics and big data. When I was about to complete my study, a good friend of mine introduce me to Shell and the rest is history. This is actually a very good example of the power of network.
I love adventure and learning. Being in a constant change and forced to do and learn something new always motivate and energize me. I am especially passionate learning about data, especially in translating them into human-language and insight because I believe that this is the only way for data to bring value.
I am also passionate learning about digital, as it always in a constant – if not exponential – changes, and it manages to put me always on my feet. I like the “AHA” moment when I learn and – sometimes – invent something, as well as the feeling of growing to be a better version of myself.
I consider myself lucky to work in my area of expertise and passion since my current role as a digital BDM for Shell Lubricant Indonesia checked all the boxes above. It is always new, never boring, and I work with lots and lots of data.
Could you tell us what you do in a nutshell? Can you share with us your typical workday?
I am in the front line in ensuring that we, as an organization, stay relevant in this ever-changing world. My role as digital BDM has 2 key responsibilities. I am currently leading the digital optimization and digital transformation in Shell lubricant Indonesia. The first one, digital optimization, means to optimize business process and bring value to digital and automation. The second one, digital transformation, means to create new business model and value stream for Shell Lubricant Indonesia, especially in the area of e-commerce.
In the morning, I often check and reply emails. I only check my email in an interval, so I am not distracted all the time and have time to do the “actual” work. My typical workday normally include 5-10 meetings a day – mostly in a virtual setting as I work mostly with both global and local stakeholders. At lunch time or in the afternoon, I especially enjoy having informal conversation with my team and other stakeholders to discuss any digital project related matter, because I think new ideas often come from a less structure conversation.
What have been some of your significant successes in Shell? Or what were some of the things that you did, actions taken, kinds of discipline, that helped in your career success?
I am very proud of our digital capability initiatives. We have 2 rounds of digital days last year and will continue to do so this year. We designed the digital days as a 2-days event with multiple topics such as digital marketing, e-commerce, and big data and analytics brought by both internal and external speakers. The delivery methods include sharing session, seminar, and workshop. It’s quite successful as this event bring many people from different functions to learn new digital related skills.
I also lead some successful digital capability initiatives for the leaders, mainly in the area advance analytics and innovation related topic such as agile and design thinking.
I am also very proud to bring AI (artificial intelligence) and chat bots to optimize our indirect channel operation.
Any hurdles along the way and if so, how did you overcome them?
Human is the key since digital is only a tool. Therefore, my biggest challenges are in the area of change and stakeholder managements.
Digital has shown promising result in delivering value; however, it takes a lot of effort – especially in the data and people capability space - to ensure that we are ready and prepared in utilizing them.
In order to overcome those challenges, I work closely with the users by understanding their point of view and ways of working. I designed any initiatives that I must fit with the context and ensure buy-ins before the implementation stage.
I often use the six source of influence model – a matrix of personal, social, and structure, combine with ability and motivation as guidelines to design my change management plan, as I need to ensure that the users are motivated from all aspect as well as skillful enough to do the task.
I normally locked support from the top as well, and I am especially lucky that all my initiatives are being supported by the leadership team as well.
What interests you to work in the area of digital/digitalization?
Digital is the not the future, it is now. We are currently living in the digital world. How we translate the traditional ways of working into a more efficient way through digital, how we translate data into insight and bring value, and how we ensure that we stay relevant in the future are the main things that interest me. It’s a worthy challenge to tackle.
I also think that even though the digital initiatives always bring something new, the concept and logic behind them is often simple and centered to human. Machine learning, for example, I consider them as simply a test and learn concept with iteration – of course with very smart and novel approaches. And I always think this is quite amazing, how this simple concept with proper understanding and implementation can be very powerful.
How do you balance life between work and family? How do you make time for yourself and how do you see Shell supports you in achieving your work-life balance?
My friends and family are my support system, and I promised myself to make time to always talk to them in regular basis. I realize that there is no such thing as “I have no time” concept. It simply that I don’t put them as a priority. Therefore, I always put my family and friends as my top priority so I will always have time for them. From time to time, of course, I need to prioritize my work. Personally, it is never be a problem because I enjoy my work and I don’t think that this is a burden.
I would like to think that I never have to try to balance my life since I always consider work as part of my life and not as a separate entity.
Shell has a few amazing people related initiatives. One of them is the Happiness program. It gives you a platform to try something new and do things that you like such as cooking, running, and riding bikes/motorcycle with peers. There’s also a program for leaders to help us to be a mindful leader that include breathing exercise, healthy food, and meditation. I think all this program helps us as individual to have a more balance life.
How do you make time for yourself, what do you do? What’s your hobby?
I love architecture and decorating houses, and I often hunt antique and unique furniture or decorating piece to relax.
From time to time, I like to paint, take pictures, and play with Lego.
This year’s IWD theme is #eachforequal – what comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘equal’?
Equal means to be able to do what you want to do, to be valued from your work and capability, and have fair – not always similar – playing fields, regardless of your background or gender.
Parting messages or advise, especially to young girls aspiring for development?
There are a few things that I wish that someone would have told me when I was younger.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself and continue to build your resiliency. Resilience is important as you will face some failure in your life. Failure is nothing but a growing and learning tool.
- Don’t ever compare your first chapter with somebody else last chapter in anything – in career, in capability, and in life. You just need to do your best and forget the rest. I believe that result will never betray the work.
- Keep learning and find a mentor. Stay open minded and always make time to learn new skills. Your development and future are in your hand.
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