Director of Consumer Banking of Bank Mega
With her business law degree from the University of Indonesia and her unbeatable drive to work hard, Diza has honed her skills and gained outstanding experiences in leading banks in Indonesia. Now as Director of Consumer Banking for Bank Mega, Diza optimistically strives to find great opportunities even in a challenging time like this.
Q: How has the current situation changed your daily and work life?
Lay Diza Larentie: Of course, there are many changes. From the business point of view, there are a lot of people who have to work from home now. We try to make the best of Zoom for meetings. Previously, when the sales force wanted to provide service to our customers, they did it face-to-face or by phone, now we use Zoom to instead. I still go to the office to work, but I try to use all the necessary safety procedures, like wearing a mask and applying social distancing. I don’t really feel much difference in my day-to-day activities until the weekend… I used to go to the gym to practice yoga, now I do yoga at home following yoga instructors on YouTube. Another change that I have noticed is that I’m back in the kitchen baking cookies like kaasstengels after probably 20 years.
Q: What banking products would you recommend that your customers use during this situation?
L: With this kind of large-scale social distancing, many of our customers’ incomes have decreased. Many businesses can’t open at this time, except for specific industries. So customers need flexible funds standing by. If that’s the case, I would say conventional products like savings and short-term savings deposits are good options. Short-term because in this kind of situation we’ll never know what we need to anticipate and how long the situation will last. For customers who have saved enough funds for a longer term, bonds are one of the good options for investment. Mutual funds are also a good option because the correction index is quite low. Many people are afraid to invest now, but I think it’s better if we buy low now, so that we can sell high later. If you’re still not sure, there’s also dollar cost averaging, where you invest gradually.
Q: What do you most miss, but can’t do now, due to the situation?
L: Every weekend my family used to eat out just to get a new and different ambience from home, but now we can’t do that. We tried ordering in the food we wanted, but it’s just different, we didn’t get the new ambience and the food wasn’t really as fresh as when it’s straight from their kitchen. I also miss going around the mall during the weekends and meeting up with my friends.
Q: What is the first country you want to visit when the situation returns to normal and why?
L: My kid goes to school in London and we were planning to go there to take a road trip around the UK this May, but of course it has had to be postponed for now. When the situation is back to normal, I will send my kid back to school and do the road trip as planned.
Q: What tips do you have for people out there to stay positive and healthy?
L: I believe that hardships will end; there’s always light after dark and a rainbow after the rain. I believe the most important thing is how we get through the difficult situation. We need to be optimistic, stay positive, and keep thinking about what we can do, be it in the family or in business. On the business side, with these limitations we need to be creative to find opportunities. Sometimes good ideas are born during tough times, like now. As long as we’re optimistic, there are always opportunities that we can grab. I also think that we need to contribute in any kind of form, don’t just sit there and do nothing. To maintain your health and fitness, don’t go out if you really don’t have to. If you have to, wear a mask. For me, the most important thing is getting enough sleep, so that I can stay fit and not easily fall sick. Plan your meals to get more nutrition, eat enough, choose food with higher protein and avoid junk food.