Indonesian business leaders are brimming with optimism about their prospects over the next three years. (JG Photo/Dion Bisara)

Indonesian CEOs Optimistic About Business Prospects

JUNE 09, 2018

Jakarta. Indonesian business leaders are brimming with optimism about their prospects over the next three years, despite moderate economic growth and growing cybersecurity threats, global auditor KPMG revealed on Friday (08/06).

The company questioned 1,300 chief executives in multinational companies that operate in 11 major markets.

Eight in 10 Indonesian chief executives interviewed for the "KPMG Global CEO Outlook" survey said they were very confident about their business prospects.

These sentiments are in line with those of their global counterparts, 90 percent of whom also expressed confidence.

Still, 70 percent Indonesian chief executives expect the country's economy to continue to grow at a modest pace in the next three years.

The economy has been growing at around 5 percent in the past four years. Recently, the government and several global institutions said the country is unlikely to achieve its 5.4 percent growth target for 2018.

Also, the leaders were wary of cybersecurity and talent risk, citing them as top concerns that could derail their business projections.

"The [current] discussion about cybersecurity is very different than a few years ago," said Irwan Djaja, the chief executive of KPMG Siddharta Advisory.

"The Indonesian CEOs I talked to are aware that cybersecurity needs to be part of their agenda, not only an IT matter."

About a third of the interviewed Indonesian chief executives said it is only a matter of time when they will fall victim to a cyberattack.

All of them agreed that such attacks could be damaging to their reputation or brands.

Indonesia saw more than 200 million cyber attacks last year and a separate study by Microsoft estimated they could cost local firms some $34 billion, mainly due to reputation damage.

Seven in 10 Indonesian chief executives said they were well-equipped against cyberattacks and confident that they could prevent them from disturbing their strategic operations. Eighty percent said they were optimistic about their ability to identify cyber threats.

The business leaders also said that acquiring talent in the technology and cybersecurity sector was most important.

In order to expand their businesses, they place organic growth and strategic alliances at the top of their strategies.

They are also embracing the digital agenda, even making digital transformation their personal goal. They embrace disruption in their sectors more as an opportunity than a threat, and they are even active in taking part in it.

"None saw themselves as struggling to keep pace with the rate of technological innovation," KPMG said.

While acknowledging the struggles in running digital transformation in parallel with non-digital elements of their businesses, 80 percent of Indonesian chief executives remained confident with regard to their ability to lead the transformation.

Six in 10 said they believed their teams were equipped with adequate means for the transformation. Most of them also saw no need for radical change in their organizations.