BTPN: A Traditional Bank that became a Digital Indonesian Jenius
(8 pages of text)
In 2020, the Indonesian bank PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional Tbk (BTPN) had to make a decision regarding a digital transformation strategy for its future. BTPN had started as a small bank that focused on pensioners, but became known for its innovation after a private equity partner bought a stake in 2008. Initially innovating successfully in microfinance, BTPN decided to go digital by creating an in-house start-up in 2015 called Jenius, thereby leapfrogging to become one of the forerunners in Indonesian digital consumer banking. The COVID-19 pandemic had accelerated digital financial services, and BTPN had to decide how to scale Jenius to transform the company. Was the in-house start-up model the best choice after all, or would the large incumbent banks digitalize faster?
This case is best suited for undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on strategy or management, international business and emerging markets and business in Asia, digital technologies, or innovation. This case explores the challenges that organizations face when transitioning from a brick-and-mortar business to a digital business. In particular, the case addresses the benefits and costs of undergoing such a transition through an in-house financial technology start-up within a bank. The benefits and costs of the in-house start-up option vary depending on the scale and maturity of the venture. As students will gradually realize, the option of an in-house start-up also comes with significant drawbacks in later stages of development. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to
- make strategic decisions in the context of transformational innovations in emerging markets;
- understand digital innovation choices and implications—in particular, the creation and scaling of in-house start-ups;
- understand the challenges of scaling fintech innovations in a rapidly changing market and regulatory landscape; and
- understand strategy in emerging markets where volatility is high and there are opportunities for leapfrogging.
Finance and Insurance
Indonesia, Large, 2020
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