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Woman of the Year APAC Winner: Rania Ali Alkatiri, PT Goto Gojek Tokopedia Tbk (‘GoTo’)

Published: Jul 2023

Rania Ali Alkatiri

Head of Treasury

Incorporating the Gojek, Tokopedia and GoTo Financial platforms, GoTo Group is Indonesia’s largest digital ecosystem, with almost 60 million annual transacting users. The company’s mission is to ‘empower progress’ by offering technology infrastructure and solutions that help people thrive in the digital economy.

Leading by example

The overall winner of this year’s Woman of the Year APAC award is Rania Ali Alkatiri, Head of Treasury at Indonesian technology giant GoTo Group.

When she was born in Saudi Arabia, Rania’s career prospects were limited to becoming a housewife, nurse or teacher – and even when her family moved to Malaysia, there was little expectation that Rania’s generation of young, Muslim women would be able to pursue a professional career in industry. Today, however, Rania holds a highly influential role at the holding company of Indonesia’s largest digital ecosystem, which contributes around 2% of the country’s GDP.

Forging a path to treasury

Encouraged by her parents to shape her own future through education, Rania has pursued a highly successful international career. Initially she moved into banking with roles at RHB Bank Malaysia and Citi Berhad Malaysia. Early in her career, she won an Asia Pacific award for best implementation of a new Islamic product, an exercise which involved coordinating with counterparts in the Middle East, Malaysia and the UK.

Having demonstrated her functional and people management skills, in 2008 Rania was invited to join Citi’s highly selective Leadership Development Programme, after which she became team leader of treasury operations. Her subsequent roles at Citi culminated in her appointment as Vice President and Head of Market Operations. In this role, she was responsible for FX, loans, time deposits, credit risk management services, confirmations and regulatory reporting.

“I’m honoured and grateful for winning such a prestigious award, it’s a symbol and an acknowledgement of my journey so far. Thankful for everyone who always supported me throughout my career.”

Then, in 2019, Rania began a new chapter with a move to corporate treasury – initially working for ride-hailing firm Gojek until the company’s 2021 blockbuster merger with Indonesian e-commerce company Tokopedia resulted in the creation of GoTo Group. Rania was a key figure in the merger, she optimised the treasury processes, policies and procedures of the combined group.

“Moving from the familiarity of a large bank to join a start-up was an important career decision,” she reflects. “I wanted something new, and the opportunity to ‘give back’, which is an important part of GoTo’s culture, providing opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and microbusinesses that are central to Indonesia’s economy.”

Embracing efficiency and scalability

In her current role, Rania has become one of the most prominent and influential treasurers in Indonesia, and across Southeast Asia as a whole. Supported by a highly professional team that – uniquely in Indonesia – is entirely female, she is responsible for managing the entire funding and cash management needs of the business.

Given that the company is a young, digital startup, one of Rania’s first priorities was to establish the fundamental policies, procedures and controls needed to ensure that treasury is run efficiently and securely, with the right tools in place to manage liquidity and risk. This is an ongoing process, with a continuing focus on refining and improving risk management as the scale and complexity of the organisation grows.

At the same time, Rania has been keen to ensure that manual processes do not become embedded into treasury. In practice this has meant embracing the company’s digital culture and automating treasury processes, initially at the central treasury level, and then across the company’s subsidiary. As a result, the treasury team now has visibility over 98% of the group’s cash.

In April 2022, GoTo Group was listed on the Main Board of the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) (GOTO). A press release at the time noted that GoTo’s IPO was the third largest in Asia and fifth largest in the world so far that year, based on the total funds raised.

Supported by internal consultants, Rania is now leading an integration and transformation project to build a centre of treasury excellence and operational shared service centre, based on leading-edge technology and highly automated processes.

“Throughout my career, I have wanted to show other women, particularly in more socially conservative countries, that they do not need to be limited by their background, culture or social expectations. Opportunities may emerge in different places – even different countries – but adapting to different countries and cultures is exciting, not a burden.”

Inspiring others to succeed

Rania’s international career is an inspiration to women across the region. Leading by example, Rania has demonstrated that women can overcome social and cultural barriers to achieve their ambitions, but without rejecting their culture or family values – Rania wears a hijab, for example.

Testament to Rania’s influence is the fact that her current team is exclusively female – not by design, but because her reputation for encouraging individual aspiration and personal development has enabled her to attract the brightest treasury and finance talent.

Rania’s achievements throughout her career, combined with her commitment to encouraging others to succeed and opening up opportunities for other women, make her a worthy winner of this year’s Women of the Year APAC award. As Rania reflects, “I have my own daughter now, who has her own aspirations, and I hope that she can see from the path I have taken that she can follow her dreams, wherever they may take her.”

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