By Millie Manahan
One of the world’s leading producers of software for the management of business processes, developing solutions that facilitate effective data processing and information flow across organizations, SAP presents its new Head of Communications for SAP Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines, Rizka Laksmi.
One of my favourite quotes about communication is from George Bernard Shaw. He said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Hasn’t that been true for you? Some way somehow, the message gets lost along the way. Being able to convey the message correctly is a skill that only a few can do, especially now that we live in the digital world. We communicate as if we understood things.
Luckily, and on behalf of the Manila Bulletin Tech News team, I met one of those people. Rizka Laksmi, an Indonesian descent, sat in front of me during a lunch meeting, full of agility and spontaneity, talking about her life in and outside SAP.
Let’s get to know her a bit more, shall we?
Rizka Laksmi has only been with SAP for eight months, but her contribution to the dynamic growth of SAP’s legacy is visible. An alumna of the University of Melbourne, Rizka will demonstrate to partners and stakeholders that her integrations and extensive working experience will result in an exponential gain.
When most people are busy trying to adapt to this new standard setup, Rizka Laksmi, is simply just enjoying her stay in the Philippines, building relationships, and trying to convey the message that in communications, significant human interaction must be a priority. Dressed simply in a purple stripes ensemble with an extremely accommodating and welcoming smile, she is ready to share her thoughts on how we can benefit from SAP’s proven solutions.
I had to ask a woman leading three teams across three countries, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, what her typical day looks like. “I have a full day every day, ensuring all tasks and requests have been prioritized accordingly,” she interestingly shared. “Today, I have a phone call after our lunch meet & greet, and at night, probably will check emails,” she added.
To break the ice, I jokingly said that managing teams across three countries are similar to a household like mine with four children with different personalities to deal with, “I feel you,” Laksmi laughed.
Working in a diverse industry
Working in a male-dominated industry could be challenging. But for Rizka, a challenge is always a good sign that the workplace or society is now adaptable to change. As we emerge, we become more adaptable to different technologies, but how do we maximize the ultimate potential of all these? That is the question that Rizka Laksmi elaborated on to us. For her, working in a diverse industry only proves that these technologies and innovative solutions are bridging the information and communication technology gap.
On prioritizing things in the workplace
I could only imagine how hectic managing teams from different countries would be. Different perspectives and cultural differences are just a few blockers to having a seamless unit. But working at SAP, Laksmi said defining which problems to solve and prioritize remains a proven tactic.
What is your most significant realization during the height of the pandemic?
“My greatest takeaway is that among the things that had happened, everyone is now aware of the importance of mental health,” she said when asked how hard it is to come back from what looked like a permanent lockdown and anxiety-inducing protocols. Rizka Laksmi has a bachelor’s degree in Arts, Psychology, and Spanish. Therefore, taking care of your mental health is pivotal in this day and age.
Rizka Laksmi has a can-do attitude and is full of positivity. Interestingly, her last name Laksmi means “prosperity and blessing.” As SAP’s new head of communications, she is expected to bring prosperous partnerships and be a blessing to companies that would need support in advancing technologies and other ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) programs. She is valued in any sector of our society and has a great sense of leadership and workmanship.