How did Stepan Kares started his career?
Tracking back to after I graduated from university, I first went to San Francisco and worked there for 2 years. I took several jobs there which includes building websites and other IT jobs.
Eventually I moved back to my home country of Czech Republic, for a few years to work with an insurance company there under PPF Group. I got the chance to work as a Senior IT Analyst and became part of a team that focused on international projects. So at the time, we were doing IT delivery for this Czech Insurance Company that has branches in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Belarus.
After a few years there, I moved to Russia to work for an insurance company which belongs to PPF Group, Generali PPF Life Insurance. It was quite significant as I became Head of Analytical Department leading a team of 15 analysts. But my career started becoming more adventurous when I stepped into Home Credit Indonesia.
So I came to Jakarta on June 2012, and at the time there was no Home Credit Indonesia yet. We were just working on getting the license, and it was full startup mode at first. We finally launched our business in 2013, and since then I have been here for 7 years.
Why did Stepan Kares join Home Credit Indonesia?
I wanted to try new things, to build something from zero. I was moving from an important position as Head of Analytical Department in Russia to a position of a single analyst in Jakarta with no people, just by my own in the beginning. We started hiring only months later.
I wanted to also experience a new market. I tried Europe and U.S., so not much Asian experience there. I saw at the time there was a huge opportunity in Indonesia as the country was growing.
There was actually many choices, but logically the offer from the Group that came was for Indonesia. At the time Home Credit India was already on process. Philippines haven’t started yet, so Indonesia was the country that they were looking for to build a team. I got the offer and chose Indonesia. It’s now my longest career in one company.
From our 4 values, which of these values represent you the most?
The closest to me is Focused on Results. To achieve something you have to willingly do it. Things will not happen by themselves. You have to basically personally monitor the things you do and do it right. You have to execute many things yourselves, but doing this well brings you great results. So, I think this is my strongest value.
What is your hobby?
Generally I like to travel, the thrill of discovery appeals to me. This is what brought me to work in the U.S., Russia, and now here in Indonesia. And of course, I like to spend time with my family, and I try to do many things with them such as scuba diving.
I like to do sports as well, many kinds of it in fact. Because I came from a small village in close to the hills, I enjoy downhill skiing or country skiing. I used bike daily to school, so it’s now a habit that I enjoy doing in Jakarta too.
But I think my most favorite hobby is motorcycling. I’ve been using motorcycles since I was young, from using ones in 50cc up to 150cc and so on. I even went traveling with my wife all over Europe by motorcycle. Now that I live in Jakarta, going anywhere is easier by motorcycle. So since day 1 that I got here, I bought a Honda Mega Pro. And now I’ve been using that motorcycle to commute to work for the past 7 years.
I like many food, so no favorites ones. I like food from my home country, Italian food, or Asian food. Thai food, specifically, I love the curries with coconut and basil. I also love the Indonesian food beef rendang. However, the streets food here aren’t too much of my liking because I don’t like fries. Because if you fry up food, you lose all the vitamins and it’s also unhealthy.
If you can name your biggest achievement in life, what would it be?
I have a family, I have very nice kids and wife. I have a job that I like that we can be fully independent here and do anything we want, and I think that’s a good achievement.
What is your life motto?
You have to try everything. When you learn and do everything by yourself, this experience will stay in your skills forever. It will be different than when someone else do it for you, because you won’t keep what you learn forever.