Peter Gumulia
Home Region

Jakarta, Indonesia

Undergrad Education

Georgia Institute of Technology

Previous Experience

GoPay (part of GoJek Group), Bain & Company, Clutch Technologies, Argus Information and Advisory Services

HBS Activities

Education Club, Tech Club, Asia Business Club, Southeast Asia Club

“Often times in business, there is no right or wrong answer – only trade-offs.”

Growing up in Indonesia, Peter Gumulia experienced life as a cycle of “school, athletics, homework, and repeat. Discipline played an important role early on in my life.” This pushed Peter onto the national golf team when he was only sixteen years old, but even at an early age, he knew that golf was not his central passion.

In college, Peter interned at a supply chain company where he helped a large retailer build its first distribution center dedicated to e-commerce. “I enjoyed the process,” he says. “I learned a lot about warehouse management. But I also understood that supply chain management is only one piece of the puzzle. I wanted to get closer to the decision making – which ultimately led me to business.”

After college, Peter turned to management consulting with a two-year stint at Bain & Co in the US and the Middle East, followed by another few years in GoPay, the largest fintech in South East Asia, as Chief of Staff and VP of Strategy and Growth.

Looking for new challenges

Having had the opportunity to observe the gray areas that the management team had to navigate – and the ambiguous decisions they had to make – Peter sought opportunities to further exercise his leadership muscle. He turned to HBS, “not necessarily to shift careers, but to make room for personal and professional exploration. I had a busy five to six years in which I didn’t have the head space to step back and ask myself: What kind of leader do I want to be? What kind of impact do I want to make? What do I value? What kind of culture do I want to build? Why?”

HBS impressed Peter with its richness of classroom discussion. “Often times in business, there is no right or wrong answer – only trade-offs. As a leader, your role is to understand these trade-offs. When it comes to learning how to navigate the gray areas, there’s something to be said about the case method, in which you sit in a classroom of ninety-four people and hear perspectives that represent a multitude of industries, countries, and experiences. It’s a lot like sitting and participating in high-stake meetings day in and day out, during which you slowly develop your decision-making muscle and, more importantly, your very own leadership philosophy.”

Peter’s eagerness to explore has already yielded new opportunities. Active in the Education Club, he is currently looking for ways “to leverage technology that can unleash access to high quality education for millions of Indonesians.”

With support from the i-lab and Rock Center, Peter aspires to build an online English learning platform in his home country. “Indonesia is transitioning from a country historically dependent on its natural resources to a service economy reliant on its skilled labor force,” he explains. “But as it moves forward, the labor force is not prepared for this change. My goal is to upskill and empower young Indonesians, so that they are ready to participate in this increasingly global economy.”

“Online learning often suffers from the stigma of not being as effective as in-person education. While there is truth to this claim, there are ways to deliver an effective and engaging online learning experience. If we can provide effective learning outcomes [through online education] at a fraction of the cost, we can unleash access to high-quality education for millions of people,” Peter says. “At HBS, I’ve been able to work through these problems from multiple perspectives, including education, technology, business, and design thinking.”

Peter plans on using his MBA time to “develop the groundwork for launching my venture. Before HBS, I thought of my career as one stepping stone after another. But the school has taught me to think differently: ‘What’s the one problem I want to help contribute solving over the next ten years?’ For me, that’s making Indonesia an internationally competitive talent hub.”