Interview: How to Keep Up to Date with Changes in Financial Sector Trends & Alligned with The Company Strategy with Nikunj Aggarwal
written by : Nikunj Arggawal
Team Spotlight & Power Hour Episode 7 features Nikunj Aggarwal, our Group Head & Global Finance, who discusses how he keeps up to date with changes in the financial sector.
Hear from him on what is coming next for WadzPay, and how he ensures that financial goals are aligned with the company strategy.
Head to our Youtube Channel to listen to his insights.
How do you keep up to date with changes in financial sector trends?
As we all know that the financial sector is undergoing rapid expansion in terms of the strong growth in the existing financial services companies and also the new technologies which keep on entering the market. So, in today’s times, as digital becomes mainstream, it’s essential to be updated with the changes which keeps on happening. So maybe by spending some quality time on some good social media platforms.
Being connected on the regular news updates or collaborating with the CFO of other companies in the same technology field, I presume the bunch would have a firm grasp on the changes happening; it’s important to note that there needs to be a commitment to learning. If that’s there, I feel, then you can’t be left behind.
As a group head of global finance, what kind of problems do you help solve daily?
I strongly feel that building the right teams supported at the right technology, it helps to mitigate risks, achieve compliance, and it helps the organization, but being the finance side, I keep getting into requests for sanctioning or multiple projects. Approval of budgets and multiple searches difficult decisions which you are not able to show what to do. So, I think we can get this sorted out by breaking it down into simple questions, whether we need this? do we have the resources for the right kind of people and have the right skill set? to achieve these projects and the cost-benefit analysis in terms of our short and long-term goals of the organization. So, I believe if you have answers to all these questions, these things can be much resolved.
And how do you ensure that regulations and policies are fully complied with by the Finance department?
Well, as we all know, there is increasing pressure, especially on the fintech startups. Not only here but globally to address and deal with the existing and potential regulatory hurdles. So I am also on top of accurate reporting to all these regulatory authorities is crucial and becomes very significant. It’s essential to work with the regulators and make sure that we are capable.
A team member, who’s dedicated to understanding the trends happening in their business and who can interface with the regulatory bodies regularly and who has a deep understanding of the regulatory impact which can have on our product, probably keeping these things in mind, and we entirely sourced. I’m sure we can be fully compliant with the regulations.
What is the most challenging in creating the financial system for a startup company?
Yeah, that that’s a good one. Startup business, I think first and foremost is having solid accounting practice which is the most important.
A part of the activity, is the cash flow management. Steady cash flow ensures that you have what you need to hit the ground running. New companies, if they work on the cash flow management, can avoid cash flow problems by staying on top of their finances, managing their expenses, and maximising their revenues. It would be best if you managed our operating expenses. You are required to invest heavily in the technology, and on top of it, you need to have a revenue stream that starts going, so all this is quite critical in our finance function.
What are your favourite activities to unwind mentally?
I prefer to spend some quality time with my family as my kids are in a growing phase, I also love reading. I primarily read the biographies and historical books it’s actually so inspiring for me to get to know the lives of the people and their stories and the struggles and their successes.
And on top of it, I love spending time with my pet. I’m sure if anybody watching this video is a pet lover, I think that’s the best.
WadzPay is growing and expanding massively; how do you determine priorities for your department?
First and foremost, it’s essential to have effective policies in place. The guidelines should be easy to follow by the organization, and eventually, it will help in the smooth running of the system. Number two, it is crucial to automate manual processes. I believe automation leads to accuracy, It gives you better data, and additionally, It will provide enough time to focus on more tactical things in the organization rather than spending time doing the data mining, which you do annually, and it is all based error-prone.
So, it’s important that we have the necessary talent and the scale to have this happen. Obviously, from the finance function perspective, the most important is the increase in the collaboration among different functions, the finance function is dependent on all the other s, will give them the data which can go into the accounting system. So, it is vital to promote interdepartmental collaboration to ensure that the information is submitted in a timely fashion in a spontaneous manner.
If we break down silos between various parts of the organization, I’m sure it can have an impact on the organization’s efficiency.
How will you lead a diverse team? Any challenges you commonly encountered? And how do you tackle them?
Going by my experience, I think it’s important to be informal with your team, essential to give them flexibility, to get along with team and map out the precise purpose and vision so that the entire team knows where to look forward to in terms of diversity. It’s essential that we give an equal amount of respect and ask for people inputs and ideas all along in whatever you do things. Honestly, it can be challenging to work with people who maintain a very different view or who have different beliefs from others in the organization. But, having people from different backgrounds, I feel it’s far more likely to create a high performing, innovative, competitive team which you look to lead so that always helps.
So, what is your goal for WadzPay? And how do you ensure that the financial goals are aligned with the company strategy?
I have briefly answered this in an earlier question: it is most important to avoid any interruption in the business. It is essential to ensure compliance with the financial regulations to have an accurate accounting of the transactions so that everything is transparent, and you need to communicate the value to the investors.
Again, we as WadzPay, we are in a growing phase and I guess there is a lot of focus in getting revenues in, so the industry where we work it may not be completely regulated but, yes, there is always a risk of regulator coming with some changes in the laws and the regulations. So we need to get longer in terms of the education and understanding the answers of the business before we go ahead, and I think the most important thing is how fast we can deploy our resources, how well we can work with the regulators. It’s important for people to accept the usage of digital currency that’s going to be a critical success of our growth.
In terms of business risk, what questions do we not have an answer for?
So, while we’re a predominantly blockchain-based platform, the technology may not be regulated, but applications that are built using blockchain technology that needs to adhere to the relevant regulations, maybe it pertains to data protection and privacy.
There are multiple risks that keep stemming from the regulatory uncertainties mentioned earlier, involving the blockchains, and the system is what we use and primarily across diction. So, something may be acceptable in a particular location, but not in other regions. So, I think it’s important that we manage doses, and as of now, I am not sure if we all have answers to such regulatory risks inherent in our business predominantly.
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WadzPay is an interoperable blockchain-based payments ecosystem. The company was founded in 2018 in Singapore and currently operates in South East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
WadzPay saw the potential for CBDC and Digital Assets to lead the next revolution in the payments industry: enabling faster payments, improvements in security, and cost-efficiency with optionality.
WadzPay is working with large international payment companies, banks, and global companies to enable digital asset-based transaction processing and settlement.