Working in a FinTech startup takes a range of skills, but what do businesses in the sector look for when hiring? Ridaa Shah, Operations Manager for the Middle East’s first and largest Open Banking platform Tarabut Gateway, discusses five of the top traits to thrive in a FinTech environment.
Tarabut Gateway is MENA’s first and largest regulated Open Banking platform that connects a regional network of banks and FinTechs via a universal applications programming interface (API). By offering the tools that would allow the facilitation and distribution of personalised financial services, Tarabut Gateway allows banks and FinTechs to build the future of financial services across MENA. With over 10 years of experience in the financial industry Ridaa Shah gives her top traits for success in the fintech environment:
- Determination and Proactiveness
Arguably the most important trait to have within the FinTech space is determination with a good mix of being proactive. Being laser-focused on your mission and working as hard as possible to get there is what separates successful FinTech startups and those that fail. Having persistence and having a proactive mindset is necessary for every team member and is ingrained into FinTech culture.
The rate of change within a FinTech means that working within one is a little like navigating a boat during a high tide, you have to adjust the sail based on your surroundings. Adaptability is an important trait as the environment is not static, and those within the ecosystem constantly need to upgrade skills and follow the latest trends. For a FinTech employee, this can mean modifying modes of working on a regular basis and embracing change. While many people have heard of IQ (intelligence quotient) and EQ (emotional quotient), a third quotient called AQ (adaptability quotient) measures the ability of an individual to adjust course, product, service, and strategy in response to unanticipated changes in the market. Those hiring in FinTech look for those with a particularly strong ability to cope with change.
3. Taking ownership with an entrepreneurial mindset
In order to make a meaningful contribution within a startup, employees need to treat the business as their own. More scientifically, research has shown that part of that entrepreneurial spirit is having real belief and confidence in what you are doing. Using data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), which is the world’s largest programme for research on entrepreneurship, experts discovered that confidence in innovation promotes entrepreneurial intention. For those starting new FinTech businesses to those working within them, confidence is key.
4. Collaborative Attitude
While it’s important to be independent and show initiative, for those working in FinTech, there is a crucial acronym to remember – TEAM (together everyone achieves more). Aristotle once said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and that’s very true in a startup environment, where everybody must work with an agile but also collaborative attitude to address challenges and overcome them. By proactively finding ways to help others in the business, it creates a solutions-oriented environment. Rather than individual, siloed behaviour, working as a team achieves more effective and practical results.
The fast-paced world of FinTech can be rewarding, but you also face a lot of failure. When you’re doing things that have never been done before, it is inevitable that some things that you try don’t work. The ability to be resilient in the face of knock downs is a vital trait to have.