Tag Archive: Finance

Dealing With Challenges In The Fintech Sector-Is Fintech Over-Hyped?

By now, we all know that there is a revolution in finance and technology.  It’s no secret that the Fintech industry is booming and the banking sectors all over the world are changing. Personally, i have to say that so far, i consider myself a happy consumer. The idea of making payments right from my smartphone, (thanks to the mobile payment platforms) has indeed made my life easier.

The talk about Fintech is not just about the bitcoins, the latest ‘hot’ startups in this sector or even the billion dollars invested in this space. It’s much more than that. (Read on)

Not long ago, i came across an article describing how ‘Fintech as a label is becoming increasingly problematic’. The article is about clearing the confusion about what ‘Fintech’ really is. It discusses the importance of understanding and interpretation of the term ‘Fintech’. It doesn’t just mean startups in the financial services sector. It also comes in other varieties around the world, such as alternative forms of finances/ lending. (Read on here  and here)

Then there are concerns about Fintech Companies being overvalued. According to a report by Investment bank GP Bullhound, there are now 39 Fintech companies valued at over a billion dollars. (Who are the global Fintech leaders? Read on)

With that in mind, another interesting question i believe is worth asking is- Whether or not Fintech is overhyped? And how does one know? I came across an informative article on the LSE’s (London School of Economic and Polical Science) blog which describes 7 ways to identify Fintech technologies that do not deserve the hype.  With consumer orientation forming the basis of a large number of  Fintech firms,  it makes sense to ask ‘What works for consumers and what doesn’t?’ (Read on)

Africa- How Bitcoin Is Reducing The Need For Trade financing

Bitcoin -The title of this blog post was  inspired by an article I came across on Global Trade Review (GTR). Elizabeth Rossiello, founder and CEO of BitPesa, tells how the idea of forming the company was born.  BitPesa is solving a number of business problems using digital currency, especially those involving foreign currency issues.  So how does Bitcoin really work?

FinTech– Though ‘Africa and Asia have become hotbeds of payment innovation’, European FinTech entrepreneurs too have a chance to succeed despite the challenges of limited opportunities. How can companies thrive?

Money laundering and the financing of terrorism– An interesting article on the International Monetary Fund (IMF), highlights the importance of fighting corrupt officials, tax fraud, and  most importantly those who engage in financing terrorism. How? Although this includes working with various governments across the globe and working with correspondent banking services, governments too, need to “increasingly harness the power of financial technology. While fintech can be misused—including through the anonymity of virtual currencies—it can also be a powerful tool to strengthen our defenses against terrorist financing.” (Read on)

Mobile Money an innovative solution for “cross-border money remittance service”- Quartz Africa highlights examples about how mobile money is playing a huge role in business transactions, and why the Telekom Industries have no choice but to “capitalize on innovation and the scalable nature of mobile money” (Read on)

How Company Executives Can Cope With Stress At Work

Recently, the headlines were about the former Zurich Insurance boss Martin Senn who in May 2016, committed suicide, six months after stepping aside from the company  in December 2015. His death follows the suicide of Pierre Wauthier, who had been Zurich’s chief financial officer, in August 2013.

I came across an interesting article by Financial Times, which examines a few similar and related cases, where executives in Switzerland may have taken their own lives due to work related pressure and stress. In the article, experts point to psychological issues, emotional challenges, that are common among swiss business elites, especially for those in high hierarchies.- Of course such tragic incidents occur elsewhere around the globe too. Not just in Switzerland. We’ve heard stories about top bankers and management executives of notable companies commit suicide due to work related issues.

Work related issues not only cause general stress but can also lead to burnouts, especially among company executives. Some executives have  encountered continious frustrations and difficulties, and have been trapped in a negative psychological situation to an extent of being hospitalizied for exhaustation.

Remember BMW’s  chief executive Harald Krueger, who fainted just five minutes into his press conference, in September 2015 at the Frankfurt motor show? Although it’s unclear what triggered his collapse, experts say that such circumstances occur due to stress and pressure. And these can affect any one, from employees to senior executives.

How do you know you are suffering from burnout? An article by Harvard Business Review, describes a few identifiable characteristics-

 (1) Chronic fatigue

(2) Anger at those making demands

(3) Self-criticism for putting up with the demands

(4) Cynicism, negativity, and irritability

(5) Sense of being besieged

 (6) Hair-trigger display of emotions.

What can be done to help top managers to cope with such stressful situations?

 

“Hold On, Help Is On The Way”- (Whitney Houston ‘The Preacher’s Wife’ (1996))

 

Managing people can be stressful. Managers are expected to cope with a variety of employees, from the depressed, the rebellious, the self centered, the uncoperative including the malicious type. Managers have to be prepared for the pressures of having to deal with these kinds of personalites, and in turn balance those ‘conflicting personalities’ and create a motivated work team from them.- And that’s not so easy!

Justin Menkes, author of “Better Under Pressure,” discusses how CEOs can handle pressure without panic, and how they can cope with constant stress at the working place. (Here)

 

 

 

The American Psychological Association, also offers valuable information on how to cope with stress at the work place