”Embrace failures as invaluable learning opportunities, utilising them to refine and enhance your entrepreneurial approach.”_ Vinod Menon
Vinod Menon, CPO & CFO at Gieom Business Solutions, has recently shared his inspiring entrepreneurial journey in an interview with Business Upside. With nearly thirty years of expertise in the banking and financial technology sectors, he is an experienced Chartered Accountant who has worked extensively in areas such as Risk, Wealth Management, Investment & Treasury, Digital Transformation, both domestically and internationally. Vinod, with a track record of contributing to startups, is known for his commitment to continuous learning, ethical practices, and collaboration.
Here is the excerpt from the interview:
Business Upside [BU]: How can your experience guide professionals entering the industry today?
Vinod Menon [VM]: The top 4 advice in my list that should help young professionals include;
Continuous learning is vital for adapting to change, staying relevant, and fostering ongoing personal and professional growth.
Building trust through strong personal & professional ethics
Stay humble, approachable, and grounded regardless of your achievements and status.
Be adaptable to change for sustained success.
[BU]: What influences have you seen in the financial sector from your experience in risk, wealth management, and investing?
[VM]: Changing investor preferences, demographics, and attitudes have prompted adjustments in wealth management approaches and investment product offerings.
Utilising technology for service delivery is a crucial factor that the investor community considers when making decisions.
The breadth and intricacy of risk management have considerably broadened, demanding a comprehensive understanding of the business for effective management.
Technology has a dual impact on risk management, critical in enhancing its quality while introducing additional risks associated with automation.
[BU]: Could you share your insights on challenges met and strategies taken to achieve success?
[VM]: Throughout the past 25+ years, I’ve encountered various challenges, and as I reflect today, I express gratitude to the almighty for providing the strength to navigate through them. Confronting setbacks and failures is an unavoidable part of the journey, and achieving success often requires learning from these experiences and maintaining perseverance. Challenges such as not finding fulfilment in one’s work, experiencing discontent, having to push through daily activities, losing professional direction, and not receiving due recognition are among the hurdles I’ve faced. Pursuing continuous learning, a steadfast dedication to upholding high personal and professional ethical standards, and proactive adaptability to navigate through changes have been instrumental in steering me toward the right path.
[BU]: What impact do you think emerging technologies will have on how the banking industry approaches operational resilience in the future?
[VM]: Absolutely, your observation is spot on. Technology is reshaping the banking industry across various dimensions, leading to substantial improvements in customer experiences, bolstered security measures, and operational cost reductions. As the sector continues to witness the emergence of novel technologies, the trajectory points towards ongoing innovation, promising further advancements and transformative changes in the years ahead.
We observe evolving trends in the sector’s approach to addressing operational resilience regulations through technology, including the widespread use of advanced General Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) platforms like MagPie, policy management tools, visualisation tools for Standard Operating Procedures such as BluePrint, ICT Risk Management tools like Risk Central, and others. Given the complexity of Operational Resilience, utilizing a technology platform like dora360, the one offered by Gieom becomes indispensable.
[BU]: Could you share your special experiences when advising aspiring entrepreneurs as part of your philanthropic endeavours?
[VM]: Based on my limited experience, many students today aspire to dive into entrepreneurship, drawn by the appeal of independence and innovation. Nevertheless, there frequently exists a disconnect between these budding entrepreneurs’ ambitions and the intricate realities of the entrepreneurial journey. Many need help understanding the inherent complexity, the arduous nature of the path, and the challenges of navigating the business landscape. Often, they are swayed by a handful of success stories, leading them to underestimate the difficulties and falsely assume the venture to be straightforward.
[BU]: How can rapidly evolving financial technology businesses promote a culture of ongoing learning and growth?
[VM]: Financial technology is changing quickly due to changing consumer behaviour. Technology upgrades reduce the gap between developed and developing economies regarding service delivery through technology in the financial markets. It is inevitable for businesses to foster a culture of learning and growth. Some key strategies that can be implemented include continuous training programmes, supporting employees in acquiring new skills and giving recognition, organizing innovation challenges and hackathons, running mentorship programs, and running programs for a growth mindset.
Changes in consumer demographics and behaviours and the pervasive integration of technology into daily life propel the swift progression of financial technology. To remain pertinent, businesses need to nurture a culture of continual learning and growth. Businesses can adopt key strategies encompassing ongoing training programs, endorsing employees in acquiring new skills with proper recognition, arranging innovation challenges and hackathons, mentorship programs, and fostering a growth mindset through dedicated initiatives.
[BU]: Which revolutionary technology, in your opinion, will transform the financial industry and why?
[VM]: The top three revolutionary technologies in my list include the following;
Decentralized Finance leverages blockchain and smart contracts to create decentralized financial systems, offering services such as lending, borrowing, and trading without traditional intermediaries. This has the potential to democratize financial services.
Tokenization involves converting rights to an asset into a digital token. This can facilitate trading traditionally illiquid assets, such as real estate or fine art, and enhance liquidity in financial markets.
AI and ML can automate complex tasks, improve risk assessment, enhance fraud detection, and personalize customer experiences. Chatbots and virtual assistants powered by AI could redefine customer interactions in banking.
[BU]: What advice would you provide aspiring entrepreneurs starting in the competitive finance and fintech world?
[VM]: Venturing into entrepreneurship necessitates mindful consideration of the following:
Gain a comprehensive understanding of the dynamic market landscape, encompassing domain expertise and technological trends.
Embrace failures as invaluable learning opportunities, utilizing them to refine and enhance your entrepreneurial approach.
Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to ethical practices and the trust of your customers.
Thoroughly identify and delve into the problem statement you aim to address, exploring innovative approaches to carve a distinctive niche.
Surround yourself with mentors and advisors, actively seeking knowledge and insights to navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship.
[BU]: According to you, what key qualities are essential for success in the dynamic financial industry?
[VM]: Having been involved in delivering technology solutions to the banking and financial sector, I can speak from that vantage point. Essential qualities in this domain encompass the ability to swiftly comprehend customer requirements adopting a client-centric approach to cultivate enduring relationships. Other critical attributes include regulatory awareness, a strategic vision to anticipate trends and deliver value to customers, proficiency in evolving technologies, unwavering ethical integrity to build customer trust, a collaborative approach to teamwork, and resilience to navigate market uncertainties.
[BU]: What core concepts do you highlight in your coaching sessions to inspire the next generation to approach the banking and technology industries?
[VM]: During my sessions, my emphasis lies on exploring market trends within the banking and financial services sector, with a spotlight on the global perspective, the evolving regulatory landscape, and practical use cases demonstrating the application of cutting-edge technology to promote financial inclusion. I underscore the importance of a commitment to continuous learning as an indispensable aspect of professional growth in these dynamic industries.
Company website URL– www.gieom.com
Company LinkedIn URL– https://www.linkedin.com/company/gieom