LFP249 – Radical Innovation in a Cross-Domain Fashion w/Ani Sane co-founder Terrapay

One major way of innovating is to move into a domain with transferable and out of the box skills/ideas/technology. This presents obvious opportunities  for radical change yet naturally produces equally obvious challenges. In this episode we look at how 4 co-founders created a payments infrastructure Fintech that now connects an amazing 7.5 billion bank accounts, 6 billion cards, connect banks in 144 countries and have 620 employees with offices in 35 countries.

Ani came from FS and so understood not just how money currently moved but also the super-importance of understanding that its an incredibly regulated business.

The other three co-founders came from the telecoms world and had no idea of how money moved. However they brought in what the telecom industry does very well – namely builds at scale, can process small volume transactions and deliver them instantly.

Topics discussed include:

  • moving a family from one country to another
  • importance of getting outside one’s comfort zone
  • the value of cross-cultural working in terms of leading to creative and open thinking
  • Ani’s daughter can speak 7 languages (!)
  • getting out of the box = getting out of the comfort zone
  • importance of asking dumb questions
  • “we just challenged everything and today that is probably the main reason we are the fastest growing company in this space”
  • the simple Ur-notion behind Terrapay’s foundation was that if an SMS can be delivered to anyone in the world instantly why can one not do the same with money?
  • this concept versus the actual time and cost of sending money being waaaay higher than an SMS
  • cashing US cheques in the UK – one would never imagine that Fintech existed
  • transferability of competences – eg Sales in any domain to be done well needs a deep sense of understanding a customers pain and relieving that
  • technology is similar (but different in eg APIs, protocols etc) cross domain – however note various strengths eg of telecoms tech versus FS tech
  • the ever-changing landscape of technologies that customers can use
  • which parts of the organogram are so key one needs either a co-founder or a super-senior C-suite colleague in order to innovate radically
  • the need for confidence to ask “silly questions”
  • answers to “dumb questions” that reveal core beliefs in a vertical rather than actual facts
  • MotoGP and radical innovation as a case study
  • the criticality of binding energy both within the co-founders and within the company
  • culture in re
  • company motto “stay hungry, stay humble”
  • the Navajo and cultural preservation over millennia
  • how does one know whether something that hasn’t been done before can be done?
  • budget and timescale, business savvy and feel in re
  • finding problems that will last long enough to make the huge effort to produce a really radical solution worthwhile and long-lasting
  • key takeaways on the experience of doing all this
  • “Be prepared for a rough ride… you will have more tough and bad than good days”
  • “Try to find simple solutions for a larger problem set”
  • WhatsApp as being exemplary of One Great Solution – namely, unlike SMSs, being able to know when your message has been read and this as fundamental to their success
  • shoutouts for Terrapay “no consumer knows us but we are the plumbing behind moving money around the globe”

And much much more 🙂

Share and enjoy!