The Covid-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented time for many. Despite this, and that many businesses are struggling to get by, the fintech industry has proved itself to be particularly resilient this year, taking advantage of the opportunity to grow and prove itself as a vital sector. In light of this, The Fintech Power50 has conducted a survey of its members earlier in the year asking how their business was fairing during the pandemic to help support a community sentiment.
SmartStream is a recognised leader in financial transaction management solutions that enable firms to improve operational control, reduce costs, build new revenue streams, mitigate risk and comply accurately with the regulators. Here SmartStream’s CEO, Haytham Kaddoura tells the Power50 about their 2020 experience.
What was the main challenge as a result of the pandemic for your company, and how did you work to overcome this?
Much like our clients, we had to enable our international workforce to work seamlessly from home – whilst ensuring our systems and services continue to perform effectively with no degradation in the quality of our services. Not only was it essential to ensure that people had necessary equipment and tools, but also that individual requests were managed effectively. It was important to ensure that everyone was not only catered for, but also taken care of.
What measures have you put in place to ensure the safety of your staff?
100% of our staff have been able to work from home throughout the pandemic – and although three of our offices are now fully open, Dubai and 2 in Vienna including our Innovation Lab, when our employees return is their decision. It will be a complete transformation compared to the pre-pandemic workplace, and we are being careful and gradual in our approach to protect the health of our employees and communities. For those that choose to physically go into the office, we have taken all of the precautionary measures necessary, from one way-systems and signage, hand sanitiser to regular deep cleaning.
What was your main focus when navigating through these uncertain times?
Regular communication is key, and our global leadership team have played their part in helping employees throughout the crisis. From frequent global HR updates, to regular calls to all employees from management teams – we have ensured that there have been consistently high levels of interaction across the organisation with Teams calls and confidential help lines if our staff need someone else to talk too.
Throughout the organisation and industry, innovation is more important than it has ever been. Clients are becoming more much proactive in fixing problems and adapting business models as they are having to adapt to their employees working from home. Understandably, we are seeing new interest with our Cloud deployments and Manages Services as well as AI and machine learning technologies, all designed to increase operational efficiencies and reduce costs.
What are your plans moving forward to ensure a successful operation as the pandemic continues?
One size certainly doesn’t fit all; local governments are imposing different conditions and these are constantly changing, it is incredibly tough to plan ahead – however, the pandemic has given us all a sanity check on what we need in order to be prepared. I’m pleased to report that we have continued to provide uninterrupted services to our clients during this, we stand by this commitment as we continue to monitor the pandemic and ensure the safety of our employees at all times.
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