Financial Disruption That Transforms
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Financial Disruption That Transforms

Last November 25-28, 2020, BISA held Indonesia Startup Insight 2020, a conference where Indonesian startups get the chance to showcase their idea in front of big investors from Singapore and all over the world. The event was held virtually and Webpuppies CEO Abhii Dabas served as one of the panel speakers, where he talked about financial disruption and its ability to transform society.

Together with fellow panel speakers and iFast Investment Advisory Director Bernard Chan, Abhii talked about different technological trends and what it takes for these technologies to be considered disruptive and transformative at the same time. According to Abhii, it takes a lot for a disruptive technological trend to be truly transformational and this usually only happens when it absolutely changes the way people do things before and after the disruption, as measured by how it affects people’s daily life and their businesses. One example that he cited for a financial technological disruption that transforms is mobile payments.

Financial innovation is thriving in many countries, especially in Singapore. The Singaporean government has always been active in their initiative to support financial innovation, which is why we’re seeing an abundance of Robo advisors, crowdfunding platforms, and crowd-lending platforms. However, local startups are yet to reach the global landscape. Singaporean startups are currently flourishing but the next step for them is to grow globally and to reach customers from around the world.

Financial technology is continuously growing, with the rise of mobile payments, online remittances, blockchain system, wealth management, and personal finance. These are all interrelated domains that will impact each other as they evolve through the years. According to Abhii, we are likely to move towards the concept of digital financial identity, where you could manage all of your finances in one, single platform.

Innovation is essential to all upcoming startup founders. Over the years, we saw how every company has transitioned to digital transformation by investing heavily in technology, regardless of what industry they are from. Whether you’re a bank, or a marketing agency, or an electronics store, you need to invest in technology. Technological investments are part and parcel of the fast-changing business landscape and if you fail to go along with the flow, you risk your business’ ability to survive.

However, as a business owner and a startup founder, you should also be able to choose wisely which technological innovation to go along with. The key is to not get too carried away by the latest technological buzzword. Before investing in new technology, think of how it will impact your business several months down the line. At the end of the day, it should always go back to how this new innovation can affect your startup in helping you solve the big problem.

Setting up your startup is no easy feat but if you want to succeed while giving back to society, you must learn how to work together with the government and banks. Most governments favor innovation. As a startup, the responsibility lies in you when it comes to taking regulators along, understanding what they want, and helping them understand what you need. Working with these sectors hand-in-hand would benefit your business in the long run.

Success won’t come overnight but to guide you in your business, your startup must always be grounded in these two fundamentals: solving a problem that is big enough and the right timing. As a startup owner, here are some guide questions that you must ask yourself.

Is my problem big enough?

A startup is always built on trying to solve a problem. But you must always ask yourself if your problem is big enough, or if it only comes as a second thought. Remember that the bigger the problem is, the greater the demand for its solution.

If your problem is large enough, your market will be hungry for your product.

Is my timing right?

Timing plays a big role in the fate of a startup. It’s either you come in too early or too late. Conduct a lot of research and determine if your consumers are ready or not for your product.

Can my startup survive without external funding?

A degree of fiscal discipline is always a must-have. If your startup needs external support to survive in the first place, then you must reconsider things.

Your big idea should have the ability to succeed by itself. At the end of the day, money chases excellence. If your idea is good enough, it is investors themselves who will be lining up to knock at your door.