The Startupbootcamp Meet the Mentor series are interviews profiling inspiring stories from our extended network of mentors at Startupbootcamp. Today features Startupbootcamp FinTech Dubai mentor Jameel Khan.
Jameel is the Head of Strategy & Governance – Technology at Mashreq Bank, one of Startupbootcamp FinTech Dubai partners. Jameel has extensive experience in various sectors in the Financial Services. He is enthusiastic about sharing his insights on how startups can take attributes of successful exponential organizations and apply it to their business models to accelerate growth.
Hello Jameel! Can you please tell us more about your area of expertise and how did you get into the field?
I’ve spent most of my career in management consulting spanning a number of disciplines from corporate strategy to digital transformation and large scale program delivery, principally across Financial Services and Government. That experience has led me to take an industry role running Strategy for the Technology Group at Mashreq Bank. My focus is to optimize for Digital as we develop innovative customer journeys, maximize straight-through processes and engage with exciting FinTech propositions that we can partner with.
What brings you to Startupbootcamp FinTech Dubai?
Mashreq is the UAE’s largest private sector bank with a determined focus on innovation and FinTech engagement. I’m really excited about Mashreq’s sponsorship of Startupbootcamp FinTech Dubai and am really keen to meet the exciting young talent that can help the bank grow in new ways.
How can you bring value to the startups you are mentoring? Is there something that particularly inspires you?
Apart from being very interested in the global startup scene, I am deeply motivated by what is often referred to as Exponential Organizations – purpose-driven organizations that use emerging technology and innovative business models to grow at rates faster than the level of investment into them. I hope to be able to share insights on how participants in the cohort could look at taking attributes of successful exponential organizations and pivot their business models to accelerate growth. So, I bring a strategy, exponential tech and market view to the table.
What are the greatest challenges for FinTech startups?
This varies a lot on where a given startup is on its growth curve. One of the biggest challenges early on is how to get validation on your problem-solution focus. Getting traction with banks and Insurers to see if the problem is really as you see it and does your solution really hit the mark. Banks are becoming very open to the idea of having these conversations as the upside of a fruitful conversation can be highly beneficial for both sides.
How do you see the future of the FinTech industry in the UAE in the next decade?
I am sure that it will grow from strength to strength. The FinTech scene is relatively nascent but has enjoyed tremendous visibility, this is helping it leapfrog other jurisdictions and given the UAE’s macro focus on all things digital, FinTech will undoubtedly gain critical mass especially with younger people increasingly dominating the startup scene.
Who/what inspires you?
I think we live in an incredible time. Technology is transforming every industry and advancements in renewable energy, computation and artificial intelligence are all converging to really transform the way we live. Our children’s adult lives will be profoundly different from ours. I think that is incredible.
Recommend a “must-read” book for founders?
Exponential Organizations – Salim Ismail
Any final words of wisdom that you would like to give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Congratulations on being on the journey – have a growth mindset and think big, really big.