N America News June 2017

8 NORTH AMERICA NEWS / JUNE 2017 , Tech billionaire, Dr. Andy Khawaja of AlliedWallet is honoured to have won the 2017’s CEO toWatch – USA accolade. We were delighted to interviewhim to discover more about his hands-on approach as a CEO and to learn his inspirational and informative insights into the importance of communicating and engaging with AlliedWallet’s staff. Leading People to Success How does it feel to be nominated as the 2017’s CEO to Watch – USA accolade? To be nominated for the 2017’s CEO to Watch – USA accolade is a great honour and I believe it is very much based on my hard work and skills, so I am extremely thrilled and happy to receive this accolade. What do you believe are the essential qualities for any CEO? All CEO’s have a duty to do the job that every CEO in the world does, which is to be hands-on, communicate with your staff and be much more engaged with every department. In addition, you need to know what errors they have and how you can fix those, by working with them. Staff members cannot be yelled at, but any CEO should work with them and educated. You cannot hire a team and expect them to work miracles if you do not lead them well. CEO must be a leader who takes the team in the right direction, to ensure that they are a better candidate for the task in hand. How did you become a CEO? What path did you take to become one? I started as an employee and I saw the way that my superior managers handled the tasks and directed us. In this position for 16 or 17 years, I learned what the tasks are for a CEO running a company. I have seen some fail and others succeed, but I learned from life experience, rather than just from the books you study at school. If you don’t have the field experience, then it is a completely different ball game over here in the USA. I have seen instances of where the wrong CEO is in place and the company concerned fails. The CEO may blame the staff for such a failure. The real issue here is that the CEO was not interfering or being hands on in any daily activities, so that is why a company can fail. Having learnt this, I got to the point that when I had built Allied Wallet and I knew that I had done something right. As the founder and CEO of the company, I decided to work with my staff to ensure they feel comfortable with me and that I am one of them. They should not be worried about any issues that are happening, indeed I encourage them to talk to so we can solve these together, make the future better and bring in improvements where required. How did it feel on your first day as a CEO? Being the CEO of Allied Wallet of course comes with a lot of responsibility for the company and the clients we do business with. Since childhood, I have enjoyed being responsible for others. On my first day as a CEO, it felt good and made me dedicated to the job and work seven days a week! I felt that people were relying on me and that I could not let them down, so I had to push myself to limit to ensure that I execute and deliver what I promise. What is the best thing about being a CEO? It is not only just the responsibility of being a CEO, but it is also about me seeing things done correctly. It is about ensuring that Allied Wallet are achieving goals and that our merchants are doing the same. The merchants must have reliable services, something that I can provide so that makes me feel proud of myself, the company and my team. What challenges do you encounter as a CEO daily? In terms of challenges, I was in Japan earlier this year as well as the UK, in back to back meetings. Put it this way, some CEOs see themselves on a golf course enjoying relaxation time. However, I am the kind of CEO who wakes up around 4am and have breakfast around 6.30/7am, followed by back to back meetings right up to 7pm. The reason I do this is because the clock is ticking and every minute counts, so I cannot forget that I am responsible for our third-party members who rely on our services. It is very important that I deliver our services not just on time, but ahead of time. Can you tell me about the management structure at Allied Wallet and how you communicate with the others leaders in your company? Every at Allied Wallet department from IT, to customer support to programming, underwriting, risk assessment, compliance, finance and accounting has a team leader with whom I communicate daily. I do follow up several times each day for reports as to what the team leaders have executed, where they are at and how I can help them out. At back to back meetings, I meet with the team leaders and put together a roadmap for the next six months in terms of executing products ahead of time. Looking at the wider picture, what opportunities and challenges lie ahead for the industry you work in? Allied Wallet works in a very competitive industry, especially where e-commerce is concerned and ensuring that the service level is up to speed. From where I stand today, I do not see any competition in the market whatsoever. I am launching a massive campaign in the UK, with a 1% flat rate for all types of businesses. The reason is that I see banks, Square and PayPal selling the same service for more than we do, so in my opinion they are taking too much money out of the merchants’ pocket. I do this 1701CA71

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