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Interviews with Entrepreneurs less costly. That’s how most of them start and its easier for them to share their talent this way! I wanted to come in the start of their venture and help them simplify running their online business. You don’t need to find separate costly tools to maintain your customer base, hire a driver to collect cash payments or save your transactions manually- these steps should all be automated. • What inspired you to start this business? I had just moved back and several conversations with Instagram sellers sparked this idea over night! I did some research and began speaking to some sellers and when I got a good pattern of similar issues, I decided to build the product that could fill in all these gaps. It was more of a ‘wing it story’ and now I have a few sellers using it that love the product and I want to reach out to more to show them how easy it could be using Valopay! • What are your future plans? We are currently renovating the website! We are making it a bit more personal and highlighting our sellers. In addition, emphasize on our express check out and allow the platform to generate the right material for sellers. We are also coming up with a new marketing campaign to expand to not just individuals but also businesses in various industries. Stay tuned for that! • In your opinion what are the main challenges faced by Fintech startups in the region and globally? I think the competition is very high, and the environment is fast paced. Fintech being in the spotlight more than other sectors creates tension and the need to consistently update yourself. Also, another important challenge is mindset. The Middle East is picking it up quick but there is still a need for startups to alter the way people view financial tech and get them comfortable to the new products coming out. The comfort zone must be established before the community gets onboard. • In your opinion, how can we build a strong Fintech industry in the region? I think there should be more workshops or events focused on Fintech because it is still regarded as an ambiguous term here and to define it clearly and push it as the biggest thing now to transform our services, and our economy would make it more prominent. I remember I had to take some Fintech courses online and update myself from my competitors to be aware. I fell into the Fintech bucket after I realized how my product does actually bring the

technology and finance aspects together! • How was your business funded? It’s currently self-funded and in the future once I’m ready with enough data and a clientele based, I will be looking for funding to help take Valopay to the next step. • How easy was it to raise the necessary funds to start your business, considering you are a Fintech business? Because my product isn’t as complex now, I’ve been self-funding it but the support system here in Bahrain especially for tech startups has been massive and when it’s the right time, I have several sources to tap into. Bahrain has been investing its time into Fintech and allowing entrepreneurs to be comfortable sharing their ideas and taking some risks. I’ve had several people from several organizations offer me opportunities to get the crucial resources Valopay would need. • Do you have a mentor? If yes, what role did/does your mentor play in further progressing your business? Yes, I do! I categorize my mentors in two categories. One, is my main mentor in the Fintech industry and I’ve had brainstorm sessions with him, his team and occasionally meet to discuss certain issues. Other startup contacts are also mentors to me. The best times for me was meeting with several entrepreneurs and just talk about our plans, our struggles and what we are doing to advance. Having a mentor or several support systems allows you to develop by continually learning, gives you valuable insights and it’s also very therapeutic. • Any message you would like to send out to the readers or to potential Fintech entrepreneurs? That it’s a challenging, yet exciting road for one to take. I don’t know where this will lead but it’s really about patience and enthusiasm especially in markets that are stubborn. Our communities want to be able to use these financial technological tools but it’s our job to also lead them to a comfort zone via our products and efforts. I, myself keep trying to update myself and see what Fintech solutions or changes to my own service that could potentially make an impact. In general, with anything you do, keep going, keep learning and most importantly listen to your audience!


For Entrepreneurs By Entrepreneurs


Rowad Magazine Issue #17  
Rowad Magazine Issue #17