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11. Bambu Around the World with Nick, Phil, and Sam

11. Bambu Around the World with Nick, Phil, and Sam

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Key takeaways

  • South Africa has a sophisticated yet conservative financial sector 
  • Legacy banks in the US have been keen to adopt Fintech 
  • Bambu is focusing on localising our offerings

Bambu aims to be international in its reach. In fact, we have a sticker that says Bambu is available everywhere except Antarctica.. (Include the sticker image here). This week, our team members from around the globe join us to chat about their experiences working from their different localities.

The first guest joining our podcast is Nick who is based in South Africa. He shares that South Africa probably has the most sophisticated financial sector in Africa, but it is also the most conservative. Being a highly intermediated market, there are many independent financial firms that charge a premium for investment advice. This makes it expensive for the average consumer to begin investing. In this financial landscape, Robo-advisors are highly valuable in driving down the cost of advice. However, many large financial institutions have large egos and believe they can effectively create their own Robo. To negotiate, Nick positions Bambu as being able to help them create Robo-advisors in a more efficient and more flexible manner. Also, Nick believes that the old-school mentality behind doing sales still plays an important role today. This mentality of being patient, building trust, casting a wide net, and being persistent is still valuable in a technologically-driven world. 

Our next guest, Phil, works from San Francisco, US. When asked how he deals with the large time difference, Phil speaks positively of the Singapore team and how they have been flexible on their work hours to accommodate him. He also mentions how he too has to be flexible with his hours to navigate the time difference. Concerning Bambu’s position in the US, Phil admits that Bambu is still relatively unknown. Since we are based in Singapore, not many companies and banks have much information on us. However, when pitching to prospective partners, many are impressed by Bambu’s culture and offerings. Furthermore, Phil contests the perception that large firms with long legacies are reluctant to introduce technology to their businesses. From his experience, much of the older generation and legacy banks have been keen on adopting Fintech to streamline their operations.

The final guest of this week’s podcast is Sam who is based in Europe. Since Bambu had been focused on expanding in Asia and the US, Sam had the initial challenge of introducing Bambu into a new market – Europe. Sam’s role was to research how Bambu could fit into the European business landscape. This included hiring the right individuals, product research and strategy, and identifying the direction we needed to build towards. His role has since evolved and he is now involved in a more global look at product strategy. He is constantly evaluating how to localise Bambu’s offerings and uncovering the specific requirements of markets that we aim to enter. The one thing that Sam enjoys most about the industry is the element of uncertainty. He comments that no one has fixed digital wealth and there is no good blueprint for what the next 10 years might look like. Sam thinks that 10 years from now, some companies which are operating now will not be operating then. Thus, it is important to look at what the trends and technological advances are, as well as consider what investors and users expect.

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