Starting the week right, Singapore Fintech Association visited the office of WeInvest, to understand from their senior management (Mr. Bhaskar Prabhakara, CEO and Mr. Elango Balusamy, CTO) on how fintech startups like them who have regional clients, are dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak as well as the firm’s plans for the year.
What measures have you implemented to ensure employee safety?
Aligning to the practices of larger MNCs, WeInvest has implemented BCP by dividing the workforce into 2 teams and introducing a schedule of working in the office and from home on alternating days. All employees were made to complete a travel declaration form soon after the initial signs of the global virus outbreak. However, as with many companies, WeInvest has decided to cease the BCP work arrangement due to the stabilization of the COVID-19 situation in Singapore and have the full force back in the office for greater efficiency.
How do BCP and the COVID-19 situation affect your business?
“Our expansion plans are still on-going but we have revised our growth estimates from earlier this year to adjust for growing uncertainty due to political shifts and a cautious outlook for the global economy” – Bhaskar Prabhakara.
The COVID-19 situation is stabilizing in Singapore, but it is early days to think that the storm is over. Travel restrictions along with BCP in Financial Institutions greatly limits WeInvest opportunities to have face to face meetings with their local and overseas client and prospects. While the quality and experience for video calls have greatly improved due to new players like Zoom Technologies, video calling has not been effective in building rapport and trust, qualities which play a big influence in deal progress in Asia, a region that deeply values strong relationships in business dealings. A prime example were deals in the region of Hong Kong and China, where we have experienced a significant reduction in client engagement. These restrictions have also impacted internal visits between the regional offices.
“Business still has to go on, we cannot stop even during the coronavirus outbreak”
What are your plans for 2020?
“One of our goals this year is to expand their client base in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, and the United Arab Emirates”
Besides expanding their client base, WeInvest is venturing into providing wealth solutions for RM advisory, allowing financial institutions to have improved execution across multiple advisory channels.
“Becoming a one-stop management platform is what we are aiming for”