I truly believe in the power of responsible commerce to solve society’s toughest problems. Come to think about it, any problem for that matter.
After my studies, I spent some time in the investment banking space locally and abroad, met amazing people and learnt a great deal about the mechanics of the world’s money machine. Without getting into the technical (yet important) concepts such as efficient capital allocation, fractional reserve banking, debt cycles, interest rates and inflation, I emerged from the experience with one thought: “How is this all coming together to make sure people are equipped to live fulfilled lives and make real contributions to society?”
With this question in the back of my mind, I left the banking industry in pursuit of a better understanding of how commerce principles are practically applied on the ground to solve problems in a sustainable manner. I joined a company doing some interesting work in the student financing and bursary administration market and I got some first-hand product, business development, operations and a hefty dose of political management experience. From my experience, I realised how powerful it is when you have the technology, great people, and partners working together in pursuit of a common goal to solve a real customer problem.
With the initial question still brewing in the back of my mind, some answers started emerging that were pretty tough to ignore. Most people really struggle with financial stress. People in developed as well as developing nations are struggling with overindebtedness, and most financial services institutions incentivise greater consumption through reward programs and aggressive debt products. Often financial services products were extremely opaque to me, not to mention the underlying infrastructure that makes it all possible. I could not help to dream how one would go about serving people’s money needs if we had a blank canvas to start the design process from (as if that is ever the case…). With just the right amount of naivety, a good partner and some great people, we decided to give this blank canvas idea a shot. We had some basic elements that guided us, and still do:
Be on the bleeding edge when solving problems for our customers,
Build and scale the company with the customer at the centre of it,
Be agile in everything we do, and
Go above and beyond to ensure our customers realise the value our products offer.
Fast forward 5 years and we are a team of 20-plus people, working with hundreds of schools across the country and serving over 40,000 parents. We have amazing shareholders, partners and people that form part of the essence of who and what Sticitt is. The thing that excites me most is that we are actually doing something that speaks to the problem that has been in the back of my mind since we started. We’re helping schools get back to teaching and helping parents stress about one less thing in their busy lives. Financial services have a major role to play in ensuring people live fulfilled lives and making real contributions to society. We’ll be part of making that happen so if you thought Sticitt was a short-term thing, think again, we’re in it for the long game.
I’m incredibly grateful for what we have achieved so far and how big of a role Sticitt is playing in my own life pursuit. The introduction together with some early chapters has been written, but the exciting bit of the story is still to come…Glad I’m part of it!