What does it take for a fintech to succeed? PwC and Industry Perspectives

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What does it take for a fintech to succeed? PwC and Industry Perspectives

What does it take for a FinTech to succeed? PwC and Industry Perspectives

This #WebinarWednesdays session is in collaboration with PwC, where the panel will be discussing the different perspectives on what it takes for a FinTech to succeed. The session will kick off with a consultant's perspective presented by Mark Stanley a Director in the Financial Services industry in PwC Middle East, this will be followed by an entrepreneur's perspective by Habib Khan, a UK Fintech's perspective by Rory Martin-Smith and Tom Hoskins and finally a banker's perspective by Sameer Poonja. The session will be looking at a few topics such as:

  • What Fintechs need to think about when seeking growth opportunities
  • How to be successful and identify gaps in the market
  • What innovation means for Fintech
  • Why Banks fail and why Fintechs are needed to help
  • Lessons learnt from the FS Scale program in the UK


Mark Stanley, Director, Financial Services, PwC Middle East: Mark is a seasoned Financial Services consultant specializing in the delivery of strategic transformation across the front and middle office functions of retail and corporate banks. He supports clients with strategy, performance improvement. customer experience, innovation management and new venture setup, and orchestrates cross-functional teams to help clients solve complex problems and deliver revenue disruption. He has held multiple leadership roles acting as lead account director to priority accounts and spearheading the adoption of new ways of working. He is fascinated with digital disruption and passionate about helping others realize its potential upside.

Ali Khan, Senior Director, Financial Services, PwC Middle East: Ali is an experienced financial services industry practioner specializing in c-suite strategic transformation across customer/portfolio growth, P&L optimization, digital migration/acquisition, product development, distribution model transformation, and customer experience.  Ali possesses a deep understanding of critical retail and digital banking business drivers that stem from multiple leadership roles with Tier 1 global banks (HSBC, Standard Chartered, and the Royal Bank of Scotland) and in digital e-commerce with Amazon.com across multiple global geographies over a period of 20 years. Previous titles include the Head of Retail Assets, Head of Digital Banking & Innovation, and Head of Customer Experience for major banks in both the UAE and KSA. Ali has a strong grounding in scaling businesses-having been an early member of the team at Amazon.com.  He is passionate about the intersection of people,  technology, journeys, and business to drive customer engagement and deliver superior transformation results.

Habibullah Khan, Director Content, Penumbra: Habibullah Khan is a premier startup storyteller of the region. He works with startups in the area where sustainability, strategy, culture, technology and branding meet. His work helps companies with ambitious leaders use to disrupt their competitors. Habibullah Khan has worked for diverse multinationals from Levis to Cisco and currently runs penumbra a premium digital media agency focusing on branding strategy, design and thriving in change for technology and data driven businesses. With a "skin in the game" model penumbra stays engaged until its services achieve business goals. He has done branding strategy, digital media and strategic communications for multibillion-dollar companies to startups. He has branded many FinTechs, HealthTechs, AI, ecommerce and technology companies from all over the world including FinTechs in Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE and KSA in the GCC. Startups for whom Habib has done storytelling and built pitch decks for raising funds, have till date raised around USD 18M+ in Seed, Series A and Series B rounds. As a ghost writer Habib has been published in many newspapers as well as Forbes and Newsweek. He has been quoted as an expert in many publications including Campaign UK, CIO and Branding in Asia. Habib is also a mentor to startups at National Incubation Center Karachi and the Contributing Editor Digital at Daily Times as well as a Contributor at Profit Magazine for Technology and Digital.

Tom Hoskin, Partner & Co-Founder, GrowthBuilders: Tom is a Partner and co-founder of GrowthBuilders, a company created to grow scale-ups and innovation by enabling scale-up and corporate collaboration. Tom spent 10 years at PwC where he founded and built PwC UK’s Scale programs, expanding them internationally across the PwC global network and as part of that has worked with over 400 startups and scale-ups.

Rory Martyn Smith, Scale Programme Manager, PwC UK: Rory has worked at PwC for 4 years having started out in the London Technology Assurance practice. His strong interest in FinTech was developed while working with Fintech unicorn Funding Circle leading up to their IPO in 2018, after which he transitioned to the PwC Scale FinTech team.Engaging with the FinTech ecosystem he works with early stage scaleup to assist in successfully scaling their startup as well as working closely with PwC's Financial Services teams to drive engagement with innovative Fintech's and drive collaboration to enhance PwC's client propositions.

Sameer Poonja, SVP & Group Head of Innovation at Gulf International Bank: Sameer has a passion for disruptive technologies and is highly experienced in emerging innovation and human-centric design. Sameer was previously the Head of Innovation, Design & Digital Partnerships for CEMEA at Visa, and is currently the SVP & Group Head of Innovation, Design & Partnerships at Gulf International Bank.