Home Interview Professional Icon: Iftekhar Alam Ayan

Professional Icon: Iftekhar Alam Ayan

Iftekhar Alam Ayan
Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Chaldal Payments Limited

Introducing Iftekhar Alam Ayan, a distinguished figure in the fintech industry, serving as the Chief Operating Officer at Chaldal Payments Limited. With a proven track record of strategic leadership and operational expertise, Ayan spearheads transformative initiatives in the digital payments landscape. His commitment to innovation and operational excellence underscores his pivotal role in shaping the future of e-commerce and financial services in Bangladesh.

Mr. Iftekhar Alam Ayan, please walk us through your professional and academic journey, highlighting key milestones and experiences that shaped your career.

Started my Career from Chittagong as a Management Graduate from Govt. Commerce College in 2007, I started my professional life as an IELTS teacher at S@ifur’s. While doing that I got an opportunity to become a Business Development Manager at Exling LLC a USA based outsourcing company. In 2009 I joined in SSL Wireless and started my career in Fintech industry in Bangladesh from the very beginning as one of the core members of the First Online Payment Gateway in Bangladesh namelySSLCOMMERZ”. After that in 2017, I got an opportunity to become a part of iPay Bangladesh Limited”, first ever PSP Licensed organization in Bangladesh provided by Bangladesh Bank. Later on, I became “Head of Operation” of Pathao Pay at Pathao Limited, also “Head of Product and Operation” at “Dmoney Bangladesh Limited”. I passed a small tenure of my career in “Banglalink Digital Communication Ltd” as Senior Manager, Transformation Management, and “Senior Vice President, Product and Operation” at Priyoshop.com Limted. Finally I am continuing in Chaldal Payments Limited as Chief Operating Officer.

What motivated you to pursue a career in business operations, particularly within the fintech and e-commerce industries?

Ultimately, the motivation for pursuing a career in business operations may vary from person to person, but the opportunity to make a meaningful impact, solve complex problems, and contribute to the success of an organization are common themes. There are several motivations for pursuing a career in business operations:

i. Business Impact
ii. Problem-Solving Opportunity
iii. Leadership Opportunities
iv. Global Perspective
v. Innovation

There is no specific reason for pursuing my career in Fintech industry. In the early days of career, new innovation and technology motivated me the most and I was assigned to Fintech Project. Over time I realized that, this area offered a huge opportunity of knowledge and diversity. Later on it became my passion and now I can’t think my life without working in this industry.

As someone with extensive experience in managerial roles, how have you approached navigating the dynamic international commerce during your tenure at various organizations?

Navigating the dynamic landscape of international commerce within multiple organizations requires a strategic and adaptable approach. Most of my career I worked for multiple Fintech based Startups, which objective was to bring changes in Financial Ecosystem of Local Market. Few things I always followed in my whole career.

Mr. Iftekhar, can you recall a particularly challenging decision you’ve had to make in your role, and how did you approach it? What were the outcomes and lessons learned from that experience?

In my 17 years years of career, I faced multiple situations where I had to take some challenging decisions. Among them, I can mention one without disclosing the organization’s name.

Once in my career I had to launch a fintech product without having regulatory board approval, after launching it, we got a tremendously positive response from the users but unfortunately, as that product was not approved by regulator, we got a sanction from the regulatory board and we had to shut down the complete service immediately. After that, we had to curve the business model and recovered from the sanction. The lesson we learned from that incident was that there is no organization that can do any sort of business or operation related to Financial Service, without prior approval of the regulatory board.

From your perspective, what do you believe are the primary drivers of success in the fintech and e-commerce sectors in Bangladesh?

The primary drivers of success in the fintech and e-commerce sectors in Bangladesh revolve around technological innovation, government support, demographic trends, entrepreneurial activity, and infrastructure development. By capitalizing on these drivers, businesses in these sectors can continue to thrive and contribute to the country’s economic growth. Few more drivers I want to specify and these are.

Could you share with us the core values or guiding principles that shape your leadership style and decision-making processes within the organization?

The core values of mine often encompass a combination of personal integrity, empathy, vision, and commitment to growth. Here are some key core values that great leaders typically embody:

By embodying these core values, great leaders inspire trust, foster collaboration, and drive positive change within their organizations and communities.

Finally, is there any message or insight you’d like to share with our esteemed readers regarding your journey or the industry you operate in?

Join the Fintech revolution in Bangladesh! Be at the forefront of innovation, transforming the way financial services are delivered and accessed. Embrace the opportunity to shape the future of finance, driving economic empowerment, inclusion, and prosperity for all. With your skills and passion, you can make a meaningful impact, driving positive change and unlocking endless possibilities. Come, be a part of the Fintech movement, and together, let’s build a brighter, more connected future for Bangladesh!”

Quick Chat with Iftekhar Alam Ayan

The most outstanding achievement of your life as of now:
Core Member of the biggest Online Payment Gateway in Bangladesh, SSLCOMMERZ

The greatest philosopher in your view:
Not a great follower of Philosophy

Your Icon:
My Supervisor in my initial career Jubaer Hossain, Manager, Retail Commerce, Master Card

Name the most influential books you have read:
The Fintech Book: The Financial Technology
Handbook for Investors, Entrepreneurs and Visionaries edited by Susanne Chishti and Janos Barberis.

Your greatest fear:
Monopolism by a single player due to lack of other potentional organisations in Fintech Industry

Best piece of advice you’ve received:
The advice I got from my mentor and icon is the best piece of advice that I ever had in my life and that is “ Life is unpredictable, and challenges are inevitable. Cultivate flexibility and resilience by embracing change, adapting to new circumstances, and learning from setbacks. Remember that you have the strength and resources to overcome adversity and thrive.”

You in only three words:
Focused, Dedicated , Passionate

Skill Set

● Hard Skills

o Financial Acumen
o Strategic Planning
o Project Management
o Data Analysis
o Technology Proficiency
o Negotiation Skills
o Change Management
o Decision-Making
o Industry Knowledge
o Legal and Regulatory Compliance

● Soft Skills

o Communication
o Empathy
o Emotional Intelligence
o Adaptability
o Conflict Resolution
o Collaboration
o Influence and Persuasion
o Coaching and Mentoring
o Integrity and Trustworthiness

Prayer For The Human Civilization
May we honor the interconnectedness of all life, protect our planet, and uplift the marginalized. Grant us strength to overcome adversity with love and resilience. May justice, equality, and harmony prevail for the flourishing of all beings.

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