Successful companies need to instill collaboration and a sense of ownership. If teams do not work together or feel ownership of their work, then your business will not be able to grow and innovate.
As part of our interview series called “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became A Founder”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nauman Anees, CEO and Co-Founder of ThinkMarkets, a multi-asset online trading platform that brings a borderless trading experience to users. Nauman launched ThinkMarkets in 2010, with the core focus of offering users advanced tools through mediums that are easy and simple to use. Nauman graduated from DePaul University.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
It was actually a fluke that brought me into trading. I became interested in trading after speaking with a few friends that traded. One friend told me a story of how he was traveling and made money from currency trading, between takeoff and landing of his flight. I became fascinated with the industry and started exploring and trading myself. Ever since then, I have been hooked.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?
My brother, Faizan Anees, and I founded our company as young adults, using our own capital. While our friends were out having fun, we were working day and night to build our dream.
We learned early on that we needed to put our long-term vision and goals before instant gratification.
Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Trading is all about the willingness to take risks in the hopes of winning rewards. Starting a business is a lot like trading, not only do you need to have the willingness to take risks, but you need to have the drive to beat insurmountable odds and never give up.
So, how are things going today? How did grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?
Business is going very well. ThinkMarkets is expanding rapidly, both in regions and product offerings. We recently launched Share Investing in South Africa and will soon be launching FX Trading in Japan, which is one of the largest foreign exchange trading hubs in the world. We have also grown our headcount by 50% in the last year. Our rapid growth is the result of taking measured risk, never giving up and always keeping the focus on what matters most, providing the best product and services to our clients.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
In building ThinkMarkets, I wanted to ensure our trading experience allowed participation in the best global markets available, so we grew our team and brand presence in Asia-Pacific, South Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. With our global presence and international offerings now unparalleled, we stand apart from our competitors.
We also stand out with the incredibly talented and passionate employees we have across the globe. It is important to me that we provide our employees with career growth and the opportunity to cultivate their ideas and lead on innovation. This ultimately allows our company to differentiate itself in the marketplace with innovative products.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I would tell them that is not about doing more or working harder, but about focusing on the things that matter, such as delivering your clients the best products and service in the market. And its important to have a trusted team you can rely on to execute on your vision.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I am grateful to my parents and my wife for their support and encouragement. My parents have always encouraged me to finish what I started and instilled in me the drive to never give up and always strive for excellence.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
By the way, we treat employees and the values we adhere to as a company. We believe in cultivating young talent, training them on the business, and providing the experiences and knowledge they can use for the rest of their career.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Always be prepared for anything including different outcomes. Starting a business can be unpredictable and you need to be able to adjust quickly when the outcome you planned for does not happen.
- Always have a vision of where you want to be and where you want to go. It is essential to plan for the long term. Where will your company be in 5 years, 10 years? If you do not have a vision for the future, then it will be very difficult to build your company for growth.
- The importance of culture within your organization. Successful companies need to instill collaboration and a sense of ownership. If teams do not work together or feel ownership of their work, then your business will not be able to grow and innovate.
- The importance of focusing on a differentiated competitive advantage. Almost every business idea is created to fill a gap, by bringing a unique product or service to market. As your business expands, you need to evolve your products and services to ensure they continue to be unique and valued by your customers. The importance of surrounding yourself with passionate and talented people and building a strong management team to grow with you.
- I credit a lot of the success of ThinkMarkets to my team, their hard work and dedication have been a driving force in the success we have seen to date.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I believe we have created a movement with ThinkMarkets. A movement to connect the world easily to the global markets, provide a fun and convenient platform for our traders, which they can then share with colleagues, friends, and family. With a world connected by technology, now more than ever due to COVID, our vision “To be the #1 digital broker globally, enabling traders & investors access to the markets in the palm of their hand” fosters that connection.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
They can follow me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nauman-anees-909b594 or follow ThinkMarkets on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!