At Bonova Advisory we interview C-suites , Thought leaders and Influencers in Banking and Finance.I had the pleasure of interviewing Bülent Tekmen, co-founder of Colendi.
Bülent previously led Netron Technology’s Turkish offices for about a decade before stepping into the startup world with various projects. His most successful company before Colendi was Ininal, where he created a unique product for the local market and made a successful exit with 3 million users that mostly served the unbanked population. He has received numerous awards for his accomplishments and is a very well respected leader in the fintech sector.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I am a serial entrepreneur, currently the co-founder and CEO of Colendi. My prior e-money company Ininial reached more than 2 million accounts, and 1 million active digital wallet users monthly — and is still growing fast. Cheque-Dejeuner Group acquired a majority stake in Ininal in May 2016, which was one of the biggest deals in the Turkish startup ecosystem.
I have worked for years to transform the banking industry and the microcredit and credibility worlds more broadly. I’m also an active angel investor, frequently backing early-stage startups. I previously was chosen “Internet Entrepreneur of the Year” in Turkey and was an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year — Accelerating Entrepreneurs program in Monte Carlo
What do you think makes your company stand out during these disruptive times? Can you share a story?
You can’t stop the continued disruption of technology. With disruptive thinking, innovative new concepts, ideas and products power the cycle of new products replacing others in the market. The most important thing a company or product should do in these disruptive times is actually fit the market it’s operating in and address the audience in a correct way. This sounds somewhat straightforward, but it’s an often-overlooked element when thinking big. However good and technologically advanced a product is, it’s doomed if it does not fit the current market situation. I can now say this because I’ve seen it happen before. With Colendi, we are providing an alternative way for consumers to get a credit score and a new way for businesses and financial institutions to evaluate consumers, which to date has been determined by a few dominate players that aren’t known for their transparency. Using what many call the most disruptive technologies since the Internet — blockchain and AI — Colendi is using modern data sources combined with modern technology to open financial doors for consumers that never had them and decentralizing the scoring mechanism that affects us all. Under the premise I just stated, Colendi fits the current market situation — a need for an alternative credibility system — and addresses an audience, that being consumers left behind or completely out of the global financial system. When you bring the latest developments and concepts together to fit the market needs, you are bound to succeed.
Can you share what you believe will be the “Top 5 Fintech and Banking Trends Over The Next 3 Years” (Please share a story or example for each.)
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” — Albert Einstein
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire 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 would want to create a complete decentralization movement — total decentralization in the world. A world of total transparency, total openness and where the decentralization itself becomes new source of trust.
Originally published at medium.com