First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID19 times?
Alon Rajic : My family and I are managing well during COVID, thank you. My home office is fully functional and business is as usual.
We spend a lot of our time with our dog and try to stay as much indoors as possible.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined Finofin
Alon Rajic : My career started circa 2007 when I was the first employee to join the then-anonymous company named Webpals, here in Tel Aviv Israel. The company has grown tremendously over the course of time, constantly recruiting and growing, and I took on management roles, eventually being the Head of SEO for the firm. Then the company went on an IPO in the London Stock Exchange under the AIM, trading as XLMedia PLC, and shortly after – I left there to make the best use of my abilities and pursue my dreams, and established Finofin – a company building and managing personal finance and consumerism comparison sites.
How does Finofin innovate?
Alon Rajic : My company has tried to innovate from day one.
Our very first thing was to build our first website – moneytransfercomparison.com, a site comparing international money transfer companies.
These companies essentially provide a service that helps customers save money against what the banks would have charged them for the same transfer.
In this space, there were many different comparison sites, but prospective customers had no prime destination to go to if they wanted to read comprehensive reviews about those services.
International money transfers were always regarded as a flat decision. The customer will go with whoever has the lowest fees.
I thought the decision making has a lot to with trust as well and that some customers, particularly ones who have to transfer significant sums of money abroad, would rather understand who is the service provider is exactly, and only then understand the fee structure, then the other way around.
Our innovation has attracted millions of readers to the website since its inception.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Alon Rajic : COVID had a drastic effect on some of the industries we are operating in, but as an established online-focused company it was all manageable.
My heart goes out to small businesses and startups in a different standing who are truly struggling right now.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Alon Rajic : Managing a business is always about making important decisions every day.
Some of these decisions are more difficult than others, in the sense that there is no right and wrong.
Whichever decision you will make will ultimately have its advantages and disadvantages.
Earlier in my career I would have left such decisions pending and sometimes let them dissolve by themselves without making a clear cut.
Later on, I learned to rely on my primal instinct a bit more and don’t leave anything to chance.
I do think the decision-making process is quite individual and different for everyone.
So my best advice is to have some kind of a process in place, whatever works for that person.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Finofin in the future ?
Alon Rajic : I am not too troubled by work related stresses. I am accepting the fact life are volatile and success is not guaranteed forever.
I try to act responsibly and also have enough projects and investments so that I am could reinvent myself in the future if I ever need to.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Alon Rajic : There are tens of thousands of companies just like mine specializing in building, managing, and monetizing comparison sites.
Some of them are incredibly large like Red Ventures Capital, a U.S based private company employing 3,000 people domestically.
Very few of these companies are public, and most are quite secretive.
If I ever wanted a full and complete understanding of all competitors and potential competitors in similar spaces I would have to spend a lot of my energy doing that, and I am not certain my results would have been outstanding.
That’s why I don’t obsess over my competitors. I just try to build better products and think that ultimately the end-user will appreciate that hard work.