We talked to Omer Jamal, CEO at Fortuna.ai about video relationship management for financial advisors and he had the following to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Omer Jamal: Very good, thanks for asking, staying safe, which is the important part. Everyone is working from home, so it’s a bit of a chance, but all is well, can’t complain!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Fortuna.ai.
Omer Jamal: I used to work at a big 5 Canadian bank within Asset Management directly with Financial Advisors. We were in charge of selling institutional and retail securities to Financial Services companies. Speaking to Advisors on a day to basis at conferences and in-person made us the realize the
How does Fortuna.ai innovate?
Omer Jamal: We have an artificial intelligence platform that helps Financial Services companies build relationships online. Technology is at the forefront of everything we do.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Omer Jamal: Initially, during the pandemic, it was a little nerve-wracking because we weren’t sure, like any business, how all this would play out. What we’ve noticed 8-9 months into the pandemic is that technology adoption has been accelerated, and we’re seeing at rapid pace clients are getting used to the ‘new normal.’ So all and all, we’ve done fairly well. Some of our highest gross growing months have been in September and October this year, so it’s great to see our technology being applied to advisor use cases and firms starting to use it widespread.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Omer Jamal: We doubled down on growth. We accelerated all of our marketing and sales efforts to get our message in front of our clients. The lessons learned are to keep going. You may have to adjust and tweak your messaging slightly, but that’s okay as it’s critical to adjust to the current economic environment for any business to survive.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Fortuna.ai in the future?
Omer Jamal: I’m overall a very optimistic person and try to instill that daily with our team members, clients, and stakeholders. ‘Personal Management’ is very important as well, so I go for daily walks. I meditate daily and always take some time out to journal my thoughts. Doing these 3 things helps me stay laser-focused throughout the day and maintain a level of clarity throughout the day as it helps calm the racing entrepreneur’s mind.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Omer Jamal: We have a superior product as compared to our competitors, and we have a high level of commitment to serving our clients, which helps us differentiate from the crowd as we solely work with Financial Advisors. We plan to introduce additional products and innovations to continue helping Financial Services firms stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology use.
Your final thoughts?
Omer Jamal: It’s a very interesting time right now to be in the startups/technology space. Staying aligned, staying motivated, staying healthy is a concern for every living being on this earth. Covid19 has only amplified that with a virus spread, so I think first and foremost, it’s very important that everyone takes care of their health, uses masks, and remains safe. Second, I think from starting up a business perspective, there’s never been a better time than now to start a business. Sales cycles are faster, and people are more straightforward. One wonderful thing that no one touches on is that if right now your product or solution does not solve a very specific need for your customer – the customer will just tell you right away that this is a no go. However, if it does solve a need, they will be very fast to implement, so that’s the bonus you can get customer feedback almost instantaneously in today’s market environment, so I encourage all entrepreneurs to go out there and solve challenging problems and try to get market validation. It can be a journey of a thousand miles but very well worth it.
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