Wael Khattar of Anachron Technologies tells us about the fastest way to convert an idea to product.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Anachron Technologies.
Wael Khattar: I come from a Wealth Management background having worked in one of the best Private Banks in Lebanon. While doing my job I realized that the services provided to the Top 1% are actually needed by most people, however, the human-based traditional model does not work, it’s simply too expensive.
That’s when I realized I wanted to found Anachron Technologies, a company that helps Entrepreneurs, Startups & Banks to launch Fintech products to help people manage their money better.
How does Anachron Technologies innovate?
Wael Khattar: We provide modular APIs under a subscription model. The API development is almost purely client-led. We stay as close as possible to our clients, spending significant time talking to them about their needs and most importantly their ambitions and where they see themselves down the line. These conversations, coupled with our experience, fuel our product backlog. I think one of our key advantages is that we really care about our customers, their product, and most importantly their end-users.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Wael Khattar: Pre-Coronavirus, we used to exclusively offer Roboadvisory technology to banks and financial institutions. This model, especially in mid-crisis Lebanon, means a lot of traveling and a lot of face-to-face meetings regionally. This simply was no longer possible, which made us pivot into a Fintech as a Service model, targeting smaller clients, allowing us to acquire and onboard clients completely online.
On the other hand, the world saw the need to go digital, to be able to receive the same services online, which is leading a lot of entrepreneurs and banks to launch Fintech products to adapt to the new reality.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Wael Khattar: Lebanon in recent years has been nothing if not unstable. This led us to adopt a very lean approach to team building, where we try to keep fixed costs as low as possible. This strategy proved to be very useful when the pandemic started and our pipeline suddenly stopped for a few months.
This strategy allowed us to avoid difficult choices during this period. The pivot we made seemed a natural evolution of our business model and a decision that made us more scalable and leaner.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Wael Khattar: We obviously use a lot of Zoom & Teams to communicate as we are working from home. We also use Trello & Jira to keep up with our tasks and make sure everything is done on time.
It’s now more important to always set deadlines for every task as we move towards a task-oriented culture. The team knows that they can work anytime and from anywhere as long as the task is done on time and their work is not creating obstacles for others.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Wael Khattar: We truly believe that the market is huge, and as long as we are providing value at the right pricing level, we’ll attract clients.
Our Revenue model of paying per user per month aligns our interests with our clients, making sure that we are always pricing at a level that allows our customers to grow and profit.
In addition, we always try to build the right partnerships and expand our network which allows us access to a lot of different deals around the region.
Your final thoughts?
Wael Khattar: The pandemic tested the resolve of many founders and entrepreneurs, as well as the motivation of the teams. Digital companies are poised to grow with the pandemic accelerating digital adoption.
The traditional companies that come out of this alive are bound to increase their market share.
In the end, the leaner company is the one that wins in these unstable conditions.