Editors Note: Rati Tchedlize, Founder and Managing Director of Axios Holding is a leading Entrepreneur within the European FinTech Industry.
As a trained lawyer by profession and a financial expert he is the leader of a conglomerate of FinTech companies and has been featured in a number of financial magazines in recent months.
We caught up with Mr. Tchelidze to hear more about his background, experience, and perspectives on a range of issues related to the FinTech industry.
What is your background and how did you get into FinTech?
My foray into the FinTech industry is quite an interesting one. I use the word “interesting” because I had my first degree in Law which had zero inclination with FinTech.
I studied Law at Ivan Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University and then I continued my education by mastering the practices of international commerce and trade law at Stockholm University and later at the Free University of Amsterdam.
At the culmination of these Law degrees, I was appointed a legal adviser in 1998. However, as I was working in the legal profession, I became interested in acquiring practical skills that I can use in impacting people and society.
The legal profession affords me the opportunity of helping people but I wanted something more. Hence I started researching management skills and later on, I decided to take this passion for management a notch further.
This was when I decided to establish my own financial, educational, and technical companies around the world
One of your most famous companies is Axios Capital Limited, what can you tell us about this innovative FinTech center?
Axios Holding is actually a conglomerate with interests in finance, education, and the IT industry. However, based on the diverse scope of our operations we partner with a number of credit organizations around the world, and the purpose of this is simply to have a more diverse market.
Like most holding companies we offer a bundled set of FinTech products and solutions but nowadays our emphasis is on partnering DevOps specialists in our projects to help increase the efficiency of the development and operation of software created for business.
Axios Capital has a culture that encourages innovations and creativity and this perhaps is the reason behind the success of the company. We have a motto that says “Always question, learn and improve.”
Our activities are knowledge-driven and we strive to leverage existing knowledge, innovation as well as the expertise of our team to transform our vision of the financial business into a FinTech reality.
What do you think has made Axios Holding so successful?
I think this is based on our approach to business. The company offers a full range of FinTech products and solutions and we adopt a personalized or perhaps individualistic style of customer relations.
This means we attend to each customer as a unique individual and we aim to satisfy their expectations irrespective of the volume of their transactions with us.
Customer satisfaction is important to entrepreneurial success, we know this, hence we target the satisfaction of our customers. This approach is not just peculiar to Axios Holding, it holds for many of our other companies as well.
We simply adopt an individual approach with our customers while also ensuring we innovative technological solutions and adhere to high safety standards.
We believe the customer is king and should be treated like royalty. I think this has been responsible for our longevity and survival in the finance industry.
We view our clients as partners and our goal is to satisfy their needs because when the client is happy then the business will succeed for many years.
Therefore we provide advanced financial instruments and opportunities which range from investment programs to social, sponsorship, and educational initiatives, supporting them at every stage of interaction with our systems.
Every organization thrives on people. Human resources is the greatest resource any organization can possess, hence the proper management of human resources holds the key to success or failure in business. Like a saying goes in my native country.
A company is as weak as its weakest employee. Hence the need to constantly train, develop, and empower every member of an organization to get the best of every employee and the company as a whole.
Therefore, in management decisions, I am guided by the principle that people need to be given the opportunity to be themselves, and it will pay off. These gave birth to our motto, “Always question, learn and improve.”
What can you tell us about your recent project StrategEast?
StrategEast is a conference designed to bring Tech specialists together from across the world. It was launched in September 2020 and the emphasis is to develop the IT industry in the Eurasian states.
The aim is to draw experts from the world of the IT industry, and leaders of financial institutions, entrepreneurs from the US, EU, and Eurasia. For the purpose of clarity, Eurasian states include Nations on the borders of the European Union stretching down to the Far East.
These nations include Ukraine, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan among others. Based on the peculiarity of the time we are in i.e. the COVID-19 pandemic, the meetings will be held both online and offline.
How has the COVID-19 impacted the FinTech Industry?
The pandemic has impacted the tech industry greatly. Perhaps, the FinTech industry should be one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. For instance, we are aware many FinTech companies have had to let go of a good number of their staff.
The FinTech industry relies on trade and since the pandemic has affected human activities including business transactions, then its patronage has reduced in the industry.
It has been a struggle for survival for many and we can only hope the pandemic goes away as soon as possible.
For us, it’s been a mission to support our staff in every way possible and make sure that all of our employees have kept their jobs but we are aware we have been fortunate to be able to do this.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for new FinTech Startups?
The FinTech industry is very competitive, an environment I thrive in but it can be harsh for a Startup.
One thing I would want startups to note is that at times investors and prospective investors alike may be wary of committing their financial assets to startups wondering what’s in it for them or what makes their product different from other financial companies.
However, there is no need to be afraid so far as you have a unique solution to the problem of people and institutions. The aim of a new startup should be to offer something unique that’s not common in the industry.
Otherwise, it may get lost in the crowd of other FinTech companies struggling for market share. Regardless of what happens financial services have a remarkable growth prospect and offer an opportunity to spread into all other EU countries.
One of the underrated principles which I feel is very important in business is trust. In a world of options and alternatives, it takes trust for a client to come to patronize a particular business, therefore it will be unethical to mistreat or abuse the trust of that customer.
This is because when the customer is treated right, they can even help spread the news of that business to their friends and associates free of charge.
We cannot undermine the importance of diversity, trust, and flexibility in Axios Holding dealings. All of this has helped Rati Tchelidze to build a long-lasting relationship with clients.
My advice to everyone in the business is to safeguard the trust of their clients and this can be done by providing quality products and services to the client at all times.
Interviewer: Bright Elemeje