Launching Xare unlocks the millions of tribes out there, who are still struggling to build their bankers’ network.
I am on the eve of launching something revolutionary and have the usual founder butterflies in my stomach.
I am pretty sure every startup founder feels the same way. But this is not the first product launch for me — we have launched the first zerobalance bank account in UAE, the first microinsurance product in partnership with Axa, the first Buy Now Pay Monthly cross border product in the UAE with Carrefour, and the first cross border consumer durable insurance plans. Each and every one of these products have reached thousands of customers and made a meaningfulimpact on their lives.
Yet the butterflies are strong with this one. Why? Because we are changing the waybanking works and allowing everyone to be a bank. When the product you are about to launch has the ability to positively impact the lives of billions ofpeople — the butterflies are justified. They are also justified because I am about to change the industry that I have been aproud member of for two decades.
As Bill Gates said — “The World needs Banking, not Banks.”
The World Needs Banking Not Banks
My great grandfather provided banking to his tribe, but he was not a banker. There wereno mass-market banks during his times — no Citi, no ICICI. He kept his tribe’s money safe, provided them creditand financial advice. Theirs was a network of trust and of kinship forgedthrough shared destinies and futures. I have seen a similar role being playedby my grandmother and then my father — who as one ofthe first Indian expats in Dubai, was always helping the growing Indian community — both with advice and credit. They werealways looking after their tribes.
It was no secret that I wanted to be a banker when I grew up. In a place where girlswanted to be doctors, lawyers, and engineers, models, and actresses, who wantedto be a boring old banker. This was a strange career choice. But I felt it wasa solid one even at the age of 9. Looking back, I realize, the family wasalways in banking — they were just not bankers.
Even when I became a banker — in the middle of a recession in California, I realized that bankers were mostly a good old’ white boys’ network. They serviced people that looked like them. Their tribe was impenetrable. Mine had to be built. I spent the next decade, working with women and minority owned businesses, bringing them into the banking fold and helping them grow.
Even now, two decades later as I help migrants gain access to financial services, I see banks struggle to cater to these segments. Not because they are evil, but bankers arestill tribal — just that the types of tribes havechanged.
Coming Full Circle
Launching Xare seems to me as life coming full circle. Xare is for people like my grandfather,grandmother, or my father — tribal champions who have always been banking — just not bankers.
Launching Xare also unlocks the millions of tribes out there, who are still struggling to build their bankers’ network. When you bring tools back to those who are banking their tribe anyways — powerful things happen.
The costs & hurdles of remittances melt away, the ability to support a young adult or asibling becomes easier, small and large businesses start powering their employees with payment solutions that work and tribes start supporting eachother with credit.
You take banking back to the basics, back to the millennia old tradition where bankinghas always existed, banks have not.
It’s time to go backto basics, it’s time for Xare - www.xare.co.