Member Interview : Michelle from BankersLab

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BankersLab Pte. Ltd. is instigating a paradigm change in the financial industry towards a technology and data-driven era of compliance, excellence and workforce transformation. We build ‘virtual world’ training simulations for FinTech lenders and bankers. Lenders can certify and monitor employee skills by observing how they apply their knowledge: the ‘gold standard’ for skills monitoring and assessment. This fully digital simulation platform has billions of possible outcomes, and is configurable for every skill level across all functional areas of consumer lending.

BankersLab was established in Singapore in 2013 and in Q4 2016 launched its latest product – a fully digital simulation platform, PortfolioQuest.

Share your journey to get to where you are…

BankersLab bootstrapped from Chiang Mai, Thailand since 2012, utilizing a hybrid model of SaaS and professional services. Although we have achieved success training bankers from over 45 countries, our reliance on the professional services component has limited our scaling. Thanks to support from the Singapore Investor community and ecosystem, we went live in October 2016 with a fully digital and scalable version of the platform. To support the scaling and growth phase, we moved in LATTICE80 in November 2016.

 

Who are your peers

Start-up co-founders.

 

What do you wish you’d have known 3 years ago that you know now

In the past I was guided by an idealistic hypothesis that if you threw enough gamification elements and engaging content at employees they would ‘do the right thing’ and improve their skills. However, we realized that although we’d built a really nice ‘carrot’ using gamified simulation, we also need the motivational ‘stick’. Our use case has evolved towards compliance and conduct risk management. Maybe I should have been more cynical earlier about the carrot vs. stick trade-off!

 

How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors

If I considered “click through e-learning” or dull PowerPoint lectures to be my competition – they just don’t stand a chance. There are some scenario simulations out there, but they tend to be focused on the application of policy and provide a relatively static learning experience. We offer numerical simulation – employees manage virtual lending portfolios which have unlimited possible outcomes and changing economic conditions. We also have an important differentiator in that we capture data about the employees that allows us to profile each one according to their skill strengths and weaknesses.
If you sold your company today, what would you like to gain and want to avoid losing?

We aim to move the needle in the financial industry on skill competence and accountability. We want to avoid losing sight of that goal. I look forward to gaining back more leisure time and unstructured time to mentor and chase down other projects which are interesting.

 

What kind of person would succeed in the startup space?

The person who has the ability to get knocked down and come back up swinging every time.

 

What advice would you offer to any soon to be startup founder?

Harness the power of the ecosystem. You cannot do this alone, so be sure to ‘give back’ into the ecosystem karma bank whenever you can.

 

Do you believe in a separate forum for women to promote their work? If yes, why?

I believe we need a separate space for women to develop a strong network and find ways to support each other out in the broader ecosystem. We can plan and huddle first, then to promote our work, find the biggest stage and platform possible. I’d like to shout-out to our many “Manbassadors” around the world who willingly hand over the megaphone.

 

What is a lesson you learned from one of your parents that you still use?

Always be ready to hustle! I grew up during the collapse of the steel industry in the US, and my Dad along with the other unemployed guys on our street worked together to find employment and set up side businesses. As long as it was legal, they’d do it, and their creativity knew no bounds. They all hustled and helped each other through tough times, and dare I say they had some good times along the way.

 

When it is all over, how would you like to be remembered

Compassionate

 

In one word, describe yourself

Scrappy

 

In one word, describe LATTICE80

Community

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