How have I changed since we started Hassem Prag
The reality of starting your own business only hits home when the first pay-check is zero. In a zero world, you have to make something of it. You have to change your way of working, you have to change your attitude and most important your corporate mindset. This takes a great deal of effort especially reflecting on how not to do things. You want to succeed and the inner passion drives you into thinking like an entrepreneur rather than a corporate. The first 6 months are critical in driving your passion and ability to do things at your own pace. Thereafter you have to set smaller goals and one by one achieve them. There will be disappointments on the journey and they must be treated as learning experiences to move on, else you will become unstuck.
How the dream looks 2 years in.
The journey over the last 2 years was a thrill and a ride of a lifetime. Our Zero income was soon replaced by a salary and our business started showing signs of growth. The growth signs relate to the clients you meet, the introductions and the expectation that there would be some business to be conducted. It took some time to get the initial deals but as we moved on, larger deals were beginning to look like opportunities. Our 2 years culminated in some small to medium deals and one large deal. This is great for a company 2 years old and we believe the next 2 years will be real growth years. This is where we trust in our people to help grow our business both in advisory and building out our own software products.
What have you seen in the industry you predicted?
We predicted disruption in banking and financial services but largely in payments. We knew technology is an enabler and we see some of the new entrants in banking such as Tyme Bank, Bank Zero and Discovery Bank launching with pure technology value propositions. We know and understand these value propositions based on our expert banking and financial services knowledge and feel extremely blessed by the opportunities given to Hassem Prag. Our prediction over the next 2 years will see a change in the banking landscape that would benefit South Africa and all its people. Disruption comes when you least expect it so always be humble and ensure you are doing the right things with the right people.
What has happened in the industry you would have never foreseen?
The pace of change is far quicker then we would have expected. Nevertheless, change creates disruption and requires people to be always ahead of the game. This does not happen by a mere wave of a magic wand. It requires a thorough understanding of the vision and scale of the problems you are trying to solve. It requires human understanding of what drives people to use your platform. It requires customer experiences to be at its best. This culminates in solutions that one cannot really predict or foresee, but can be realized through the change in mindset and change in thinking.
What can we expect from you, as a person and Hassem Prag in the next 2 years?
We expect the next 2 years to be real growth years in South Africa and expect Hassem Prag to realize more opportunities to improve the lives of people in South Africa through our software engineering practices and development of products in house. This is the next phase of growth for Hassem Prag to be able to create software products for improving the lives of people in way that allows them to grow their own businesses.
by Jay Prag