Power Letters 2021: Adeeb Ahamed, managing director, LuLu Financial Group
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Power Letters 2021: Adeeb Ahamed, managing director, LuLu Financial Group

Power Letters 2021: Adeeb Ahamed, managing director, LuLu Financial Group

Amidst the many challenges of 2020, Lulu Financial Group is determined to advance its objective of financial inclusion through technology and collaborative partnerships


For us at LuLu Financial Group, 2020 was about renewing our tryst with the global payments ecosystem and believing in the resilience of our growing global network.

As one of the world’s leading financial services providers, operating 225+ branches and transformative digital payments solutions across 11 countries, the year started on a positive note for us, as we embarked on a rapid pace of collaboration to widen our cross-border network and reduce costs for our end consumers.

In the months since, the impact of Covid-19 affected growth in varying measure across our different countries of operations. At the same time, the period helped us introspect, re-calibrate our business and innovate for the better. Our investments in ramping up our digital infrastructure over the last three years paid rich dividends. Aided by a well-oiled infrastructure and a supportive regulatory system, we were able to position our services aptly during this transitionary phase.

Another thing that worked in our favour was the sector’s recognition early on as an essential service. This gave us adequate legroom to keep the business afloat, while rolling out creative customer acquisition strategies at a fluidic pace.

If you look at it from the larger perspective, the sector was boosted by the huge influx of fintechs, many of whom advanced different areas of customer experience. The sector as such is too huge for any one player to service the entire market, and the health crisis ushered in a mindset of collaboration built on a foundation of technology. Adopting this approach with various stakeholders of the payments ecosystem was key to our continued growth in existing and new corridors, well into the new year.

We opened several new branches in the last quarter of 2020 and continue to do so. We have also commenced operations in Singapore, all the while strengthening our presence in the Indian and APAC corridors.

We further plan to expand our existing 76 branches in the country, and fully digitise our payroll solution “MyPayMyCard” to give greater flexibility to employers in accessing our WPS services. To balance this growth, we will be rolling out transformative upgrades to our digital payments platform, LuLu Money, to service the increasingly functional needs of digital natives.

Personalised experiences are going to drive consumer loyalty in the new decade, and the success of the recently launched LuLu Premier service for HNIs and corporate customers, has given us the much-needed impetus to introduce it in our other countries of operations. We are also developing trade-based cross-border payments for SMEs and corporates. UAE is a trade hub, and we foresee tremendous potential in trade remittances for SMEs and large corporates. We have recently formed a specialist team to manage and develop this business in 2021.

As a responsible financial services provider, we also understand our commitment towards reducing the carbon footprint of our operations. While the shift to digital will definitely contribute to this, our existing and new network of branches are being re-imagined as customer engagement centres to service the alternatively banked population who are gradually transitioning to the demands of the digital economy.

The new branches are being built through judicious use of real estate and minimal carpet area. This sustainable model seeks to maximise value for consumers based on location accessibility, convenience, staggered demand timings etc., without being a drain on resources like water, electricity etc.

There are definitely challenges ahead, but we fully realise the importance of the payments industry in connecting millions of migrants in the GCC region with their loved ones back home.

As stakeholders of this ever-growing ecosystem, we remain committed to the real reason why we are here: to improve the lives of people.

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