“It’s great to always be learning as part of an international venture. This company allows its employees to grow with and alongside them. That’s the best part.”
In this edition of our spotlight series, we spoke to Bushra Addawala, Senior Manager, Operations at Wahed in India, who gave us insights into her role and what she loves most about being at a fast-growing company.
Tell us what you do at Wahed.
I’m the senior manager for the Operations Team in India. Our team is responsible for operations covering the various stages of an investment cycle for clients, right from funding to trade executions, maintaining and preparing other portfolio data for the App.
I ensure that the daily operations for these platforms are carried out seamlessly and that there is smooth functioning of any launches of a new jurisdiction or a feature along with trading in the market and liaising with the custodians. Since this is a startup, many processes are also being automated. I engage with our technical team to assess the possibility of upgrading and adding new features to our systems and their impact on operations.
How did you manage to get where you are today? Tell us a bit about your career journey.
I started my career with nearly four years of experience at Deloitte. My role was to look into taxation for Foreign Institutional Investors, prepare and file tax returns and assist in various tax scrutiny assessments for both domestic and foreign entities. I had been looking for a change, and it seemed like the opportunity struck at the right time. Wahed approached me in 2018 and offered me the role to join and manage the global operations.
I was thrilled to be a part of this and join an international project which was at a very nascent stage. It gave me the perfect opportunity to learn and understand the local operations, nuances of dealing in a global market and to establish processes and operational structures to carry out various activities.
What do you like most about your job at Wahed?
My role has not been confined to just one specific function. I’ve been setting up processes, managing the team including hiring the right talent. Our team has grown every year and has been involved in various projects for multiple jurisdictions.
This has helped me understand how business functions in every specific country in its own way with its own set of rules and regulations laid out by the local regulators and the impact on the business as a whole and the operational structure.
It’s great to always be learning as part of an international venture. This company allows its employees to grow with and alongside them. That’s the best part.
What’s it like being part of a fintech company like Wahed in your region?
I always wanted to be a part of a company that would serve ethical investing principles and make finance more accessible for everybody. It’s great to know that we are doing something for people and creating a platform that is genuinely required.
What are the biggest challenges that Wahed faces as it expands globally?
The first is to keep in mind the policies and regulations imposed by the local regulators, custodians, and other financial partners in each nation which may have an impact on the end product made available to the clients. Besides that, foreign politics, instability or unrest also has an impact. For any company expanding globally, these factors do have an influence and must be taken into consideration.
What’s the one thing that could help improve the future of financial services for the everyday consumer?
Awareness and availability to various financial instruments globally for everyone at a very low cost and with ease of process, that should not be a barrier to anyone investing at any time.
Tell us something about your hometown that you’d like to share with the world – a hidden gem?
In Mumbai, there is a place called Marine Drive, which is a beautiful spot to visit. It’s a peaceful location where one can take a stroll, pick up a coffee and sit at the promenade enjoying the sound of the waves or visit any nearby restaurant or cafe with a sea view. It looks beautiful, especially during the night.
It’s set up in a way that the street lights form a chain, and it’s usually called the Queens’ necklace because when you look at it during the evening, the street lights resemble a string of pearls in a necklace.
If anyone was thinking of working at Wahed, what would you tell them?
My journey with Wahed has been an incredible one. It’s been four years for me, but it doesn’t seem to be that long; it’s gone very quickly, and has been a wonderful experience.