CEO of Snapscan, Chris Zietsman, has a background in Accounting and Auditing, and is passionate about merging finance and technology to lighten the load for all South Africans. Founded in 2013, the business launched one of the first mobile payment apps in South Africa – combining ingenuity with Standard Bank’s impressive financial infrastructure and expertise. Starting out as the company’s Finance Officer in 2016, Chris was appointed as CEO in 2019, and Snapscan has made significant strides ever since.
In this week’s Business Unusual podcast, Ralf Fletcher, CEO of Topco Media engages in conversation with Chris Zietsman to discuss the challenges related to digital convenience, access to FinTech and staying motivated. Together, Ralf and Chris unpack themes surrounding partnerships with FinTech companies and financial institutions, E-commerce, finding opportunities to learn from every challenge faced, and building up communities. Chris provides an interesting perspective on how to network, being okay with failures along the way, and innovating to service your customer base beyond their expectations.
Key takeaways to listen out for in this podcast:
- It’s okay to pursue a different career path after completing your studies in a different field – find something that you’re really passionate about in order to serve customers to the best of your ability.
- Networking starts with you. Whether it’s with your peers or new colleagues, you need to pay attention to powerful networking resources.
- Establishing a partnership with a bank, with regards to your equity stakes, is much like steering a battleship – it’s slow to turn, not quite nimble, and takes patience.
- There are major growth opportunities in partnering with big financial companies – industry weight behind you can vouch for you in the future, access to large customer bases, and the cost of acquisition for your company is much lower.
- In business, you need to be competent in the following areas: compelling negotiation, eagerness to learn and adapt, and pay careful attention to Due Diligence procedures.
- Short term motivations are important; short term motivations lead to a propensity for long term ones – the small things matter more than you know.
- Your objectives and motivations must align with the people around you. However, try not to over-complicate things and make sure that your team is well looked after.
- Get a good grasp of your product objectives and adjust your strategy accordingly on a regular basis – there will be many failures, trial and error, and you have to learn to be okay with these growing pains in business.
- Learn to manage your mistakes so you can learn from them as much as possible.
- Culture and Competence must be emphasized and nurtured. It’s not about ‘ticking all the boxes’; it’s a collection of traits, values, experiences, and people who come together and make a business excel.
*To listen to the full podcast, please click here
Chris Zietsman previously worked at PKF South Africa, in Cape Town, before beginning his Journey at Snapscan as the Finance Officer. He studied at Stellenbosch University, obtaining a Bachelor of Accounting Degree with Honours, and specialising in Financial Accounting and Auditing. In 2020, Chris and his team at Snapscan launched the Stellenbucks Project – an initiative geared towards raising funds from local businesses with the objective to stimulate activity in the local tourism and hospitality sector after nearly 6 months of COVID-19 lockdown.