Our interview with BankMobile’s Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Luvleen Sidhu on the M1 Podcast (Ep. 13)
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- Product Leadership /
It comes down to always having a clear vision on where you want to go then have a strategy in achieving this vision.
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Here are the highlights of our conversation with our guest:
- Luvleen shares how her desire to have a positive impact to the society drove her to find ways to explore means of doing so. Government is a good vehicle to serve as a catalyst to change but she later found out that a combination of business and exponential growth in technology can positivity impact—from local to global – people’s lives. She had always been drawn to leadership roles and this was the start on how this father-daughter duo disrupted the mobile banking industry.
- Learning how working in Lehman Brothers and her exposure in Wharton stirred up the entrepreneurial bug in her. Business school had provided Luvleen exposure in case study methods analyzing how start-ups address unmet needs and this inspired and started her entrepreneurial journey.
- From a corporate job in investment banking to financial services consulting, Luvleen took the leap to working full time in BankMobile and was successful. She shares how they did this by starting with the non-subjective things such as looking at the market and their current behavior like interacting with their banks via mobile; identifying the opportunities the current banking model; and instituting the BOYB concept to grow and scale exponentially.
- Luvleen shares it is good to have a goal in mind work towards that goal but it is also essential to have the flexibility to pivot and experiment. From testers and concepts, she mentions that they got to their first milestones through marketing innovations such as digital advertising, word of mouth, PR and content development.
- About her book, ‘Why Can’t Banks Be As Easy As Uber?’, her motivation in getting it out and how it is an extension of her passion to get the community to be aware of the gaps in the current system and how they can look forward to a more futuristic banking.
- About their College BankMobilist Program, a nationwide campus ambassador program where they run workshops and seminars to educate students to make the best financial decisions in their lives. Luvleen shares details on this program which is a means of how to spread financial education across America and an extension of her passion to the education realm.
- How mobile has allowed them to scale, enable their mission and improve banking experience through things like biometrics and geolocation.
- Their main focus in BankMobile: make banking as effortless as possible and add value to consumers moment by moment by utilizing what technologies are out there to proactively identify the current market hurdles for banking to be more than just money management to help people in a day-to-day basis.
- How the elections impact the mobile banking market and Luvleen’s hopes in the coming administration.
- The things she is excited about in the future of mobile banking with the technology that we have in our fingertips which is untapped by the banking industry.
Rapid Fire Questions
- What is your definition of innovation?
Innovation has two components: First, the product should be more affordable, easier to use, has a model that should be sustainable and overall, should be a better product than one that currently exists in the market. And, no matter how good a product is, if you do not have customer acquisition and retention strategy, it does not matter at the end of the day. Your innovation has to have these to be a disruptor.
- Would you put more emphasis on the idea or the execution? How would you weigh each of them and why?
The ideal situation is that you have a good idea and execute well but no one has ever been successful with a great idea and lousy execution. I think a mediocre idea with excellent execution will lead to great success so I would say 80%-85% execution, 15%-20% idea.
- What is your biggest learning lesson on your journey so far?
It comes down to always having a clear vision on where you want to go then have a strategy in achieving this vision. But my biggest learning is that you should be open to the fact that that strategy and vision should be open to change and you have to be flexible and open-minded because without this, you can lose an opportunity of where you want to go.
- What is your favorite business book?
The Third Wave by Steve Case
- What is your favorite digital resource?
Tech section of the New York Times
- What is your favorite app and why?
- What is the coolest thing that you are working on right now that you want everyone to know about?
We are rolling out the next innovation of the BankMobile app coming out on December 8th with the most exponentially better user experience that I’m so excited in bringing to the market.