Spotlight on - Susan Falola
At Spotlight, we got the opportunity to talk to Susan Falola, CEO and Creative Director of JUUBIX LTD.
Having worked in finance, marketing and project management for several years, I have been CEO / Creative Director to both my Edtech & Fintech businesses. I have actively been involved and focused on using innovative technology such as blockchain, augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence to underpin my ideas and creations. With an enhanced cognitive ability, and a real passion for diversity and inclusion, I have successfully managed a diversified ad-hoc team of 24 members with 10 members having the senior experience to my own standing. Now I seek to develop and disrupt financial markets with my innovative eco-system called JUUBIX, a SaaS Fintech cloud-based solution for internal and external collaboration activities. Connecting ideas, to expertise and investment, JUUBIX acts as your jukebox for selecting matched collaborators and stakeholders creating real-time connections, shuffling them like a Rubik cube across sectors and disciplines. Now everyone can feel inclusive and JUUBIX their way to the top! JUUBIX the multi-sector fintech solution, a back end metric (white label) for existing platforms, connecting them based on matched criteria and pooling resources by sector, common values and interest; JUUBIX calculates liquid networks to provide a robust ecosystem for innovative collaboration.
After 5 years within my Edtech startup, I quickly realised how hard it is to onboard the right expertise and to gain investment. It was shortly after this I congregated with a few men who discussed their journeys and achievements, we were able to connect on certain aspects and that is when it dawned on me that connectivity only adds value when common synergies and interests are found. Returning to my home with a severe headache and after a few beers I started using Google to search keywords that explained connectivity, then I embarked on branding my solution coming up with names like Configboo, FragmentedBalance, Dotbase (should have trademarked haha) and then, of course, the ureka name JUUBIX. Being an opportunist and serial creative from a young age helped me to always want more knowledge into various sectors, this is when I took my first steps into the Fintech world! Starting by going to conferences like ServiceNow and Accenture, if you can see the amount of lanyards! I was quickly submerged into the Fintech culture.
Overcoming challenges and setbacks
I think my biggest challenge was raising investment and getting the right technical expertise to carry out my innovative forward-thinking ideas. I was always told that my ideas were too complex or too futuristic, but I always thought ahead of time and inspired by Elon Musk; who has the lion share of the electric market now? I guess, what I am trying to say is that we can all dream to be the big Facebooks or Amazon’s of the world but what makes us unique. Another drawback was the loss of my mother, who always advised me to do better and made me determined to keep going. Emotional factors are a big aspect of growth in career and business so having to carry on while in pain, really strengthened my resilience and made me even more determined than ever.
Having children at a very young age helped me to understand that my success is also their success, and just seeing their cute faces each day while mum continued to strive on really helped and supported me. My close female friend group also played a massive part in uplifting me, cheering me on and of course dealing with my emotional turmoil which engulfed my state of mind.
JUUBIX is as important as butter on bread, The JUUBIX positioning doesn’t discriminate and offers benefits to all, bringing opportunities to the masses and further translating the unbanked into the banked! I have always been passionate about people who are diverse in sex, race, age, size, qualification because I truly believe there is a lot to be learnt by talking to various different perspectives.
My hunger for success gives me the drive to succeed! I just will not back down, people are everything and everything is people. Without key workers in society, there is no society, so this alone was a great incentive for me to keep moving and building those heavy blocks. Another thing that made me determined to succeed was my own life story and how I could use that to channel my ideas. I quickly saw the similarities in both my Edtech and Fintech businesses with inclusion and diversity being at the heart.
Life lessons and tips
How to delegate has always been a major challenge for me, as I often didn’t know how to give moderate feedback, instead, I would just carry out the work alone because of the high-level creations I had envisioned.
Your career is you, so do what you feel passionate about and where you feel you will mostly fit in. Don’t conform to rules and regulations that do not sit right with you, if you know it can be done better speak up or do it yourself externally. Self-care is the best care, always put your well being first!
Use JUUBIX to connect to relevant expertise and investment, make your business hold value from the outset based on your participation. Be Courageous, Be Confident, You are the best and no one can tell you otherwise. The best advice I have been given is that patience and understanding make you have many friends, and emotion drives away your opportunities.
To be a leader you need to believe in change, you need to want to drive change and you need to listen to people who may work under you. They are your biggest allies. Learn to delegate, delegate, delegate! I am still learning this one now as we speak.
Formula to success
I do believe there is a formula to success and others may think I am wrong but you don’t just wake up one day and say I want to be an entrepreneur. It is a natural thing that is embedded in you. Ultimately you are the value whether at work or in a business, make your value speak volumes.
There are highs and lows in any job, for me meeting people and listening to their stories makes it all worthwhile. I enjoy working with innovative technologies that could really help transform the world we currently live in which is full of pollution, poverty, biases and greed. On the downside sometimes I resent not being able to have much fun!
Business strategy during COVID
Since JUUBIX is a digital company, the pandemic didn’t really affect resources as the whole team worked remotely. Covid19 even highlighted why the JUUBIX proposition is needed now more than before and going forward in case of future eventualities. An idea I came up with for a team meeting was to have a 10min workout, followed by a 10min quiz then discuss the business affairs.