Dmitrij Pruglo serves as the pioneering CEO of Finyard, an innovative software solutions provider helping global brands offer cutting-edge applications to their clients. Five years ago, the founding team began building their first products focused on blockchain technology and digital assets. This experience laid the foundations for what would become Finyard today – one of Europe’s fastest growing fintech software developers.
In this exclusive interview, we will discuss Finyard’s origins, Pruglo’s leadership philosophy, how the company innovates, and key insights for other FinTech firms looking to make their mark.
To begin, please take us back to Finyard’s beginnings. What motivated you to start this company and what were those early days like?
My co-founder Tim and I initially started by identifying the huge potential in blockchain and developing a platform called Covesting in the emerging digital asset space. This company was one of the first to attain a coveted Distributed Ledger Technology licence. However, we decided to broaden the spectrum of services and products offered. This pivot marked the birth of Finyard; a truly global software development firm that focuses on creating innovative bespoke SaaS solutions, suitable for the modern and ever-changing finance and technology landscapes.
You place immense importance on company culture and values. Why this focus and how do you nurture it?
People achieve incredible things when energised by shared purpose. I knew unlocking our team’s potential required an inspiring culture where everyone feels empowered to create, take risks and grow. We actively nurture this through open communication, transparency, celebrating innovation and professional development investments.
What would you say are Finyard’s most important company values?
First is daring ambition – we set hugely audacious goals then equip our teams to achieve them. Second is caring deeply about people, including employees, partners and clients. When you show genuine care, you build trust and community. Third and finally is continuous learning and growth at both individual and company levels. Complacency kills innovation so we stay hungry.
As a younger firm, how are you able to attract top talent to compete with more established players? What is your strategy here?
We realise we can’t match the brand prestige or compensation levels of a Goldman Sachs yet. So we compete on culture, vision and potential for impact. Top professionals want inspiration, autonomy and growth. By fostering a highly empowering, entrepreneurial and learning-focused culture, we become magnetic for ambitious talents seeking to transform finance on their own terms without bureaucracy constraints. Our agility and bold vision excite those hungry to drive real change.
What are some signature elements of Finyard’s culture that set it apart?
One is exceptionally open, candid communication across all levels. Every voice matters here. Another is constantly pushing ourselves into uncomfortable zones of high challenge, high support where incredible growth happens. Finally, I’d say aggressive goal-setting and innovation. We move boldly which builds momentum.
Finyard develops a lot of proprietary solutions. Walk us through your approach to innovation.
We immerse deeply to understand clients’ needs and industry dynamics, then ideate without restraint. Every idea, no matter how outlandish, gets recorded during brainstorms. The best solutions often seem crazy at first! Then we rapidly test concepts before constructing minimal viable products and immediately testing those with users. Quick cycles of conception, feedback and evolution yield outstanding results.
What emerging technologies or market needs are you most excited about?
I’m fascinated by decentralised finance which expands access and control. Embedded banking also holds promise to integrate financial services directly into apps and platforms. And solutions leveraging AI for personalisation and predictive insights will continue disrupting investment and wealth management. We plan big investments here.
Many of your solutions utilise cutting-edge technology like AI, big data and blockchain. Why the focus on advanced tools?
If we only offer “me too” solutions, we waste our talents while competitors overtake us. We attract incredibly smart technical and creative staff hungry to build the future. So we foster a “science lab” environment for them to tinker. Our teams get energised solving complex problems with emerging tech. This lets us continuously deliver unprecedented innovations.
What are the biggest challenges you see for FinTech firms today when it comes to innovation?
First, balancing advanced capabilities with accessible, friendly user experiences – complexity scares people. Second, effectively leveraging troves of data for personalisation while respecting privacy. Third is building trust and transparency so clients understand solutions. And finally, cybersecurity threats are growing exponentially so firms must vigilantly protect systems and data.
Partnerships with larger institutions seem crucial to Finyard’s model. How do you form these mutually beneficial relationships?
Absolutely, partnerships amplify our impact. We target players needing agile, rapid innovation but lacking internal digital expertise to achieve it alone. Our track record and client outcomes speak loudly. But relationships still depend on trust and perceived shared values. We invest substantially in culture messaging and materials to convey our purpose, principles and caring for people.
What advice would you give other founders in FinTech looking to grow partnerships with larger brands?
Start by thoroughly understanding target partners’ pain points, objectives and constraints. Articulate clearly how you’ll further their goals. Co-create solutions so they feel invested in outcomes. Build relationships championing your partnership inside their organisation. Convey your trustworthiness through materials showcasing values, social impact, transparency, etc. And importantly, overdeliver on initial projects to build authority.
Regulation and compliance are major obstacles for FinTech firms. How do you efficiently navigate these while remaining focused on innovation?
We’ve built formidable legal and compliance teams who efficiently handle complex regulatory demands across markets. They form guardrails enabling innovation teams to create within established boundaries. We also take an educational approach – all employees undergo immersive compliance training so they can self-govern day-to-day. This frees our experts to rapidly vet innovative ideas and new products.
Looking ahead, what emerging innovations in FinTech most excite you? How will these shape financial services?
Several macro trends electrify me. Embedded banking where financial tools integrate directly into other apps and sites to provide tremendous convenience. Open data ecosystems allowing unprecedented personalisation. Democratised investing thanks to micro-investing apps and social trading platforms. And AI which will eventually enable near-instant complex problem solving to optimise portfolios.
If you gaze into the future, where do you see FinTech in 5-10 years? What role does Finyard play in this landscape?
Financial services will transform into seamlessly embedded, hyper-personalised experiences fully integrated into our digital lives. Finyard will lead this revolution through boundary-pushing innovations enhancing access, understanding and control. We will infiltrate partnerships across sectors to spread prosperity. And our solutions will amplify prosperity worldwide, especially for disadvantaged communities.
How will global events like inflation, recession fears, supply chain issues, etc. impact FinTech innovation? Do obstacles spur more innovation?
Turbulence breeds opportunity. Crises force reinvention and pull innovative solutions from adversity. While challenging periods can constrain spending, leading firms focus investment on products driving differentiation and efficiency. Supply chain woes have spiked interest in predictive analytics, scenario modelling, even blockchains for transparency. And economic worries make personal financial apps essential.
ESG initiatives are increasingly important to investors and consumers. How big a priority is this social impact for Finyard?
Social impact lives at our core, guiding all we create. Our solutions promote financial inclusion, transparency, economic mobility and security. We actively support non-profits closing opportunity gaps with technology. And our culture and policies ensure sustainable, ethical operations. Doing good and driving change matters profoundly here. Our people demand and drive it.
You seem to put tremendous emphasis on professional development and learning. Why is this so integral to Finyard’s culture and performance?
Continuous learning guarantees relevance and excellence. Given FinTech’s blistering pace, skills and knowledge must constantly upgrade. We invest substantially in development while encouraging employee-driven education through collaboration. Expertise sharing becomes a force multiplier, amplifying individual and collective capabilities over time. This pays perpetual dividends through innovation.
Diversity and inclusion are growing focuses across the tech sector. How do you foster this within Finyard’s culture and policies?
Diversity powers innovation so we actively nurture inclusion. Our talent teams strive for representative hiring across gender, ethnicity, age and thought. We constantly review policies and benefits to support different groups and life stages. Training raises cultural consciousness. Employee resource groups share experiences, ideas and connections. And we benchmark compensation to ensure equal opportunity. Progress remains imperfect but we are committed to keep advancing diversity, equity and belonging.
If you had a single piece of advice to offer other founders of FinTech firms hoping to leave their own mark on the industry, what would it be?
Never lose the fire that forged your company despite growing in scale. The drive and hunger that compelled you to take risks and chase audacious dreams must persist despite success. Instil this restless innovation spirit across your culture. Safe is doomed – stay boldly curious, creative and even a bit crazy as you scale. This above all else sustains magic.
Special thanks goes to Dmitrij Pruglo for this insightful discussion on Finyard’s journey, culture, and future vision. Those interested to learn more about the company’s innovative FinTech solutions that deliver efficiency, transparency and financial access should visit the Finyard website.
With advanced proprietary offerings across data analytics, digital transactions, banking infrastructure and cutting-edge areas like AI and Blockchain, Finyard stands poised to continue disrupting the industry under Pruglo’s ambitious and purpose-led leadership. We look forward to witnessing the next chapter unfold in this promising firm’s trajectory.
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.