It is my belief that if the government decides to shift towards cleaner sources of energy, private companies will be the first to step up and indeed prioritise this. And this in turn will be reflected on the country’s GDP and create new sources of revenue.

Digital disruption has been creating quite a stir globally. Talk us through how you think it might impact Kuwait’s economy.?

It is fair to note that digital advancements have already impacted Kuwait’s economy.  COVID19 especially, forced companies to turn to digital solutions to survive and continue operating their businesses. In terms of payments, Kuwait has already seen an increase in online transactions. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, 6.2 KWD Billion was spent online – jumping from 2.7 KWD Billion from the same period in 2020 (a 130% increase). This is aided by the high online penetration of youth – the majority.

Banks too, on a local level are now innovating and increasing their attention towards online payments. Although, once open banking becomes a reality in Kuwait – we will see a considerable shift and action towards the online payments ecosystem.

 

One of the measures that organizations are taking to become more digitally agile is by forming new partnerships. What are your thoughts on it?

At UPayments, we believe in the crucial role of partnerships. As such, we have formed partnerships and integrations with over seven 3rd party providers in different fields. This stems from our promise of building and providing a fully encompassing ecosystem. 

Simply put, this is because we believe in specialisation: every partner is specialised in what they do best, so the logic dictates that their sets of knowledge precedes ours in the sector they operate in.

 

What kind of role do you think social commitment is going to play in an organization’s culture in the future?

Each company and person is responsible to provide and give back to society. As an organisation, to contribute and give back to society – the global society – which we are a part of, is a necessity, as it advances the mindsets and empowers its people. In the past, UPayments has taken up social commitments such as collaborating with UNCHR, as well as campaigning for the people of Lebanon during their terrible ordeal. 

At this moment, UPayments is now advocating for the cause of public transport in Kuwait, by sponsoring and building a bus station through our cooperation with the local initiative Kuwait Commute.

 

Kuwait has been no stranger to the challenges posed by climate change. How important do you think it is for organizations in the country to put this threat on top of their agendas?

The reality in Kuwait is that our main source of revenue comes from oil, and we live in a welfare state whereby such initiatives do not come to fruition without the support of the Government.

It is my belief that if the government decides to shift towards cleaner sources of energy, private companies will be the first to step up and indeed prioritise this. And this in turn will be reflected on the country’s GDP and create new sources of revenue.  

At UPayments, we encourage employees to bring their own non-plastic water bottles, recycle stations in our offices to support the local initiatives in this regard. 

 

Based on the recent global developments, how confident do you think CEOs in Kuwait are with regard to their growth prospects?

From a digitalisation aspect, growth prospects are already improving. To operate and run a business, to make crucial decisions, to manage employees, all requires you to be connected in our digital age. 

But this in turn increases growth prospects from other areas: you can hire top talent all over the world, as remote work is becoming the norm. You can set online meetings with people and entities globally – from the comfort of your seat. That alone speaks volumes towards where we are headed.

Finally, CEO’s of the older generation should truly listen to younger upcoming talents and give them the chance and space to innovate and create - because this is where all growth stems from.