Shivam Maheshwari

10-Best-Business-Leaders-in-India-2024 logo

The Fintech Alchemist

Shivam Maheshwari

Co-Founder & CTO ,

Goals101

In a world saturated with digital noise, identifying the right challenge can lead to groundbreaking solutions that transform industries. This was the pivotal realisation that ignited the journey of Shivam Maheshwari, the visionary co-founder and CTO of Goals101. In 2016, while deeply entrenched in the financial and marketing sectors, Shivam identified critical issues plaguing brand strategies, notably concerning unverified customer data and rampant spam and bot accounts in online channels. Rather than merely recognising these challenges, Shivam perceived an opportunity for innovation. Drawing on his extensive background working with banks, NBFCs, and fintech companies, he and his co-founders, Visham Sikand, Milan Naik, and Nikhil Raj, delved into the immense reservoirs of customer demographic and transaction data held by banks.
Their insight led to the creation of the Alpha Platform, a groundbreaking solution harnessing cutting-edge AI and ML technologies. This platform swiftly became a frontrunner in the fintech landscape, redefining banking experiences. Through the Alpha Platform, Goals101 established a dynamic ecosystem where banks could unlock new revenue streams via hypertargeted customer offers. Merchants witnessed unprecedented ROI, streamlining their marketing efforts significantly. Most importantly, end customers were empowered with access to the best market deals and substantial savings on their expenditures.
Shivam’s vision and expertise not only identified industry gaps but also paved the way for a transformative solution, benefiting banks, merchants, and end customers alike. His innovation became the cornerstone of personalised, automated, and delightful banking experiences, creating a win-win scenario for all stakeholders involved. TradeFlock interviewed Shivam to understand his strategies and leadership style. 

Can you please share your personal mantra or philosophy that guides you through challenges in your entrepreneurial journey?

In my entrepreneurial journey, facing challenges has been integral to growth. My guiding philosophy centres on viewing setbacks as stepping stones, not failures. Challenges, I believe, are opportunities for profound learning and development. By embracing obstacles as catalysts for innovation, I’ve fostered a resilient, adaptable culture within our organisation. I emphasise the importance of maintaining a positive mindset; challenges, after all, inspire us to overcome and evolve. Our collective strength, viewed through the lens of determination, has enabled us to transform setbacks into innovative solutions. Navigating this labyrinth of challenges, I’ve learned that every twist and turn is a chance to redefine limits and reach new heights. In a world of constant change, my mantra remains: setbacks are opportunities for growth. This philosophy sustains our determination, fuels innovation, and keeps us focused on longterm goals, regardless of the hurdles faced.

What's your leadership style and the guiding principles for leading teams or organisations?

My leadership style is defined by adaptability, a clear strategic vision, and a commitment to data-driven decisions. In the dynamic tech and fintech landscape, I prioritise agility, ensuring our team can swiftly respond to change and seize new opportunities. A fundamental principle is setting longterm goals and communicating the broader vision, so every team member understands the purpose behind our actions. Data is our guiding light, influencing choices and empowering our clients through informed decision-making. Innovation and creativity thrive in our environment; we encourage risktaking and out-of-the-box thinking. Collaboration and inclusivity are crucial; diverse perspectives enrich our solutions. Ethical leadership is paramount; we consider the societal and environmental impacts of our tech solutions. Customer-centricity drives us, focusing on enhancing their experience. I believe in servant leadership, supporting my team’s growth and well-being. Challenges are opportunities for learning, and setbacks fuel our adaptability and resilience. Aligning our strategies with long-term goals and market trends ensures purposeful efforts.

Describe a challenging situation your company faced and how you overcame it.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, our company faced a significant challenge as clients paused contracts due to economic uncertainty. We responded with a people-centric approach: no layoffs, and job security was emphasised, even for those with delayed job offers. We established a medical fund for emergencies and founders, and senior management took pay cuts. Temporary salary reductions were implemented but fully reimbursed post-recovery. These actions ensured high employee retention, showcasing the effectiveness of a compassionate, family-oriented strategy during challenging times.

Explain your decision-making process for complex, high-stakes situations in leadership.

In my decision-making process, I gather extensive information, define clear goals, and encourage diverse input for innovative solutions. When evaluating options based on data, I prioritise collaboration, swift execution, and continuous evaluation. For complex scenarios, I use scenario analysis and structured frameworks like cost-benefit analysis. Mitigation strategies and contingency plans are essential for highstakes decisions, ensuring agile responses to unexpected outcomes. This systematic and collaborative approach allows us to navigate complex decisions effectively, aligning choices with long-term goals and values.

How do you encourage your team's creativity and risk-taking in technology?

In our organisation, innovation is not just a goal but a deeply ingrained ethos, cultivated through a multifaceted approach. We prioritise the nurturing of creativity, celebrating unconventional thinking and maintaining open lines of communication where diverse ideas are actively encouraged. Our cross-functional teams, built with a mix of skills and perspectives, foster collaborative problem-solving, ensuring every voice is not only heard but valued. We empower our team members to experiment and take calculated risks, understanding that failures are invaluable learning experiences. Innovation is not just a buzzword but a quantifiable part of our team’s roles, incentivized and acknowledged through tangible rewards. We provide dedicated resources, including time, budget, and training, ensuring our team stays at the forefront of technological advancements. We celebrate successes and view setbacks as opportunities for growth, maintaining a profitsharing model that directly links our team’s efforts with organisational success. This holistic approach ensures our organisation thrives on innovation, driving our continuous growth and success.







     







       







         







           







             







               







                 







                   







                     







                       







                         







                           







                             







                               







                                 

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