Mental Model Dōjō TV: Agile Success Stories – UOB Finlab Felix Tan

What makes UOB’s Finlab not just yet another bank accelerator unit, is its unique focus in helping SMEs with its SME accelerator program. I asked Felix Tan, MD of Finlab to share us the story behind the focus and their highly successful program, now in Thailand and Malaysia as well.

It’s a one hour plus interview but there’s a lot of learning and should be well worth setting aside time to watch. How Felix sensed with urgency that the fintech accelerator space was rapidly saturating into a “red ocean,” how he looked into his organization’s core competencies to seek for client serving opportunities of strong value, the immediate first step to go listen to customers en masse, his humor on the failures and many learnings on the way, and finally the balance that he shows on meeting the needs of customers, partners and stakeholders – quite a lot of food for thought in thinking the same in one’s own organizational context.

Highlights from the 65 minute video interview (min:sec):

00:15 Finlab genesis
02:55 Red ocean
04:35 SME opportunity identified
10:00 50 customer interviews
13:30 Common threads identified
18:10 SME accelerator pilot launch
32:20 Learnings from pilot (part 1)
43:30 How we ended up in Thailand & Malaysia
47:10 Learnings from pilot (part 2)
48:10 Watch or phone analogy
56:20 What’s in it for UOB

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