Indigo FX CEO Kirpal Ubhoo discusses the future of money transfers and how businesses and individuals benefit from working with a dedicated FX specialist.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I have always been passionate about the financial industry and business in general. After I cut my teeth as a Foreign Exchange sales executive upon graduation from City, University of London, I knew FX was the sector in which I wanted to establish myself. I felt that there was a niche for a FX broker that went the extra mile in terms of client service – in other words doing more than just offering bank-beating rates. So, I struck out on my own and founded Indigo FX in 2012.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes. My siblings are all very enterprising and possess a strong drive to create that what we inherited from our parents. My father used to run a clothes stall at various markets in London and I would work 7 days a week growing his own business in the retail space. I vividly remember going with him to help whenever I was a young boy. This sowed a strong work ethos and entrepreneurial seed in my mind from a young age.
FX brokerage is a competitive market: what sets you apart from your competitors?
At Indigo, we work extremely hard to build a relationship with our clients. We like to really understand their business from the bottom up and often we also work with their suppliers and repeat customers as well. This helps us to add value to their business model, rather than simply just offering good FX rates. We are always looking to innovate too: we have a great online platform and offer currency accounts, which our clients love.
What challenges have you faced so far?
The regulatory environment is constantly changing, and in general, FX is coming under more and more scrutiny. Keeping up with this change has been a challenge but we pride ourselves on being ahead of the curve and have invested heavily in excellent compliance systems and people. Next, the markets themselves are constantly changing – be it the Brexit referendum, Trump becoming president or Eurozone elections – creating volatile conditions that even professional traders struggle with. We work hard to provide our clients with the information and analysis they need to navigate these times.
What was your first breakthrough?
My first breakthrough was with a large corporate client that had traditionally used its house bank for its currency requirements. The client thought that it would be far too complicated to send currency to a broker to carry out the transaction. I persuaded him to do it and the process went smoothly, showing his company substantial savings. He was delighted with it all and told me so. That really gave me the confidence to go through the gears at Indigo FX. Clients can be reluctant to change, especially when it comes to trusting others with their money. I particularly like that we can show them that change can be a very positive thing, saving them a lot of money in the process!
Finally, what is your advice to anyone trying to start their own business?
In my view, it is important for anyone starting a business to be clear from the beginning on what product or service they want to deliver to what type of customer. They effectively have to decide exactly what their niche is and what their competitive advantage is within that space. After that, it is a combination of hard work, resilience and self-belief to get to the point of delivering this product or service to that customer-base in the most consistent, repeatable and economical way possible.
Kirpal Ubhoo, Indigo FX, CEO