Shaper: Sacha Zackariya

Show aired on 21st April 2018

Transcript

Sacha Zackariya

Sacha has a BEng in Engineering from the University of Warwick, a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Economics from the University of London, as well as an MBA International Business Administration from INSEAD. He speaks four languages: English, French, German and Dutch. At the age of 17, Sacha began an international career working in New York, Paris and London, before winning a scholarship with Motorola, joining Invensys plc and working for Boeing and Airbus. He was initially involved with business development before becoming CEO of the family founded business, ChangeGroup – an international foreign exchange service. Sacha has lived and worked in many of the Group’s countries establishing new operations. He is an active member of the Young President’s Organisation, which aims to create better leaders through education and knowledge sharing between CEOs.

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“I studied so much because I liked partying. It’s the only way of describing it. Either that or I was a masochist for extra studies.”

“My mother painstakingly put together the business and then my father and I went alongside her and supported the growth of the business over the twenty five years.”

“Everyone is now talking about Fintech, but twenty five years ago that word didn’t exist. That’s exactly what we were doing – providing an alternative to the banking arrangements that were in countries from Finland to Iceland to Australia to the US.”

“I invested the money that I earned from my day job in engineering and from taking out bank loans and various bits and pieces – you beg, borrow and steal.”

“We are now in thirteen countries. We cover Australia, the US and North America and basically we have about a hundred and ten wholly owned branches.”

“We are fortunate that we’ve got people who have joined us as sales consultants and worked their way all the way through management up to Board Directors. We’ve got great support teams which we are very proud of.”

“It is only when you land in a country you suddenly realise ‘oops I’ve got to deal with these people’ and it’s not good enough to try and speak English. You suddenly realise ‘hey, international business does mean you’ve got to learn these languages’.”

“I love interacting with people around the world. That’s one of the great things about the planet: people, travelling and the opportunities that come about because of low cost airlines.”

“It’s about having the right people – our staff go through a four month training programme in order to get across the values that we espouse which are: inclusivity and respecting difference of nationalities.”

“There’s real excitement when you go into a new territory and I say ‘oh what’s this all about, how do I get my head around that?’”