Business Development activities extend across multiple fields, including Marketing, Sales, Project and Product Management, networking, negotiations as well as searching for new partnerships to improve the overall business. It is a challenging job, which requires alignment of different departments in order to achieve goals such as market expansion, new user acquisition and brand awareness. In the first interview of the “Meet the Team” series, Bankera‘s VP of Business Development – Craig Grant – talks about his everyday job and his search for unexplored market opportunities for digital banking.
Hi, Craig! Could you tell Bankera’s community more about yourself?
Hi everyone! I’m Craig Grant and most of you know me as the Vice President of Business Development here at Bankera. I grew up in London, where I graduated from the University of Salford with a degree in Business and Gaming Management. Since graduating from University in 2011, I’ve continuously been involved in the Payments and Finance sectors, working with great companies, like Skrill, Paysafe group, ProgressPlay, and Currencycloud. Within these companies, I have held numerous different roles and worked with many clients to establish and build long term partnerships. My experience ranges from generating leads and converting them to clients, managing relationships with key stakeholders and companies, to developing and implementing sales strategies. I have also managed a portfolio that was generating over $16 million in revenue, and I have received awards for innovation and excellence. Each and every opportunity that I have had in my previous jobs has assisted me in developing my knowledge and expertise of this industry, and I am very excited to bring all of the experience to Bankera.
How did you find out about Bankera and what were your expectations in the very beginning?
I’d previously worked as a consultant on other projects with the CEO, Vytautas Karalevičius, and when they showed me the white paper for Bankera, I was immediately drawn to it. I knew there was something different about it, something that other projects missed. So, when the opportunity presented itself to me, I had to come on board! What really struck me, was how banks had neglected the way technology had advanced over the years. They were still stuck in the 90’s and were using outdated platforms, so we could use this to build on Bankera’s vision: we could truly change the way people bank in the future. As for as expectations go, as I’d previously worked with the CEO, I was optimistic that this was going to be a great project and, after meeting the team, I knew I was in the right place!
With your background in mind, I assume you got asked by lots of crypto projects to be on their team. What made you pick Bankera / Spectrocoin and what did they have that the others didn’t?
When I first heard about Bankera, I was instantly attracted to Bankera’s vision of digital banking. Unlike others, they not only had ideas, but they were already backed with a strong suite of products that had been running for over five years. Our MVP, SpectroCoin, is able to give us a great footprint to help take Bankera to the next level. Our team is what makes this project work! Our team works tirelessly to develop our products, market them to the media but, most importantly, they are here to support each other in making sure that Bankera is a success and will reach its goal to become a bank for the Blockchain era.
How did your background prepare you for a Business Development position here?
In order for Bankera to grow and be successful, we need to make sure we are constantly searching for partnerships to enhance our already established payments products. My previous roles have given me all the tools and knowledge to be able to do this with excellence for Bankera. Build and implement custom sales strategies is key to this and, luckily, I was in a position to do this in the past with positive results. One of my strengths is building strong relationships with key stakeholders and bringing this to a new market is something that drives me to succeed. I also think that identifying key market trends and where the unexplored market opportunities are, is something that will help me with my day-to-day role here at Bankera.
What are the most important factors when evaluating possible partnerships for Bankera and how do you decide which ones are worth pursuing?
When researching new companies for partnership opportunities, I often use competitor analysis and market size to determine if its a partnership that will be beneficial to both parties. If that’s the case, then I’ll explore further. This way, I can see the gaps in our products and where we can improve the most. An example would be looking at prepaid card providers. We all know people want a way to spend their crypto, so at Bankera we are looking into the companies that have a reputable business in this space, along with the financial backing of larger institutions. This way, we know we are providing the best products for our customers, and, hopefully, this puts us ahead of our competitors in the era of Digital Banking.
What are you working on right now and what are your expectations for this year?
Right now, I’m working on partnerships with a new card issuer and an additional payment processor – as these are two areas where a partnership can enhance our services and give more to our customers. We have also had some great conversations with innovative companies working in this business area, who have agreed to partner with us. I can’t announce those just yet, but keep looking at our blog and I promise you’ll see them!
What is Bankera doing to drive revenue and meet its forecast?
Nobody really knew if Bitcoin would continue to grow at an insane rate or if at some stage it would crash. Unfortunately, the latter happened. As a way to counter this market, we decided to build our own exchange, as we saw this as a huge revenue driver for the future. This is no easy task, given all the security and infrastructure needed to ensure that our customers assets are safe, and, furthermore, that our exchange gives our customers what they need – which other exchanges don’t! Also, we are constantly working to drive new partnerships and opportunities to meet those revenue targets.
Hopefully, you learned some new things about our VP of Business Development, Craig. Our “Meet the Team” series returns next week!
Let’s work together and explore what digital banking has to offer!