#60, Why innovation requires bold leadership. Nnamdi Azodo, ALAT

Nnamdi Azodo is a product owner at ALAT by Wema Bank, Africa’s first mobile-only bank.

ALAT is a fully digital bank in Nigeria, designed to help customers save more. A savings account can totally be opened in 5 minutes with a debit card delivered.

To open an ALAT account, you need your BVN, a phone number, email address and a few documents.

Nnamdi joined Wema Bank as a youth corps member during his mandatory 1 year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) period.

After his service, he stayed on in the bank for a couple of years before being drafted into the initial 13-man team that gave birth to ALAT.

ALAT was launched on May 2nd 2017, and as at November this year they have almost 400 thousand accounts.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • The history behind Wema bank becoming a regional bank and later expanding operations to become a national bank.
  • How ALAT was ideated within the bank itself.
  • The difficulties tied to incubating a bank within a bank
  • Why did Wema bank decide to build ALAT?
  • What were the different options they tried before settling for ALAT?
  • Nnamdi thinks “innovation can be scary”. Why does he seem to think so?
  • ALAT chose to go after a small segment of the market. Find out why
  • The Nigerian banking industry is subject to numerous regulations. How were they able to scale through?
  • The challenges of innovating inside a corporate
  • The importance of simplicity in building a new product.
  • What are the differences in the culture of ALAT and that of Wema bank?
  • The cost of acquiring users and their acquisition process.
  • How they were able to modify the Paypal referral model to grow ALAT effectively
  • What are their plans to innovate for startups in the near future?
  • How to build on the infrastructure of a national bank.
  • The results, challenges and solutions of their Facebook onboarding trial
  • And more

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Episode 60