Head for the Hills — Circle the Wagons — Pull up the Drawbridge!
A conversation with Alistair Baillie COO of Taina Technology, a RegTech start-up on a mission to help financial institutions with their regulatory compliance”.
In the foreshock of the Coronavirus lockdown many became confused by mixed messages, like those in the title, from companies unsure how to prepare for what might happen.
There is an adage “Crisis does not build character, it reveals it.” Pedro and Alistair discuss this observation and the effective action taken by Taina.tech, implementing their own planned response to the lockdown in the days before it occurred. They also reflect a little on the fortune and responsibilities of those able to work from home.
Porting laptops, monitors, keyboards and stuff on the daily commute is hardly unusual. But in the days shortly before lockdown, such devices and others similar, were to be seen migrating in numbers from central London to the suburbs and beyond. Alistair and his team of experienced professionals based at Level39 - London’s most connected tech community, were no exception.
“Our distributed and VPN technology means that even working from home, none of our working procedures have dramatically changed”, said Alistair, “because we had a tested BCP plan” and also this interview took place via video-conference, extensively used at Taina, especially now. “We decided to buy one new monitor and other team members delivered necessary documents and equipment to colleagues who couldn’t get out of their homes for one reason or another.” Alistair added, “it’s very much part of our culture; people pitch in and love to help each other out”.
During the interview Pedro learned that for Alistair, Yoga is something of a family business (Baillirina Yoga!). To help keep morale up and spirits high in his team, Alistair established an aerobics and Yoga class exclusively for their benefit. Alistair explained that this brings, remotely of course, “a Jubilee Line rhythm with which everybody is familiar but in the comfort of their own living room.”
“Who is open as usual? There is no such thing”, observed Alistair “One way or another we are all impacted by this outbreak and unfortunately, we have friends that may lose their jobs, because they work in other sectors that are intrinsically vulnerable right now. Our best wishes are certainly with them. “At Taina we are grateful for having an outstanding service product that enables us to work and do business, normally, from home.”
Pedro noted that Alistair, to his credit, brings a strong social consciousness to his commercial outlook “there will be a duty for those who remain employed to contribute to others’ future employability.” He said, “at the end of the day, as a software company, code is still written by people. The concerns people face now in their own lives are reflected in their company’s output. If we are not able to talk about the vulnerabilities, we face like this, understand our strengths, or acknowledge our human weaknesses, how can we move on; how can we ever develop greater resilience in our personal and business lives?”
This resilience, Pedro noted, connects with something that captured his attention in the Taina website, which described one of Taina’s many product attributes; it read, “Strengthen Resilience in Times of Challenge” and how this seemed to Pedro very relevant particularly at present. Vesuvio Labs certainly believes that Taina, led by Maria Scott CEO is emerging stronger out of these extraordinary times. “By way of track record,” said Alistair, “Taina has just welcomed a new customer last weekend and this was due to the resilience in helping each other in the shared cause of digitizing financial regulation. The new customer’s traffic significantly increased and our platform coped fine. With this example in mind, yes, Taina is hiring people”.
Finally, returning to the subject of work-life balance in the future when some form of “normal” returns for everyone at Taina, Alistair underlined the importance of gathering like-minded people to share a vision which aims to onboard new clients on a regular basis. Alistair commented, “the world, and particularly the business world, is in a completely different condition compared to a few months ago. Many things have changed, many businesses have lowered their activities, but we all continue to shop and make payments online and in-stores. Our financial institutions remain up and running providing banking & insurance services, so their need for our Regtech services is more pertinent than ever.”
Vesuvio Labs would like to thank Maria Scott CEO for this interview and Alistair Baillie COO for kindly sharing his thoughts.
TAINA or Tax Artificial Intelligence Network Agent — is a RegTech start-up with a mission to help financial institutions comply with their regulatory requirements whilst saving costs, eliminating operational risk, providing full audit trail and enhancing customers’ journeys.
Vesuvio Labs is a Venture builder based in London for the Insurance and Finance sector, helping entrepreneurs by accelerating the process of turning their ideas into scalable products through our flexible, low-code software architecture.
In addition, we can connect entrepreneurs with investors, tax & legal advisors and to the wider tech ecosystem.