My guest today is Oliver Hughes, the CEO of Tinkoff, the leading online commercial bank based in Russia. I found this conversation fascinating and think it will be essential for anyone who wants to understand online financial services or the next generation of fintech. Our conversation touches on how Tinkoff used direct mail campaigns to become the largest online banking provider in Russia, their last-mile delivery platform that combines couriers with door-to-door salesmen, and how they build profitability into every aspect of the business. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Oliver Hughes.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/72486324/hughes-the-secret-fintech-giant
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[00:02:44] – [First question] – The origins of Tinkoff
[00:06:18] – How they started and stayed profitable, and lessons learned
[00:08:18] – Bringing Visa to Russia and what he took with him to Tinkoff
[00:10:02] – Overall Credit card and Tinkoff's specifically business model
[00:12:35] – Running an effective direct mail acquisition campaign
[00:15:45] – Branching off from the original core credit card business into other spaces
[00:18:45] – How he thinks about when to make competing investments
[00:21:00] – Embedding into new businesses and how it goes wrong
[00:24:50] – How they became a large door-to-door business in Russia
[00:27:55] – Why that door-to-door business makes it hard to compete with them
[00:29:38] – Challenges in the payments business
[00:32:25] – Using content to help them grow their business
[00:35:29] – Competitive frontiers for Tinkoff and how often they shift
[00:38:45] – What the future of Tinkoff might look like and the Russian business environment
[00:41:55] – State of the market in Russia today
[00:45:27] – Recruiting talent and building culture
[00:47:55] – What he enjoys most about his job
[00:49:14] – Failures and lessons from them
[00:52:00] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him