2020, The Year That Was: Abdulla Almoayed, Founder And CEO, Tarabut Gateway

Given his enterprise's focus, Almoayed likens the accelerated digital adoption the region saw in 2020 as having been a wake-up call for businesses and industries that had ignored this shift in the past.

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By Aby Sam Thomas

Tarabut Gateway
Abdulla Almoayed, founder and CEO, Tarabut Gateway

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

As the founder of the MENA's first (and largest) regulated open banking platform, Tarabut Gateway CEO Abdulla Almoayed has been eyeing the digital strides made by the region in this year as a harbinger of better things to come.

His Bahrain-headquartered enterprise, which connects a regional network of banks and fintech companies via a universal application programming interface, aims to enable financial institutions "to build a new world of financial services in the MENA." Having opened offices in the UK and recently in the UAE as well, Tarabut Gateway looks to be well on its way to helping the region tap into the open banking industry, which is set to reach a global market size of US$43 billion over the next five years.

Given his enterprise's focus, Almoayed likens the accelerated digital adoption the region saw in 2020 as having been a wake-up call for businesses and industries that had ignored this shift in the past. "Over the last year, COVID-19 has changed almost every aspect of life and business as we know it," he says. "The overarching lesson we all have learned to embrace is that the way things have always been done need not be the way things always have to be."

Related: The Year That Was: Mudassir Sheikha, Co-Founder And CEO, Careem

And that's the paradigm that Almoayed modeled his enterprise on in 2020. "Like most growing companies, the pandemic has allowed us at Tarabut Gateway to embrace remote-working, and a more collaborative and agile working environment," he reveals. "This new model provided us with greater access to talent, increased productivity, lower costs, and more individual flexibility. And when the world stood still, we focused on what we do best: build great products. In the past year, we have partnered up with several leading financial institutions in the MENA region to offer them a range of open banking products and services that pave the way for the next generation of banking. Looking ahead at the next year, one thing is certain. Data is the new treasure trove, and financial institutions are recognizing the importance of leveraging data to deliver more compelling customer experiences."

Time for introspection: Abdulla Almoayed reflects on 2020

1/ Dream beyond your boundaries "We all dream. And while we do it regularly, most of the time we dream within the boundaries of what we know. What this year has taught me is no matter how big you dream, when you come close to achieving it, you realize that you're not dreaming big enough. The mind is the greatest weapon in our personal arsenal, and we shouldn't let the fear of failure come in the way of us achieving our wildest dreams."

2/ The importance of conviction "Conviction is one of the vital keys to success in any endeavor. Starting your own business is easy. Find a product or service to sell, register your name, open a bank account, and boom, you have a business. But building a lasting and sustainable business is challenging, and needs conviction. There are highs and lows in every entrepreneur's journey, and if there's anything I learned so far, it's probably going to be the importance of believing in your vision, and strapping into the long and winding road."

Related: The Year That Was: Haleema Al Owais, CEO, Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Real Estate

Aby Sam Thomas

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  

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