Startup Spotlight: DIFX Co-Founder And CEO Jeetu Kataria Is Aiming To Establish A New Financial Order With Digital Currencies

"Our long-term goal is to establish a new financial order in which digital currency is used to settle transactions directly."

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With more than a decade of experience working in financial markets, investment banking, and corporate finance, lifelong multi-asset trader and venture capitalist Jeetu Kataria remembers feeling "overwhelmed with the implausibility of trading on different platforms for different assets," and finding it "extremely inconvenient to continue switching between digital and traditional assets, such as commodities, forex, stocks, and indices after investing in digital assets." This frustration is what led Kataria to launch Digital Financial Exchange (DIFX), a cross-asset trading platform where users can trade virtually anything from gold, to stocks, to bitcoin. "We created DIFX to provide convenience for traders to trade on a variety of assets on a single platform," Kataria says. "In addition, we created our own DIFX token, an ERC20 token built on the ethereum blockchain that provides additional leverage of up to 15 times the total token value. Yes, it was a challenge, but with the right technology and resources, as well as a capable, determined, and enthusiastic team who believed in my vision, we were able to overcome it."


Jeetu Kataria, co-founder and CEO, Digital Financial Exchange (DIFX).
Source: DIFX

According to Kataria, DIFX is today completely altering the trading landscape, with many investors expressing interest in its DIFX token. "Users can trade almost any asset class, from coffee beans, to cryptocurrencies, to stocks," explains Kataria, who, besides co-founding DIFX, is also its CEO. "Furthermore, in the last week of July, we will launch the MT5 platform on the DIFX ecosystem, allowing all traders to trade over 500 assets in cryptocurrencies, commodities, forex, options, and stock CFDs. In addition, by the end of August 2021, our Crypto Spot Exchange will be operational for our users." Such accomplishments are an indication as to why DIFX was presented with the "Best New Trading Platform Award" at the E-Business Awards 2021 staged by Entrepreneur Middle East in March earlier this year.

The speed at which Kataria has grown and developed DIFX also offers a glimpse into his particular psyche as an entrepreneur. According to him, risk-taking is an essential trait of any entrepreneur, while any required experience will be gained along the way if one is willing to learn, continuously and consistently- especially in a country like the UAE. "With the UAE's vision of being number one in technology, I emphasized the importance of aligning DIFX technology's aspirations with the country's vision, by following the footsteps of the leaders and having multiple bases in countries including Singapore, Cayman Islands and Labuan for growth," he adds. "There are no excuses for not having the knowledge you require today, given the abundance of resources available. Those who are willing to go the extra mile and get knee-deep in the situation at hand will come out on top."

Related: The Recap: The E-Business Awards 2021

Similarly, he handled the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on his business by focusing on being flexible. "Professionally, it does put things into perspective, in order to evaluate what is absolutely necessary at the time," he explains. "I believe that entrepreneurs must make the best of what they have in these difficult times, while also considering the health and welfare of their employees."

In good or bad times, Kataria continues, leadership entails having faith in others. "The best leaders, in my opinion, are passionate about developing the next generation of leaders around them, constantly working to improve their emotional intelligence, and understanding that a strong team culture is critical to achieving the project's goals," he explains. "With the current COVID-19 situation and travel ban, the majority of my employees work remotely. I have always asserted the fact that knowing the strengths and weaknesses of every individual to effectively manage the outcome of a team is imperative for success. On the other hand, I have also built an adaptable work culture, where I don't believe in a 9:00am to 6:00pm shift. Rather, I encourage my co-workers to be as flexible as possible, which brings the best out of them."

The future looks bright for Kataria and his team at DIFX, as they are already busy with building a hybrid cross-asset exchange with more than 2,000 cross pairs between cryptocurrencies, commodities, forex, stocks, and indices between centralized and decentralized exchanges with atomic swaps by the end of 2022. "We plan to use blockchain technology to make remittance services more accessible and to provide value to our customers through wise digital asset use," Kataria concludes. "Our services are designed to shorten settlement times and increase efficiency, while exchanging immutable ledger records. Our long-term goal is to establish a new financial order in which digital currency is used to settle transactions directly."

"TREP TALK: DIFX co-founder and CEO Jeetu Kataria's tips for entrepreneurs

1. Focus on relationships "The COVID-19 crisis put distance between people and socializing with clients, which, in turn, allowed us to build as well as sustain virtual relationships, facilitate trust, and improve engagement and rapport. Find ways to mix up your routines to avoid getting stuck in a rut and to keep yourself energized."

2. Keep the customer on top of mind (always) "Focus on the important aspects, such as enhancing product quality, performance, and security, because it builds a sense of unwavering customer loyalty that generates increased leads."

3. Invest in your employees "Understanding that an engaged employee helps you establish a better relationship with your customers is key to ensuring better representation of the company. Ensure that the company promotes their growth, and values their opinion. Additionally, employees should be moved around to different departments more frequently, in order to avoid complacency, and, as a result, inefficiencies."

4. Do not discount on your digital efforts "Making the most of social media ads in the sponsored sections, as well as search engine optimization (SEO), will take you a long way. Keep your audiences hooked with progress and updates."

5. Evolution is the result of adaptation "Change encourages innovation, develops skills, develops staff, and leads to better business opportunities. as well as improved staff morale. Accepting change will not only help evolve, but also revolutionize your business."

Related: Digital Transformation Means Little Without Leadership