Jalal you are a passionate entrepreneur and respected thought leader with many years experience in the IT industry. Why did you decide to launch PLUGIT in 2012 and focus on the FX market in particular?
Firstly, I’ve been passionate about technology for as long as I can remember. I was involved in different aspects of the IT industry even before graduating from high school. And when I went to college it was not a hard decision to choose my career. During my time in college I had already a small software company with four developers including myself to offer software developments to clients across different industries. One of the clients we rendered services to was a local brokerage firm and that was something that caught my attention, and I figured there could be a great potential there. I became very interested in trading and spent some time as a night dealer with that company where I managed to learn and gain tremendous experience in the FX industry.
Around that time, electronic trading had gained popularity in the region and many brokerage firms began to swipe the region at a fast pace. At that time, the metatrader 4 had made its appearance among retail brokers. That is when I saw a great potential and started shifting the focus of my local software company to the FX industry with more clients requesting our services. The year 2012 marked an important milestone in my career. The demand for our services had increased drastically and as a result Plugit was set up to focus solely on the FX industry. Cyprus was chosen to be the main venue due to its position as a safe haven for the FX business due its moderate regulations and most of our clients had already set up their FX shops on the island.
When I set up Plugit, my vision was to bridge the gap between FX and technology, and due to my combined experience in both areas, my main focus was to automate long and tedious manual processes in order to ease and streamline operations and that is in short how Plugit came into existence.
How have you gone about establishing a more productive and rewarding work environment within the company with a culture that motivates staff to provide exceptional client service and what impact has this had on your firms success?
I would not be exaggerating if I said our employees are our most valuable asset. Without their great work and dedication, we would have never achieved what has been achieved so far in terms of growth, development and expansion. I have been always promoting this culture to make our staff feel part of a greater team sharing the same vision with the company whereby we grow together, cherish achievements and reap the benefits. All our employees are target oriented and the target is always in line with the company’s goals. Now that we have expanded into different regions, maintaining the same culture presents an additional challenge. I always try to hold and sponsor team building events to bring employees from different regions together in different ways, such as exhibitions and organizing trips for employees to visit other offices in different countries.
We also ensure hiring the right people from the start sharing the same business ethics we maintain when it comes to conducting business. Our staff are adequately trained and equipped with the required knowledge and skills to provide outstanding services to our clients. We always reward loyalty and promote an environment where employees can work for many years and bring the best out of them. Employees are always encouraged to step up and take any initiative to tackle any problem. In my philosophy, I wholeheartedly believe that talent retention is as important as client retention and retaining good people has always been a key part of our long-term business objectives.
What range and type of clients are you providing products and services for?
Since the company’s inception, we have been dealing with different types of clients, ranging from startups to large and well established financial institutions. We have helped many startups to build their operations from scratch being involved at different levels, most of whom evolved into successful and profitable businesses taking advantage of the outstanding technology and services we offer. On the other hand, we have worked closely with large financial institutions to identify the gaps in their processes and provided the right solutions to optimize their operations and streamline their business.
Please tell us a little about the wide array of comprehensive MT4 and MT5 compatible solutions that PLUGIT now offers and how you brand these?
From the beggining, our main focus was on MT4 products development and integration and with MT5 gaining a higher momentum in the past few years we replicated all our solutions and made them MT5 compatible.
We offer a variety of products including a comprehensive CRM system where brokers can handle leads, client on-boarding and compliance check ensuring the highest degree of leads conversion and client retention. We also offer a comprehensive sales and IB solutions which are crucial to company’s business. Additionally, we provide the MAM and PAMM solutions suitable for brokers working with money managers and other type of investors, and we pride ourselves to have been the first company to develop the MT5 MAM solution. Finally, we have our Dynamic Leverage solution, which is a tiered margin solution allowing brokers to reduce the leverage when exposure increases in line with how prime liquidity providers work, to reduce the gaps between clients and LP’s exposure. The Dynamic Leverage has been our best seller due to the surging demand from brokers and the fact that we are the only technology provider offering this solution.
It is worth mentioning that most of our solutions are derived from working closely with different clients whereby we accommodated different business models and requirements into full comprehensive solutions. We listen to all our clients’ comments and suggestions and this has been an instrumental part in enhancing and optimizing our solutions.
When it comes to branding, we have combined all our solutions into a centralized system allowing brokers to manage all solutions from a central portal.
PLUGIT is committed to offering smart solutions. How important to your business model is investing in R&D focused around new technologies and can you give us an example of how this has helped you to respond quickly to the market demands of the rapidly expanding FX industry.
In addition to being committed to offering unrivalled solutions, we are also committed to keeping up with the latest technologies and trends in the market. We are aware that R&D is very crucial to our company as we are part of the rapidly growing FX industry and the increasing market demands constantly put a tremendous pressure on all companies. That is where our market and IT experts come into play to ensure keeping up with the new market requirements and technology advancements. For instance, we have chosen to partner with Microsoft, the most prestigious technology company, to ensure that we are operating on the latest and most advanced technologies in addition to enhancing our processes and developments to provide our clients with the greatest quality of products and services.
You have been taking steps to expand PLUGIT’s international presence and have opened a representative office in Shanghai. Why is this part of the world so important to your growth plans?
Since inception, we had many Chinese clients among our clientele and always appreciated their business. Due to the growing business coming from China and the unique nature of Chinese clients we decided to set an office in China to serve our existing clients more efficiently and exploring other opportunities within the region. Shanghai was chosen to be the venue due to its position as a major financial center with endless opportunities for us.
We are fortunate to employ a team of individuals who share the same vision and values of the company. Our Chinese staff are currently in charge of serving our existing Chinese clients as well business development across China as well as Asia. Since our Shanghai office opened its doors, our business in Asia has gone from strength to strength and this strategic move helped us in further establishing ourselves in Asia and the great business acquisition that followed was a tangible proof.
The latest expansion is certainly not going to be our last stop though. We are planning to open another office in South East Asia later this year, location to be announced in due time, and we are looking forward to expanding into other regions to serve clients across the globe and cover all corners of the world.
Where will you be focusing your efforts this year to develop and launch new products that can help brokers to extend the functionalities of their trading platforms?
As mentioned above, we are launching our new revolutionary system, YOONIT, which will combine all our solutions into one centralized system. Clients will be able to access all services provided by PLUGIT from a single portal with an extremely intuitive and user-friendly interface.
YOONIT consists of different modules which represent all the solutions offered by PLUGIT. This will greatly enhance client’s operation efficiency rather than accessing scattered interfaces and configurations.
The system is scalable and fully compatible with MT4, MT5 as well as some other popular trading platforms. YOONIT will be unveiled to the public soon and we anticipate to make a great buzz in the industry.