By: Josefine Bin Jung, Chief Commercial Officer, Diginex
The business journey
To some extent we are all products of our history – a result of both nature and nurture. I am no different. My childhood was blessed with having some inspiring female role models around me. My mother was a strong-willed entrepreneur, always busy bossing the household and being a limousine service to us kids, while managing a social calendar that I still get tired thinking of. From a young age, she told me to make sure I was financially independent. To me, financial independence does not mean owning expensive items, it means having financial freedom. I want to be at liberty to choose what I do with the money I earn. Her words of course had an impact on me.
In addition, I grew up closely with my Godmother who is a successful business woman and when I was choosing between two jobs after graduating university, she told me “If you want financial success, you choose your boss, not the job, and always own P&L”. These two tips have stayed with me, and served me well.
By owning P&L, you can always prove your worth. And by proving your worth, you can ask for your financial reward to match your achievement. I wonder if I love commercial so much because I grew up in it, or if I grew up in it and therefore love it. There is nothing more exciting and rewarding than seeing business results improve based on your actions and achievements. This satisfaction probably stems from an “insecure overachieving” type A personality – but I don’t care – I know what makes me happy in a job and that is a blessing. I see so many women who are unhappy in their roles, they have Monday blues and Sunday anxieties. They wait for purpose and fulfilment but can’t pinpoint what it is or how to get there. Such a situation affects your base level of happiness and your life overall. Make sure you don’t go down that route.
So what are my tips for growing a business? Well, I know I perform best when the pressure is on; I thrive from challenges and steep learning curves. I remain amazed by how moving the needle can satisfy me personally. If this resonates with you, I recommend going into roles that allow for growth, or turn-around, not maintenance. Be the underdog and not the bully. I recommend you go into a role where you have power to execute and lead change, because there is nothing more frustrating than having great ideas and not being able to execute on them.
My other tip is to remember that owning P&L is a power, you have the ability to tweak and turn every KPI affecting the balance sheet which is a fantastic opportunity if you apply a data-driven optimised approach. Be curious, be persistent, follow the numbers, and you’ll find the solution. It’s incredibly satisfying when that hard work pays off.
Lastly, to tie back to my Godmother’s advice – make sure you choose that boss who is not intimidated by you, won’t steal your thunder or keep you down to stay up. Your boss should be your biggest ambassador, someone to lift you and promote you. If your boss does not do that, who will? If you are not sure who in the organisation is your sponsor, a simple tip is to make a stakeholder map.
Look at your organisation, mark who makes the decisions important to your career, pinpoint who in that crowd you think would be your ambassador and a raving promoter of your work versus who you need to build your personal brand with to reach your ambitions.
The road to sustainability
Prior to Diginex, I worked in e-commerce, tech and the digital space for most of my career and SaaS has always been on my radar as a fantastic business and revenue model. ESG and sustainability is currently very topical and will hopefully forever be at the forefront of everyone’s agenda for various commercial and humane reasons. For me however, working with ESG and scaling this industry in a commercial and appropriate way was initially a foreign exercise. It goes without saying that I’ve learnt a lot, and still am, not just because I have to but because I want to. What I’m most touched by is seeing how many businesses are proactively coming to us to use our impact technology to genuinely drive change and lead sustainability for their clients, industry or even country. Luckily human rights, equal opportunities, sustainability and environment are topics that have been close to my heart from my earliest teenage years, so I feel incredibly lucky to work in an environment where my commercial expertise can be combined with a purpose driven business model.
Together with so many companies, organisations and governments around the world, we contribute with a solution to some of the most pressing challenges in the world ranging from issues within labour rights and sex abuse on the dark web, to identifying greenwashing and helping some of the biggest financial institutions in the world lead ESG performance. I feel very blessed being a part of this ride and I’m doing my very best to make sure our technology is accessible to businesses of all sizes, all over the world, in order to accelerate the positive impact Diginex’s technology has on sustainability.