The monthly member spotlight is an opportunity to learn more about a leader at one of our member companies and showcase the work they are doing. This month we spotlight Tarique Al-Ansari, Co-Founder & CEO of Zomaron. Learn more about Zomaron in our Member Directory.
Name: Tarique Al-Ansari
Title: Co-Founder & CEO
Zomaron is an award-winning fintech company that provides payment technology allowing businesses and registered charities to accept payments online, in-store, and over the phone. With a goal is to improve the payment experience through innovative technology, Zomaron is on a mission to make every interaction between merchants and their customers a positive one. Recognized as one of Canada’s leading payment firms, Zomaron offers personalized solutions to accommodate any business need through its suite of products and outstanding customer service.
What is your role and what is your favorite part of your job?
I am the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Zomaron. My favourite part of my job is being able to say good morning to every Zomaron team member. Not only does this help me start my day, but it really makes an impact on our team. We are 70 employees strong, and for them to be able to put a face to my name and know that I am here every day working on building Zomaron into a payment technology leader is extremely important.
If you could have a coffee with any business leader or industry expert who would you choose and why?
Jeff Bezos. I reference many of his business strategies in meetings and conversations with team members. I constantly get asked what’s next for Zomaron and try to draw similarities that Amazon faced in the early stages. I constantly remind my team that Amazon may be light years ahead of Zomaron from a growth perspective, but before Amazon became the most valued company in the history of America it was just an online bookstore. Behind the scenes, Bezos and his team were hard at work innovating and building new experiences for different verticals until they became the success story they are today. Every business has to start somewhere and Zomaron is in a unique industry because electronic payments touch every vertical.
What is the number one business book or blog you would recommend?
My favourite book and the book that I think every CEO should read is The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. The book talks about the most difficult part of a CEO’s job, the ups and downs, and the mood swings we deal with (or as the book calls them peace and war times). One minute you feel you’re about to conquer the world and then the next second you may get an email, call, or message that you think will threaten the entirety of your business’s existence. This is something very few people talk about and is never taught in business schools, and it is the one thing that every founder or CEO goes through. The Hard Thing About Hard Things really helped me to stay motivated and go to work and push forward regardless of the situation because almost every founder who gave up too quickly, gave up because they could not handle these ups and downs.
Looking at your companies future what are you most enthusiastic about?
2018 marks Zomaron’s 10 year anniversary as well as our most pivotal year as a company yet. We have been able to expand our reach further than ever before, develop proprietary solutions that enhance the payment experience between our clients and their customers, and double our workforce. The hard work that has been poured into our company over the past decade has finally come to the forefront of recognition. Earlier in the year at the Mayor’s State of the City speech, I announced that Zomaron is going to become London’s first billion dollar company. Zomaron has no intention of slowing down and we will be working hard to achieve that goal. Expect more innovative and proprietary products, best in class customer service, and future expansions and investments in London in the years to come.
What excites you most about the local tech community?
It’s really exciting to see some of our friends who started around the same time as us grow into strong national brands like Start.ca and HRDownloads which make for strong local partnerships. We power their payment processing and we use their services for fibre internet and HR resources. I’m really excited to see more emerging national tech leaders grow from London, Ontario and how we can work with them to build a strong community that relies on one another.
What causes or community activities is your company involved in?
One of Zomaron’s core values is “Stay Humble and Drive Social Good.” We try really hard to get involved in community events and activities when we can, and actively encourage employees to get involved in groups within the community as well. In 2017, we sponsored London’s first ever drone light show and are yearly sponsors for the London Airshow. In February, we sponsored 3 different scholarships between Fanshawe College and Western University and recently got to participate in the awards ceremony. Meeting the students who received the Zomaron Make a Difference Scholarship and learning about their ambitions was extremely inspiring. Last month we partnered with the Pillar Nonprofit Network and helped power their Innovation Awards Night. That was a really rewarding opportunity for us because we not only helped them raise $7,000 with our fundraising technology, but we got to meet community leaders who are making an impact on our city.