Voices of Nium with Zainab Patel, Finance Manager at Nium

7 Minute read
6 months ago

Zainab Patel, Finance Manager at Nium, has not only been named Nium’s “Best Dressed” in the United Kingdom, but also has contributed tremendously to building best practice across the European finance function.  

Naturally, as a person with an incredibly smart financial head on her shoulders, we asked her what she would do if £100 million magically fell into her lap. She gave us an answer that makes our #NiumCares team (who drive all activities that support sustained development in our communities, such as through financial literacy) exceptionally proud!  

She said, “in this whimsical scenario, a significant portion of the imaginary £100 million windfall would find its purpose in investing in companies dedicated to making a positive impact on the world. Responsible choices aligning with my values, no doubt. 

Now, let’s settle into finding out what makes one of our Nium financial geniuses tick! 

  1. Ok, Zainab. For those “non-finance” people amongst us, (mainly, our Head of Internal Communications, India Stone) we’re dying to know - do all finance team members like math? Was it your favourite subject at school? 

Absolutely! Mathematics, with its fusion of logic and precision, was my favourite subject throughout my academic journey. The inherent appeal of numbers and the intellectual challenges posed by mathematical concepts not only captivated my interest but also nurtured my analytical thinking. While preferences in academia differ, my penchant for mathematics has proven to be a shared sentiment amongst my finance colleagues! 

  1. Tell us! What made you interested in a career in finance? 

My entry into the world of finance was driven by a fascination with the intricate dance of numbers and the profound impact it has on shaping the success of businesses. The dynamic nature of financial markets and the strategic decision-making involved in managing resources captured my imagination. I find that a career in finance offers me the perfect blend of analytical thinking and problem-solving. The prospect of contributing to the financial success of an organization and navigating the complexities of the global economic landscape was a challenge I was very eager to embrace. 

  1. What does a day in your life look like as an expert Nium’er in finance? 

A day in my life as a finance expert at Nium is marked by a series of challenges and opportunities. The beauty of the role lies in its ever-changing nature; no day is quite the same. Each morning brings a new set of challenges and intricacies to navigate, from analysing market trends to collaborating with cross-functional teams. One day might be focused on strategic financial planning, while the next could involve diving into data analytics or addressing regulatory considerations.  

The external financial landscape is constantly evolving, and this reality keeps me on my toes, ensuring that monotony is a rare guest in my daily routine. From retrospective analysis to forward-thinking projections, every day is a blend of strategic foresight and real-time problem-solving. It's this dynamic nature that makes each day in the world of Nium finance a fresh and invigorating experience. 

  1. What’s the biggest misconception people have about your role? 

The biggest misconception about my role is that it's all about crunching numbers in isolation. In reality, it's more like being a financial storyteller and strategist. Numbers are the language we speak fluently, but the job is about deciphering the financial narrative, collaborating with various teams, and aligning financial strategies with broader business goals. It's not just about managing finances; it's about orchestrating a financial symphony that harmonizes with the entire organization's rhythm. The misconception misses the dynamic, collaborative, and strategic aspects that define the heartbeat of my role. 

  1. What’s the most valuable thing that Nium has taught you? 

The most valuable thing that Nium has taught me is the art of adapting to change. In the fast-paced world of finance and innovation, being flexible and open to change is not just a skill; it's a survival strategy. Nium's dynamic environment has honed my ability to embrace new technologies, evolving market trends, and shifting business landscapes.  

The company culture encourages a proactive mindset, fostering resilience and creativity in navigating challenges. Adapting to change at Nium isn't just a lesson; it's a fundamental aspect of our success, and it has become a skill I cherish personally and professionally. 

  1. What’s one thing that surprised you about working at Nium? 

One aspect that pleasantly surprised me about working at Nium is the speed at which innovation takes place and the agility with which the team navigates challenges surpassed my expectations. Nium's commitment to staying at the forefront of the fintech landscape, coupled with the energetic and collaborative spirit of a unicorn startup, creates an atmosphere of constant excitement and growth. The rapid evolution and responsiveness to market trends have truly set Nium apart, making each day a thrilling ride in the world of cutting-edge finance. 

  1. If you could describe Nium as an emoji, which emoji would you choose and why? 

If I could describe Nium as an emoji, I would choose 🚀 because Nium is like an unstoppable rocket, propelling the industry forward into new frontiers. Just like a rocket symbolizes innovation, speed, and exploration, Nium embodies these qualities in the fintech realm, always pushing the boundaries and reaching new heights. 

  1. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given by a fellow Nium’er that you would pass on to another team member/newbie?  

The best piece of advice I've received from a fellow Nium'er that I'd pass on is: "Embrace change; it's the only constant in finance." In a field that evolves rapidly, being adaptable and open to change is not just a valuable skill but a necessity. Embracing change allows us to stay ahead of the curve, navigate uncertainties, and contribute to the continuous innovation that defines a business’ success. 

  1. A fun question to end things off! Imagine £100 million dropped into your lap tomorrow! How are you spending it, no strings attached?  

In this whimsical scenario, a significant portion of the imaginary £100 million windfall would find its purpose in investing in companies dedicated to making a positive impact on the world. Responsible choices aligning with my values, no doubt. Now, for the fun part – cue the global adventure. Picture me embarking on a world tour, immersing myself in diverse cultures and soaking in the beauty our planet has to offer. But, of course, the daydream doesn't end there. Let's throw in a dash of extravagance – I'd set aside a portion to make the whimsical dream of purchasing a private island a reality. It's the perfect balance of being a responsible investor with a heart for change and indulging in a bit of whimsy, creating a dream scenario that's both fulfilling and fantastically fun!

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