In this Employee Spotlight, we would like to introduce you all to Felipe, the Head of Business Change at Crosscard. We introduced Felipe to our team back in June 2020 and has been with us for just over 6 months.
Felipe has an extensive background in Information Technology, with 18+ years in roles as Partner Executive, Solution Advisor, Consultant and IT Manager helping companies to transform their business with solid strategies.
At Deloitte, Felipe was responsible for the CIO Program: Under the command of the leading Partner, managed the CIO Program’s portfolio & strategy in Brazil and advised CIOs and teams while supporting their transformation journeys building long, lasting, and successful relationships with C-Levels. He was then responsible at IBM for being Head of the AT&T account in Brazil, supporting IBM’s largest client worldwide in telecommunications. Promoted an environment of growth and innovation that proactively delivered client value.
We asked Felipe some questions regarding his career, the industry and his personal life.
How drastic has the COVID-19 pandemic been on the Innovation and IT Industry?
Definitely, companies shifted in one year what would have probably taken five to ten years to be made. Many industries were elaborating strategic plans for digital transformation but with the pandemic, they had to accelerate the execution at an unthinkable pace. The IT-Business partnership was changed overnight and great leaders managed to use the technology as a central pivot and made them part of the business creation. Going forward, we must also think about how to move from digital to physical with less friction as possible as it’s expected that many customers are willing to resume a more normal life. The pandemic will not last forever and there might be another wave of drastic changes around the corner.
What was the transition like from being in Brazil since the beginning of your career to moving to Munich?
Munich is a very cosmopolitan city with different nationalities in almost every business. A good example is at Crosscard. We have more than 25 different nationalities, so many languages and cultures combined that build a very rich environment in many aspects. There is a lot of respect for who you are and I believe that the European mindset balances better the work and life than what is used to in an emerging country for many reasons. When I moved to Munich, I took some time to connect with colleagues I knew in the city, met with HR leaders and startup leaders, recruiters and adapted myself about differences of interviews and business connections. It was indeed very interesting and different from Brazil. Once I joined the company, it was not so complex to adjust but I am still learning how to plan my career further in a fast-paced company established in a very stable country.
What led you to the decision to take on the Masters of Science at the Technische Universitat in Munich, at this point in your career?
It’s fundamental to keep learning. My wife has multiple postdoctoral positions and we always discuss the differences between the academic and business world. The same desire to completely change our lives in a new country and a new journey, motivated me to take a different step on how to learn something new. I felt very honoured to be accepted at such a respected and recognised university as TUM. Attending a masters in Politics & Technology seemed very aligned with my career while understanding how technology instigates changes in politics, society, economics and cultural aspects. It is a challenge to balance a very demanding course with business life but I feel very excited about it. I am sure that the knowledge will strengthen and broaden my views and comprehension of different aspects, helping to make and advising leaders to make better decisions in the future.
You joined Crosscard in the middle of the first lockdown, Could you give us a brief overview of what your day-to-day tasks are?
Even joining in the middle of an unthinkable moment, the most significant change was to build most of the relationships over virtual meetings. I like to be around people, informally discuss ideas over a cup of coffee, shaking hands and so forth. Unfortunately, that had to switch for numerous meetings but I think we’re making progress and learning how to deal with that. But basically, my routine is to help and advise different areas to balance between what we must, what we can, and what we want to do as a business and how can we better allocate the resources to achieve our strategies.
What do you think is the next big thing in the payment industry?
Now that payments are well integrated with different platforms and digital experiences, I see trends in payments that might rebalance the economic and market power, ensure identity protection and rethink reward structures. Entering online or in a physical store, and leaving with your goods without taking a card, scanning anything or typing passwords/pins, will make part of a high-value and elegant customer experience. Card numbers, codes and pins should be replaced by single identification of the consumer either though IoT or by biometrics. A single identifier for the consumer that can process payments in an invisible form behind the scenes, with no need to stop at a counter or typing card numbers into a web browser. We already have fantastic human-tech interfaces and biotechnology for it and some places are already capable of using it in small scales. Autonomous payments is the next big thing for the payment industry, in my view.
What do you like to do when you take time off?
I balance my time with music (lots of), reading, and exploring different foods, wines, and German beers. I had to leave the bands back in Brazil, but I brought my bass guitar and ended up joining a blues band in Munich. We’re composing some songs and hopefully, we’ll have some gigs and an album once this pandemic is gone. I had to change the reading from leisure to more technical articles and papers due to my masters but they also bring a lot of interesting points of view. I like to explore the gastronomy here. There are great restaurants in Munich. Finally, as much as the weather allows, I enjoy joining my wife for a run, especially if I can make the final destination in a Biergarten in Munich!
We are always looking for talented people to join our team.
If you’re interested in FinTech, product development, software development, or financial services — we want to hear from you! Head on over to our careers page on https://www.crosscard.com/careers/ to check out what we are building and new positions we’re hiring for.