1. What part of your job keeps you awake at night?
I see attracting and retaining the best talent as the most important aspect of company management and as head of a 300 strong team across 18 African countries, I feel a huge responsibility to ensure the constant professional growth, happiness and development of our employees. I spend a great deal of time thinking about how their individual strengths and skills can be nurtured to support the growth of the business and making sure each employee is on the right trajectory towards their own success. I’m also constantly reflecting on growth strategies and on ways to protect the business from risk.
2. Name three traits required to survive in this role.
Patience, a hunger for innovation and a respect for people.
3. What is the biggest misconception about your job?
There is a common misconception that companies such as DPO Group are entirely led by a CEO or one individual, which isn’t the case at all. We have an extremely strong and diversely skilled executive team – each member an expert in their own field and confident enough to challenge each other, driving us all to think from alternative perspectives and do things better – and I rely on their experience and judgement in every aspect of running the business.
4. Who has had the greatest impact on your career?
When I first moved to Kenya back in 2006, I was amazed at how welcoming the Kenyan people were. Despite the cultural differences, I felt immediately comfortable and began to accept how much I could learn. Since then I’ve grown to love and respect the country’s culture and people. I owe a lot of my career success to those that I met when I was just starting up here in Kenya.
5. What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
When I was first starting out in my career, I was told that I’d have to start from the bottom and work my way up gradually. As a young man impatient for success, I hated this advice, but as it turns out, it’s the most useful career advice I’ve ever received as it taught me patience and endurance.
6. The top reason for your professional success?
Always sticking to my three core values: responsibility, accountability as a leader, and boldness in constantly seeking to innovate. I also believe that teamwork is key to success. Having an experienced driven team is what has made DPO the company it is today.
7. How do you relax?
Playing sports, running, cycling and listening to music.
8. By what time in the morning do you like to be at your desk?
I’m always connected as many CEOs and managers are. I find the morning hours to be my most productive time and I love starting my day at 05:30.
9. Your favourite job interview question?
I always ask prospective employees about their past failures. I need to know that the people I work with have handled failure and bounced back. It shows perseverance and strength and there are as many valuable lessons to be learned from past failures as successes.
10. The biggest perk of your job?
The opportunity to work with hugely talented energetic people. There is so much drive, passion and potential amongst young female and male professionals across Africa, particularly in the technology industry. Having a part to play, however small, in developing the next wave of young African talent and innovation feels like an enormous privilege.
Eran Feinstein is CEO and co-founder of DPO Group, a payment service provider in Africa. DPO Group is operational in 18 countries across the continent and its technology enables over 100,000 businesses to make and receive payments online with all currencies and payment methods.