How Difficult is it to be Senior Technical Project Manager and Fintech Leader?

Senior Technical Project Manager
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Andrei Zarubaika, Senior Technical Project Manager and Fintech Leader: more than 10 years experienced professional, multipally  developing and scaling his projects, the biggest customers of Banking market in US such as  Bank of America, Citibank and others.

1.Q: Could you share with us your story and journey to becoming a technical project manager in Fintech? How did you choose this as your career path, what led you to this industry, and what is significant for you now?

A: In school, I excelled in all subjects, but I especially enjoyed math, physics, and computer science. I participated in math competitions and ultimately decided to attend the Belarusian State University’s Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. I began working at an IT company in my second year and gained technical experience quickly, rising to the ranks of Technical Lead and eventually Technical Manager. I came to Fintech through several coinciding experiences: technical management of the integration of different systems, experience with high-load systems, and finally applying all of this as technical project management for the connectivity of different systems in Fintech, only now on an even larger scale.

2. Q: You successfully integrated various financial institutions, banks, and ERP systems, expanding the Kyriba customer base month by month. How did you come up with the idea of expanding the use of Bank and ERP APIs, and what significant impact did it have on the industry? Please specify its primary purpose and the significant interest in it.

A: Upon joining the company, I began working on a legacy project to integrate various financial institutions, banks, and ERP systems. I studied practically all existing integration tools, which have both pros and cons. Fintech APIs began to develop actively in recent times, but they are often focused on B2C (solutions from business to consumers) and less frequently for B2B (solutions from businesses for businesses). Over a year ago, the company had a product idea to try Fintech APIs, and there was a project at the idea stage. As the technical manager, I expressed interest in managing the formation and development of this project. I was probably the only candidate with knowledge of the existing system, given its peculiarities and customer requirements.


3. Q: The number of ERP API professionals with the right experience for efficient and reliable work and project development is small in the industry. Who are the beneficiaries of the technology you are implementing, and what are the alternatives to this technology, and what is the advantage of using ERP API?

A: In B2C, Fintech APIs are highly successful due to the large number and small size of data. In B2B, the size of the data is entirely different. Until now, the primary alternative to transmitting Fintech data has been files, via certain tools or through FTP. Systems built on the market are adapted to these files. Every year, there is an increase in the number and size of files, and existing systems of various companies struggle to adapt to this growth, resulting in low performance and delays. Accordingly, Bank and ERP APIs are an alternative to files. To create them correctly for B2B, knowledge of legacy fintech systems from leading banks such as Bank of America and Citi and leading ERP systems from SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft is required. The APIs themselves are not difficult to write; even ChatGPT could write them. However, high performance, scalability, and durability are difficult to achieve, which is where my experience in communication companies like TELUS in Canada (15.2 million customers…) or like Rakuten in Japan is organically beneficial.

4. Q: What advice would you give to young technical managers? Tell us about your projects and their characteristics so that other managers of serious projects make fewer mistakes and bring projects to implementation within the established time frame and budget.

A: I have several pieces of advice – the first is to gain technical experience. Look at leading companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and others – most of the managers there are senior technical project managers. The second is to stay on trend with project management, such as PMBook, IMPA or modern Agile Scrum. I do not advise applying one or the other method or getting caught up in obtaining certifications. My advice is always to strive for improvement. I love the fast fail approach – force what takes lots of time to succeed or fail early.

5. Q: You are a true driver and guarantor of successful project implementation in such a prestigious organization as Kyriba Corp. What is your management secret? How do you bring project after project to such incomparable results? What management methodologies do you apply?

A: Despite my current role in my current company or any other, there are always limitations to the role. My most important advice is always to look several steps ahead. For example, I don’t need tasking from my managers, I always do projects independently, look at trends within the company to stay on strategy, and look at trends outside the company to bring innovation. I mentioned methodologies above, know them, I’m a fan of “The company of the future” course from London Business School. Recently, they released their new article – Leading digital transformation: what you must know. Additionally, I improve my skills with Coachhub ( I’m always up to date on technological changes through technology communities such as infoQ and Comptia.


6. Q: You apply the most relevant and new for the entire industry methods and approaches to team building, organizing the work of subordinates, and solving other problems. How do you stay on trend and keep such a strong connection with the community, and how does it help you? What mission and role do they have for the industry?

A: An effective way to keep abreast of modern approaches and use relevant tools is to be in the circles of the industry’s best representatives. I am currently a member of “Leaders Excellence Harvard Square,” an esteemed organization that provides numerous benefits, including networking and collaboration opportunities, as well as access to valuable educational resources. Being part of this club enables me to develop my leadership skills, set and work towards goals, and continually improve myself. Given my strong technical background, this association allows me to shift my focus towards areas such as communication, problem-solving, goal setting, team building, and management. With my recent promotion, I have taken on the responsibility of managing other managers in addition to my existing technical projects. Thankfully, Leaders Excellence provides excellent program materials and resources specifically tailored to this topic, further enhancing my capabilities in this new role. 

7. Q: How do you see the ideal project manager? What personal qualities/competencies/visions are important? What do you already possess?

A: The ideal project manager is a senior technical project manager who has direct experience working with developers and technologists on one hand, and already has experience working with customers, business owners, and technical directors on the other hand. This is a person who develops their skills in depth, delves deeper into technical problems, and improves their soft skills. Such a person can “put out the fire”, lead a company, start a startup or MVP project, or transform a project. I think I have all these qualities, but I continue to learn, improve, and accelerate.

8. Q: Do you have any means and opportunity to get fresh technical ideas from a community of peers in the industry? Perhaps the company is interested in research and adoption of already applied ideas.

A: Fortunately, I have access to a more traditional and detailed way to be at the forefront of the technological achievements of the industry, namely, to be a judge when IT and fintech community members compete in a fair confrontation and apply best practices on specific projects. I recently had the opportunity to serve as a judge for the 18th Annual 2023 Information Technology World Awards hosted by Globee Awards. The judging process was conducted online. In this capacity, I was responsible for evaluating entries in various categories, including: Best Information Technology Companies Awards Best Deployments – Artificial Intelligence Company of the Year – Telecommunications Most Innovative Company of the Year – Software Customer Service & Support | Department Team and Innovation Awards People | Information Technology Executive & Professional Best Product, Service, Upgrade or Innovation Awards and others. I was most impressed by the fact that the majority of participants, companies, and individuals displayed strong competition, and deep technical knowledge was required to determine the best among them. Fortunately, I had extensive experience in the field, which allowed me to make informed judgments and evaluations. It was inspiring to witness the level of expertise and innovation demonstrated by the contestants, and it made the judging process both challenging and exciting.


9. Q: What are the potential earnings in this industry, what risks and opportunities are there for companies implementing various FinTech projects? Can you share your personal financial success?

A: The FinTech market grows each year at a rate of approximately 20% CAGR, with Financial Technology Market expected to hit USD 699.50 billion by 2030. Despite the current crisis in the banking sector, growth is not slowing down and continues to increase. I see a surge in many companies, some successful, some not. I think companies that lack experience in the market or lack strong product risk the most because technologies are constantly changing. I work at Kyriba, which has a niche and unique product in treasury and FinTech management. This product improves the lives of leading corporations. And now imagine that instead of several months to connect and set up products, corporations will need weeks or days. Therefore, Bank and ERP APIs have no risk and bring benefits to companies much faster.

10. Q: The situation in general: how is FinTech developing in Belarus and the USA, what trends and novelties are there?

A: Belarus has a very strong Information Technology base. Many of my compatriots work in leading companies worldwide. FinTech began to develop very quickly in 2017 when there was support from the government at that time. The solutions which were built they were built for worldwide customers.  FinTech in the USA is a leading market, but there are problems with the fact that it was a leading market for many years before that. The main problem that needs to be solved is the transformation of existing legacy systems. Considering the boom of technologies and strong information technology components, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, application programming interface, distributed computing, data analytics, robotic process automation and others, I am confident that the American market will be able to take a leading position in the world. We will help him with this.

11. What are your plans for the future?

A: After my current project will reach independence and will require only support, I want to move in a more technical direction, creating FinTech SDKs. SDK stands for Software Development Kit. It is a set of tools, libraries, documentation, and sample code that developers can use to create software applications for a specific platform, operating system, or programming language. SDKs typically include application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow developers to interact with the platform or system they are building for. It’s complicated to explain but to simplify, today I manage systems implementation for customers based on the Kyriba platform or on their own platform, for example as well-known ERPs. In the future, I want to create independent SDKs that will allow companies to simply download and use APIs as is for Fintech or extend their technologies with solutions implemented in SDKs. Those solutions will follow high availability patterns, will be durable, scalable, in a nutshell will have years of experience and will be out of the box solutions for FinTech companies across the world. 


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