Kiran’s journey at Knight Capital began in 2001. “Through the years, I managed different areas of the business and had the opportunity to develop business relationships with customers across various industries. The journey has been enriching and has shaped me into who I am today.” Kiran is also responsible for companies within the group which includes Information technology, Investment holding, factoring and property management.
How did she remain motivated for so many years? Personal development and growth be it for self or for the company has been one of her main focus. She championed the need for standard operating procedures and KPI’s to ensure Knight Capital’s work standards and services remain consistent across all offices while complying with regulations and operational practices.
Leading by example
She further admires the leadership style portrayed by the founder of the company and has been enthusiastic about emulating it. “He remains calm in the most difficult of times and continues to motivate everyone around him. He never holds back on sharing his knowledge and is huge on empathy. At the office, he treats every employee with care and respect, regardless of position. Above all, he is a perfect example of hard work and constant efforts can never fail a person. Though it is difficult to be as selfless, I continue to try.”
Filling the gap
Incorporated in 1997, Knight Capital Sdn Bhd is a licensed lending institution under the Ministry of Housing and Local government. As part of the Malaysian Credit Community, Knight Capital’s focus is to create financial packages that suit its customers immediate and long term financial needs. “To us, each customer project is unique with its own challenges and we understand that our customers work hard to make their businesses succeed. Accordingly, we make it our responsibility to work just as hard to help them achieve their business goals.”
Look at value you can add to others first, before looking at value they bring to you
“Our latest loan package has been tailored for women entrepreneurs and the response has been overwhelming. Further, in helping young entrepreneurs establish their business, we have allocated RM 1,000,000.00 to finance the initial stages of their business ventures during which we guide them on the right path to becoming an established business.”
The spirit of Malaysia
Throughout the interview, Kiran stressed on the importance of helping local Malaysian businesses establish and grow. As a company, Knight Capital encourages the growth of local produce and businesses by supporting them financially, boosting their productivity and preparing them for business climate changes.
Technology the game changer
The advent of digitalisation did not faze Kiran. “Maintaining the right balance between customer satisfaction and embracing digitalisation is achievable”.
Knight Capital is ambitious in promoting economic growth and development and it is important that we support local businesses to play our part in doing so.
“We digitise information and digitalsze processes but remain highly customer oriented. I believe human touch is necessary for us to further understand our customers. Moreover, the demand for a human interface is still there.” While loan applications can be made via their website, Knight Capital practises the open door policy where customers are welcome to meet with any loan officer for further assistance.
Over the years, dedicated employees, excellent customer service and sound internal policies have guided the company to achieving notable milestones which includes a long list of repeat business customers. “This pattern is positive and it shows that we are doing the right thing.” Knight Capital was also awarded “SME Fastest Moving Company” in 2013 and “The Asia Pacific Entrepreneur Excellence Award” in 2016.
A feather to her hat, Kiran was bestowed the rank of Al-Faris for her ambitious aspirations towards excellence and superior business strategy by the Islamic Center for Development of Trade & the Organization of Islamic Council International Business Centre. She received the Outstanding Muslim World Entrepreneur Development Award in 2018. “These awards are reminder that we must keep giving our best to the company and to its customers”.
Championing good credit scoring
Sometimes, Knight Capital come across customers who lack the enthusiasm for maintaining good credit scores. Businesses can be affected by various different factors and it is important that business owners stay focused on their business goals and sustenance even in turbulent times. While good debt is an investment that will generate long term income, bad debts can consume businesses.
It is sad when business owners give preference to their personal wants, disregarding business needs. Budget cuts, downsizing, adjustment of lifestyle is important when a business hits the wall. Business owners should put in sufficient efforts in sustaining their business. Walking away from settling business dues should not be seen as the first option when you see your business failing.
What’s next for Knight Capital?
To tackle its key market segments – the SMEs, Knight Capital collaborated with Crowdo, a Peer-to-business lending platform registered in Singapore and Peoplender Sdn. Bhd. to leverage on their peer-to-peer financing platform called Fundaztic. “Via these partnerships, we are in a position to give our prospects alternate funding options and convenience at their fingertips.”
With the high number of loan applications they receive, it may be impossible at times, to meet the demand due to time constraints. “We are creating a channel for people to explore other ways to raise funds for their business. Ideally, we want to assist as many businesses as possible, secure funding from us or our partners.”
To date, Knight Capital has 5 offices in Malaysia, with 3 of the offices operating in East Malaysia. Talking about business expansion, in term of physical expansion they have expanded into other geographies. “We established a wholly-owned company in the UK in 2016 which provides services similar to Knight Capital. There are business challenges in International expansion but we have overcome most of it. We are in the process of developing new services which will be made available to the UK Small business community. And yes, we will be happy to consider financing any Malaysian businesses that are in the UK as well,” she ends.