Passion for work can take people to tremendous heights. For work’s sake, people give up their comfort zone, struggle, and compromise. This is what Shahid Hanif did. He is a revolutionary entrepreneur who changed how trust works in the digital economy.
Shahid is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Co-founder of Shufti Pro, one of the world’s leading KYC identity verification service providers. In this interview, he tells us about his success in Shufti Pro and the key components of successful entrepreneurship.
Hello, Shahid. Please introduce yourself to our readers and share a brief overview of your career life, including your other startups and companies.
Hi, first of all, I’m honored to be a part of PC Tech Magazine. I’m a tech geek and serial entrepreneur who’s launched about four successful companies.
My entrepreneurial career started in 2016 with Programmers Force. I played an essential role in building and leading a talented team of developers and data scientists that led the company to Pakistan’s top-performing software house and one of the fastest-growing IT companies.
My second company was Qucikbit. I worked there as a CTO and developed a solution for online merchants to accept crypto payments in real-time, just like conventional payment schemes.
In 2020, I started Developer’s Studio, a software development company. However, unlike conventional coding agencies, Developer’s Studio is a blockchain-based software development company powered by a team of over 100 employees.
Now comes my most important startup into which I’ve poured loads of time and effort, Shufti Pro. It is now one of the leading IDV providers in the world. I started it in 2017 to revolutionize the conventional KYC industry and wanted to redefine trust in the digital world.
You said Shufti Pro is your most important organization, and you’ve invested much time in it. Can you please explain the idea behind the Shahid Pro and what’s so special about this company?
It all started when, one day, I needed to undergo KYC verification for my bank account. At that time, KYC was mainly based on a manual process in which experts were used to approve each verification manually. In the blink of a moment, I realized manual KYC was inefficient because it took me a week to get my ID verified. Upon further research, I got to know that the traditional process has the highest rate of false positives and human errors. Then and there I decided to automate the KYC verification method.
So, how did you start Shufti Pro, and how did you automate the KYC process?
After thinking and planning, I eventually started Shufti Pro in 2017. We implemented artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the ID verification process. Unlike the conventional KYC process, Shufti Pro’s KYC solutions didn’t rely on manual authentication. Ultimately, the verification that used to take days or weeks, our innovative approach reduced that time to seconds or minutes. It also increased the accuracy rate from 40% to 99%.
What are some websites you can’t imagine your day without?
I spend most of my browsing time on the Shufti Pro website to ensure everything looks good and the information is up-to-date. Other than that, I use LinkedIn to communicate with clients and monitor market trends. Google is also my go-to website for everything from queries to research and handling other business-related tasks.
What social media platform is the best for business growth and why?
Every business niche is different because of its unique characteristics, so it’s difficult to give one name when it comes to platforms good for business growth. For example, for businesses related to media and entertainment, YouTube and short video platforms like Reels and TikTok could be their excellent choice. When it comes to SaaS businesses, LinkedIn is the prime platform. Meanwhile, Instagram and Facebook are ideal choices for influencers seeking their spotlight.
Innovation is a critical factor in any company’s ability to succeed in the long run. Can you tell us some innovations your company, Shufti Pro, has launched?
We started with basic identity verification solutions only, and now, after almost half a decade, we’ve launched more than 17 complimentary KYC solutions, including risk assessment, AML screening, OCR for businesses, KYI, and others.
Earlier this year, we introduced the e-IDV solution to fight the ever-evolving tactics of modern scammers. It uses the e-IDs of the users for document verification instead of physical documents. This approach completely eradicates document tampering fraud and enables businesses to authenticate the identity of their users with confidence and trust.
We’re also working on other projects to fortify organizations against the growing threats of fraudsters in the digital world.
In the end, what advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs?
I was a tech geek and enthusiast from childhood and followed my passion, and that’s why I would advise young entrepreneurs to do what they like. I would like to mention the quote:
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
Doing things you don’t like can work for you in the short run but never in the long run. Moreover, young entrepreneurs should note that there’s nothing like instant success, and there are often long stories behind success. Therefore, never try to go for a shortcut; it will never work in practical life.