Key Visual - Alumni

Benjamin Bilski

Forbes 30 Under 30 // Europe 2018: Technology

Benjamin Bilski is a former German professional swimmer and Internet entrepreneur. Back in 2015, he set up the social trading app SwipeStox, a social network for stock exchange traders with several hundred thousand users. At the same time, Bilski founded the FinTech company The Naga Group AG together with Yasin Sebastian Qureshi and Christoph Brück. The listed company has over 100 full-time employees and the value of the Naga Group is estimated at more than 280 million US dollars.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?

It is extremely important to work with the right people. Many people say the team is everything and I agree wholeheartedly after years in high-growth start-ups (where you have so much hiring and firing). At the beginning, you often do not know who are the right ones, but I have two recommendations here: KPIs and personality profile. On the one hand, it is extremely important to measure employees’/colleagues’ performance from the very beginning. How much is achieved, how transparent is the work done and how much is documented. If someone resists this transparency and review, this is wrong and an important sign. On the other hand, you have to know close colleagues, co-founders or key people better than just from the office. At the end of the day, this is all about working with people who have their own personality profile. The more one knows about a person’s background, the more beneficial working together becomes. Therefore: communication, offsite meetings, team building. These basics can be essential later, when things are going up- or downhill.

Which mistake would you have liked to avoid?

Delivering or developing too much for investors or externals rather than for clients.

What brought you to EBS Universität back then?

From the age of 16, it was my dream to make it to EBS Universität. I had heard about and had a lot of respect for this university and knew that this would be an important step in my business career.

To what extent did your studies at EBS Universität provide you with added value for your work?

I have been able to build a great network, got to know good people, set up start-ups together and won another good edge to my master’s degree.

Your best memory of EBS Universität?

I met my best friend at EBS Universität. The best were the consulting field studies, the Star Club and Vinea visits together. The one or other funny story originated there…

What does the alumni network offer you?

I am always in contact with alumni and have been able to find talents for NAGA there.

Do you have a (daily) routine you always keep to?

I have been living in sunny Limassol (Cyprus) for some time now. In the morning, I usually go swimming or jogging along the seafront before going to work. Otherwise, every day is different from the last - and for that reason I love what I do very much.

Who is your big role model?

For me there is no one name or person who comes to mind. I see all successful entrepreneurs who have set up and run a company valued at over one billion dollars as role models.

What are your goals for 2019?

From this year onwards I will be focussing very strongly on growth and quality. We had a rapid phase of growth with an IPO and, with NAGA, have built a strong trading brand. Now we have to focus on exploiting new markets and ongoing improvement.

Read more:
30 Under 30 // Europe 2018: Technology

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