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Meet the People Behind PayPugs - Mo Awada

Meet the People Behind PayPugs – Mo Awada

1. How was your trip to the expo in Malta?

It was a good mix between business and pleasure. Malta is a very beautiful country, it was my first time visiting. I was taken aback by the absolute beauty of the island, and luckily we had a chance to enjoy some downtime before the expo. After a day of relaxing and having a look at what Malta had to offer it was time to get ready for the expo SIGMA, which turned out to be much bigger than I expected. Throughout my 10 years experience attending expos around the world, this was definitely the biggest I have been to. It was an amazing event, the chance to network with many new people from different countries, exchange contact details and ideas.  As well as get to know in person partners that we already collaborate with. 

2. In which 3 words would you describe your current role at PayPugs?

  1. Big brother – Sharing my experience and being part of the PayPugs family.
  2. Dynamic environment – each day is different and brings new requests into the game. 
  3. Challenging – new, interesting issues appear that need to be solved.

3. What’s your favorite thing about being in a Fintech Startup?

Previously I was working in a corporate banking environment for 12 years, which had every system and process in place. However, by being in a Startup environment, every day there is a different challenge that you have to overcome, and you need to think of a different way of doing something. The flip side is that if you have a lot of ideas that you see can be improved, it’s much easier to implement them and have your ideas listened to. 

4. What’s the no.1 aspect for a successful implementation of the company, its processes, and flows?

It’s not an aspect, it is all about people. I strongly believe that it is crucial to have young, enthusiastic, and eager to learn people around you, because you don’t achieve success individually. For me, success is a team effort, it does not matter if you are on the lower or higher end of the scale, I believe that everyone should be listened to and everyone should be given room to flourish. It is important to invest in the growth of your team, through building a strong long-lasting group of people that is highly motivated to overcome all the occurring challenges –  that’s the secret of success. I really enjoy working in an atmosphere where people trust each other and are friendly towards each other. Even a short 10-minute coffee break helps to form strong work relationships and unites coworkers to collaborate, help each other out and achieve goals together. We spend most of our time during the week at work, and if that cannot be pleasurable, then something is wrong. 

5. What is your journey of moving to Latvia from the UK, where do you see the biggest difference in terms of work, culture, or other aspects?

It was a personal journey-related story that led to visiting Riga and instantly falling in love with the city. For me, Riga has its certain charm, it is small enough to be a village but big enough to not be seen if you don’t want to. I decided to take the opportunity to explore a foreign country, get to know its culture and people. For me, it is a better work-life balance here in Latvia, because in the UK to all the jobs I had I needed to commute for at least 1.5 hours to work and back, in Latvia, however, the distance is significantly smaller. Additional time is much appreciated, especially during the summer evenings, when you have the possibility to go to the seaside and enjoy a nice walk right after work without spending a lot of time on the road. Regarding the cultural side, it is not easy to learn Latvian as it is a quite difficult language. The mentality was a bit different at the beginning, but I have adapted to it since I am here for quite a long time already. I spent 20% of my time in Latvia, so I consider myself 20% Latvian.

6. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

In my spare time, I have a huge passion for music. I am a part-time singer / DJ. I have had an opportunity to be a part-time DJ in Old-Town for 4-5 years during the weekends while working in my full-time job, running various karaoke shows, DJing at clubs and bars, playing music in private events such as weddings. Currently, music for me is more for pleasure, so I record some stuff at home. I still do the karaoke show or a concert time-to-time, but it’s not that convenient at the moment due to pandemics. Apart from music being a big part of my life, I enjoy cooking and football – a while ago I played for and coached a club playing in the Latvian national league, and it was a great and enjoyable challenge and really helped improve my leadership skills. 

7. What inspires you? 

People inspire me. Every single person that you meet, no matter their status, always teaches you something. I am a great believer that every single person that you meet in your life shows you something that you did not know before. Also, it inspires me to be a part of something special. I am glad to be a part of the PayPugs family and see its growth and expansion daily – that’s what keeps me going and inspired. 

8. Last but not least, what’s the best advice that was ever given to you? Who was it from?

My dad always told me, that you treat people the way you want to be treated. I have always tried to be fair and to treat people how I would expect to be treated. To have and show respect – that’s the biggest advice I can give to anyone. If you show respect, hopefully, you will earn it back.

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