Q&A: Nauman Anees, co-founder and CEO of ThinkMarkets, on proprietary technology, expansion and growth vision
Co-founder and CEO of ThinkMarkets, Nauman Anees, shares his insights on the ongoing evolution in the fintech and brokerage industry. He also discusses the mindset of today’s investors and the importance of maintaining a competitive edge.
Can you tell us about ThinkMarkets’ proprietary technology and how it sets you apart from other online trading platforms?
Our proprietary platform, ThinkTrader, is the culmination of our vision to offer traders an unparalleled trading experience combining the best-in-class charting, execution, strategy backtesting and multi-asset trading product mix into one offering. Its design is driven by the idea that a trading platform should not only be powerful and robust, but also intuitive and accessible for all trading needs.
Starting with its mobile capabilities, ThinkTrader understands the evolving dynamics of today’s world. Traders want convenience. Whether they’re commuting, travelling, or just away from their desk, they should have the entire trading world in their pocket 24 hours a day. That’s why we designed our platform to provide traders with complete access to their trades and essential tools, no matter which device they are using or where they are.
The mobile app is easily downloadable from either Google Play or Apple App Store and one of its standout features is the advanced and proprietary charting which allows you to create custom templates, signals and overlay variety of indicators. Our mobile platforms are developed in-house by our dedicated development team and not outsourced, but most importantly they are built on native code and not using any third-party platforms.
Speaking of analysis, the web version of our platform takes charting to the next level. We recognise the importance of multi-screen trading setups for many professionals. Thus, traders can detach the chart window to display across multiple monitors. An in-built search bar ensures all trades are easily accessible, and for those new or seeking clarity on specific features, a user guide is available right within the platform.
What truly sets ThinkTrader apart, however, is its user-centric design. It boasts a user-friendly interface across web and mobile, ensuring a seamless experience. Our extensive analytical tools provide traders with a wide array of options: from 120 indicators and 50 drawing tools to 19 chart types. And for those who thrive on real-time information, our cloud-based alerts system allows users to set up to 200 alerts to receive trading signals instantaneously. Add to this a six-screen display, one-click closing for faster execution, and detailed reporting on previous trades, and you have a platform tailored for every trader’s needs.
In essence, ThinkTrader is more than just a trading platform. It’s a holistic online trading experience, available on mobile and web with a single login across all devices. As we constantly innovate, our goal remains clear: to empower traders with the best tools and support, every step of the way.
As CEO and co-founder, what is your vision for the future growth of ThinkMarkets, and what steps are you taking to achieve that vision?
Faizan Anees and I started ThinkMarkets with a vision to build a global financial market trading platform over ten years ago, when the retail trading industry was just forming, and we believe we have substantially achieved that. The company has grown to over 200 employees, and various offices around the world covering our clients 24/7 and achieving nonstop growth year over year.
The platform for retail trading is set on a solid foundation for continued growth; my next vision is to turn the group into a diversified financial services platform that will allow the company to scale into equities investing, payments and online wealth management. We have the brand, the technology, and the IP to scale the company into a true eco system player in the fintech space.
In your opinion, what do you think has been the biggest challenge that ThinkMarkets has faced thus far, and how did you overcome it?
Every company, as it scales and sets higher benchmarks, encounters unique challenges. For us, as we aim to become the world’s premier brokerage, the intricacies of the global landscape have been both a challenge and an opportunity. Regulatory environments vary, market dynamics shift, and earning the unwavering trust of our users is paramount. Our approach has been to remain adaptive, stay committed to our core values, and consistently deliver superior quality services.
Being a technology-focused business has allowed us to stay true to our core values of automation, efficiency, and having a product centric approach to our clients’ needs. One example of this is Japan where we scaled our operations from zero to a growing subscriber-based model offering no markups and a near zero spread offering on our core products. Our commitment to quality and our technology resources along with our commercial acumen has allowed the company to succeed in all market conditions.
What upcoming trends do you think will impact the industry in the next few years?
The financial world is on the cusp of a paradigm shift. Artificial intelligence (AI) is already making inroads, reshaping how trading decisions are made and optimising processes. In future, we will witness AI-driven tools that empower traders in ways we have never seen before. Additionally, stronger regulations are on the horizon, meant to ensure a safer trading environment. Cryptocurrencies, once a nascent asset class, will further cement their place in portfolios.
For brokers like us, AI offers immense opportunities while also setting a new benchmark for efficiency and client interaction. On the other hand, AI grants us the ability to automate and optimise account processes, a leap forward in operational efficiency. Complex, time-consuming tasks such as account verification, risk assessment, and transaction processing can now be executed in the blink of an eye, with unparalleled precision.
AI’s prowess doesn’t stop at back-office operations. It extends to front-line client interactions, where chatbots and virtual assistants, powered by sophisticated machine learning algorithms, are transforming customer service. These AI-driven tools can handle client requests, resolve issues, and provide information with a speed and accuracy that was once deemed unattainable. They’re available 24/7, ensuring that traders can receive timely support, irrespective of time zones or working hours.
Moreover, AI is fostering a new era of personalised trading experiences. By analysing vast datasets, AI can derive insights into individual trading behaviors and preferences, enabling us to tailor our services and recommendations to meet each trader’s unique needs. This personalisation not only enhances user satisfaction but also empowers traders to make more informed decisions.
As brokers embrace AI, we’re not just adopting a new set of tools; we’re ushering in a new era of trading – smarter, faster, and more personalised. At ThinkMarkets, we are keenly observing, adapting, and leading in these changing times ensuring that our traders are well-equipped to navigate the evolving landscape of financial trading.
How do you see the online trading space shaping up and how do you see ThinkMarkets standing out?
The online trading space is becoming more competitive and sophisticated. However, at ThinkMarkets, we differentiate ourselves by constantly pushing the envelope. Our proprietary platform, with innovative tools like the TrendRisk Scanner and the Traders’ Gym, a state-of-the-art backtesting tool, offers a unique edge.
The emphasis is always on providing actionable insights, reliable pricing, and fast funding and withdrawals. In a world where everyone offers a platform, we offer an experience.
In addition, traders are becoming more sensitive to price and convenience of having all their trading needs in one central multi asset platform. This was core to the buildout of our ThinkTrader platform that supports CFD’s and Cash Equities under one platform. This allows user to have multiple asset classes and products under one platform and login.
Moreover, our dedication to cutting-edge technology and the user has been recognised with numerous awards, testifying our commitment to excellence. And our multilingual support team is available round the clock, ensuring our users are never left in the lurch.
How do you see ThinkTrader competing with other proprietary trading platforms?
Competition breeds excellence. ThinkTrader, with its competitive spreads, zero commissions, and rapid execution speeds, stands tall. But it’s not just about numbers; it’s about the journey. Our platform’s intuitiveness and ease of use, coupled with reliability, ensure our users are never left at a disadvantage.
One core benefit of ThinkTrader is allowing users to access multiple account types under one platform and allowing them to customise everything from their execution style to even their charting library, should they want to. Offering CFDs, cash equities and multiple asset classes under one platform and app is key to the scaling which we can do.
Are users at ThinkMarkets catered towards more automated trading or manual without any algorithms?
One of our core philosophies is flexibility. We understand that every trader is unique, with different strategies and comfort levels. Whether it’s automated trading or manual trading without algorithms, ThinkMarkets provides the infrastructure and support for all. Our goal is to empower, not dictate; therefore, we cater to both styles equally.
Could you share some of the company’s recent milestones?
Absolutely. It’s always invigorating to look back on the strides we’ve made. One of our standout achievements this year has been the recognition we’ve received in the form of awards. ThinkMarkets was honoured with the title of Best Mobile Trading Platform/App 2023 by the Global Forex Awards. This is a testament not just to our technological prowess, but also to our commitment to providing a seamless and efficient trading experience for our clients. Additionally, we were awarded Best Customer Service – MENA 2023 by the same organisation. This emphasises our relentless focus on customer-centricity. Trust is paramount in our industry, and such recognition is a testament to the credibility and reliability we have built over the years.
Now, speaking of tools and innovations, our ThinkPortal app has been designed to provide our traders with on-the-go access to their accounts. With the ThinkPortal app, traders can monitor their balance, equity, and margin for each account in real-time. They also have access to comprehensive trading reports, giving them a holistic view of their trades and performance. Plus, the ease of making fast deposits and withdrawals right from the app makes the trading process so much smoother.
But we didn’t stop there. Recognising the potential of copy trading, especially for beginners and those looking to diversify their strategies, we launched ThinkCopy. More than just a copy trading platform, it is a gateway to a global community of traders. New traders can leverage the experience of seasoned professionals by auto-copying their trades. This not only allows them to gain firsthand experience but also broadens their market understanding. With ThinkCopy, traders can connect with a vast community, receive valuable market insights, and learn by following the strategies of experienced traders.
And now, as we continue to forge ahead, we have added another feather to our cap by acquiring NZFMA and DFSA licences for New Zealand and Dubai, respectively. This significant milestone adds even further proof that ThinkMarkets adheres to the highest standards and complies with strict regulations, reaffirming our dedication to providing a secure and transparent trading environment for our traders.
Can you tell us more about yourself and what drove you to start ThinkMarkets?
My background is in engineering and computer science, and I am a hardcore SciFi fan. I grew up in the states but have travelled the world globally for over a decade building out ThinkMarkets, I enjoy learning about new cultures, ideas and thoughts and believe in building a company with diverse sets of thoughts and ideas. Technology has always been a passion of mine even as I was growing up, I built my first computer, and I also assembled all the servers for the company’s first data center from spare parts myself. I like detail and finding new and innovative ways to achieve a goal.
I am an entrepreneur and a founder, me and Faizan started ThinkMarkets with some seed capital from our savings and we have grown the business to a scale we would have never thought possible since it’s early founding in 2010. We saw in the early days that there was a dislocation between technology and what traders were doing manually. We set out to automate, build our own technology stack and create efficiencies to allow us to scale.
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