The American University of Sharjah (AUS) School of Business Administration (SBA) organized the inaugural iteration of the FiEx Fintech Youth Hub to introduce students to the bustling fintech landscape in the UAE and the region.
The event featured workshops on several trending topics such as digital collections in the UAE, and fintech and entrepreneurship among others. It also featured a fireside chat between Dr Mohsen Saad, SBA Associate Dean at AUS, and Nandan Mer, Group Chief Executive Officer of Network International. During the discussion, Mer spoke about his major career achievements, sharing with students his philosophy behind his success and the major challenges he faced in developing his business. A Fintech pioneer, Mer detailed some of his business strategies in digital literacy. Mer concluded the fireside discussion sharing his views on the future of digital finance, including the most recent crash in the market of cryptocurrency.
"The FiEx Fintech Youth Hub is a wonderful opportunity for students to get first-hand insight into the world of financial technology. By meeting and working closely with industry professionals from leading companies, students' experience will be further enhanced in key fintech areas such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing and big data, all of which impact the finance world. In SBA, we always have our finger on the market's pulse to keep our students abreast with the latest development and prepare them for the future. We do that through the strong partnerships we have established with leaders of industries. We are grateful to our partners for their sponsorship and participation in the event, and we look forward to more collaborations in the future,” said Dr. Narjess Boubakri, Dean of SBA.
Student Nathaly Remmel, Partnership and Outreach Associate of the Finance Executives, also noted: "As students, we understood the need to have a holistic and practical overview of the finance industry—not just theoretical knowledge. We saw in this event a valuable opportunity to directly connect with leading fintech companies and engage with them in a meaningful dialogue."
Network International participated and supported the event as a gold sponsor; whereas Pasiv, Spocto and Zywa all joined in as silver sponsors.
Commenting on the event, Nandan Mer, Group Chief Executive Officer of Network International, said: “We are very proud of our collaboration with the American University of Sharjah that aims to equip young talents with knowledge and skills that make them better prepared for future careers. Fintech is still a developing sector and this is why initiatives like the FiEx FinTech Youth Hub are necessary as they offer a practical opportunity for students to get involved and engaged early in shaping the future of the fintech space.”
The FiEx FinTech Youth Hub also featured a pitch competition that was also sponsored by Network International giving students the opportunity to propose creative fintech business ideas and solutions. Amaan Shad, a Management Information Systems student in his final year, won the competition earning him an internship with Network International.
“I pitched an idea for an online platform that connects students with businesses, allowing them to propose solutions to real life problems and I was happy to know that I came in first and won the internship. The event overall was valuable and I enjoyed it. It provided a great opportunity to learn and meet industry leaders, network and get a better understanding of the fintech space in the UAE,” said Shad.
SBA boasts a growing portfolio of programs, introducing the most updated state-of-the-art curriculum. Its programs have received international recognition, with QS World University Subject Rankings naming AUS as number one in the UAE and among the top 250 universities globally for business and management studies, and number one (tied) in the UAE and among the top 250 universities globally for accounting and finance (2022). The AUS MBA program is among the top 10 in the Middle East and Africa region and among the top 250 in the world in the QS Global MBA Rankings (2022).