Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Transformify CEO Lilia Stoyanov on 2024 Expectations

Leaders Perception Magazine is currently running an interview series called – The Future Frontier: Insights from Diverse Leaders
Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Lilia Stoyanov, the CEO of Transformify (TFY). Lilia has a unique background, having built a successful corporate career before transitioning into angel investing. With her experience at Skrill/Paysafe and Coca-Cola Enterprises, she has successfully scaled Transformify (TFY) into a profitable business without external funding. As we look ahead to 2024, Lilia shares her hopes and expectations for the year, as well as insights into how technological advancements are shaping her industry. She also discusses the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and how Transformify (TFY) is promoting these values. Join us as we delve into Lilia’s inspiring journey and leadership philosophy.

Transformify CEO Lilia Stoyanov on 2024 Expectations

Interviewee Name: Lilia Stoyanov

Company: Transformify (TFY)

Lilia Stoyanov’s favourite quote: ‘ If you know what you want, you will always have it in the end.” If you really want to achieve something, you will find a way to do so. Of course, it is easier said than done as in most cases there is a high price you need to pay, be it sacrificing your personal life, spending long hours gaining understanding into a subject that is not exciting, waking up early to study for exams prior to going to work, and the list goes on. There is no ” free lunch” but if you are ready put in the effort and pay the price, the results are usually better than expected.

The Interview

Thank you so much for joining us today! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your backstory?

Lilia Stoyanov : It’s an unusual story as I first built a successful corporate career and only after that started investing as an angel investor. Learning how to manage and scale a business is essential and I had the privilege to witness fast-paced growth as the GM&CFO of Skrill/ Paysafe. The company is one of the leading payment providers in the world and is now listed on NYSE. Witnessing its growth up till the moment it was acquired for USD 1 billion was precisely the experience I needed to start and scale Transformify(TFY) a few years later. After Skrill/ Paysafe, I joined Coca-Cola Enterprises as Director PTP and won the 2013 Finance Excellence Award for the Finance Transformation project across Europe. Lots of people are curious about my career choice as it is perceived that managers with creative, entrepreneurial mindsets could hardly thrive in the corporate world. While in many cases this might be true, an experience in the corporate world prepares you better than anything to lead a company that is to be publicly listed soon enough. However, in my eyes, even that was not sufficient. I complemented my on-the-job experience with a Pg.Dip. in Financial Strategy from Oxford University.

As we embark on the journey into 2024, what are your hopes and expectations for the year ahead, both personally and professionally?

Lilia Stoyanov : Despite all odds, 2023 was a successful year for Transformify(TFY). We doubled the processed payment volumes and achieved 30% Profit Before Tax ( PBT) margin. It’s fascinating as Transformify (TFY) is bootstrapped, we never took external funding. At the same time, most of our well-funded competitors still struggle to break even. We had a good start to 2024 and our team is motivated to at least triple the processed payment volumes and the number of onboarded business clients by the year end while preserving our high profit before tax (PBT) margin. Scaling has its pain points but it is a much more predictable process as we have built our sales funnels.
Personally, I had a very unexpected, beautiful start to 2024. I love Italian food but it had never come to my mind that a random dinner at an Italian restaurant on a windy night could bring so much warmth and charm to my life.

How do you see technological advancements influencing your field or industry in the coming year, and what opportunities or challenges do they present?

Lilia Stoyanov : As a technology company, Transformify (TFY) has always been driven by process automation. This is our ” secret sauce” to achieving profitability and high profit before tax (PBT) margin. In 2023, we enhanced our 2 Open APIs and the plan is to add even more functionality by the end of this year. In my eyes, technological advancements are opportunities, not threads. Leveraging the latest technology in many cases can guarantee a competitive advantage. Still, careful consideration is needed prior to jumping into unchartered waters. In many cases, relying on stable technological solutions at the core of your business and adding the newest technologies on top to the extent that any perceived risks are mitigated, is the best strategy. This is our strategy as well and that’s how we keep product development costs low.

As a leader or aspiring leader, what role do you believe diversity, equity, and inclusion will play in shaping the future of your industry, and how are you working to promote these values within your sphere of influence?

Lilia Stoyanov : It all starts with corporate culture and values. Our team is all-remote since the beginning in 2015 and there are people of diverse backgrounds. Almost all races and religions are alreay represented and is a very native process. We hire people who share our values regardless of their location, gender, race, or religion. Transformify (TFY) is almost 9 years old and during the years we’ve built a culture or openness, respect and equality. To me as a leader, it is vital to encourage everyone to openly share their ideas regardless of how extraordinary those ideas might be. We encourage creativity and mistakes are seen as a learning experience. It is extremely important that people are not afraid to speak up and share their concerns. As a team, we pay equal attention to everyone’s ideas and concerns regardless of hierarchy. Equality always starts at the top, it is the leader who needs to act in line with the corporate values.
Speaking of diversity, equity and inclusion, over the years, Transformify (TFY) has engaged in many social initiatives to help people in need. These include Rebuild Lives, a program providing access to remote jobs and secure payment to refugees and people living in post-war zones, training and remote jobs for youth in detention centers in Peru, access to remote jobs and secure payment to victims of domestic abuse and acid attacks in India and Pakistan and more. We will continue to incorporate the” transforming people’s lives for good” concept in our corporate culture as ” our brand name Transformify stands for ” transforming people’s lives for good”. The second brand TFY stands for ” think for yourself” and encourages people to think about the positive change they could bring to the world. You can find many more examples of social initiatives on our dedicated page – https://www.transformify.org/page/social-responsibility-diversity-inclusion-solutions

Leaders Perception would like to thank Lilia Stoyanov and Transformify (TFY) for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!

Subscribe to our newsletter to get a notification as soon as we launch a new interview series.

Explore additional categories

Explore Other Interviews