Upon reflecting on everything that happened in 2021, starting with the decision to join forces with my current 2 co-founders Jean-Marie Khoueir and Wissam Ghorra, and where we are today close to launch and with a growing full time team, I wanted to take the time to step back and attempt to convey the WHY we started Purpl and its reason for existence, the HOW of our mission and how we intend to create that future, and the WHAT of Purpl’s solution.
Simon Sinek in his book “Start with WHY” couldn’t have said it any better, and I highly recommend this book to any entrepreneur out there trying to change the world.
The clarity of WHY, the discipline of HOW (values and principles that guide how you bring the WHY to life, it manifests itself in the systems, processes and culture of an organization’s and making everyone accountable for it) and the consistency of WHAT (results of your WHY and HOW) are the foundations of everything we build.
Few weeks back, we sat down with all the team (mind you we are still a small but growing and passionate one) at an offsite to hear about the inspiring entrepreneurial story of Philippe Dagher, the founder of Cash United which became a key player in the remittance market in Lebanon, and who also happens to have joined our Board of Directors. The goal of this offsite was to discuss the vision and mission of Purpl and what are the common denominators that drive us all.
The Clarity of WHY
Why are we doing what we are doing today? Why would I move back to Lebanon in October 2021, in the midst of an unprecedented crisis that has been dubbed as the 3rd worst economic crisis by the World Bank and when every able Lebanese is looking for a brighter future (rightly so) far away from Lebanon? Why would our current team members want to stay in a country that has left their parents and them with nothing?
Our WHY: We want to be not just the VOICE, but the DAVID of the 20M plus Lebanese all around the world and in Lebanon that can no longer count on GOLIATH, the institutions that were created to serve them and put their interests first.
Why does it matter? Lebanon is a remittance dependent economy.
Lebanon’s main source of capital inflows is from remittances, driven by +15M Lebanese expatriates all over the world. In fact, Lebanon ranks 2nd worldwide in remittance flows’ contribution to GDP. Remittance inflows constitute 33% of Lebanon’s GDP.
Furthermore, the $6.9B remittance flows to Lebanon in 2020, placed Lebanon 2nd in the MENA region as to remittance recipient country.
It is this WHY that defines Purpl’s culture, it is this WHY that has brought us together around a common set of values and beliefs. And it is this WHY that has helped us hire people who not only have a skill set we need to bring to life this WHY, but to hire people who believe what we believe.
The Discipline of HOW
Now that we have uncovered the WHY that fuels us everyday, let’s tackle the HOW. Everyone at Purpl takes the intangible cause and builds the infrastructure that can give life to our WHY. The HOW is what actually makes a measurable change and impact possible.
Our HOW: We are committed to empowering the diaspora connection to their home country by democratizing cross border money transfer flows; as well as enabling financial access to all, by changing the way we receive, transfer and spend money.
More than just a mission statement, this is our reason for existence and what we will be held accountable for. Impact is our only measure of success and comes first in everything we do. Our WHAT will only be about building products that are in the interests of our customers even if it involves leaving money on the table.
The Consistency of WHAT
The WHAT serves as the tangible proof of WHY we do what we do, which is creating an ecosystem platform geared towards the consumer pressing needs
Our WHAT: The first remittance and cash out aggregator connecting Lebanon to the world, one adopter at a time.
Thanks to our network of partnerships with international remittance players and local cash-out partners, Purpl will cover all sending corridors to Lebanon and have more than 800 points of cash-outs, including 190+ ATMs, covering the whole Lebanese territory.
Our users will be able to receive money from abroad, cash it out and spend it digitally at local merchants’ brick and mortar shops, as well as online shops.
We aim to re-invent a painful and inefficient cash-out and payment journey being experienced on a daily basis by the population in Lebanon.
Thanks to this new virtuous ecosystem, sending money to Lebanon has never been so easy, secure and fair.
We’re excited for this next chapter and what 2022 has in store for Lebanon, and deeply appreciative for everyone that’s gotten us this far, supporters and critics alike. And if anyone is interested in joining, please do reach out.
Purpl, Made for Lebanon, Powered by You
Written By: Karl Naïm