Interviews and Reviews

From Idea to Innovation: Meet Shahid Hanif, The Co-Founder and CTO of Shufti Pro

SHAHID hanif 1

Shahid Hanif is a Pakistan-based tech entrepreneur working in the UK as the co-founder and CTO of the award-winning IDV solution Shufti Pro. In this interview, Shahid Hanif shares his journey and the thought behind Shufti Pro’s creation. Discover how he, along with his team, transformed the challenges faced by Shufti Pro into triumphs and led it to the top of the IDV market.

Can you share a brief overview of your life with us? Tell us about your background.

Since I was a kid, I’ve always been fascinated by the IT world. I completed my bachelor’s in Computer Science with a specialization in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Hertfordshire in 2015. After that, I completed my master’s degree in AI at the University of Edinburgh in 2016. I worked at a few tech firms in the initial stages of my career, but then I decided to create the SaaS solution “Shufti Pro” after witnessing the shortcomings of the IDV sector.

Can you give us more details about your company, Shufti Pro? What was the thought behind Shufti Pro’s creation?

I have always believed in AI’s potential to be a significant phenomenon in the near future. Its unique ability to analyze vast amounts of data in less time is what grabbed my attention and gave me the idea to use it for good. I was once assigned a job to test and implement KYC services for a financial firm. I got it working but wasn’t satisfied since it used traditional verification methods. Not long after this event, I had an awful experience during the ID verification and onboarding process with an enterprise, making me think that no one deserves to go through this much hassle just to prove their legitimacy. This prompted me to create a full-scale AI-powered IDV solution so people can carry out their business processes without inconvenience.

What does Shufti Pro do? What would you say is Shufti Pro’s unique selling point?

Shufti Pro understands the level of risk associated with online business dealings. Processes like tracking transactions and verifying the legitimacy of a business are crucial and should be taken seriously, as most companies don’t. Shufti Pro makes every second count by conducting verification checks, including KYC, KYB, KYI, AML screening, biometric verification, and OCR. Our self-trained AI-powered solutions provide 99.37% accuracy and can verify over 10,000+ document types in 150+ languages.

What are some hurdles that you had to face during ShuftiPro’s creation? How di you manage to navigate through them?

As a startup, market saturation was a massive problem for Shufti Pro. This made it hard for us to find investors and stakeholders who could trust us. I’m a huge supporter of healthy competition, but in today’s day and age, it is easier than ever to launch a product and name it a startup. Our goal was never just to start a company, we created a team of people with excellent tech skills and the ability to provide the best services possible. Nurturing good relationships with our customers was the key to having a good reputation and creating credibility in the market.

What is your life like as the CTO of Shufti Pro? What is a part of your routine that you enjoy the most?

As Shufti Pro’s CTO, my duties include managing and developing new strategies to meet the evolving needs of our customers and staying up-to-date with new technologies around the world. The most exciting part of my day is reading the reviews of our customers and clients. This gives me an overview of our performance, what needs to be improved, and what new things we can introduce. Our team at Shufti Pro is always open to innovation.

What is your strategy for growth? How do you market your tech products?

We firmly believe that growth and marketing should always be organic. Even though paid marketing works, it can bring in an audience with a communication gap and lack of interest in the product. We market our products using organic marketing methods. Blogs and emails have proven to be effective for our marketing. Shufti Pro’s marketing team works hard to produce content that resonates with our target audience. This brings like-minded people to our product, which helps us improve.

What is the key to success in the tech industry? Do you have any advice for young tech entrepreneurs?

I advise young entrepreneurs to focus on their specific niche instead of following trends. Identify a problem and work diligently to solve it with your products. Another thing I would like to add is that to achieve success, you must embrace your failures. It is not necessary that you create a full-scale solution for a problem in a single try, or your start-up will receive a huge investment the second you step into the market. You must work hard, keep trying, remain consistent, and let things take their time.

What are some qualities that a tech start-up should have to be successful in the market?

The most crucial thing for any start-up is how much the team believes in the idea. Creating a product and jumping into the market without a plan causes many start-ups to fail. Secondly, start-ups should nurture good relationships with their clients, customers, and competitors. No matter what niche you’re working in, a well-established company will always perform well in it. A successful start-up promotes healthy competition in the market rather than trying to outperform every competitor in the market.

What books would you recommend young entrepreneurs read?

Reading is a thing that adds a lot of value to a person’s mind. Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from Walter Isaacson’s biographies of tech magnates. I would recommend aspiring entrepreneurs to start with the following reads:

  1. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
  2. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  3. Leaders by Richard Nixon

What is the future of Tech entrepreneurship in your eyes?

Consumers nowadays are looking for personalized services. Entrepreneurs who stay on track and provide customized solutions to consumers will prevail. The future of entrepreneurship is very bright; individuals are being empowered, and the monopoly of outdated companies is being eliminated. The AI breakthrough is also a big opportunity that entrepreneurs should take advantage of. Utilizing it in the right way can help us solve many of the problems we’re currently facing. This is an open door for entrepreneurial success.

Where do you see yourself and Shufti Pro in the next 10 years?

In the next 10 years, Shufti Pro will be functioning on a larger scale than it is now. Our teams stay updated on the latest technologies and always try their best not to make customers wait for new technologies. Shufti Pro will definitely have a lot of new features. On the other hand, I plan on continuing to fulfill my role as the CTO of Shufti Pro. My job is to enhance our current infrastructure and introduce new technologies; my priorities will also remain the same over the next decade.

To Top

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This