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Spotlight Series: Ryta Zasiekina, Founder, CONCRYT

Ryta Zasiekina

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Meet Ryta Zasiekina, Founder of CONCRYT, providing game-changing expertise in payments and banking. Ryta sits down with us to talk about her incredible journey, her role models and her advice to others.

Having spent a decade consulting in the payments and banking industries, Ryta Zasiekina, Founder of CONCRYT, has gained a reputation as a dynamic decision-maker and skilled negotiator.

Originally from Ukraine, Ryta was forced to flee her homeland for Riga, Latvia, in spring 2022, where she is now founder of CONCRYT.

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How did you land your current role? Was it planned? 

I am a qualified engineer and have spent around a decade in the payments and banking industry as an independent entrepreneur and business advisor. My specialism is in general e-commerce and FinTech business consulting, payment processing, alternative payment methods, risk management and anti-fraud.

After graduating from university, I was unsure of my place in the world. I studied the biographies of many successful people in business and politics, the institutions they graduated from and the level of education they received. From this, I compiled a checklist of the skills, competencies, and traits I knew I would need to reach my goals.

I tried my hand at several different companies across various industries, and in time, I uncovered a new area of e-commerce that instantly captivated me. CONCRYT was created to help merchants across all sectors make quantifiable impacts in the online space, by combining unrivalled sector knowledge and experience to create a sustainable, mature, efficient global payments business.

What are the key roles in your field of work, and why did you choose your current expertise? 

Since the pandemic drove so many merchants online, e-commerce businesses have started to recognise the importance of having a digital payment services solution in place. Now that the pandemic is behind us, and our shopping habits have changed for good, merchants are in a position where they want to expand revenues, broaden their offerings, and increase the value on offer from cross-border payment capabilities.

I founded CONCRYT because I saw the potential of this industry shift and knew that merchants needed help to fulfil their potential. At each step of that journey, we have the expertise to help our merchant partners and can provide an unparalleled level of personalised support.

Did you (or do you) have a role model in tech or business in general?

Michelle Obama inspires me a lot. I consider her as an example of a woman who can be successful and at the same time knows how to keep a balance between all areas of life. She’s an inspiration to many women in the world.

There are also lots of people to whom I’m grateful for giving me opportunities and seeing my potential – business owners and leaders who helped me gain experience and hone my mind. They have inspired me to demonstrate these qualities, and I hope that in turn I can inspire others.

Are there any specific skills or traits that you notice companies look for when you’re searching for roles in your field? 

A really important skill for women working in any tech-orientated retailer or e-commerce business is understanding how to use software to meet customer needs or to improve business processes. As a female leader in this industry, you should always strive to dive deeper into your customers’ pain points and take the time to understand what problems you are trying to solve.

When it comes to developing a solution, companies in our industry are very aware that selecting the right team can make the difference between success or failure. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to do everything yourself — recognise where your skills or knowledge are better than those around you, and where you need to lean on others around you to come to the best solution.

For women to thrive in fintech and e-commerce, they need to ask themselves honest questions, understand what it is they want, and form a strategic plan to get there — otherwise they’ll end up working to meet other people’s goals. We all have our own specific path — so you need to be fair with yourself and crucially, understand exactly what motivates you.

Has anyone ever tried to stop you from learning and developing in your professional life, or have you found the tech sector supportive? 

There’s no denying that women in all industries must work harder to be recognised, and to make their voices heard over those trying to speak over them. That’s why I believe it’s so important for women in our sector to support each other. I’m grateful to those who gave me opportunities, believed in me, saw my potential, and mentored me. That’s why I want to pay it forward and become a source of support for other women in fintech and e-commerce.

Have you ever faced insecurities and anxieties during your career, and how did you overcome them?

To be able to set up my businesses as a woman in a traditionally male-dominated industry, I have had to defy the odds and learn a lot about my industry, and myself, extremely quickly. In my younger years I was impatient to scale the career ladder and exuded self-confidence but had nothing concrete by way of experience to back it up. I have overcome these personal and professional challenges by exercising patience. Over time I have developed the skills and experience to hold my own and command respect as a business owner – not a female business owner.

Entering the world of work can be daunting. Do you have any words of advice for anyone feeling overwhelmed? 

One of my favorite quotes is, “Opportunity does not knock; it presents itself when you beat down the door.” If you don’t believe in yourself and what you are capable of, you can’t expect anyone else to buy into your vision either.

You can’t just sit around and wait to be noticed, just as you shouldn’t wait for life’s great opportunities to knock on your door. In order to manage your life and yourself, you need to take full responsibility. In my case, I was young and ambitious, I love challenges, and I purposefully amassed the skills and experience to deal with them. Women should not be afraid of tackling new challenges, however complex they may be. Skills can be learned along the way and experience can be gained – but if you never take that first step, you’ll never know what you’re capable of.

What advice would you give other women wanting to reach their career goals in technology? 

Women in tech and business generally often grapple with concerns about how they are perceived, particularly in terms of competitiveness and assertiveness. To succeed, it’s crucial for women to balance assertiveness with strategic thinking, as well as to demonstrate confidence in their abilities. Women must actively pursue opportunities and take on new challenges, recognising that skills can be developed, and experience gained along the way.

Moreover, women should not be hesitant to compete, as healthy competition is a key driver of success in business. Emotions should be managed carefully, and decisions made based on strategic analysis and foresight. Importantly, women should focus on building and maintaining a strong reputation, as this is a critical asset in the business world. Being systematic, thoughtful, diplomatic, and purposeful can help women navigate challenges and build lasting relationships.

Ultimately, women must not wait to be noticed or for opportunities to come to them. By taking initiative, pursuing new challenges, and demonstrating their capabilities, women can better position themselves for success in the tech industry and beyond.

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