Bridge+2 May 2021

Bondevalue – Rahul Bannerjee

Tell us the story of how BondEvalue came about.

As a former Banker, and having spent many years working in Financial Markets (most recently as Global Head for Corporates, Financial Market Sales at Standard Chartered Bank), I knew that bond markets are operating unlike stock markets, with several systemic challenges such as the lack of transparency in bond trading prices, the inaccessibility of bonds as a viable asset class to majority of investors, and the inefficiency of bond trade processes. This meant the bond market was ripe for disruption. The BondEvalue journey began 5 years ago as a bond information service and subscription based app, before establishing the BondbloX Bond Exchange, the world’s first fractional bond exchange, and successfully exited the MAS Sandbox with a Recognised Market Operator (RMO) license.

What would you say is the biggest challenge you've faced in recent years?

We were about to launch our Bond exchange when COVID-19 stopped the world! Our immediate concern was our team, how to stay safe and still launch the exchange! Our partners were based in Chicago, London, Sydney, Hyderabad, etc.

The team, investors, partners, lawyers all worked 100% remotely and got the job done. We held a huge champagne launch party, where everyone had exactly the same champagne but we held the party on Zoom. It was quite a lot of fun and something I will never forget.

How has the pandemic affected the way you work?

We were a very early adopter of work-from-home at the start of the pandemic, and utilised technology extensively to ensure the business could operate effectively as staff worked remotely. We also wanted to support our employee’s mental wellbeing, and so gave employees the option to join an open Zoom session which was live all day, and we found this to be very effective in helping employees stay connected with one another and maintain informal chats and discussions.

Do you have any productivity hacks to share?

We conduct all external and internal (we have a large team in Hyderabad, India) meetings and calls via video (Zoom or Google Meet), and find this adds an extra layer in building relationships and ultimately aiding business.

Friday evening trivia quiz sessions help a lot.

Tell us your secret - how do you juggle work and other commitments?

As an entrepreneur I have obligations to my employees and investors, and this means I virtually never switch off thinking about work! I love golf though, and this affords me 4-5 hours of quiet time.

Favourite recent read.

I read the tri-logy of “sea of poppies”, a personalized account of the formative years of Singapore and Hong Kong. A fascinating read of hardships and entrepreneurship, and makes all our problems seem trivial by contrast.

Favourite place to chill around Bridge+ 79RR.

The great thing about Bridge+ 79RR is the numerous shared spaces, offering different options to meet and hang out. The L7 pantry is a fantastic space with great views, and where we find ourselves spending most time. It is always the first place we bring guests and it has that ‘wow factor’. The team love the foosball table, and a pool table would make a great addition!

Our Bridge+ Ambassadors in Dominic, Min Qi and Giselle are our new friends and help make the community real.

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