The big idea: Analytics that are aligned with the business model and market conditions are a strategic asset that can provide stable growth in a volatile industry, even when the data are self-generated.
The scenario: Dunia Finance started with a business model focused on offering financial services to underserved clients in the United Arab Emirates just as the worldwide financial meltdown began. The central bank licensed Dunia to offer credit cards, personal and auto loans, simple insurance products linked to them, and corporate deposit services and financial guarantees for companies. Dunia was not allowed to take cash deposits from retail consumers.
Ali Hurbas joined Dunia in 2008 as head of its Strategic Analysis unit. His experience at Dunia was his first working for a local company in the Middle East. Hurbas was used to analytics powered by a robust customer credit scoring mechanism using credit bureau data from a broad set of sources. He found no such financial data here, only data on infractions of law, such as bouncing a check. Banks were not accustomed to sharing financial data.