TBC Bank wins Silver Operational Efficiency award at Qorus Reinvention Awards – Europe 2024

Digital Reinvention
27/03/2024 Interview
profile picture of Vazha Beriashvili

Vazha Beriashvili

TBC Bank

R&D lead

TBC Bank earned the silver Operational Efficiency award for their TBC Innovation Fund and ‘Working Backwards’ Process at the Qorus Reinvention Awards – Europe 2024. Vazha Beriashvili is leading the innovation initiatives within TBC Bank. He tells us more about their winning project and shares his reaction to this award.


Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about your role at TBC Bank?

Hi, my name is Vazha Beriashvili, and I've had the privilege of being part of the TBC Bank team for over 25 years now. Throughout my journey here, I've held various roles, initially starting in the credit department, and then progressing to leadership positions such as Head of New Product Development, Head of Digital Channels and Tribe Lead of Payments. Currently, my primary responsibility entails spearheading the innovation initiatives within TBC Bank.

What made you most proud of the TBC Innovation Fund and ‘Working Backwards’ Process project?

I take immense pride in our achievement of fostering a genuinely customer-centric approach within TBC Bank. While many banks emphasize the importance of customer-centricity, only a select few use the operational tools to actualize this commitment. At TBC, we are using two such instruments – the Design Thinking and Working Backwards processes, synergistically complementing each other.

What sets our approach apart is the integration of the Working Backwards process with the Innovation Fund – enabling any member of the bank with a novel, customer-focused idea to leverage this framework and seek funding for its realization. While inspired by Amazon's Working Backwards process, we've tailored it uniquely to TBC by coupling it with financing opportunities, thereby establishing a distinctive proposition within our institution.

What was your greatest achievement in making it happen?

It wasn't an easy feat... Picture this: the entire bank board sitting in silence for 25 minutes, engrossed in reading the Working Backwards document. Can you envision such a scenario in your organization? However, it proved immensely beneficial as the board became much better equipped to make decisions and pose relevant questions compared to standard presentations. This process also entailed a cultural shift towards becoming more detail-oriented and customer-focused.

Moreover, through this initiative, we instigated a significant change. We required all teams seeking financing for their ideas to engage directly with customers, comprehensively understanding their needs and delving deep into data analysis. Without undertaking these steps, securing funding wasn't possible. Consequently, it marked a substantial shift towards prioritizing customer-centricity.

What is the most important thing you would tell someone considering embarking on a similar project?

I would highly recommend implementing the Working Backwards process in any organization, but it's crucial to prevent it from becoming overly bureaucratic. To ensure genuine engagement with the process, I strongly advise tying it to project financing. Without the opportunity for funding, employees may view it as just another bureaucratic hurdle rather than a valuable tool for innovation and improvement.

What's coming next for the TBC Innovation Fund and ‘Working Backwards’ Process project?

One of the strengths of our Working Backwards process and the Innovation Fund is their ability to continuously foster and support new ideas. In 2024, I anticipate funding a dozen innovative projects across various fields, ranging from AI-powered products to digital process optimization as well as other groundbreaking innovations.

What would you say to companies that might consider entering the 2024 Banking Innovation Awards?

I would recommend considering entry into the competition if your organization has implemented something truly unique or has added a distinctive twist to existing ideas, similar to our experience with the Working Backwards process and the innovation fund at TBC Bank. While certain concepts may not be novel in themselves, the way they are executed can make them stand out.

Moreover, it's essential to have tangible results from your innovation efforts. Innovation for the sake of innovation isn't enough; measurable outcomes are key. Only then can your innovation be truly appreciated and recognized in competitions like the Banking Innovation Awards.

What does this award mean to you and your innovation team?

This award holds significant meaning for us, as it acknowledges the dedication and effort we've invested in bringing our innovation to life and ensuring its success over the past two years. It serves as a strong motivation for our team to persist in our hard work, innovate further, and ultimately fulfill TBC Bank's mission of making people's lives easier.

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