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Suki Parwana

Customer Story:

How Silverbird removed Suki’s compliance hurdles and turbocharged his trade with Europe.

There's a disconnect between bureaucracy and the day-to-day reality of international trade.

Suki Parwana
Director, Vapes-bars GmbH

Business is in Suki’s blood.

From a young age, Suki worked in his family’s clothing factory, programming embroidery machines to make logos. 

By the time he had reached adulthood, most UK textile manufacturing had been outsourced to the Eastern Bloc and eventually to China.

He went his own way and got a job as a contractor for British Airways. Started his own consultancy business. Worked with Linux before it was cool. But whether Suki was share trading or working with Diabetes UK, he always had his finger on the pulse of tech. He’s been in start-ups. Sold a few start-ups too. ‘I guess I’m a serial entrepreneur,’ he said. 

Now he is the principal of Vapers Bars, a new and progressive tech-led company focused on the burgeoning disposable vape market.

Setting up the business was a challenge — there were regulatory roadblocks that could have detrimentally impacted his business.

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There's a disconnect between bureaucracy and the day-to-day reality of international trade.

There was a particularly post-Brexit problem — British banks didn’t understand the rules relating to trade with Europe. He had set up the company as the European partner of a UK company. The business was to be German-based.

Countless times, different banks said he needed a work permit or German citizenship to do so. ‘Every door I knocked on, there was a similar local knowledge perception: Oh no, you need a residency permit. And yet, when I went to the Chamber of Commerce, they said, ’Why on earth would you need that?’

He was getting frustrated at the line of questioning. They would ask him why his manufacturers were Chinese ­­— another roadblock. ’I would say, Well, Sherlock Holmes, everybody uses Chinese manufacturers.’

He found that while traditional banks presented themselves as part of some global machine that understood everything, individuals within the organization lacked basic market knowledge.

"This global machine is made up of inefficient smaller parts, It’s a war of attrition, akin to running through a balsa wood door. Simple to do, but by the hundredth door, you’re going to be in pretty bad shape."

He had to look for alternatives. Having worked with banks in compliance projects in the past, Suki was already armed with a deep understanding of compliance issues. That just irritated him more. ‘I understood the reasons behind compliance, so the questions being fired at me didn’t make any regulatory sense.’

He found an alternative in Silverbird, particularly when it came to compliance. 

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"The people at Silverbird doing the due diligence understand how markets work. They were able to understand what I was doing and trying to accomplish. Without banking, there can be no business. Silverbird can unlock the ability for businesses to function."

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From speedy onboarding to streamlined payments to multi-currency accounts, Suki found Silverbird to be an alternative to traditional banks.

"It’s well-engineered from a software perspective and it’s much more streamlined than other services. It makes it accessible and easy to trade."

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