Carly Furman Of Nayax LLC: Five Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Leader During Turbulent Times

An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis

Being honest, yet positive with your team, and also keeping fear in check so we can make clear-headed decisions!

As part of our series about the “Five Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Leader During Turbulent Times”, we had the pleasure of interviewing Carly Furman.

For the past 5+ years, Carly Furman, CEO of Nayax LLC, has overseen all operations for the North American Market and previously worked at Nayax’s R&D Headquarters in Herzliya, Israel where she was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of all of Nayax’s subsidiary companies. Prior to joining the Nayax family, Carly worked in public accounting and corporate finance, focusing on the biotech, fintech, and real estate sectors. Carly has a BA degree in Economics with an emphasis on Accounting from the University of CA, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and is a registered CPA.

Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I am originally from San Diego, CA, and went to school at University of California, Santa Barbara, where I majored in Economics with an accounting emphasis; I also studied at the University of Copenhagen and am a CPA. I started my career in Big 4 public accounting and then transitioned to M&A work in several hi-tech sectors. I always loved to travel and take (calculated!) risks and in 2013 moved to Tel Aviv, Israel, where my husband is from. Nayax R&D is based in Israel, and in 2014 Nayax was looking for an American CFO to help with the acquisition of their largest distributor, who was based in the US. I came on board and hit the ground running! I then also helped establish Nayax Germany, Nayax Italy, Nayax Canada and Nayax Mexico. In 2016 I was presented with the amazing opportunity to head Nayax North America, and relocated to Hunt Valley, MD to assume the CEO role of Nayax’s largest market. It’s been a blast!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

Not really a mistake as much as sometimes just not even realizing what you don’t know when walking into a situation. It was my 4th day with Nayax. I travelled from Israel to the parent office of the company we acquired in the US. The receptionist took me into a large meeting room with probably 10–12 seats set up. The acquired company’s former CFO and controller looked at me and asked where everyone else was to help with the 1-week post-acquisition information dump so we could take over the financial operations. I smiled and said, “It’s just me!” I could see the panic in their eyes. I was a bit freaked out on the inside, but got it done. I still laugh when I think about walking in by myself and the expectation was that I would have a team.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Nayax’s co-founder Yair Nechmad has helped shape my career path a lot. He has given me tremendous opportunity, taught me through example to really trust your team and listen to customers and colleagues, and to say “I’ll get back to you” when need to think about something… you can still be action oriented and agile, yet take a pause.

Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. When your company started, what was its vision, what was its purpose?

Democratizing cashless payment acceptance is important to us. We strive for all unattended retailers to be able to power their business through seamless and affordable acceptance of all cashless payment forms.

Thank you for all that. Let’s now turn to the main focus of our discussion. Can you share with our readers a story from your own experience about how you lead your team during uncertain or difficult times?

Well, I do not think there was anything more uncertain than the start of the pandemic! We were all worried about the unknown state of our businesses, keeping our families healthy and learning to work and learn remotely. I’m proud that we pivoted quickly as an organization, learned to support each other and our customers in new ways and that we did not have to do any layoffs or furloughs. That was my main goal.

Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the motivation to continue through your challenges? What sustains your drive?

I have not. I love what I do and working with my team and customers. Challenging times actually motivate me to work harder and find creative solutions.

What would you say is the most critical role of a leader during challenging times?

Being honest, yet positive with your team, and also keeping fear in check so we can make clear-headed decisions!

What is the best way to communicate difficult news to one’s team and customers?

Being direct and truthful, but in an empathetic and solution focused manner. I prefer, when possible, to bring up the challenge with a few potential solutions already. Also, facilitating open dialogue is crucial for me. My mom always said to me growing up that “the worst truth is better than the best lie.” I know I feel this way and assume others do too, but to make it constructive I try to always bring a solution to the table if presenting less then desirable news.

How can a leader make plans when the future is so unpredictable?

I think being able to make quick decisions, trust your judgement and being unafraid to keep plans dynamic.

Is there a “number one principle” that can help guide a company through the ups and downs of turbulent times?

Be as agile as possible. We are all faced with tons of individual micro-decisions each day. Of course, some decisions have much greater impact than others, but try and make decisions quickly and based on the best information you have, and if something looks to not be working, trust yourself to make the change.

Generating new business, increasing your profits, or at least maintaining your financial stability can be challenging during good times, even more so during turbulent times. Can you share some of the strategies you use to keep forging ahead and not lose growth traction during a difficult economy?

Listening to customers’ changing needs and pain points and being agile enough to adjust your offering and sales strategy is crucial. Also, trusting the feedback from your team, who is in the day-to-day details, and then helping to formulate a new strategy (when needed) with them is really important to me.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Everyone has had to do everything for a first time.” When making a big career leap it is common to doubt yourself and think “Am I ready? Can I do this?” In times when I have doubted myself, I remember every person has had to do a task or role for a first time. It took time, but I trust myself to know that if I want something enough, I will figure out how to get it done!

How can our readers further follow your work?

Readers can follow me on Linked In or at

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

Carly Furman Of Nayax LLC: Five Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Leader During Turbulent… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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