Sabeer Nelli, a seasoned entrepreneur, and Forbes Business official member, is renowned for his knowledge of the oil market and fintech. After being disqualified from first-class medical due to hearing issues, he had to abandon his dream career as a commercial pilot. In 2005, he founded TylerPetroleum.com, which has since become one of the fastest-growing private companies in the US, according to INC, with over $60 million in revenue, 200 employees, and thousands of vendors.
However, managing payments proved to be a challenge for him as vendors preferred different payment channels. Some wanted accounts payable and receivable via ACH, others preferred wire transfers or handover checks, while others required checks in the mail or virtual cards, or instant payments. As a result, he had to use multiple platforms to complete transactions and accept payments through different scenarios. To increase revenue, he had to switch platforms based on his clients’ preferences to avoid losing them.
Additionally, he faced challenges in managing his own office users to conduct payments. He wanted to restrict access for some users by allowing them to pay only certain payees up to a certain amount and requiring approval from higher-level users while limiting their access to visible data.
The platform he used for ACH transactions, bill.com, was blocked and denied access because they were a startup at the time and did not want to take on too many future requests and risks. This denial prompted him to create an all-in-one platform to solve his own problems and target SMBs. The platform would have all payment channels in and out under one roof and allow microlevel access control for users. He was grateful to bill.com for this. In the past, he had developed a platform for the oil industry, but it was unsuccessful, and auction sites like eBay also failed.
Zil payment platform reflects his diverse background in the financial and small business sectors. As the owner of more than 14 Western Union branches and an ATM processor in East Texas, he has a wealth of experience in money transfer and banking services. He also has a passion for the hospitality industry, having successfully operated restaurants, smart laundries, fuel stations, mini supermarkets, truck stops, and check-cashing facilities under his company Tyler Petroleum. He leads a team of over 200 employees who share his vision of providing quality products and services to customers. He always says he earned his MBA not from Stanford but from the city of Tyler Street, which took him more than ten years to complete. He claims that Tyler Street taught him everything he needed to know about business, from negotiating to managing a team of hundreds. He says that Stanford out can’t often handle the real world.
He had a lot of gratitude to God for the many adventures he had as a kid. He ran a cooking gas store in 12th grade. He grew potatoes in 9th and 10th grades and filled two truck-load with them each year. He and his brother Saheer also sold tea/coffee and snacks at fairs and popsicles at football fields and movie theaters while in school. In 5th grade, he sold candies on the road during an entire two months of summer break, even though his classmates made fun of him and called him “Mango Man” for selling mangoes at school and hiding from teachers. His parents taught him not to care about what others thought of him. During flight school training, he and his cousin were selling roasted peanuts in downtown streets, hoping to earn some extra income. These experiences helped him learn a lot, and later, he got to visit more than two dozen countries. He thanked God for all the wisdom and experiences he had in his life.
Sabeer Nelli has earned his advanced Fintech course from Harvard University. He holds membership in multiple organizations, including the US Faster Payment Council and Nacha, which oversees regulations for Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions. He is also a member of the Business Payment Coalition of the Federal Reserve System and Federal Reserve Fednow Community, which is focused on the development of an imminent instant payment system from the Federal Reserve. Furthermore, he has contributed his time as a volunteer for the City of Tyler Police Department in Texas. In 2017, he became a Forbes business member.
He remains passionate about farming in Texas, where he resides on a ranch. He raises a variety of animals, including horses, cattle, chickens, ducks, and goats. After obtaining a commercial pilot’s license, he became medically disqualified from being a pilot. Despite his original dream, he now employs pilots to fly his private jet.
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Technical Officer
VP Sales & BD
Harvard Law School
Early Life and Career
Sabeer Nelli’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident from an early age. He owned a cooking gas shop during his 12th grade and farmed potatoes during his 9th and 10th grades, filling an 18-wheeler truckload. Despite being teased by his classmates and being nicknamed “Mango Man” for selling mangoes at school and hiding from teachers, he sold candies on the side of the road during a two-month summer vacation in 5th grade. His parents encouraged him not to let others’ options affect his social standing, and these experiences taught him valuable lessons that would serve him well in his future endeavors.
Career in Aviation
After obtaining a commercial pilot’s license, Sabeer’s career in aviation was cut short due to hearing issues that led to his disqualification from first-class medical. This forced him to leave his passionate career as a commercial pilot and find a new path.
“Once you have an innovation culture, you don’t have to be scientists or engineers.”
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