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Minara Chamber of Commerce
Channel: Mirza Yawar Baig
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Episode Transcript ©
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Thank you very much.
This wasn't too bad. I am always petrified of introductions.
Because people then put you on a spot. And then you feel obliged to defend whatever has been said about you.
So we're not putting me on the spot just now.
When he asked me about this program, I said, I,
double Knights are good at two things. They're good at feeding you until you die, and then they give you enough work to make sure that you do die.
Believe it or not, in two days, I have 12 or 14 engagements.
And then the usual thing of people say, Oh, yeah, but you can do it. So being a male, I am susceptible to these ego boosts of somebody saying, yes, you can do it, and therefore I attempt to do it.
I think the peculiar male problem.
So anyway, that's why I thought, let me not have another speech here. Just listen to you guys. And if you have any questions, my principal in question answers is you asked whatever you like, and I will answer whatever I like. So that that works quite well, for me, it's been my principal, which is my favorite question tended to Indians.
just a brief thing of because we are talking about entrepreneurship, I thought, I'll just talk about my journey on entrepreneurship. Some of you have seen my book, I believe.
It's called the an entrepreneurs diary. Now it's there on Amazon and Kindle and various platforms. So do read it.
I wrote another one called, it's my life, which is, which is the latest one,
which also has the entrepreneurship part of my life in it. Plus, it has other things, as well. So that might be of interest.
The thought of being an entrepreneur came into my mind, I can almost put a date on it, which was in 1983
when I was running a tea plantation
in South India,
and I decided at that point that I wanted to become
a leadership trainer.
So I sat down and wrote a
vision statement for myself. And I said, I want to become a globally recognized leadership trainer, that was my framework, globally recognized.
So it had two or three
factors in it, one must be leadership trainer, the other one must be globally recognized. So these two things.
And then from 83, I started
then looking at saying, Well, what do I need to do? How can I get trained to be a leadership trainer? And to my utter horror, I discovered that there is no such thing as a training for a leadership trainer. I don't know course I can go and attend. There's no it wasn't there
wasn't any course I could go and attend, there wasn't any degree and so on.
So I said, Well, now what do I do, having made the statement, one of my principles in life is that when I decide to do something, I don't change the statement, or I never change the world. And that's maybe one of the things I want to share with you is that if you decide on something, don't bring down the bar, no matter what.
Find a way of doing it. I mean, you don't know a way of doing it fine, that's fine. But find a way of doing that bar, which is apparently unreachable, will actually motivate you.
Because it's the nature of extraordinary goals to inspire extraordinary effort. And that's what extraordinary goes through. So the whole and the and the also is the nature of extraordinary goals that are, by definition frightening.
So I say to people that if it doesn't scare the universe out of you, then it is not an extraordinary goal. Right. So make sure that it's something which is scary. And then you work for it. And lo and behold, you will find that you will reach it. There are I'm not saying this is an absolute rule applies in every case, maybe it doesn't. But you do reach quite a way to it. And sometimes then you can branch off into something else because some other doors open for you, and so on. So I wrote this thing. And then I said, Well, what do I do with it, there's no formal course and so on. So I went and spoke to all of this while I had a full time job sitting in a tea plantation tea garden on top
of a hill in the middle of nowhere, which means that any travel had to be done in my wake official vacation time. I used to get
35 days vacation per year. So from 83 to 94, I did not take a single days vacation.
My entire vacation time for 12 years or something I spent only in acquiring knowledge of how to trade. I attended, I did a Meanwhile, I did an MBA, I did a PhD in Applied Behavioral Science. I went and attended, I went, I spoke to leadership trainers. And I would go and say to them that, can I please come and observe your training class? So you would say, Okay, come, where is it? It's in Delhi.
Somewhere, I was in South India, Delhi, by train because I had no money. So there's no question of flying anyone. Delhi by train was a two and a half day journey. And in train, by train, I meant that in at that time in India, and for the money I had, the only thing I could afford was third class. They don't even have that class anymore. In India, it is to infra dig to call somebody third class. But in those days it was and third class meant a plank. That's it, there was a blank. So you slept on the blank.
I did that I did that for 1213 years, I went from place to place so that I go to your class. Obviously, you are doing me a favor already by permitting me to come into your class. So I can't expect you to help me with my train fare, or to feed me or do anything at all. So
I go there, I said that I watch her do her work, then in the evening at the after the program, then she is kind enough to
spend some time with me to debrief. So I made copious notes as to write and write or write those days, you know, days before laptops and whatnot, you wrote something, you wrote something.
So I would take those notes that I would say to you, at this particular time you were teaching this concept, this is how you taught it. This is the question, this is how you answered Can you explain to me Why'd you say that, and so on. So these kind of conversations, I'm very, very grateful to a lot of very dear friend of mine, they're still around, and I appreciate them for taking the time to teach me.
I spent every single cent I had
in buying books, and in attending, paying for these travels and so on. And also in attending courses, I did my MBA on my own, I sold my car to pay my college fees.
I had no money, I sold my car, I borrowed money. And in those days, you know the only money that was available with my, my company, I mean, organizations are so
so have so much foresight, really appreciate organizations organizational foresight, that when I asked to
win as the organization to say, can you sponsor me for the MBA program, they said, we'll lend you the money at 8.3% interest, if you write us a three year contract that after you come back, you will not resign and you will work for us.
So I was stuck. I mean, there was no way I had no other access to funds. So I sold my car, I borrowed that money. And when I wrote that, when I signed that contract, I said to myself, that day this contract expires, I'm out of this place.
If that is the foresight of organizations to invest in the in the learning of their own people, then you can imagine anyway, so that that happens, I paid for that in that way.
No vacations, no extra money. Almost. You are living in the city gardens. So
the only entertainment was we went to the club. So religiously, three days a week. I would go to the eyes, I play golf. So go to the club, you know, go around the course 18 holes come back. And then the girls laughing because this doesn't go with golf, right?
I don't I don't play golf with these close.
The laughing because of the connotation of club. Oh,
you don't even want to know what I've done in my life.
And I'm not going there as you were interested. So
I would pick out come back. Now all my friends those days, this was the first time that color TVs gave it to Indian. So everyone had had a color TV. Many of them borrowed money from the bank to buy color TVs. We had no guarantees.
My wife is my greatest and dearest friend and she is the greatest supporter that I've ever had in my life.
Because he seriously I'm saying 13 years or 12 years of no vacation.
is easy for me to say. But that Betsy, she also had obligation.
Not only forget about complaining when she thoroughly supported that, it's not a question of not complaining. So Alhamdulillah
My life is a series of unfortunate accidents. So my wife marrying the lady I married, we are now married for 32 years, I was also one of the fortunate accidents. No Fault, no fault of mine, I don't, I do not wish to be blamed for any of that. So I did this. Now.
In 94, I decided to go full time as an entrepreneur, to launch my own company.
So I did that we came my design, my job came and stayed in Bangalore.
And that 94 was perhaps the toughest year of my life, financially speaking, because for that one year, there were months, in which literally,
two to three days before the rent check, had to be given to the landlord of the house that the flat we were living in. till two or three days before that day, there was no money in the bank.
But hamdulillah last ran into this guy, and I always found the money and never borrowed anything with anybody, I never had to ask anyone. There was some means by which I will do some work and get paid and so on.
And we never defaulted on the loan, and so forth. But that was the kind of tension we're talking about.
And then, of course, doors open 94 was a time when
the Indian economy got opened. And a lot of foreign multinationals came into India. And one of the companies that came into India, that emoji,
the electric, now GE is known for its very, very strong training,
training processes and so on. So and, again, fortunate accident, a dear friend of mine was head of
training development in ge. So he said, Why don't you come and do some work for us? I went and did work for them. They got very impressed. There was a lady who was he had for GE training, who had come from Hong Kong, she sat in one of my programs. And she said to me,
I want to give you two choices. One, join us.
I'll give you a job right now.
To is, if you don't join us, then we will send you to the US
to get trained on a couple of on MBTI. anybody's familiar with Myers Briggs?
You don't know Myers Briggs?
how are you alive?
It proves that you can live without knowing Myers Briggs. Right? You are living proof. So anyway, that's it's a very, very good and very, hugely known a very well respected instrument of psychometric testing and understanding yourself. So GE said, Well, you know, we'll send you there. And then you also audit some of our courses in Croton Ville, which is GE corporate University.
So which one do you want? So I said, I want the second one. So she said you are turning down a GE job. I said, you have done a good job. I said, why I said because I didn't leave my company to get out of the job.
I left my I left my company to be on my own. And I said I bike by principle in life is I set a goal. I don't change it. My goal is to be independent, so no job.
And I haven't regretted I have not regretted that
since then, ever. So then do you send me the outcome of that was that I got inducted into the G corporate University Croton Ville as a consultant on leadership development for them.
So I teach courses globally. GE then because I am also one of my strengths is designing courses. So GE then asked me to design courses. So I designed a couple of courses and courses for them. And they are taught globally as best practice courses.
Now that kind of
exposure is far better than working for any particular company because I wasn't interested in I mean, I had seen it seen enough of the corporate ladder I live in at my previous company, I was at the top there. So I mean, what's gonna happen now you can't like I mean, I already had a designation, which was close to CEO. So what are you gonna do with me God or something? I mean, you know,
he doesn't matter what designations are worthless. So I said, Well, I know how to run a company. That's because I'm not interested in running another company. I want to do my own thing. And that's how this whole thing started. When I got inducted 97 then I decided to go and work three years in America because the global business consulting scene is tough.
off the market is the US market.
If you do not have us on site experience, you do not exist. Simple as that.
So I said I have to get there. I went there
as a funny story. There's a very dear friend of mine called john, Bob. JOHN, you and I worked together in GE on various courses. So when I landed in the US, and so on, john called me and says,
Come and have lunch with me.
So that's strange, because Americans do not invite you for lunch.
Simple as that. I mean, when they say there's no such thing as a free lunch, that's a that's actual reality.
So we have to see this, john, I went to John's place for lunch. And john gave me an energy bar and coffee. So
john asked me, he says, tell me, why are you here?
Why am I here? I'm here because I want to set up a practice as a leadership development consultant.
He said, Ah, you know, I wanted to hear that from your mouth.
Some joke about me, you know, I came in, I want to hear from you. Why are you here? So
he said, you know, something.
He said, Everything about you is wrong.
So I said, What about Islam? He said, You are the wrong race. You are the wrong religion, you are the wrong face, you are the wrong gender. So and you have the wrong education. He said, How the hell are you going to change that?
So I said, Well, some of these I can guess why I'm wrong. But what is his gender business? He said in the US, the cream, the absolute cream of consulting is leadership development.
That's where you want to get in. And he says, Don't ask me the reason. The only people in leadership development are white males and black females Don't ask me why.
But that's what it is. It's what it is white, Caucasian males and African American females. He said, You are neither of them.
So I said, Okay, this is a you know, as a joke, it's fine. But what what are you saying? He said, so I said, What's your advice? He said, Ah, very nice. Now, my advice is, go to Yellowstone, go to Disney, you know, go and walk on the beaches in California, and then go home.
actually acting on what he what he did, she didn't go home.
I encountered racism, I encountered every kind of reason you can imagine.
many other people encounter all those things. So what you're going to run away? No.
Wonder what. So I applied to GE Cornwell I was already there. I applied to the next company, which is ama International.
It's called American Management Association interest. Ama international is the largest training company in the world.
So I applied to him International. I get invited to an interview in New York. So I learned that
this lady comes and welcome, please come here. takes me into a room. It's a training room. It's got poster
boards all around, and so on and so forth. And
she says, I have 10 minutes walk in my office, I will return after 10 minutes. Teach me something.
This is a job interview. And I thought it was a fantastic way of interviewing somebody.
She didn't go through the standard procedure. Here's the CV. So where did you go to college? You reading it? Why are you asking me that question?
Good thing, I'm telling you something else. Our people have this in? Where would I buy a book on interviewing authors called hiring winners? I've got 26 books in Cincinnati anyway. So
she didn't do any of that. She said you are a trainer, you applied for a training job, right? So teach me something and she walked away.
So I said, Okay, so this is a fantastic way of being interviewed. But what am I going to do? I didn't come prepared to teach anyone anything. I came to do an interview and I thought of what whatever I thought would be little.
So anyway, by the time she came back, I got my brain working, working. And I started teaching about 10 minutes into that she says, hold on a second. So I said boy, comes he says, I don't want you to be under any stress. You are hired. Now continue.
So this is fantastic.
I finished whatever I was dizzy.
They called us the following week for an orientation in the orientation. She said, there were 16,000 applicants and you eight were chosen.
And the reason for that is, of course, the fact that you like my face, which is always helps. But other than that, it was also because the,
the market remake of the trading market for a company like ama is a very lucrative thing because it gives you regular work.
And as a result of that, then I got his enormous exposure in training, leadership training all over the US.
I train government officers, I train police officers, in management people, practically will never even if they walked I trained them, it's like that. So it's all across the US. I did that for three years from 97 to 2000. And then 2000 My father was not well. So, these are all these are all decisions to make. My my brother also listened to us. My mother wrote a letter and said, Your father is not well and both our sons are here.
My brother and I had a conference and we said okay, so, what we do brothers married is of course, I was also married, but we have no children, but my brother had children going to school and so, so, we decided we are going to pack up and go home. So once again all my very good friend what India has no hospitals, India has got no sanitariums India has gone to one restaurant how we work India's got hospitals and goes everything what we my parents need is a Sunday they need a child they don't need a hospital. So you get backed up by themselves they
don't come What a good job everything else so everything seconds on your command do what I said do what is up to Allah subhanaw taala let's see what Allah has has in mind.
So I left and came and after I came then Allah subhanaw taala opens all kinds of doors. Now I have by basic education is also in others I did, I did a whole full course I'm therefore I'm a
reluctant molar. And you can
I graduated from that entitles I don't use the title, but that's it. And then I went to one of the best public schools and private schools in India, seven of them.
So I have this balance on both sides.
In America, then I also got interested in studying Islam, and mainly because of the
the pressure on Islam which even then was there Now, of course, it's it's, you know, a lot more but even then there was this whole focus on Islam and Islam and terrorism and Islam and women's rights and Islam and this and that and so on and so forth. And so, I myself had questions, which I needed answered. So, I went through the whole process as a result of that I wrote a book called journey of faith.
That book was was so people ask me, How did you become Muslim.
So, all of that sort of continued, and I came back and then once I came back to India, then nice re set up my practice, which was now in 2000.
So 94 to 97, India 97 2000 us back in 2000 in India, and now 2017
I have a global practice, several countries. I do very little work actual
remunerative work. Now my most of my vast majority of my work is in the area of education,
in the area, also of Islamic Studies in Islamic teaching, and so on, but also the area of education. So in education,
my lecture I worked actually tomorrow in sanza, which is on education, integrated teaching is what I what I like to call it.
So I do all of and all that work I do for free, so I don't charge any money for it.
So I do my work Emirate of corporate work I do for three days in the year.
And since I don't eat much,
it doesn't cost much to keep me
to keep me fed. And
now that I travel all over the world, I make lots and lots of friends everywhere.
And that's that's where I'm
at it continues. I am a great believer in documentation. So I write things down.
one of the things my specialization now is in another area which is family businesses. And there's a book of
On it's called the business of family business. Some of you have seen the book and so on.
Now, just to give you an important documentation, the way that book happened was that I literally asked myself this question, what do I know about family business? And I myself had by then worked for 10 years for a very major business family in India, called the murugappa group. So I said, Well, I worked for a very big business family for 10 years, I know them, almost all the family, I knew I knew them on a
very close personal basis. So I said, What do I do I Lopa machine, I said, What do I know, on top and then I started writing, took me two years of writing, what I know some research, and so on, and so on. And then the book got published. So I have a great one in for documentation. So almost, to live, and lots of books, book on entrepreneurship, journey of faith, wiring winners, it's my life, family, business, and so on and so on. And so one of the books I wrote also was on the leadership style of the prophets, Allah Salah, so I said, leadership lessons from the life of the Prophet herself. And I said, Why not? Because when we are teaching leadership, we are using biographical
stories and experiences from all over the world. And here is another extremely good example. And I said, the whole book is focused not from the perspective of a Muslim who believes in the Prophet and the Prophet. I said, this is leadership for anyone, you want to learn how to do certain things. In certain situations, you don't have to be a Muslim for that no reading,
and writing successful analyze, because all those Islamic books are free, including this one is they are there on all platforms, and they are free. The business books, they cost a bit of money, but
it's my life, which is my biography, because all of for $6. So I did on Kindle and $7, if you want the gym, so I say My life is worth $7.
That's pretty good.
All right. That's, as far as I am concerned.
Thank you very much for I should begin with that. Actually. Thank you very much for inviting me for spending the time and I'm
very happy to see all of you here.
At the end of this program, you will learn one or two lessons, you will learn the danger of coming to a program and you don't know who's speaking, you will be hopefully happy that you give to the program. So either way you love
the program. Yes, for sure. So
this is how it's gonna work. We take we have about five to seven may have about 25 to 25 minutes for questions. We'll take a question. Now guest
edited audio storytelling method.
When you ask your question, please give us your name. Tell us who you are. Try to keep the question as brief as possible. But
I have a caution statement here with May Allah bless whoever wrote this. We have many non Muslims in the audience.
My audiences are almost entirely non Muslim.
Somebody should say we have many Muslims in the audience. That's
all right. Good.
right. So how do you write your books? Is it something that's quick and easy for you because of your experience? Or do you take time?
Know, I? Very good question. How do I read my books? Is it quick and easy? Or what? Of course, depends on the book to say that, but it's, it's enjoyable, let me put it that way.
It's not quick and easy, necessarily. Some parts of it are quick and easy. I have a I mean, I'm,
I feel slightly embarrassed to say that, but I have an extremely good memory. So and I start writing, I find that I recollect a lot of stuff quite easily. And I love writing that. And but there's a lot of research stuff that goes into it as well can just be my story, my story, it's my life in my story. So that's fine. But other things takes time. But I enjoy doing that because I enormous learning for me. Because there is a book there. I probably end up reading and researching stuff, which otherwise I probably wouldn't have done if there wasn't some title that I was at write a book about this. So therefore, you know, I go and read in those areas, and so on and so forth. I
also do, depending on the topic, I talked to a lot of people I don't just read books. So if I'm writing on the book, I wrote entrepreneurship, a lot of it is personal one to one conversations with the founder of the merkabah group, Mr. Mr. Raja, who passed away talking about his almost
of work in Burma and India of setting up a company eventually, they are now about a four or $5 billion Corporation. So when How often do you get the opportunity to talk to the head of a $5 billion Corporation on a one to one basis, and that's where languages come in because he used to speak Tamil fluently. He wasn't very comfortable in he doing this, obviously, but he wasn't very comfortable English. I speak Tamil fluently. So therefore, for me and him, it was like, you know, he loved telling me I love to ask him questions. And he would come and say he and his wife used to come and stay with us in we were doing in Kenya Kumari, those of you who are who know India that they
know the tip of India is bottom. Right at the tip there is a very famous temple katsu syndrome. So he used to go there to the temple. So they would come we were on our state, which also belonged to his company, so I was the manager there. So he would come and stay in his wife, and they would go and stay with us. And then he will go to the dumper and come back. And then of course, you are on a plantation, what do you do? So the whole evening, almost every reasonable, he would stay with us for two to three weeks. So every evening, we would sit and talk.
And I would tell him, please tell me how do you start what happened so on sir, and businesspeople, entrepreneurs, they like to talk and tell their stories. Like me I'm doing so you ask for it. So that's what people say. And it's huge learning amazing learning and you're talking about somebody who's actually did it in that family the one of the one of the brothers got killed in Burma when the when without called Myanmar, but the time it was Burma, the independence struggle and so on. One of them got killed. And so they went through a lot of struggle the How do that? How come you decided that? Everyone Magellan comes from,
from a from a community called the champions, right? Any any Tamil people here
that will speaking down you will nobody is dumber, what, what's wrong with?
So, the judges are basically moneylenders. But this guy, this family, they do have a finance business, but this family decided to go to manufacturing. So I said, Why manufacturing? I mean, you are traditionally moneylenders. In India, money lending in the open market, it means roughly an interest earning from 28 to 36% per annum.
So, I said, why would you leave that and our manufacturing? Rocky, I don't think any manufacturing depends on what you're making taco joints or something.
But other than that, I don't think anything give you 36% you know, return,
like 20% or something went 25%. But I said, Why did you do that? And his whole answer why they did that, what they thought about it, and so on. Amazing, amazing amount of money. I remember many years after he retired and so on. And whenever I go to Chennai, they live in general whenever has to go to Chennai, and always go and you know, make a courtesy call. So I was one One day I was in Chennai, I called his secretary and I said, I want to meet with Jamie, where is he? The office? I suppose he retired? He said, yeah.
So I would say, so I went there and I met him. I said,
you retired? Why are you here? He said, What do you want me to? He's a businessman, I do business.
This is my relaxation.
And that's another one of my one of my learning. People ask me how do you know travel like this, how to talk to so many people. I love doing it.
I don't have a bumper sticker on my car saying I'd rather be playing golf, I play golf, and I play golf. But you know, I'd rather be doing this. Oh, is that what you're doing?
So that's the long answer to a short question.
You might add some disappointments in your life. How do you overcome?
a couple of
one thing is being in touch with your feelings is a very important way of dealing with
disappointments and dealing with stress and so on. And so there's nothing there's nothing weak about tears.
If you if it pains if it hurts to cry.
And the second thing is that a spiritual connection, I mean, in my case, it's dialogue with Allah subhanaw taala or whatever, whatever physical correction that really, really helps a spiritual connection where you connect with
the creator of the power greater than you and you that helps you to release those feelings of being trapped and so on and so forth.
Also, what is I think, a healthy dose of pragmatism
to say that okay, this is all you know, now what have you my whole life can't be predicted.
hooked onto this one thing so that this when this thing doesn't happen, I'm dead. I'm not dead long along with this, this thing is dead, whatever it was, right? So that's
The business of family business is actually published in South Africa. So you should be able to get it, I will give you the the when we are done from here, I'll give you the phone number of the publisher give her a call. She's in Dublin, incidentally. So you can look. But all my books are also on Amazon.
Amazon, us, Amazon, India, Amazon, UK. So if you just go into Amazon and type my name, you will get a whole bunch of them, then you can get any of them just order them they deliver it. But this particular one, the business family business is also published here in South Africa. So you can get it right here.
Why did you write this?
Very good question. I wrote it because I, again, I when I say these things, please take it with a considerable amount of salt. I'm not trying to show off. But I in my mind, I foresaw the economic collapse that happened with the subprime crisis in the US.
The markets were way beyond what any market should be. And I said to myself that this thing cannot last.
So this is going to collapse when it collapses, if you are in the training business. Tell me what's the first thing that any self respecting accountant or finance manager cuts from the budget of any company?
Right? It's a completely stupid thing to do. And magnetic, completely stupid thing to do, because you got people free, so train them, but they don't do that. They can't train him because it makes them look good. Training is never a big enough ticket item to make any difference on the bottom line one way or the other. But they still do it. So I said to myself that if this economic collapses, collapse happens, then I am going to be hurt because clients will postpone programs, they will cancel programs, and so on and so forth. So what do I do? Then I said to myself, which is the
which is the population factor of a company, which is not affected by abstinence? And who are they the children of the owners.
So they'll cut programs for everybody else, but for their own kids, they will not do that. So I said I need to be there.
That is literally how it started. And then I sat down and said, Okay, so what do I know about it took me two years. And as it was timing was perfect, because just when sync collapsed, my book got published, I got plants.
But it's also a fortunate accident. I mean,
you're most welcome to praise me. I love all the praise, but I know what I mean. hamdulillah by the grace of God, I happen to be in the right places.
Sir, please give us your name. And tell us where you're from.
Ladies, yeah. Why don't you?
Can you give us some given that these young men and women
some lessons that they should have when they preparing these youngsters to take over the business?
All right, before I do that, I want to give you the real gems and the real gem is never give for free. What you can charge money for.
Having said that,
especially for the younger ones. Yeah, this
is very funny incident, which happened in
Durban when we were launching the book. I mean, you obviously were there. So and this was Yeah, it was in in the
in the nominal. It wasn't the answer thing before the new building and other games. Oh.
So I had this, this whole talk. I'm happy to do that. Sometimes you arrange it we'll do a seminar on family businesses. So I did this whole seminar on family businesses.
And at the end of the whole thing finished and so on, there was elderly gentleman was sitting in front. He came to me he says, I want you to talk to my grandson. I said Where is he? He said he's here somewhere. I'm going to find him I want to talk to his nose as well as possibility doesn't have any
I'm sorry, only spends money or whatnot. So I said, Sure. So he brings a grandson. So it says to grandpa ulis, you heard the whole presentation? He said, Yes. She's gonna talk to you. before I say anything. The guy says, He says, granddad, why did you make all this money? For what? For me? No.
He's got the answer.
He said, You made all this money for me to spend, I'm spending it. So what's the problem?
Okay, the thing that I want to share with you, especially the younger people,
is to move from I'm not saying you are there, please don't feel offended, to move from a sense of entitlement to a sense of contribution.
I think this is a very, very major broad general problem, except for the people in this room. The
we feel, and the example I usually give is,
say my say, I'm a young guy, right? And my dad owns a plane, he owns his fabulous Learjet. So I walk up to the tarmac, and I say, I want to fly this plane.
The pilot says, most welcome, please come in the back there.
Fantastic First Class seats, you also have the suites and so on. And so I want to fly the plane, meaning I want to sit in the cockpit and fly this plane.
Right? So the pilot says, Sorry, you can't do that. I said,
This is my plane, my father owns display, here is the document of the plane, see my father's name on it, I got the same surname, and my father and my father, son, I am going to fly this plane. So what are the pilots say, the pilot says no problem, here are the keys, get into the cockpit, you fly the plane, I am going to go and make arrangements for your janazah. And make sure that you know
that is the issue of family businesses. Just because you own a business doesn't mean you can fly the business. If you want to fly their business, you got to learn how to fly the business.
It can be learned it is a learnable thing it can be learned you can do a job which is 10 times better than your dad, but you have to learn if you don't want to learn your surname and your father's surname being the same is means nothing means absolutely nothing. Number one, number two, you ask for one, I give you two. That's the second thing give all is more than what people are sending. One is this.
You have to if you want people to believe you, if you want people to trust you, the responsibility of building credibility is yours.
Now many times this happens all the time.
People say you know I'm doing all of this, but nobody appreciates.
And he expected me to sit and cry when I saw everyone I'm not gonna cry. Right? Nobody appreciates me is what means you're doing something wrong.
So look at yourself and say, How can I do things in a way where people see the value of what I'm doing? They'll appreciate.
instead of blaming them and saying, here's a bunch of people, they were the opposition.
It's like market they're selling. Like, if I can't sell this phone, I'm not even trying to sell it. If I can't sell this for who's What is it? Like, what?
So who should I blame? Oh, you're a bunch of ignorant people you don't know, excuse me, you don't know how to spell the word simple.
So So also, if you find that your dad or your mom or whoever is in charge, the business is not handing over the keys is not their fault, your fault. Somewhere 100% it is your fault. somewhere you are unable to inspire that, you know, confidence in them, for them to hand over the keys, forget stop blaming them, Look at yourself, and how can I change and the best way to change that you ask for two or three, your best way to change that is go work for somebody else. Your dad has a retail business, you go and work for Walmart and become country President of the United States. Your dad will come and crawl to you on his all fours and say, please come home and take over this business.
Because you established yourself you establish credibility to say Look, I know what I'm doing.
There is a
such extraordinary gold
release that states reached a saturation point
almost 20 years after almost. After you set your goal you've achieved it now
All right, first
question, what happens after you achieve this great goal of yours? First of all, the sign of a great goal is that never.
You never not never achieve meaning you're frustrated. No, but you never achieve it in the sense of saying, now I think nothing more to do. I said, I want to be a globally recognized leadership expert, or trainer, right? Am I there? Yes, I'm there. But does everyone in the whole world all countries do the No, either or No, me? So I can expand this as much as I want. And I mean, I don't think I live long enough to for that to happen. So it's, you know, the question of that. Secondly, is, yes, if it is a goal, where you feel Yes, I think I have achieved it. Now what set another goal,
you know, it becomes second nature to a person like that. If you are, if you are that way, aiming for high goals, you will not get bored. It won't happen, it will drive you from inside, you will do more and more things. So I think that's where one needs to be in touch with one's own emotions, and so on and so forth, and say, Where are you, because the energy comes from inside there is no, in achievement in life, energy has to come from inside, there is no way that anyone can push you. I was at a meeting just now. And we were talking about
leadership development, creating a leadership development program for young students, high school students. So they said what should be the selection process, I said, there should be no selection process, you put up the course and you say was interested come, they said, If nobody comes, nobody comes close the course.
Close the course, my point is, if I'm teaching a course, I know the passion with which I teach, I will put every single thing that I have into it, I do not want a bunch of disinterested people sitting there
what the hell,
I want you to be here because you want to be here. I am going to give everything I have. Now I know I have enough skill to change the minds of people and so on. But I Why should I do that? Why must I cope I was I want people who are interested, I said, Put the course up there. Show them what's in it. If they don't see what's in it for them, then they are the wrong people in the first place.
I don't know my principle is I do not have a plan B because I don't plan to fit into
the nonprofit into me, to me a plan B is a suicide.
The plan B will make sure that you will never put enough effort and resources do you always have this plan B fallback plan for Black is the earth hard rock? That's the fallback, then you will work like hell and you will not fall. But if you have this plan B if this fails, I will do believe me it will fail.
So no question if it fails,
it will not fail because I am not interested in applying to fail. Why should
you actually if it still fails, we'll see when it happens.
Why master plan for that problem? Having said that, I don't mean you know is different between planning and and strategy and gambling. I'm not saying sell everything you have and put it on somebody resource No, you are taking into account everything that you know all your knowledge, all the advice you can get, you have a strategy, you have a proper plan. You have contingencies also in that not failure but contingency in terms of you know, going forward. Why would you
you I take a bit longer and so on but this begs the question of well, you will not fit
my name is
that's the it's one of those cliches you know first generation builds the second generation maintains the third generation puts it into the ground. My point there was that is not a rule or it's a law of nature or the law of God is something that need not happen that should not happen. My whole focus of my book and my my consulting work in family business is how to keep families together and grow the business.
That should not be if that is happening then something is seriously wrong. The instantly you talk about research one of the things that I discovered in that research the amazing thing is a company guess for those of you who know the answer, don't say but guess which is the guess for how long
same family country
taneous Lee has been in business how many years?
How many generations? or How many? How many years?
100 years, 200 years? How much more Oh, no.
1400 years, and still going strong.
So there's no limit.
businesses run like planes fly, they are run for good, specific, controllable reasons.
So if a business is going into the ground, there are reasons why it is not some mystery or magic or something, you know.
So, about 10 or 15 minutes, a few minutes for questions
before we get into the rest of the program, so now's a moment from Darwin is on to talk to us a bit about ethics
and some factors that we could use to address these issues. All right, I'll send you a video of mine and the recording of mine. First of all, there's nothing Muslim about ethics.
Right? ethics ethics, honesty is honesty, whether you are Muslim or not Muslim is no difference.
So also is good customer service, good customer value and so on. So right so it's, it's a universal, these are universal values, irrespective of which religion or no religion
to lie and cheat is bad. I mean, you know, for whom Is it good? I mean, I can say I'm an atheist, so therefore, I can cheat. No, you can cheat. If cheating is nothing Do you believe in God or no God? So that's one thing. Second thing is you as Muslims say, let me give you examples of non Muslims.
I give you two examples. One is a man by the name of Narayana Murthy. How many of you have heard of nanotech? You haven't heard that. Have you? Have you heard of a company called Infosys? Yeah, currently, I think about four or $5 billion
worldwide. And so
now, several years ago, I did a leadership workshop for their top management team. And Murthy came to speak to the top admin team. So we had a conversation, you know, over coffee. So as I said, How did you start?
So what is yesterday, they started in Pune, in India. And he said that we started with one PC,
the 486 which many of you young guys, you don't know what I'm talking about? Right? Doesn't matter. takes too long to explain. But some of the older people you know, what is right for it six, whether we had a three x or two x three? Yeah, exactly. So one piece.
So this visit got imported. Marissa, I went to the all the documentation to the customs place. And I said, here's the documentation, the man said no problem all is fine. Give me 100 rupees 100 100 rupees, and you will take it What is that? I will not give you any bite.
All my documentation is here. I do not see any reason why I need to give a bribe. It's our policy that we do not give
the answer that's your choice, you give me 100 rupees and take it or you don't give me this, it's simple.
So, more desert
eventually give it I said after how long is it 18 months.
So I said what do you do? He said nothing. He said every day I would go and sit outside his office.
In India outside the manager's offices, there is a there is a stool and there is a pure who sits there is a helper who sits there does it so he said this helper is to feel sorry for me. So he would give me his stool to sit. So if I was to go and say that, every time the man walked out of the office, he would see me walk into the office he would see me he said he tried every trick in the book. He said to me, this is India. The wakeup doesn't work like that you are in business 100 rupees, what is 100 rupees?
How will you survive? How will you grow? This is your mentality. He said he tried everything in the book. I told him we do not give bribes period. He said your business will shut down he said no problem started
18 months he had seven partners is all seven of my partners. They've been very nice. Lisa doesn't they came to me and they said we can't sit here without any work until this machine comes so we are going to go get jobs. And when the machine comes they will come back said no problem. But I had to stay there so I couldn't get a job. I stayed at
month he said that he got the computer. It's a $5 billion company. So I said today what is the benefit of this? It sounds like a nice heroic act. But so what he said, so what is the fact that today we are the only company with the income tax, the IRS, the income tax department does not scrutinize any of our returns at all.
Whatever we file, they just take it and they file it because they know we do not tell lies.
said this is the value we would like to be known as people who don't tell lies people who do not give bribes. So it's a question of yourself your self worth question of yourself respect.
So that is the issue with ethics, ethics, and values make excellent business sense.
I'm not talking about ethics and values from a theological perspective. I'm not saying God will be pleased with you will go to heaven. No, they make very, very good business sense. You build trust in the environment you build. I worked for GE from 1994 to today.
And probably the only one who's never had to sign a contract
American company without a nondisclosure contract.
Can I ask the last question? Yeah.
Okay, so you asked the question.
I'm curious about the goal. Do you want to be a manager be a globally recognized trainer? And what tools? Have you been deploying to make sure that that happens? I'm thinking in the age of social media, I mean, do you have a for example, YouTube channel, where you share your stories? Do you have a Facebook account? Do you have, you know, what, what is there to support you to be globally recognized, especially in the age where people
are in the middle space?
To things, we do have a YouTube channel in which there are some, my my Islamic YouTube channel has over 400 videos on it by an Islamic
video channel, I think about maybe 1015 of them. I rely on person to person contact.
I am not on any social media. I have no Facebook. Well, I've got I used to have a Twitter account. I closed it because it's just too much of negativity on Twitter apply. I don't have time for that.
You have one God, no. Okay.
So that's my, that's my other. That's my other learning, I don't need somebody will tell me. So I get all these things. So they will all come. And second thing is that I am only on Instagram, and you might like to follow them. Because a lot of photographs, I'm a, I'm a photographer, especially wildlife. So I do a lot of progress here.
Other than, to me in my business, I mean, I'm not saying this works for everybody. But for my business, the most credible source is the other person who worked with me.
So by the grace of God, I've got ambassadors across the world. For the last, I think, at least 20 years, I have never ever done a cold call on any client whatsoever. Never.
All my business 100% of it is either repeat business, or it is client referrals. I never ever have to never have for the last 20 years, I've never had to go to a company and say, This is why I'm introducing myself never. I was always introduced by some, someone they know. And that's a huge credibility benefit. Because they will believe that I mean, for example, if you go and tell someone, they will give you far better than me going directly knocking on the door. So that's what, that's what happens with this. I think this is
obviously I've been in the space for long enough for all that to happen. But I'm saying that that has always been. And maybe that's also because when I started there was no social media and whatnot. I mean, if I start if I start today, then maybe I would put all of this. But now it really doesn't matter to me. I mean, it's at my level actually to go and promote myself on social media is the wrong thing to do. It makes you cheap.
So I don't know do
you have consulted and dealt with large corporates, multinational global corporates, we have also interacted with family owned small businesses.
This would be a difficult question to answer in a few sentences. But I'd like you to answer what is it that would transform small businesses to become global businesses? What What is it needed to do that?
Because those big businesses, those global businesses did not start off as big businesses, they started with a small business and they grew themselves. Something is differentiating, and keeping some of us as smaller businesses and allowing the rest of us to grow.
That question is not difficult to answer in a few sentences, it is possible to answer in one sentence. And that one sentence is to move from being person led to process driven.
To move from being person led to process driven, every, every business literally, I think maybe there's a disturb statement you can safely make every business starts as a with important family business is either one individual, or it's their family or family in the sense not necessarily of being related genetically, but a group of people, to three people get together, that's a family, they all sound like that. But what happens is the transition must be made, where that goodness of that of the founders, you know, their energy, their ideas, and so on. So this must be made into processes that transcend generations.
So moving from being person led to process driven, that's a tagline of my book, anyways, we read the book. So the that that's the way to do it. And if you do it, as I said, this is machinery, this is code, you write the code, it will function, there is no mystery in it.
If you have a business, and if you are able to make this transition from being personalized to process driven, you have to succeed there is no question not succeeding. Having said that, how is it we don't see that happening, because this transition does not happen.
And it does not happen again, for only one reason, which is people do not want to take hard decisions. People work from their emotion, where they should be working from their intellect. And that is a very disastrous way of thinking. And we see very good businesses going down the drain, because you do not have the toughness to take some hard decisions. That's it. So
but if you if you if you can do that, there's no earthly reason why your business whatever it is, cannot become a global business, in terms of size in terms of Acts, you know, recognition that
whatever parameters you want to put on.
Everybody, thank you so much for giving us great questions. Thank you very much.