Entrepreneurship is no walk in the park. Most successful entrepreneurs often reveal that they have failed multiple times before getting to where they are now. Likewise, taking inspiration from failures to learn and become one of the most decorated entrepreneurs in the field of management consulting is Muhamed Farooque (CEO of Excelledia).
Muhamed started his entrepreneurial journey by establishing a software company in 2007, which failed significantly within the first 18 months and he had to wind it up. Muhamed however, was not bogged down by the failure, and with the confidence to take a deeper dive into the business world again, he incepted Excelledia in 2010. It is a business-performance management company specialized in people, process, and technology (digital innovation).
Within the first 6 months of its beginning, Excelledia won a major project with Qatar Petroleum, which was the biggest turning point for Muhamed. Since then, there has been no looking back for Muhamed and his team. Over the last decade, the company Excelledia has expanded its footprint and established offices in countries such as UAE, India, Kuwait, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Malaysia. Presently, Excelledia operates in 8 countries offering unparalleled services in business process management.
Our team of Business APAC had an intriguing conversation with Muhamed on his fascinating entrepreneurial journey. Below are some of the quick highlights of the conversation.
What propelled you to step in the management consultancy field?
After failing in the first business, I always wanted to go back and establish a successful business. I had set a goal to serve people to enable social and economic development. The biggest inspiration to set this goal was my father who taught me how to serve when he was with us. Moreover, another reason to choose and stay in this industry is the amount of learning you will have every day by addressing the internal and external business challenges.
What are the prominent services in Exelledia’s repertoire?
As a leading business improvement and management consulting firm, we help businesses establish, improve, and excel in their business processes and improve the bottom line. We specialize in workforce development through training and coaching services. Moreover, our digital innovation services help our clients to digitize, robotize, simulate, and augment their business services using advanced technology solutions such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, and Augmented &Virtual Realities.
How did you upgrade the company’s service portfolio over the years?
We have established our business portfolio based on client needs across industries. We started by offering ISO and Lean Six Sigma Services, and added consulting services within a year. The portfolio started growing with the addition of Strategy, Governance, Risk, Compliance, Internal Audit, and People Assessment Services. We have established a digital innovation team with a strong workforce specialized in the design and development of digital solutions to continually enhance our service portfolio. The most recent addition to the team is a group of highly qualified data scientists and experts on virtual and augmented reality domains. Besides this, we have also established an excellent research team to stay focussed on innovation.
Would you like to share some remarkable achievements from your journey that you cherish?
Throughout our journey, we have won plenty of business recognitions and awards, but the smile on our customers’ faces is the biggest award we cherish. This is always made possible by my extremely talented and skilled workforce. We have failed in projects, we have accepted and moved on to learn and win from those failures.
What do you make of this unprecedented pandemic situation? How did you and your team adapt to the new normal?
It has been a great opportunity for us as we are specialized in digital innovation. We are leveraging our expertise to help and guide our clients through this difficult situation by building them digital platforms based on their needs. We have also started motivating our customers to design and build digital assets using their organizational knowledge. Furthermore, this has been new learning for every one of us who never wanted to go digital. We have been working remotely well before the pandemic started, hence the shift to remote working was not a significant issue for all of us. Delivering training online, however, was a major issue that we solved by developing a highly interactive and playful learning management system which is currently in use. Our digital innovation team made it possible in such a short time.
What projects are you currently working on? Are there any cutting-edge services/ solutions we should anticipate in the near future?
Isorobot is our recent technology innovation which is an EMS (Enterprise Management System) software to manage Governance, Risk, Compliance, Strategy, Internal Audit including its entire Business Process Portfolio. This is being used by private and public organizations across the globe. We are currently in process of introducing Artificial Intelligence features to Isorobot. Besides this, we are working on a number of AI solutions to the market which will be launched to the market by the second quarter of 2021 as part of our AI Center of Excellence (CoE) Initiative. We have also designed an AI CoE framework for any organization across the globe to start working on AI initiatives. Moreover, we are also working on launching a global innovation engine named dezign space. Our vision is to make innovation available to everyone everywhere through zero cost prototyping and testing. Through this, any common man will have access to test every bright idea and bring them to life.
What keeps you motivated and committed to your goals?
For me, my team is my biggest motivation. We, at Excelledia have a great team based in different parts of the world. We believe in helping each other when we have difficult and challenging situations. Challenges every day keeps me motivated. I love problems and welcome the opportunity to address every challenge. Motivation is all about learning by doing. I spend a lot of time reading through Google, listening to YouTube videos, and reading through Harvard Business Review. However, motivation through a video or a session won’t last long. We need to identify the source of our motivation and keep working hard on those.
Read full issue: The Business APAC’s Top 10 CEOs of 2020