He speaks less and listens more. A go-getter, Dr. Siddeek Ahmed has established himself an absolute achiever. The envying ascends in business and the sparkling performance of his thirty plus business establishments across the globe are a testimony of the extra acumen he has. Still Siddeek prefers to dedicate all his triumphs to the Almighty and that is the degree of humility he holds. In an exclusive interview to our Chief Editor Suresh Unnithan the Business Mogul opens up his mind. Excerpts:
How was your entry into the world of business?
I am from a business family. Though on a small scale, my father had multiple business ventures.
So it is natural, I had developed certain interest in business activities. In my early young days I used to curiously observe and follow the way my father does business. His excellent communication skills always fascinated me. My father always cherished helping people both within in and out side his business world and this influenced me and my thoughts to a great extent. Let me be candid, my father as a person and his outlook motivated me to take up business as a profession.
In fact I am an artistic, creative and sports-loving person. I am from a humble, modest and religious family. I believe in values and traditions. My feeling is, what ever I do, it should benefit the society in some way. Let me try to help out my fellow humans in what ever little way I could.
How hard were your early days in business?
Yes, it was hard in the early days (of business life). I flawed or failed to achieve on many occasions. But thanks to the Almighty and his generous blessings, I could scale new heights in my life. In my early days I had taken up many sundry jobs. I worked in hotels, in marketing fields etc. Even while doing such jobs I always nourished a positive vision and never allowed any negative thought to overshadow my objective.
What were the hurdles you had to confront in your forward march?
There are hurdles in every business and it was no exception for me too. I firmly feel, the key to your success lies in how you brazen out and triumph over the obstacles. To tackle any impediment with precision, I just fine-tune my inner self in a comprehensive manner and also make certain such a snag does not repeat. Never any venture is hurdle-free. I firmly believe, the Almighty is always there to help us. In short, I never brood over the past. I prefer to follow Thomas Alva Edison’s principles.
Who were the sources of inspiration for your successful business career?
My father inspired and influenced me a lot. In fact, all those near and dear to me have contributed to my achievements. My parents, my brothers, my friends, my well-wishers and most notably my team of employees who always trusted me in full and stood by me all along.
How do you enjoy your achievements?
I am elated. I am indebted to the Almighty for all my achievements. Also I am extremely grateful for the boundless backing from my brothers, family members and my team members who contributed in abundance for the extensive success of all my business ventures.
Has the hectic business life any way hindered your personal engagements with the near and dear?
Long working hours can take a toll on one’s personal relationships, taking your near and dear for granted is a sure formula for family tension. To prevent resentment from snowballing, you need to communicate clearly and anticipate possible problems with family members before tension builds up. You need to make them understand that working long hours is part of the business life.
My wife, Nushaiba, is very much sensible and this is a great help as it helps me stay cool. My son Rizwan Ahmed is also equally considerate and often provides me with creative suggestions. My daughter Rizana Mariyam is my critic and helps me stay focused, while my youngest daughter Rizwi Mariyam cares about my wellbeing. Prayers of my brothers and my mother are the driving force in my business and life. I may have the lost feeling if I miss my family and friends ,I never care if I lost anything else including money or business which are secondary for me .
What do you feel is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Focus on your aptitude and taste. Do one thing perfectly and not do 10 things poorly
Do home work, know what you do. Do what you know. Always remember your mission. Be specific till you grow, generalization leads to master of none. Be conscious about your strength, weakness, positive aspects and negative aspects.
Never jump right into a new business without any thought or planning, but don’t spend months or years waiting to execute. You will become a well-rounded entrepreneur when tested under fire. The most important thing you can do is learn from your mistakes–and never make the same mistake twice.
In business ventures always try to find a starting point and never ever begin from Z. Start with a clear and error free project report in hand
Don’t talk the talk unless you can walk the walk. Always do your home works. Lead your team with action not discussion. Endorse your business enthusiastically.
Do not strive just for success, but instead, do your job with utmost sincerity and precise objectives. Success is yours.
I have a word for the new entrepreneurs. Just follow your inner passion and not the bank accounts. You will achieve your target in much a faster pace.
What is your greatest fear and how do you manage that fear?
I am God fearing. Hope that makes everything clear. As long as I do my duty I don’t think anyone has to fear anybody.
What do you do when you’re not on job?
Hardly I get free time. Whenever I am free I prefer to be with my family. I also devote some time to my philanthropic projects.
Who’s been your greatest inspiration?
Of course my father comes first. Because, I learned all the basic lessons from him only. I have adopted many good things and business principles from him.
What is your typical day like?
Basically I am a workaholic, work 24/7, but I try to find time to spend with family and friends. We used to have friends and staff gatherings frequently
Being a businessman with a good fortune at hand how do you feel about the underprivileged around you?
Thank God, I have been fortunate in more than one way. I sincerely wish I could give something back in return to those less fortunate. There are people who come to this world in abject poverty. They are deprived of both the means and the motivation to improve their living conditions. It is the duty of each of us who are more fortunate, to support them.
We have started AH Foundation for the disadvantaged. AH Foundation’s vision is to provide meaningful welfare driven engagements to enhance quality of life of the weaker sections of society. I also have started many eco and green friendly projects that will improve the lives of the future generations.
What do you feel about the award and recognitions?
Awards and recognitions are always a source of encouragement and make one feel more responsible towards the business and society as well. We have received several awards though I reckon success in philanthropy is not counting the number of awards and recognition but to leave behind a legacy that will speak for itself. We have also got an award from The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. With this award now we need to be more responsible to the world.
As an achiever how do you expect the younger generation to perform?
I hope to see more youngsters become successful entrepreneurs with social responsibility as well and leave behind a legacy for future generations.
Be punctual and consistent. Keep up the pace and quality. Be different from your competitors.
Always accept and introduce constructive changes in business
Determine what business policies and procedures best suits your typical business and share policies within your group.