Sherali Najak is the senior producer for Hockey Night in Canada.
This Canada Day long weekend the family paid our nation’s capital, Ottawa, a visit. One of the places we visited was the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat. It is the only delegation in Canada. A delegation represents a group of people in a particular country but is different than an embassy.
Here are some photos of this award winning, Fumihiko Maki designed masterpiece:
I really enjoy contributing to ITbusiness.ca. I have been doing so for a number of years and 2015 was no exception. I wrote 5 pieces this past year.
The first one ended up being the most popular post of all of 2015. Here is a list of the articles. If you have not read them, I encourage you to do so. And even if you have, this is as good a time as any to review them. I hope you enjoy!
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to listen in on a conversation with entrepreneur and investor (and co-creator of The Next 36) Reza Satchu. Mr Satchu was invited by the Ismaili youth to a “coffee lounge” conversation with other leaders in the community.
The following are some notes and thoughts from the event:
- Satchu asked the crowd, “Why do you want to be an entrepreneur?” There were a number of interesting answers. However, Satchu proposed that the main reason why one should want to be an entrepreneur (and a successful one) is to “make an impact.”
- Satchu defined entrepreneurship as the “Relentless pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.”
- Why don’t most people not start a business? The never ending quest for perfect information. Paralysis of analysis OR I got an idea but I have no money or experience.
- Bezos started Amazon and Dell started computer direct sales. Both in the face of fierce competition and no experience.
- Satchu was turned down 150 times before his business got funding.
- On the only reason why an MBA at Harvard was valuable: Exposure to leaders shows what is possible.
- Goal of Next 36 in Canada is to hurdle cost and scale. To be truly productive is to have far more innovation and productivity.
- Canada has a highly educated labour force, Canadians work hard but productivity is 72% of the USA.
- We need businesses that are far right tail of businesses. Creating value for entire ecosystem.
- Satchu went into business for himself because his father chose the path earlier.
- People want to have as much impact as possible.
- Secret of success: Seeking positions of discomfort or creating positions of discomfort
- Concept of expectations: What do I expect of myself? Have large goals.
- Another secret of success: Willing to fail. We learn through failure
- Have mentors and people who will root for you and want to take credit for success
- I asked Reza Satchu about the upcoming general election in Canada and what he thought a new government should be doing to foster innovation and success:
- Canada should do as much as possible to incentivize the Immigration of talent
- Incentives for private capital to invest in Canada
- Pick places around the world where Canada can have power and influence
- However, should Canada have a national strategy on innovation?
Every quarter I have the opportunity to help plan and attend a local community coffee lounge organized by the Willowdale Jamatkhana in Toronto. The purpose of these “lounges” are to inspire young professionals to want to strive towards excellence in their careers while also inspiring them to look overseas for service opportunities.
This quarter’s speaker was former Rogers CEO, Nadir Mohamed.
Nadir spoke for about 25 minutes but stuck around for well over an hour more answering questions and talking to young Ismaili professionals.
Here are a few points which I remember from this past weekend’s event:
– Nadir does not consider his story to be a rags to riches one. He feels he led a charmed life and has been blessed with luck as his parents struggled to provide him with all the best things in life.
– Strongly advocates that his time volunteering with the Vancouver Ismaili community provided him with a foundation based on values.
– Has never considered himself to be the smartest in the room. but was smart enough to always look for the smartest person.
– In order to make changes that might seem tough (personally or for the company) they must be simple to understand.
– Nadir also shared some “inside baseball” stories on how Rogers entered the wireless industry, purchased Microcell and even snapped the NHL away from the CBC. However, these stories are better told than read as I don’t want to mis-interpret anything he said. 🙂