An experienced CMO with a demonstrated history of working in the outsourcing/offshoring industry, Abdul Rehman’s skills include Social Media Marketing (SMM), Digital Marketing, SEO, Custom Software Development, Linguistics, E-commerce, Advertising, Sales, and Sales Management. Strong military and protective services professional with a Bachelor of Science – BS focused in Economics from Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi / Middle East Technical University.
In the company – IPS USA – he currently works for, they are focused on outsourcing services. It is where his skills are maximally utilized. Since his company provides numerous pathways, he finds himself in the right spot. With its grassroots in software development, it provides digital marketing services to the US, European, and Asian markets. He happens to be part of the team to channelize his abilities in the right direction.
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Table of Contents
Tell us a little bit about your current projects. What exciting milestone would you like to share with our readers? (Don’t hesitate to delve into your achievements, they will inspire the audience)
Abdul Rehman Naqi: Here at IPS USA, we have just finalized a custom POS software for a large pizza chain with 40+ restaurants. But it does not end here. We have also incorporated an employee management system (EMS) within it to provide the restaurant owner with an All-in-one restaurant management software. So, basically, the client wouldn’t need to get separate software and the whole workflow of it will be custom-built, according to the clients’ preferences.
I see huge potential in this, and we’ve already started receiving solid reviews so I’m pretty happy about it.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Abdul Rehman Naqi: I believe that a lot of people play a part in your story, which is continuous and ongoing. So, I’m grateful to all of them; my family, friends, colleagues, everybody.
If you ask me about a particular person who helped me get to where I am today, then it would be my late father. Simply, because he stood by me when nobody else did and he believed in my ability when everybody questioned it.
He made me the man that I am today.
What are the most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs make and what would you suggest they do?
Abdul Rehman Naqi: Mistakes are part of an entrepreneurs‘ journey. The idea is to learn from these mistakes and move onwards and upwards.
So, the first common mistake entrepreneurs make is not learning from their mistakes. You need to filter out the things that don’t work and move on with the ones that do. This is the process of growth.
Another common mistake entrepreneurs make, which I’m guilty of as well, is doing everything by themselves. You need to delegate and trust people who specialize in the required positions. This is absolutely essential for scaling a business. Try doing it. You’ll be surprised by the results you get. Just like I was surprised.
Thirdly, entrepreneurs need to choose the right partner who will join their business journey. There needs to be strong working chemistry between both parties in order to avoid conflicts and hurdles in the future. So, choose your partner wisely!
If I talk from a marketing standpoint, then I would say that if you’re marketing your business on a certain platform, you need to perfect your strategy and scale it before testing your business on another platform. This way you’ll solidify your marketing base, otherwise, everything would just topple over if you try spreading your hands everywhere.
Has the pandemic and transitioning into mostly online shopping affected your company positively or negatively?
Abdul Rehman Naqi: Well, since all our work is in the digital domain, we didn’t have that much of an issue with the pandemic. Our productivity remained the same even after ‘work from home’ got implemented.
However, I would just like to say that I do not necessarily concur with the narrative that ‘hybrid models are the future. I believe in team synergy and connectivity in order to meet our goals head-on. This obviously wouldn’t be possible with people working from home.
Human connection is crucial for any business really, as it includes an increased feeling of belonging, purpose, happiness, self-worth, and confidence.
In your opinion, what makes your company stand out from the competition?
Abdul Rehman Naqi: Well, for the past 7 years, we’ve built up a strong portfolio by partnering up with giants like; AT&T, T-Mobile, Spectrum, ADT, and many more. So, I think our experience provides us with an edge over our competition, Additionally, IPS USA offers a variety of services ranging from everything that comes under the umbrella of digital marketing to custom software development to BPO services. Having a variety of services allows us to serve a much larger audience.
Another point which I’d like to add is that we have off-shore BPO centers in Pakistan as well. By outsourcing, we are able to bring down our costs and provide our clients with affordable packages. This way we remain a step ahead of others in the market.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success?
Abdul Rehman Naqi: A leader has numerous qualities. As I’ve experienced, the three major qualities I believe that a leader must have are:
- Ability to delegate: A leader must learn to delegate and give people free rein to work. He/She needs to empower them and have trust in their ability. As I mentioned earlier, this is the recipe for growing and scaling a business..
- Be Approachable: This I’ve found extremely useful. Sure, there’s a business hierarchy and there are seniors and juniors. But if you overlook this, and work with the people on their level, you’ll see how effective and productive this leadership style is. Have an open-door policy. Make them comfortable with you so that they bring up their concerns and you can then address them in a strategic manner. Have them open up and share their ideas, involve all of them collectively. You must make them feel special and worthy.
- Empathy: A leader must be empathetic. Have a genuine interest in your team members’ lives. You need to interact with them in a way that makes them feel safe and cared for. Address their concerns and build a solid connection with them based on trust. For this, I usually picture myself in their shoes. This gives me an idea of their perspective and how they feel on the inside. Then, I base my decision by factoring in all the information that I have.
What have you learned about personal branding that you wish you had known earlier in your career?
Abdul Rehman Naqi: Personal branding is extremely powerful, especially in this day and age. Had I known about this earlier, I would have started doing it during my college days. However, it’s never too late to start anything. Through personal branding, you have an edge over the competition as it allows you to build trust with prospective clients.
As the saying goes, ‘The first impression is the last impression’. You never get a second chance for it so make sure it is one that sets you apart and reflects who you really are. So basically, you kind of build a rapport with the other person without having met him or her personally. This is very powerful and effective
What’s your favorite leadership style and why?
Abdul Rehman Naqi: There are various forms of leadership but I prefer the ‘Democratic’ style of management. I try to seek the opinions of every team member and then base my decisions on them. I further try to listen to everybody’s ideas so that I have a broader picture and I don’t miss out on anything.
I enjoy this style of leadership because it promotes team spirit and builds a foundation of trust amongst everybody. It allows creativity and helps employees grow and develop. You build a strong connection with your employees when you involve them in the decision-making process.
Do you think entrepreneurship is something that you’re born with or something that you can learn along the way?
Abdul Rehman Naqi: Yes, I do believe that entrepreneurship is an innate ability and its something that you’re born with. But this does not necessarily mean that you can’t learn to become one. I think the question is more related to passion. Doing something that you’re passionate about is always worth it, be it entrepreneurship or swimming. It’s the passion that allows you to learn along the way and keep going without stopping or giving up.
What’s your favorite “business” quote and how has it affected your business decisions?
Abdul Rehman Naqi: My favorite quote business quote is ‘Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.’ – Richard Branson.
I really admire Sir Richard Branson and his words of wisdom. It really hurts when someone you’ve invested a whole lot in and have spent hours and hours of training on decides to leave. Now, of course, you can’t do anything about it and certainly, you can’t implement a backward strategy like not training them well, etc. So, I took inspiration from this quote and started studying ways that could improve employee satisfaction. I’ve witnessed that doing so not only improves employee retention, but also eliminates politics and negativity from the business culture. I’ve also seen employees reject better-paid job offers simply because they enjoy working in a positive environment and at a place where they are respected and valued. Therefore, having a strong and positive culture, I believe, is key for running a successful business.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Abdul Rehman Naqi for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Abdul Rehman Naqi or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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