Abeer Raza is a techpreneur currently on a mission to revolutionize the global business ecosystem with evolving technologies. He is the co-founder and CMO of Tekrevol, a digital transformation, and business automation company currently based in the USA, UAE, Ukraine, and Pakistan. The company specializes in developing modern solutions while utilizing emerging technologies including NFTs and blockchain development, AR & VR integrations, IoT-enabled embedded systems, AI, and Machine Learning neural networks. What started as an app development company is now a million-dollar corporation that is contributing to technological disruption and recombinant innovations.
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Table of Contents
Let’s learn a little about you and really get to experience what makes us tick – starting at our beginnings. Where did your story begin?
Abeer Raza: I had a lucrative job at a multinational corporation, but 3 years into the job and I realized that their dreams weren’t big enough. I wanted to do something innovative, something that would empower the world, something that would make a difference to the lives and businesses of millions of people. And that’s where it all started.
Throughout my life, I was interested in seeing tech change the world. When I planned to switch my career, tech advancements were not only compounding, they were also accelerating the growth of other sectors.
That was the watershed moment in my career. In 2014, I took the plunge, and with my partner, Asim Rais Siddiqui, bootstrapped a tech company and embarked on a journey to create impact with each line of code. That’s where Tekrevol comes from: Tech + Revolution! We initially started with analyzing market gaps and creating mobile applications. Now we are a full-service digital transformation company, a family of 100+ employees, housing talented designers, digital strategists, developers, and software engineers.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up?
Abeer Raza: As I mentioned earlier, my job at an MNC was financially rewarding. I had handsome monetary and fringe benefits but it was my motivation to create an impact that sparked the idea of founding Tekrevol. Establishing a company at that particular moment was one of the toughest choices I had to make. It was challenging for me as I had recently got married and had additional moral and financial responsibilities.
Looking back at Tekrevol’s inception, I see myself juggling between a new family and a new company, surrounded by fear of failure and uncertainties, the marketing strategies, the development plans, the sales approach, and clients’ reviews. No matter how chaotic everything seemed at the moment, I am blessed to say that I made the right choice and started a venture that now fuels world-changing ideas and brings them to digital reality.
For the second part of the question, things got challenging at times, but I never considered giving up. Instead, managed my stress levels and anxieties through meditation and yoga.
What are the most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs make and what would you suggest they do?
Abeer Raza: There is a quote that suggests people start a business when they’re ready. But if you keep waiting, you’ll never be ready and things and circumstances would never be ‘perfect enough’ for a plunge. So yes, this is one of the most common mistakes I have found new entrepreneurs making. They come up with an epic idea but wait for perfect situations. Then somebody else generates a similar idea and wins the market while one is busy counting what’s missing.
I would suggest all such entrepreneurs never let their fear of failure of uncertainties conquer and stay consistent in their efforts. It’s okay to make mistakes, it’s great to never repeat them and it’s ideal to learn from them!
Has the pandemic and transitioning into mostly online shopping affected your company positively or negatively?
Abeer Raza: This pandemic proved to be a gamechanger for Tekrevol. So, yes it has affected our company positively and we have indeed fared well. While businesses were slow in the early days of the Covid and we were mandated to work from home, things started gaining traction when we shifted focus from service provision to value proposition.
Several businesses at the time wanted to take a plunge into digital and needed honest business advice and strategy for transition. We attempted to bridge the planning and execution gap; and while we provided consultancy on digital transformation and business automation, we also started a podcast called ‘Technology for Change’. Together, our podcasts and consultancy empowered businesses in terms of automation and they gained operational excellence and process efficiencies.
Our holistic business strategy necessitated us to stay committed to deadlines, deliver more than promised, and innovate. With business value, we started delivering complete digital experiences. We took this time to experiment with approaches and partnered with several startups, solo appreneurs, food and eCommerce companies, educational, social, and waste management organizations, and started building products that would live up to our motto to impact. It was not doable without our teams – employees of all levels to our transformational leaders showed impeccable dedication and stayed with us during the era that we now believe gave us exponential growth.
In your opinion, what makes your company stand out from the competition?
Abeer Raza: I believe it’s the culture that distinguishes Tekrevol from its competition. We strive to grow, not only in terms of our financial figures but our reach, our brand authenticity, and our value proposition. And that we start internally. We work as structured chaos and idealize individualistic collectivism. We hire people from different geographic, ethnic, and industrial backgrounds, and cultivate environments where they feel free to be creative and grow in their domains.
People at Tekrevol feel valued because their voices are welcomed, their recommendations are heard and implemented and experimentation is encouraged. Our teams foster trust and appreciate the sense of ownership when we take initiatives. Because we value innovation, we are never afraid to take risks and learn from our good and bad experiences. And that I believe reflects accurately in our approaches, solutions, and the products we deliver. Building onto this, I am proud to say that Tekrevol has been nominated as a finalist for Timmy’s Best Tech Work Culture Award.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success?
Abeer Raza: The first character trait that makes me a successful business leader is my ability to delegate, which comes from the trust I put in my people. It’s primary for mine, as well as every other business leader’s success because you have got 24 hours in a day, and dozens of operational and marketing activities on your plate. In such a case, if you don’t trust and delegate responsibilities, how do you expect to keep pace with your competitors? I consider it to be a primary leadership trait because it allows me and my team to dedicate their best time and skills to what we are best at.
The second trait is listening. I would communication and comprehension are integral traits, but listening outperforms everything. If you want to learn and grow, listen to your unhappy customers and happy teams. They have got the best advice and business ideas you can capitalize on. I am a strong advocate of recombinant innovation and most of my associated plans take roots from listening to people in my network, my potential clients, my business partners, and my employees.
The third primary trait is self-awareness, which you gain when you work with cross-functional teams – people from different backgrounds and experiences. As a leader, one must know their strengths, weakness, and potential human biases. Being self-aware helps leaders make better business decisions, prioritize projects based on value and profitability, improve productivity and confidence, and increase credibility.
Being a CEO of the company, do you think that your personal brand reflects your company’s values?
Abeer Raza: Yes! An entrepreneur’s personal brand SHOULD reflect the company’s value, and so does mine. I aspire to create innovation and so I am never afraid to execute my team’s ideas. We value commitment, and when nights and deadlines intersect, I personally stay back with my teams and help them with activities, technical as well as non-technical. When help is needed, I don’t only verbally guide my team, but roll my sleeves up and practically get on the battlefield. I have invested years into building my personal brand, and that has significantly impacted the credibility of my business.
What’s your favorite leadership style and why?
Abeer Raza: My favorite leadership style is a mix of visionary and transformational. That’s what inspires the leader in me and shapes my daily activities to long-term goals. I aspire to spark confidence in my direct reports and their teams and encourage everybody else to take risks, accept intellectual challenges and come back stronger after a setback.
What advice would you give to our younger readers that want to become entrepreneurs?
Abeer Raza: One of my favorite business quotes is by G.K. Chesterton, “I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.”
With this, I don’t mean to teach all aspiring and young entrepreneurs to turn a deaf ear to all the business advice you get from gurus and books. Mentorship and coaching have their own significance and are important aspects of anybody’s entrepreneurial journey, but I recommend aspiring businessmen, sometimes, ditch the conventional wisdom, take calculated risks and believe their intuition instead of only relying on data and case studies.
What’s your favorite “business” quote and how has it affected your business decisions?
Abeer Raza: One of my favorite business quotes is from Will Durant and it has shaped my leadership style and influenced my overall marketing strategy and business value. It goes like this, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Throughout these years, we have achieved tremendous transformation, and part of this success goes to our consistency, our habit of trying to innovate our production methods and development approaches, and our never-ending passion to explore untapped opportunities and disrupt diverse industrial domains. This consistency has shaped our excitement to take on challenges. We have delivered big and small projects, worked with simple to complex technology stacks and that’s all because of our habit to do impactful projects. This habit has brought us awards like Stevie, which recognized us as Bronze winners in the Blockchain solutions category for developing Ether Legends, a play-to-earn game that utilizes trading card games and cryptocurrencies.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Abeer Raza 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 Abeer Raza or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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