When I moved to Scotland (in 2010) to start at Edinburgh Business School (EBS), we were expecting our third born (child). I had my first business school exam (Organisational Behaviour), and my wife actually went into labour! As soon as I got out of the exam, I turned my phone on, it was my wife saying ‘you’ve got to come home ASAP!’
That was the year that Scotland had one of the worst snowstorms in history. Guys from my class pushed the car out so I could actually get home and on the same day our son, Rayyan was born.
My name is Suhail Ahmad, I’m the founder and CEO of Financial Network and I’ve been an entrepreneur since junior high (school) when I was trading hockey cards (in addition to running promotional products printing business).
In 2012 I created a company after graduating from EBS where we were developing analytical solutions (quantitative analytics) to help people make better investment decisions.
And then we realised it was going to be a challenge for us to commercialise (without significant and expensive external funding) and that gave me the idea for Financial Network where we needed (to create) a process (for start-ups) that supports the development of these commercial technologies (and businesses).
I came from a financial services background which means (and) I’ve worked with the largest financial institution in Canada (RBC Financial). But when you’re able to step away and work with businesses (big and small) that are actually out there trying to provide a product or service in the marketplace, and you’re able to accelerate that growth (through process improvements, training, and advice), it makes it much more worthwhile. We’re trying to make sure that the small guy or the ‘Davids’ of the world get the same fighting chance as the Goliaths.
My family has been very supportive, particularly my wife who has been very patient with me. The way that I try to balance (work-life) is that I try to get the family involved. One of the great things is that my wife is a much better peoples person than I am, she’s able to fill that gap and help me in that area of the business.
For my daughter, it’s a great opportunity for her to learn and to explore her creative side and become a little bit more involved in the marketing (of the business). My family understands that I’ve got the entrepreneurial bug. You have to make sure that your family is behind you (otherwise it’s very difficult to dedicate the time and energy required to develop a successful business).
Focus on Value Creation
In a digital economy, there are no borders. What I’d love to do over the next ten years (and beyond) is to focus on developing the business, because through that business I can actually support all these other businesses (our clients) that are creating amazing products to improve (the) lives (of people).
Having the privilege of education and living in the developed world, we have an obligation to use our knowledge to make a (positive) impact, because there are so many people that don’t get that opportunity (of education).
We have an opportunity to do good and create products and services, literally saving hundreds of billions of dollars (through value creation) and that money can go back into the economy and hopefully back into more education, healthcare and improving the lives of people.
You can view the official video on Edinburgh Business School’s website at https://bit.ly/suhail_ahmad