Welcome to the latest edition of the Entrepreneur Desk’s Entrepreneurial section! Our goal is to bring you the best and brightest stories from the world of startups and business. This month, we have a special treat for our readers as we travel to Oman to showcase the success of a local startup, Simbiz. Our team had the opportunity to sit down with the founding members of Simbiz and learn about their entrepreneurial journey, from challenges to victories. Through this blog, we aim to inspire and educate aspiring entrepreneurs by sharing the experiences of those who have blazed the trail before them. So buckle up and get ready to take notes as we bring you the inside scoop on the world of startups only in the Entrepreneur Desk.
Awais Iqbal is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Simbiz. He is a bilingual sales executive with over 10 years of diversified experience in multiple fields. In addition, Awais has exceptional skills in account management, sales, project & people management, technical pre-sales, etc.
Coming back to Simbiz, it’s an IT consultancy company with a presence in Oman, UK & Pakistan. With creative ideas and innovative technology solutions, Simbiz provides the ultimate solutions to leading global organizations. Learn more about Awais and the incredible journey of Simbiz through this interview.
How did you start your entrepreneurship journey at Simbiz? Do you have some advice for beginners?
At Simbiz, we embarked on our entrepreneurship journey by recognizing the opportunities presented by the shift towards remote working during the Covid-19 pandemic. With our collective background in sales and marketing in the IT industry, we are confident in our ability to provide IT solutions that would meet the needs of businesses adapting to this new reality.
For those just starting their entrepreneurship journey, our advice would be:
- Identify a need or gap in the market that you can fill. Conduct market research, analyze your competitors, and get feedback from potential customers to validate your idea.
- Utilize your existing skills and experience to bring a unique perspective to your venture. Leverage your knowledge and expertise to create a differentiated value proposition that sets you apart from others.
- Network and build relationships with potential clients, partners, and advisors. Attend events, join online communities, and make use of social media to expand your reach and build your reputation.
- Create a comprehensive business plan that outlines your goals and strategies. This should include a detailed market analysis, revenue projections, and a risk management plan.
- Stay flexible and be willing to pivot if necessary. Be open to new opportunities and adjust your strategy based on changing market conditions and feedback from customers.
- Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, and mentors. Building a supportive network of people who can provide guidance, resources, and encouragement is critical to your success.
By following these steps and leveraging our collective experience, we have been able to build a successful IT solution provider company that is well-positioned for future growth.
Your company Simbiz started back in 2020, which was during the time of the pandemic. How did you start Simbiz then, and what were the major challenges while establishing it?
Starting a company during a pandemic was very challenging, as the uncertainty and volatility of the economic environment made it difficult to secure funding, find customers, and build a team. However, it also presented opportunities as businesses and consumers started looking for innovative solutions to adapt to the new normal.
The major challenges I faced during the establishment of Simbiz were:
- Competition with established players in the industry.
- Finding and retaining talent in a remote work environment.
- Adapting to changing market conditions and customer needs in a rapidly evolving economic landscape.
- Securing funding and maintaining cash flow during a time of uncertainty.
- Balancing the demands of starting a new business with personal and family responsibilities.
To overcome these difficulties, I focused on being flexible and adaptable to changing market conditions, utilizing technology and digital tools to reach and communicate with potential clients and partners, and maintaining a positive attitude even in the face of challenges. I also made sure to have a clear and comprehensive business plan, stay focused on my goals, and surround myself with a supportive network of friends, family, and mentors.
It’s incredible that you have a clear business plan and goal. We were also curious about understanding the role of your employees in Simbiz’s success. Could you tell us how their energy and enthusiasm can be a helping hand in your company’s growth?
Yes, employee energy and enthusiasm can play a significant role in the success of a business, especially in the technology industry, where innovation and creativity are key factors. Energized and motivated employees can bring fresh ideas, increased productivity, and better collaboration, which can drive the success of the company.
However, it’s important to note that employee engagement and motivation can vary based on the specific role and job responsibilities. For example, in an IT company like ours, where most employees are programmers and developers, a work environment that prioritizes work-life balance, professional growth opportunities, and challenging and fulfilling work can contribute to their energy and enthusiasm.
Therefore, it’s important for business leaders to foster a positive and supportive workplace culture and provide opportunities for employee growth and development to help sustain their energy and enthusiasm.
How do you plan to motivate your team to go the extra mile?
As the Management of Simbiz, it’s crucial to keep our team motivated and encourage them to go the extra mile. To achieve this, we have implemented several strategies, including:
- Defining clear goals and expectations for our team, ensuring that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.
- Fostering a positive and supportive workplace culture where our employees feel valued and appreciated.
- Providing opportunities for growth and development, allowing our team to take on new challenges, learn new skills, and grow professionally.
- Recognizing and rewarding their efforts by offering incentives, bonuses, or other forms of recognition.
- Promoting work-life balance by encouraging our employees to prioritize their well-being and offering flexible work arrangements and time off when needed.
- Encouraging open communication by listening and responding to our team’s feedback and ideas.
- Leading by example, demonstrating our own enthusiasm and commitment to Simbiz’s mission, and inspiring my team to do the same.
By following these strategies, we are creating a motivated and supportive work environment that will drive our team’s success and contribute to the growth of Simbiz.
How does Simbiz move forward in this competitive world?
We stay ahead of the competition by constantly adapting to the current market trends and using the latest tools to produce effective and efficient services. Our core services, which include managed services, support services, and application development, are designed to meet the changing needs of businesses in a rapidly evolving market.
Additionally, we prioritize customer satisfaction by delivering high-quality services and building strong, long-lasting relationships with our clients. Our team of experts is dedicated to staying up to date with the latest technology and industry best practices to ensure that we are providing the most innovative and cutting-edge solutions to our clients.
By continuously improving and expanding our services, we can stay ahead of the competition and grow our business in a rapidly changing market. Our focus on quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction will continue to drive our success and help us move forward in a competitive world.
What plans do you have to stay unique?
We have several plans to stay unique in a competitive market. First, we continuously innovate and improve our services to stay ahead of the curve and meet the changing needs of businesses. Our team of experts regularly attends training and conferences to stay updated with the latest technology and industry best practices.
Second, we prioritize building strong relationships with our clients and always put their needs first. We listen to their feedback and work closely with them to understand their goals and objectives. This helps us to tailor our services to their specific needs and deliver customized solutions that meet their unique requirements.
Third, we continuously invest in new technologies and tools to enhance our services and improve our overall offerings. Whether it’s automating certain processes or implementing new software, we are always exploring new ways to improve our efficiency and deliver value to our clients.
Finally, we focus on building a strong company culture that emphasizes collaboration, teamwork, and continuous learning. By creating a supportive and inclusive environment, we attract and retain the best talent and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.
These plans help us to stay unique in the market and differentiate ourselves from our competitors by providing top-notch services and delivering exceptional value to our clients.
What are some of the key milestones of Simbiz?
Some key milestones of Simbiz include:
- Starting in 2020, during the height of the pandemic, most companies were struggling to survive. Despite the challenging environment, we were able to secure our first major contract with a logistics company.
- Growing our client base in 2021, with multiple customers in the oil, telecom, and banking sectors. This shows that our services were in high demand and helped us establish ourselves as a trusted and reliable IT solution provider.
- Achieving our breakeven point in 2022 was a significant milestone for our investors. It demonstrated that we had a sustainable business model and were on a path to long-term success.
- Widening our reach to other GCC countries and opening a support office in Pakistan. This shows that we are committed to expanding our business and providing top-notch support to clients in the region.
- These milestones demonstrate that Simbiz has been successful in a short time frame, and we will continue to work hard to achieve even greater success in the future. We are proud of what we have accomplished so far, and we are confident that we will continue to grow and evolve as a company in the years to come.
How is Simbiz leveraging its digital excellence to strengthen its business capabilities?
At Simbiz, we understand the importance of digital excellence in today’s fast-paced and constantly evolving business environment. As an IT solution provider, we are constantly exploring ways to leverage digital technologies to enhance our business capabilities.
- Adopting the latest tools and technologies: We make sure to stay up to date with the latest tools and technologies in the market and adapt them to improve our services and stay ahead of the competition. This helps us provide our clients with efficient and effective solutions that meet their specific needs.
- Improving operational efficiency: By leveraging digital technologies, we have been able to streamline our internal processes, improve communication between teams, and reduce the time and resources required to complete tasks.
- Enhancing customer experience: We use digital platforms and tools to engage with our customers and provide them with a seamless experience. From online portals for ticket management and tracking to instant messaging for support, we are continuously working to enhance the customer experience.
- Building a virtual workforce: As the world moves towards remote working, we are leveraging digital technologies to build a virtual workforce, enabling us to provide support to clients from anywhere in the world.
In summary, at Simbiz, we believe that digital excellence is essential to our business success. By leveraging technology, we are strengthening our capabilities, improving efficiency, and providing our clients with superior experience.
Connect with Awais Iqbal on LinkedIn.
Find Simbiz on LinkedIn,