Exciting times! It’s not often that you manage to sneak a peek inside the brainship of someone that defines eccentricity and is also one of the most sorted people you know.
Someone whose PJs can only be matched by his wisecracking ways and utterly quotable quotes.
“Rule 1 Life: If you do not have internet your one leg is in coffin.”
Someone who loves his afternoon naps even more than I do and yet adds in crazy numbers to the company’s balance sheet with his uncanny salesmanship.
Muzzammil Bambot is one of the most valuable assets that we have here at WisdmLabs. He leads Sales & Business Development for the company and is generally a gem of a person, unless you disturb him while he’s in workmode. Or when he’s sleeping. Things can get out of hand then.
He was kind enough to find time in his acceptably busy schedule to answer these questions that I had for him, although it did take a fair amount of pestering on my part too. (Credit where it’s due right?)
So without further ado, I present to you the man, the myth and the masternapper – Muzzu B. *cue in applause*
Q. Tell us about your first successful pitch. Were you nervous?
While I come from a background in engineering, I had been in Digital Marketing for two years prior to my first pitch. Technical prowess being a bit weak at the start is what made me nervous more than anything else.
Back then, we were quite active on a freelancing platform called eLance (now Upwork). Rohan had taught me how to selectively search for potential projects, a lot of it depended on trials and tribulations at that point. Getting a $500 job used to be big deal, since WisdmLabs was absolutely new to the scene. Notching up communications, I got a project for creating a Post Auto Publish mechanism for a WordPress plugin. I was not so nervous about getting the project, as I was about delivering it. I had to do a lot of technical homework, I wanted to go in prepared for this venture I was experimenting with, and thankfully it paid off big time.
Q. What do you like the most about your job? While we’re at it, is there anything that you don’t particularly like and would change if given a chance?
A sense of doing something new and different everyday, and a feeling of being a part a small web shop that has now gone on to become a big IT firm. The amount of freedom that this job entails (keeping apart the responsibility aspect) would be second to none in the company.
If this question had been asked to me last year, maybe I would crib by the truckloads; but slowly you grow into the job and understand the evolutionary nature of IT businesses and the risks that come with it. Having a much better understanding of the IT needs of the clients on a holistic level is a skill that I would love to impart to everyone on the team.
Q. If you could be the CEO of any company in the world, which one would it be and why?
Being the CEO of any company is a tough position, at any given point of time. If I were to be the CEO of a company, then it would be Maersk – the Dutch shipping and energy conglomerate. Reason for the same being that shipping and energy lies at the heart of global trade and business and this impacts business and culture today more than anything else. This is also at the forefront of causing pollution and destroying ecology more than any other industry combined. Maersk is a leader in setting standards through using technology in ways that helps grow trade and minimize ecological damage.
It would be awesome to lead a vision like that.
Q. Before your stint here at WisdmLabs, you were an SEO expert and a Reputation Manager for a leading digital marketing firm. What made you jump ship to Business Development?
Technology is a disruptive force. It’s very different from marketing. Technology also allows you to grow at a scale that many other industries never achieve in their entire life cycle. You are reaching a far wider audience and creating a lasting impact. It was that simple. And yes, the affinity to Rohan’s thoughts and vision for creating a value oriented growth company undoubtedly played a big role.
Q. What are some of best practices when it comes to developing business within the open source community?
Open-source has a lot of branches. The best way to grow businesses is to educate and network in your target community.
Business Development is something that needs large amounts of patience, more than anything else, and is an extremely long term process. But if you are willing to wait and sacrifice things in the short term for the longer term, it can build an extremely sustainable business pipeline along with deep relationships that stay with you life long. It is, after all, these relationships that help your business grow and flourish.
A smart tip here would be to genuine and truly help others, but make sure that you are not causing losses in that path as this is a delicate path to traverse.
Q. How would you explain this image to a prospective client?
Thinking of solutions for clients day in and day out requires mental calmness. What better a way than to meditate? (You thought I’m asleep?)
This was by the way the team’s way of having fun post-lunch when I’m in my ideation zone.
Q. A lot of clients that you helped get here at WisdmLabs have gone on to be a part of our recurring clientele. How do you manage to develop such a relationship?
By doing quality work ! The entire credit goes to the operations team for that. It would be wrong for me to accept absolutely any praise here.
Q. What have been your biggest takeaways from your time at Sales and Business Development here?
One of the biggest learnings here, for sure, has been to manages client expectations, as time and again this goes on to become a cause of friction that could derail the project.
Another big learning is about classifying what is good for the client vs what is good for the company. At WisdmLabs, because of the culture I’ve been surrounded with, it has always been about choosing what is good for the client. But at times, these decisions have had a drastic impact on business in the short term for us, and not in a good way.
Q. How do you feel that Business Development in Technology differs from in other industries ?
If I take the word Business Development – It would literally translate to generating more business for the firm you work for. In Technology, Business Development follows a different process. You are looking at helping the customer develop his business with your knowledge of technology which in turn helps grow your business and then the chain continues – Customer business growth demands more technology additions.
If you can find a client who is starting up and has the determination to take it till the end, start thinking of growing his business and you have already grown your own.
Q. What according to you have been your biggest achievements as head of business development at WisdmLabs?
Achievements would be the wrong word, I’d call them milestones that we crossed over the last two years. Probably the biggest ones were getting involuntarily affiliated with major players in WordPress like WooCommerce, EDD and LearnDash to name a few. The idea behind this was to position ourselves as a specialist web solutions provider starting out with WordPress. I actually wanted it to show clients that we are not a fly-by-night company in this space through these partnerships. And it actually turned out that these started generating leads for us. We have got some of the our best clients through this medium.
Words of the wise indeed, Muzzu. We appreciate that you could share your story with all of us, and for doing what you do best.
Here’s hoping we do get to see you lead a vision like the one they have at Maersk. You’d make a damn fine CEO.