The nature of being an entrepreneur means that,one must fully embrace ambiguity and be comfortable with being challenged regularly. Mohammad MarufFiroz with his determination and ambition is a true example who shows that one can easily achieve success if he wants. This young man has achieved a lot in his very young age. Being and entrepreneur, corporate coach, author, presenter, founder and CEO of British American Resource Center, and president of DO GREEN, he undoubtedly gives us the inspiration that being successful is not all about having ideas rather it’s aboutmaking ideas happen. The Pages recently had a conversation with him regarding his accomplishment and vision.
The Pages:Please tell us about yourself? How did you start your journey as a professional?
MarufFiroz :First of all, I would like to introduce myself as an enduprenuer, a new term is being used nowadays who provides education service and runs livelihood. I am both a thinker and a doer. Unlike 95% of the population, I do what I say. I love to see what I dream. I was never ever a very talented student, however, I don’t feel unhappy not to be a top class student, and rather I would like to brag that I am a better thinker than many of the top class students. But again I feel lucky that I studied in a Cadet College and had my graduation from Dhaka University.
I started my career in a bank and quickly jumped into Telco industry. I could never stick with one single company. But now as an entrepreneur (edupreneur), I have stopped and concentrated most on one single job.
The Pages: What are the biggest challenges a CEO faces today?
MarufFiroz:The pitfalls of a CEO cannot be expressed in short, but one thing I can tell you that the atmosphere is changing rapidly, which is a headache for top management. The good companies set long term goals and the mediocre companies depend on short term goals.
As the business world is changing fast, we will be facing more uncertainties and waking up every day to new anxieties. The shocking part is that no one is spared. Even the calm and composed CEOs are finding it increasingly difficult to adapt. So what is causing the nerves at the top? According to a survey of over 200 chief executives, 75% are frustrated by the lack of quality data. 79% are concerned that their teams are not moving fast enough. 61% feel that they do not have full control of their company’s direction. And 81% fear that their staffs are working blindly against their companies’ long-term goals.
In Bangladesh, contingency approach is being practiced highly. As the market is very volatile, the job of a CEO becomes delicate and sophisticated. Therefore, a CEO should be very dynamic and smart to tackle all challenges.
The Pages: What do you think that the Education industry has become saturated enough already and left no more room for a new player?
MarufFiroz:I never consider education a business rather it is a service we can provide to students and in return we can take the incurred expenditure including a minimum service charge if necessary. However, for training or skill development, we can charge a special fee which should be nominal too. Therefore, if you ask me that question, I would say since it is not a business, I won’t see any future, but as a social business it can bewidespread where financial benefit should be minor and social wellbeing is the utmost priority.
The Pages:Tell us about current Education market of Bangladesh.
MarufFiroz: At present, education has become a product, and especially in Bangladesh, it is now a costlier product without quality. Many entrepreneurs kick off the teaching business like as a hotel and restaurant business and they look for the profit only which brings irritation to many of us, and which in turn results disastrous effects. Since education itself very sophisticated, it needs care and patience.
Most parents want degrees, certificates and good grades, they rarely concentrate on knowledge and wisdom. They consider Philosophy as the subject of 18th century and Literature is the subject of Tagor and Shakespeare. I intend to say that you should value quality education and it doesn’t depend on what you are studying or what grade you achieved, given that you intend to acquire knowledge.
The Pages:British American Resource Center is a leading education service provider in Bangladesh. Tell us about the quality of services BARC.
MarufFiroz:Going to be the leading one.. It takes time to create the leadership in 21st century. To become a true market leader in this era, market demand and quality should be blended. For last 5 years, we have been working with the quality assurance which is very difficult to maintain. Until now, we give the highest priority on quality classroom, effective lecture and study materials. We have conducted 25 to 30 trials by this time. Still we keep researching on the progress of our students.
Initially, we focused on quality lecture and effective guidelines and for that we hired not only technical and qualified instructors but also really helpful ones as well as designed featured lecture materials which were not available and again expensive. However, we have found out that these efforts would be worthless without a good result. Later we have added our new focus on good result which creates our tension high. This is truly the toughest challenge we face because if students don’t study at home, how you expect a good result.
To ensure that the best output extracted from the students, regular tests, assessments and quizzes are taken, and their progress report is also recorded on a graph. And I have to say one thing that we have the highest success rate so far.We are trusted by ourstudentsas we have successfully built the faith in them by guiding the former batches and bunches to achieve the desired result.
The Pages:How would you assess Bangladesh as a potential consumer zone for Education Service?
Maruf Firoz:Since the population density and the competition both are high, for the survival, they need quality education. So, we may see in next couple of years, hundreds of education service centers can grow gradually throughout the country which I appreciate.
The Pages: What’s the secret behind the success of BARC?
Maruf Firoz:It is the commitment to our students. We try to keep our promises, but again which are very difficult keep. We still have flaws and we try every day from dawn to dusk to minimize it. And this is how gradually we are going towards a better company.
The Pages: Would you like to tell the reader to your upcoming Service 2016?
Maruf Firoz:Corporate courses, Day long workshops and a 10 week long step by step Basic English course.
The Pages:Tell us about the importance of online marketing tools in this fast-paced business fraternity. Do you prefer spending time on Facebook?
Maruf Firoz:Online marketing is one vital tool but it cannot be the only one. Word of mouth or the referral marketing is very important. Our students tell about our success stories to others which is the best part of our marketing success.
The Pages:Where do you see the future of the Bangladesh Education service provider in Global Market?
Maruf Firoz:In fact, we have huge opportunities to flourish in global market provided that we focus on one single area and create specialization.