WHILE BENEFITTING ORGANIZATIONS & PEOPLE WITH EXPERTISE TO GROW MORE…
Luminary: How did you start your professional career?
Mr. Nadeem A. Malik: In my point of view, career is nothing but a journey uphill and it touches the horizon and I’m still a Climber. I embarked my career 26 years ago. My first job was with The US Department of Commerce as I was fortunate enough to acquire the job just after graduating in the US. It was a proficient experience as the same job landed me back to Pakistan, so I started working with the prestigious consulting company, NESPAK. My further education ambitions took me back to the US from where I established my own entrepreneur ventures. I started a software company and this entrepreneurial experience enabled me to run shows at Country Level and thus I found my way back leading InfoTech as Country Manager Sales. From INFOTECH, I went to HUAWEI, managing the enterprise business distribution in Pakistan and the Middle East and freshly joined Microsoft as a Country Manager.
Luminary: How is your experience going on so far?
Mr. Nadeem A. Malik: I would call it magical. Microsoft offers exhilarating and challenging working position. I see promising growth and potential in my country, thus enjoying every bit of my experience. MICROSOFT is progressing with its global mission of empowering people and organizations to achieve more. Empower every person in an organization to achieve more”. With Pakistan as Target and growing market, I believe, Microsoft can achieve this mission and goals.
Luminary: How do you balance the long term versus the short term when thinking about innovation?
Mr. Nadeem A. Malik: I believe “Being Reactive” is not the strategy but “Being Proactive” is. Finding problems are easy but finding solutions and excelling with innovation is the key success factor. Undoubtedly, Pakistan is growing and a developing country where we can contribute in education, better governance, and healthcare and that …with technology and innovation. Pakistan youth is extremely innovative and talented. I believe Microsoft has a potential. Microsoft technology forms are the wide range from home / small office windows 10 to enterprise leading cloud offering “AZURE”.
Luminary: How do you encourage creative thinking and innovation?
Mr. Nadeem A. Malik: Microsoft is all about Growth and Expansion. This leads to creativity indeed. From our Licensing offerings to Suites – From our Small offices to Data center-From Software to Software-Denied Computing, Microsoft is all about innovation. You can say innovation is flourishing out of Microsoft headquarter to all worldwide offices. But how we encourage the same innovation and same strength in Pakistan? Let me just give you one small example. We have Microsoft innovation center, which is our developer experience program, offering free software tools, training, hand holding, and go to market strategy for all the upcoming startups in Pakistan. I think this is our contribution towards supporting the entrepreneurship in Pakistan and that innovation can lead Pakistan not only in the IT Map of the world but also encourages people to think and develop those applications softwares anywhere in the world.
Luminary: When an organization gets larger there can be a tendency for the “institution” to dampen the “inspiration & innovation” How do you keep this from happening? How you manage the sustainability as usually
innovation requires huge cost?
Mr. Nadeem A. Malik: I think you need to optimize everything. You optimize operations and training. The Growth Mindset being embraced across Microsoft enables a unique culture. That culture is responsible for new innovations achieved through unbounded research, an insatiable curiosity about customers’ business needs, and the identication of new market making opportunities for Microsoft’s partners. So when you have Growth Mindset, you always start thinking where we can assist? Which industry vertical we can help? How can we increase the service level? How can we increase the different ways of goals? I think if you optimize with this growth mindset, I believe that’s how a majority of organizations can learn not only from Microsoft, but we can also share these experiences with them.
Luminary: How much you spend on employee development and training?
Mr. Nadeem A. Malik: If you look at a career perspective point of view, we have continuously encouraged not only our teams but also teams which are within our echo system. Microsoft is dependent upon its partner echo system, so every dollar which comes from Microsoft solution, each dollar goes back in to economy that enabling our partners, expanding our foot prints and more solutions to organizations. That’s Microsoft’s contribution to partner echo system and economy. For that, we have our own teams. We also spend quite heavily on training but I think work health index is also another quite significant factor where a balance of life is very important.
Luminary: What do you do to live a balanced life and how do you manage your anger and stress?
Mr. Nadeem A. Malik: I believe if you sit down and start taking stress certainly it will bring you down. I mean what people call a problem, I name it opportunity. So when there is the opportunity, you go out and resolve it and this is the way to uproot the problem. In my practical life I always encouraged people and admonish them to start loving what they do. Once you start loving what you do, you never need a break. If you align your personal goals with your personal growth and organization goals, your career will flourish, your organization will ourish and you have a higher impact as well.
Luminary: What do you do for fun?
Mr. Nadeem A. Malik: Of course I love golf. It requires time, which I find very hard to find. But recently I have started to work-life balance as an improvement in my own personal motives.
Luminary: Anything other than Golf?
Mr. Nadeem A. Malik: I think that’s enough. You need to spend time with family as well and it’s very important.
Luminary: What other CEOs do you admire? Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?
Mr. Nadeem A. Malik: We all grow up with Microsoft. It may sound like a typical thing but we all grew up admiring Bill Gates and it’s not a secret. Even earlier in my life when I was not expecting this opportunity and role for Microsoft I always admired him and his contribution in Microsoft and now I admire him as philanthropist giving back to the community and not only any specific community but all over a world. I also have a great admiration for our current CEO in Canada. I had opportunity to have discussion with him and face him in a couple of engagements when we were traveling to the head office. I see him bringing the new fresh perspectives and the kind of the growth mindset he is bringing in is amazing and he is a wonderful person and surprisingly he loves Urdu poetry very much.
Luminary: Oh really he understands Urdu!
Mr. Nadeem A. Malik: Yes, of course, I think his personality is bringing a high impact value to the organization. We sense it and we feel it and that’s why he is inspiring us so much.
Luminary: Which is the best advice you ever received?
Mr. Nadeem A. Malik: I always appreciate good advice. I believe learning should not be limited. I cannot say that only my teachers from school, college and university contributed in my character building, but my parents, my family, my friends and the people with whom I worked throughout career have contributed a lot in my personality. We should not bind our learning from a single corner. When I am sitting somewhere, any simple person can teach me things and why I said so, it could be inspirational people, the people we take for granted but they take it as an advantage and how they feel like growing themselves personally is an inspiration. So I take inspiration from every person I interact.
Luminary: What was your greatest missed opportunity?
Mr. Nadeem A. Malik: Nothing but yes, I could have done few things right in my life, like everybody else. But the trick question is what if somebody can roll the clock back for you. I think no and I would probably do the same few things.
Luminary: What are your company ambitions for the future especially for Pakistan?
Mr. Nadeem A. Malik: Microsoft is not only enabling corporate sector and organizations, but also enabling them to utilize technology in a better way so that they can serve their customers well. As I have explained earlier that we have to perform a great role to the government that is better e-services to go, better governance, better justice, better health, but moving forward, I think the opportunity for our young generation is also enormous. Microsoft is opening the center of excellence in Pakistan. We are hiring virtuoso candidates. They are rationing local organizations as well foreign organizations. In our CSR PROGRAM, we are also enabling young generation and teaching parents and teacher’s about internet security. We have also signed an MOU with the government of MOIT while ICT for girls program, in which we will train the girls under the supervision of Bait-ul-mal.
Luminary: What are a few resources you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?
Mr. Nadeem A. Malik: I believe give your best to the best. One should not set boundary if you reach for stars, you won’t come back with the hand full of mud. So go for it. I think no person has any deficiency. It is our own self-imposed and when we can get out of this, everybody has ability and there are opportunities. Have faith. Give yourself whatever you have and results will come out very positive.
Luminary: What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time? And to the younger generation of CEOs, managers, startups, entrepreneurs and business leaders?
Mr. Nadeem A. Malik: Honesty is the prominent key to success. The youngsters come with very fresh ideas. They bring bold ideas, so they are going to be the next. There was a time when I was young. I used to be apprised that you are the one. Now, I see them as the other one. They are what we call millennials, which are born in cloud socially integrated generators. They are connected. They have learned quicker qualities and abilities. They are the cloud sources, they take challenges, share things openly and they take criticism openly without any kind of hesitation. I believe that they are not bound by any typical social infrastructure. They are connected with the world. Opportunities are with them and so are the challenges. The upcoming generation has better life. They have better opportunities. All they need is to put their heart and soul in it and start understanding, what they are capable of and the way I see it is very positive.