For decades, Indians have been playing a vital part in the world of innovation. They are an important cog in the giant technological wheel across the world. Truth to be told, world’s biggest tech and IT companies like Google, Microsoft, Adobe and Nokia are being driven by Indian origin CEOs like Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Santanu Narayen and Rajiv Suri. Other than these, there are many who have made an ineradicable mark in the world of innovation and information technology.
Odisha born Shabir Momin is one such dynamic tech entrepreneur who has created an identity in the global technology landscape. He has been the youngest CTO (Chief Technical Officer) in the Asia Pacific region at the age of 21 for a US based MNC pioneering in the CRM business and ranked 2nd in the world after Seibel. While technology is his core passion, innovations and opportunities feeds fire into his belly. As an aggressive entrepreneur, he is always on the move. His nerve wracking schedule of a month is, first 20 days he spends in stabilising and scaling up his existing business while the remaining 10 days he spents in brainstorming for new opportunities. To move ahead, he believes in his gut feeling, backed up by research and information. He challenges himself out of his comfort zone, always.
Team Coffee Bytes was happy to catch up with Mr. Shabir Momin to find out what it takes for him to turn his ideas into reality, his current ventures and his thoughts on back home.
For someone who started out as an employee in the BPO sector how did it feel to own the same Bpo?
I can’t explain the feeling, I think it’s a very different feeling all together. But normally when someone says employee in a BPO would usually mean a calling Agent, while I was not a calling agent, I was a CTO then building the BPO technologically.
Hailing from a tier 2 city how did you map your potential in the capital of India?
I just followed the passion in technology, I was anyway not good at studies (other subjects) I am sure many who know me will vouch on that. So, call it passion, that is what made me move forward. God has been kind to me, my parents did let me follow my passion and never pushed me to be a doctor or an engineer (may be deep down they knew I am not capable of being one). Lot of hard work, patience, determination and tons of friend’s support has got me where I am.
At a time when mobile phones were a novelty how did you think of streaming live cricket matches on mobiles?
Videos were not happening at that time due to multiple reasons such as bandwidth problems, phone memory and others. We developed a new technology, which could stream at a lower bandwidth. We were able to crack the technology code after two years of intense hard work and formed the company to build a consumer focused brand. I wanted to bring TV in the hands where anyone anywhere can enjoythe luxury of watching the most preferred sport, entertainment, news and other content anytime. That’s how it formulated further.
What are the current business you are working on?
My current ventures include; Zenga TV, one of the leading OTT services in India, One Digital Entertainment Largest, a Digital Entertainment company, OneAxcess.com, a unique self-serve multi-platform distribution and monetization video ecosystem with over few thousands of content owners, creators and brand advertisers on board, Innov Crowd Pte Ltd which owns two Crowd funding platforms- Desired Wings and Catapooolt focusing on reward based and equity crowd funding respectively, Rastey, a Cab Service, Wyze Bots, a chat bot company, Creators Gurukul, a chain of co-working space across India and SSN Solution, a data science company, WoVoyage, a women only travel company, PSiamgone.com, an after death service and few more.
Five years down the line you had received the Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2013 by TIE and recently you received the ICFAI University Presents BW Business world #Young Entrepreneur Award 2017-18. How do you define success?
It feels amazing when you are being recognized for your hard work. There is no end to success, success for me is to spot the right opportunity at the right time and create value for it. The sense of achieving the desired end results should be the main goal for any business. Everything comes with pros and cons but how you and your team turn every opportunity in the favor of the business, is the main success for me. While this process will keep going, trying to help upcoming Entrepreneurs who are working in some new interesting concepts whether it’s a product or service is something I am really passionate about.
How do you keep yourself rooted to Odisha?
I belong to Odisha, it’s my home, I have amazing memories from there, I still have my family and friends there, I miss it a lot, I wish I could one day get back and do something from there. One day.
What do you miss about Odisha?
Everything, including the not so good things, specially the time spent with friends, my friends, not to forget the gupchups, chai, the bike rides to puri, the list is never ending.
Odisha then in 2000 and Odisha now. How do you perceive the growth in business opportunities?
The economic growth of Odisha has increased in the last few years. It has now become the most preferred investment destination for the Indian companies who are cost sensitive and are aiming to expand. Sectors including mining & amp; metal, renewable energy and many more are sprouting with great investment in Odisha. It is also promoting food processing business. The only thing I love and at the same time hate about us Odias, we feel we have enough and get content.
Lot of new sectors can be cultivated. I am hoping to bring a power project to the state sometime soon.
Considering your passion for technology how would you rate the future of Odisha in the technology space?
Technology sector in Odisha is growing at a good pace and the future seems really bright. There are really sharp tech minds there who are taking leap in this sector. Lately a group of few students developed an AI based system to detect the faults in the railway tracks to refrain the accidents, which in itself is a great achievement and shows that the mind and the capabilities were always there, we just need a catalyst and a platform to catapult it. The state always had great education platforms, but it used to lack the platform for entrepreneurship or employment, I think that has changed significantly. Firms based out of Odisha, educational institutes, research centers, state government etc are all coming up with the new tech initiatives. Hence, the future seems really bright to me.
As a successful son of Odisha how do you intend to give back to your homeland?
I am looking for a chance to give back, haven’t got a good one as yet. I am hoping my new power project would be a possible opportunity for me to do something for the state, especially because I am bringing it to my home state first before taking it anywhere else.
By Upagupt Mohanty