Faiaz H Chowdhury comes from a reputed business family. However, bucking the trend of joining family business, this young and energetic individual wanted to learn the traits of business and entrepreneurship, so he joined Energypac, where he has served a decade in several leading positions in different lines of business. Now with the first-hand experience of the business world, he dreams of becoming an entrepreneur himself. In this detailed interview, he talks about his business ideologies, his ambition and his lifestyle.
Kindly introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Faiaz Chowdhury. I’m working with Energypac. I look after the motor vehicles division. I come from a very unadventurous simple family though I have turned out to be the opposite. I have amazing parents, amazing siblings, amazing friends and an amazing workplace.
What makes you an entrepreneur?
It is my good luck that I was born into a business family, but I still don’t think I’m an entrepreneur although I’m actually looking forward to becoming one someday.
How long have you been in this industry?
I’ve been working with Energypac for the last nine years. My journey in the company started differently; I joined in Energypac Electronics Ltd. where we deal with low-voltage electrical accessories and electronics. I worked there for six years and meanwhile grew interest in motor vehicles industry and eventually I got into it.
Do you think you were born with entrepreneurship skills or did you learn those skills?
Nobody is born with entrepreneurship skills; it is like mathematics. You practice and you do well at it. If you do not practice, you’re never going to learn it. I’m still practicing and let’s see where it takes me.
Do you read books a lot? Which are the ones that inspire you?
I’m not too much into books, although I read journals – business cases. I try to watch movies and documentaries and try to learn things out of those.
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Tell us a bit about Energypac and your role in the company.
Energypac started its journey in 1982. We started out with high-voltage power manufacturing as in high-voltage electrical equipment such as transformers, switch-gears etc. Later on we moved to power generation dealing with the mid-voltage equipment representing top brands like Guascor, FG Wilson, Rolls Royce engines etc. We also have assembly facilities for many other divisions. So it comprises of various industries such as LPG, motor vehicle, steel structures, power plants, EPC contractors, etc. I represent the motor vehicles division where we work with light and heavy commercial vehicles such as pickups, trucks, dump trucks, prime movers, tankers etc. We represent JAC, Shacman, Ankai and various other brands.
What have been the biggest challenges for motor vehicle industry?
There are challenges in every business but nonetheless out of many, one of our challenge is that it’s a Indian brand dominated market and we do not represent any Indian brand in our range of products. It’s very difficult to establish a Chinese brand in this industry even though Energypac has been able to penetrate through the market and has successfully established JAC as number one Chinese brand for commercial vehicles in Bangladesh. Today we stand in the fifth position in the market and became market leader on a particular series achieving 70% market share.
How is your company committed to providing the best services to its customers?
Energypac is always committed to provide the best services to the customers because we believe in the slogan, ‘say yes to the customer’. As our company’s core strength is engineering products and services, we have our nationwide sales, spares and service facility for all the products or businesses we are involved in.
Do you think your mindset has anything to do with your success?
Of course. I think if you don’t have a mindset or a goal or a vision you can never achieve success. If you don’t dream, you won’t be able to take the step towards that dream.
How difficult is it to become an entrepreneur?
I come from a business family, but I still cannot call myself a businessman and an entrepreneur is a totally different ball game. I’ve seen my father, my uncles and my bosses. You have to have this in your system. You have to think like an entrepreneur, you have to eat like an entrepreneur, you have to breathe like an entrepreneur and you have to have that charisma of an entrepreneur. It is not easy to be an entrepreneur just over night. The success ratio isn’t that high at all.
If you could turn back time, what would you have done regarding your business?
First of all I would take a deep breath and sort out the glitches we are facing now because of delay in decision making. Let’s say there is a brand we wanted to take under the umbrella of the Energypac, but due to not taking that decision in time we lost the opportunity. Every businesses go through these phase. And if I could turn back time in personal life, I would have probably pursued my career in music since I am an active musician playing in various bands and it is a major point of interest for me.
What advice would you give to those who are just starting any business?
People who are starting their businesses now or developing ideas for forming companies need to follow few things. If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, there is no short cut to that. You can never achieve your goal in a short-cut way that will sustain. There is no alternative to honesty and integrity. Without these it is very difficult for a business to survive.
What is the last single-word advice that you would give to readers to be successful as entrepreneurs?
DREAM. If you don’t dream, then you will never set a goal, then you will never wake up from your bed, walk towards it and achieve it.
What does success look like to you?
Success is like a sky to me. It is limitless and I can never understand where the end of success is. I’m running for it too and every day I’m achieving short-term goals. Eventually when I gather all my short-term goals, maybe it will be a bigger success for me. Success to me is very challenging but we are all striving for it.
Let’s hear about your personal life. How would your friends and family describe you as a person?
My family probably thinks I’m a joker because I admire a good sense of humour and try to make everything sound funny. My friends probably think I’m a serious person at times even so a funny guy. They believe I’m very patient to tolerate them and they are to me.
What do you have for breakfast?
I used to be a bodybuilder a few years ago so the habit still remains. I like to eat very healthy. I usually eat oatmeal, granola with yogurt, two eggs for breakfast. Other than that I like fresh juices, and coffee of course.
What do you do in your leisure time?
I don’t get much of leisure time. Whatever time I get, I spend it with children. I recently bought a dog, so I spend some time with him. I play music so I try to give time to my band.
How do you maintain a good work-life balance and maintain mental health?
At Energypac, we strictly follow the culture of closing things early. We don’t keep things pending for the next day. So we get out of the office early, which saves us a lot of time to give to our friends and family. That keeps us mentally healthy.
Your life lesson for youngsters?
There is something that I believe in: When you get something which is not right, that is you’re achieving a wrong thing at the right time, it is affordable. But when you’re achieving the right thing in the wrong time that is when everything changes. When your time is right but you’re making an incorrect decision, it’s okay as you will stand strong. You move on. But when your time is wrong, no matter how much right decisions you take, you can never get through. So my message to the youngsters is: Wait for it – “the right time”.