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Mizan Rahman: London Has Sprouted Back to Life and Serves as the Perfect Hub for Us

Mizan Rahman of EMERGEiQ.

Tell us about yourself?

I have 20+ years banking and finance experience with firms such as: Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup. My expertise lies in Securities, E-commerce Business Development, Digital Transformation, Mobile App & Software Delivery, Marketing, Web Portal Management, End-to-End Technology Product & Data Science Management. I started EMERGEiQ with my best friend and co-founder Tashfin Shafique to try and change the way people think about and use Data Science and AI. I have a fantastic network of friends and family who have supported me across various trials of life. I love music and going to Glastonbury festival, and have a beautiful family who I adore. I’m a live lover who works hard and plays harder!

What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?

1. Be prepared for the most emotional roller-coaster you can experience in your career 2. Money is not the most precious a factor to the growth of a successful business, people are 3. Only work with people who are on the same ‘vibe’ as you but are more talented than you and are honest with their opinions on how to do things 4. Be patient but tenacious. Trees don’t just appear, it’s seed needs to be nurtured, blossom then will grow into the oak you hope – this take time!

If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Develop a strong product and team, then don’t sell yourself short. Hire people you can trust early, who are young and enthusiastic, surround yourself with diverse thinkers who are on the same wavelength as you and get enough sleep.

A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?

Generally I have found this very easy. Even before COVID, we decided to work from home more to keep costs down. This meant I was around my kids a lot more than when I was in banking. In addition, it has been easy to spend time with family and friends in the daytime and often work more ours in the evening which doesn’t impact my personal life too much!

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

I started EMERGEiQ with my best friend and co-founder Tashfin Shafique to try and change the way people think about and use Data Science and AI. The idea to build an end-to-end Data Science and AI as a service / platform for business to use their data without the need to hire data scientists and expensive technology came after we saw

What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?

The organisation is like a family business whereby our clients get more than just a ‘Data Science Service’. We’re really transparent with our processes and don’t believe in a ‘Back box’ culture of just delivering the products to clients so we journey together in the development. We have become part of our clients’ organisations, whereby we attend their pitches, presentations and other events and have developed close friendships with them. We’ve been told we’re like the Jeremy Maguire of Data Science and AI development!

How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?

We were very luck to have some veteran sales advisors and business development contacts helping us along the way, however we’ve mainly built our business word of mouth basis given our infancy. We do have had a pipeline of prospects coming through however have realised that for Data Science and AI, there are long lead times and therefore dedicated sales resources are a must! Therefore we are now hiring our first sales representatives. I would advise new companies to think about getting sales in early if they want to grow faster.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your business, and how did you overcome it?

Even though we had a successful SEIS funding round, the biggest challenge we have faced has been in raising the next seed round pf money to grow the organisation. This issue had been overcome by simply changing our strategy to extend the remit of our offerings in order to get more revenue and organically grow the business (i.e. the time taking to pitch to investors was better spent getting more clients!)

What do you find are the advantages of operating your business in London?

Now we are out of the COVID down period, London has sprouted back to life and serves as the perfect hub for us. The transport system allows us to travel easily to meetings, there are many events and conferences available on our doorstep and the after work social aspects of being in the capital are awesome.

Are there any issues with having a London based business? Have you experienced these?

London is expensive so being a ‘lean-startup’ can have it’s challenges, however there are programs and services available to SME that really help e.g. we were part of the London & Partners programme

How has the higher than UK average cost of living impacted your ability to work and live in London and how has this also impacted your ability as an employer?

London is expensive so being a ‘lean-startup’ can have it’s challenges, however there are programs and services available to SME that really help e.g. we were part of the London & Partners programme

If you had to relocate your business to another city in the UK, which one would it be and why?

Dublin because it is a new European hub for tech start-ups

How has BREXIT impacted your business (if at all)?

Not yet, thankfully. We have been very lucky to have European Union clients and partners with little impact to our business.

What is your vision for your company in the next 5 years?

Like most other startups we have a vision to have a large client base, are in many multiple of millions of £ of revenue but not have changed the core of our ‘Jeremy Maguire’ service

And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?

There are a few ways to get involved or in touch. Either connect with us via Linkedin, go to www.emergeiq.com or get in touch via [email protected]

Follow EMERGEiQ on Twitter or Linkedin.

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