One on One Conversation with BlueEast’s Head of Engineering & Development Mr. Hassan Shahzad
Heading the engineering & development department of any company is a cumbersome task in many ways. Since managing is a challenging duty, the HOD of any enterprise must be able to handle all documents, stay vigilant and prepared during operational hours and should be able to establish a decent reputation among his colleagues.
Mr. Hasan Shahzad, Head of Engineering & Development BlueEast, is one of the pioneer employees of the company.
So, today to know how Mr. Shahzad carries out his day to day responsibilities and how he counters challenging situations, we are honored to have him on BlueEast’s blog for an exclusive interview.
We hope you find our conversation interesting, so without further ado, let’s get started!
Sharoon Emmanuel: — Greetings sir! I am excited to have you on our blog. Please tell our audience about your role at BlueEast?
Hassan Shahzad: — Thank you Sharoon! I help turn ideas into revenues by leading, supporting and developing the engineering and development teams at BlueEast.
SE: — What made you study engineering?
HS: — Engineering has always been in my DNA.
My great-great grandfather “Mr. Bagh Ali” was a clockmaker in Calcutta, British India (now Kolkata) when electricity first came to this part of the world in 1899. He closed his business of clock making and joined CESC (Calcutta Electric Supply Company) to learn the new technology. Ever since that day, following the “like father, like son” tradition, I am the fourth generation of electrical/electronic engineers in my family.
SE: — What goes into making a successful product?
HS: — The experience makes a product successful. You do this by:
– Listening to your customers, sales people, marketing, engineers, designers, production staff, corporate leadership and competitors… everyone should have a voice on the product development team
– Targeting the actual customer pain
– Consistently outperforming the competition
– Discovering details of your customers’ unmet needs
– Developing hypotheses for potential solutions
– Building prototype solutions and failing them quickly
-Testing the products with customers
SE: — How do you differentiate yourself from other technology enthusiasts?
HS: — My passion is fueled by my failures and failure stories of others. I strongly believe in discouraging others and myself from building glass ceilings and walls.
SE:-What checks and balances do you use to ensure accuracy?
HS: — We practice a mixture of Agile methodology and V-model for product development. Ideas are converted to Proof of Concepts using an innovation funnel based on Agile… We quickly get something working. Once the innovation shows a business potential, a strictly regimented product development process based on V-model is used to convert the idea into a revenue stream producing product.
SE: — What has been the most challenging engineering project of your career?
HS: — After doing literally hundreds of projects and still more to come, I can say safely that every project is unique and has its own set of challenges.
Maybe I can reflect on the most challenging one in a book, when I retire.
SE: — What triggered the intention of joining BlueEast?
HS:- The vision and passion of our founder, CEO and CTO, Abdul Rehman Talat along with the “Rags to Riches” story of Orient Group of Companies and his grandfather Mian Fazil (Bau Jee) — “Doodh pati sey Arab pati ka safar”. Abdul Rehman Talat and Mian Fazil are testaments to the fact “Start doing what you want to do, and everything else will be revealed to you!!”
Abdul Rehman Talat’s vision for Internet of Things in Pakistan really resonated with me. I am myself highly passionate for cyber-physical systems and let’s just say that I was tuned to right frequency, on the right space at the right time when Abdul Rehman Talat gave an opportunity to contribute to the pulse of innovation in Pakistan.
SE:-Where do you see BlueEast in the next 10 years?
HS: — We will be among the best of the best product innovators on planet earth.
SE: — What about working as HoD appeals you the most?
HS: — Challenge of turning ideas to revenues by using today’s technology and providing opportunities and guidance to the team members to become better at their game.
SE: — What is the definition of “Create More” according to you?
HS: — When you can’t go back, you have to worry only about the best way of moving forward…. Create More!!
SE: — What qualities one must have in order to work for BlueEast?
HS: — It all comes to 10 qualities:
– Demonstrable passion for excellence,
– Willingness to learn new things,
– Strong work ethic: Setting and achieving goals,
– Dependable: Consistently following through,
– Positive attitude: Creating a good environment,
– Self-motivated: Working effectively with little direction,
– Team-oriented: Making the most out of collaboration,
– Effective Communicator: Understanding the benefits of clarity,
– Flexible: Adapting in a meaningful way
-Get Things Done Mode!
SE: — What is success for you?
HS: — Success does not come from having one’s work recognized by others. It is the fruit of the seed that you lovingly planted. When harvest time arrives, you can say to yourself: ‘I succeeded.’
You succeeded in gaining respect for your work because you did not work only to survive, but to demonstrate your passion and love for others.
SE: — What advice would you like to give to beginning engineers?
HS: — Be brave. Take risks. There is no shortcut to experience.
SE: — What has been the biggest accomplishment in your career in technology so far?
HS: — Being part of raising two hardware product development organizations from scratch in the last 10 years along with launching first manufacturing ready products in the first go both times.
SE: — Thank you very much for your time, hope you enjoyed the conversation.
HS: — Thank you Sharoon!