Mian Abdul Rehman Talat Motivated Beginning Entrepreneurs at TEDx FAST Lahore
TEDx is a program that helps organizations, communities and individuals produce TED-style events at a local level. TEDx events are arranged and coordinated individualistically, on a community-by-community basis, under a free license from TED. The event is organized in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading”.
This year, NUCES- Fast Lahore hosted Ted talks for the third time under the supervision of VOICE (Fast Debating Society). The event aims to bring together bright minds to deliver talks that are idea-focused, inspirational and foster collective learning.
C.E.O BlueEast, Mian Abdul Rehman Talat, had the honor to speak at this auspicious event to motivate the youth on how they can capture their goals and achieve success by adopting the right approach.
At the event, he talked about how his journey as an entrepreneur started and how he ended up making one of the leading IoT companies in Pakistan. C.E.O BlueEast said that his love for technology dates back to his early days and with the passage of time, technology became his passion. He longed to create a company that is driven by innovation and not the theory of customary copy paste re-engineering of products.
He told the attendees that after completing his education he knew that he was destined to be a part of his family’s business. At Orient Electronics, he was given the prestigious position of the company’s Director Marketing & Sales. Although he got the authority and power but gaining the respect of subordinates and employees was a cumbersome task for him as he lacked the experience of leading teams with over 20 years of industry experience. He worked hard, mastered all SOP’s and gained industry knowledge to be a better leader. Mr. Talat believes that no matter how much power and authority you have, it takes sheer hard work to be a successful leader that people look forward to. After going through the grind phase Abdul Rehman finally was able to conquer what seemed impossible.
The only way one stands a chance is by working hard, without hard work it is impossible to gain respect of the people who have spent their lives working in the industry.
In his talk, he explained that he wasn’t much fascinated by his day job as it was not he was made for. When dealing with PowerPoint and Excel Sheet, he used to think about the algorithms of these applications.
Here’s what he said:-
Orient isn’t something I made, I’m just enjoying it because of the hard work of my forefathers. I knew that if I wanted to pursue my passion, I had to break all barriers and jump into this deep ocean without giving it a second thought.
Because of being shy and antisocial since childhood, Abdul Rehman joined FAST’s dramatic society to overcome this shortcoming. As going global was his future plan, the contribution FAST made, played an important role in his overall personality development.
Considering his association with electronics and home appliances, he wanted to create an air conditioner that could be controlled by a cellphone.
It was a hard journey, I remember I was performing Umrah those days and I used to pray in the day and spend my evenings studying Arduino on my smartphone. I would go on reading about it for hours & hours to gain as much as I could. Ramadan started and I took a leave for one month from my office, I locked myself in my room and started working on my dream. When I was equipped with adequate knowledge, I started working on my very first product and eventually ended up developing a prototype before Eid. I presented it to the board of Directors but it didn’t catch much attraction, they said that the product isn’t viable for the market. I ran after my vision for three years without gaining any success but it didn’t stop me from achieving what I wanted to. I kept on going.
Owing to unfamiliarity with the hardware side, Mr. Talat started looking for companies that could give shape to his dreams. He was heavily disappointed to know that the solutions offered by recognized I.T enterprises were more market material and weren’t even close to what his vision was.
It was a complete disaster as they lacked the essence and personal value I was willing to offer to the customers. That was when I decided to make a company that could create human-centric solutions & products. My aim was to build an enterprise that could deal with all domains of technology. I said to myself why not take the responsibility and just do it. The lack of a visionary IoT company in Pakistan also triggered the creation of BlueEast. The idea behind the creation of BlueEast was simple, my only aim was to innovate the digital world by creating problem-solving products & solutions that could address the real pain points of consumers. BlueEast isn’t just a company, it is a revolution bringing enterprise that rebels of the notion of Copy/Paste trading products.
Most of the businesses Mr. Talat came across at that time weren’t focusing on developing technology, they were following more of a market tactic that concentrated on replicating or talking in technical terms, re-engineering already developed products.
There were times when he worked alone on his projects. The discouragement went to such an extent that one day he was told “You should utilize your time doing something productive. The earlier you realize this, lesser will be the chances of you becoming a laughing stock for others.”
During that tough phase, his sister was diagnosed with cancer and all of his family went to the U.S and he was left to run the company all by himself. Running one of the leading consumer electronics brand all on his own changed him as a person. It gave him the confidence to believe in himself and to make possible what’s impossible. His constant efforts proved to be fruitful and Orient closed the largest sales under his vigilant supervision. Till date, it is considered the best performing month in the history of Orient.
Mr. Talat commented:-
If you have to achieve big, you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone.
One of the major hurdles he faced during the struggling phase of his life was the delay in the launch of his very own company. Acquiring talented human capital was one problem and it took about a year and a half in scrutiny and testing of the products.
What can be called a smart move by Abdul Rehman was that before going into the manufacturing & development part, he analyzed the global market to see whether his idea would work or not. After several assessments, he saw sufficient potential for an IoT platform. He along with his crew carried out a solution comparison to determine whether or not their product (Mevris) would be profitable.
The idea was validated by the world’s leading technology companies and BlueEast gained the confidence of putting their vision into production.
Today I am a father of two, my eldest one is BlueEast and my youngest is Zaynab. We’re making air conditioners that could save up to 80 % electricity. Nearly 55% of the load shedding issue in Pakistan is because of the inefficient utilization of energy.
Mr. Talat believes that his product is the best in the world and the expertise they have employed has the potential to disrupt the IoT space. The bigger vision of the company is to go international and be one of the leading global players in technology.
Over a short period of one year, BlueEast has made its place as Orient’s technology backbone and it is definitely a milestone for a startup.
Mr. Talat while addressing the invitees said:-
“My advice to beginning entrepreneurs is that before going into the manufacturing process, analyze the market to see whether what you have in mind is actually scalable or will be able to capture the minds of masses. Work on safe ideas and strong business models as every idea is not sellable. Connect with your target audience in a way where you feel what they feel. This is the key to making a life-changing product. At the end of the day, all that matters is your audience and how you’re creating a positive impact in their lives. Believe in yourself, don’t be afraid to bring your imagination to life. Go out of your comfort zone. If I can give shape to my ideas for the future, you can too. If only you believe, there’s nothing stopping you from ending up big. Leave the thought behind that you’re not good enough, we’re all born with special abilities, if only we explore ourselves, we could do great things. Don’t even let your inner-self tell you that you can’t do something. If you have a dream, you to have to protect and nurture it. If you’re looking forward to winning hearts and minds then your strategy for winning big should be crafted employing both. It is all about being professional and personal, all at the same time. Don’t be afraid of failure as it will help you become what you really need to be. Failure is important to explore where your true passion lies and where you should focus your energy along with improving your weaker ends. It is more of a process where you code your program, run it, detect a bug and debug accordingly for it produce the desired results thus improving it on a constant basis to make it an enhanced version of the former. We need to embrace failure to be successful in the long run. Failure is a sign that you’re trying and that’s what matters the most. Every failure is a step closer to success. Always remember, you didn’t fail a thousand times, you just found out a thousand ways it won’t work. Don’t let your failures demotivate you, keep moving and you’ll get there. Another important factor to mention here is that most beginners confine themselves to their individual universes instead of seeing the bigger, more interconnected picture. ”
Concluding his talk, he urged all students to pay keen attention towards their studies saying:-
“Knowledge is the best investment which returns the best interest. Passionately play your part no matter how bad the situation gets and encourage others to do the same. Keep on innovating, keep creating opportunities, be imaginative and stay positive to make the world a better place”.