Get the Direction You Need
Ask Umair about Jazz’s digital transformation. You’ll get an insightful answer.
“At Jazz, we are always striving to use the insights we have to solve the problems of our customers. We use the data with responsibility and respect to develop 360 degree customer view, solve their needs and make their lives better”.
During our talk with Umair, we learn more about the importance of direction in everything that we do.
1. Attention! Class is in session
Think of a time during your education when you were inspired. How has it influenced you?
“Very early on during my business administration degree, our faculty emphasized to us the importance of looking at the big picture. We were taught more than accounting tools, and were instilled the deeper value of the work, that it goes beyond crunching numbers in a spreadsheet”.
It is with such perspective that Umair has approached his career. Learn, gain experience, and understand how what you do now impacts the road ahead.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with specialties in international finance and investment, Umair worked as a cost analyst for Procter and Gamble before becoming the commercial and strategy lead for digital finance at Jazz. He left Jazz for a few years to work as a management consultant in the Middle East. He rejoined Jazz when he returned to Pakistan.
“The international experience enabled me to grow and improve. Also, consulting work showed me how to look at problems from numerous perspectives — and then cut to the right solutions.”
Umair brings all these experiences and skills to Jazz. But he makes the point that he’s still learning — because he sees the bigger picture.
“I am fascinated by how finance and technology can merge and do great things for people.I am within the JazzCash and VEON team now, and we are going to make it the largest platform in the country. We are working hard to see how we can improve the service for our millions of users.”
Imagine that you have household necessities to buy, but don’t have cash on you. Picture that you must pay your utility…medium.com
2. A guide keeps you on the right path
Has someone helped you get to where you are today? Go thank them!
“When I first came to Jazz, I was in the early stages of my career. Aniqa Afzal Sandhu, now the Chief Digital Officer here, gave me lots of responsibility and helped me unleash my potential. — Even when I left Mobilink (now Jazz)for another job, I looked out for her advice and we kept in touch to develop a great, trusting relationship. She’s been an incredible mentor to me,” states Umair.
You truly can’t underestimate the importance of having a mentor. As Anthony Tjan, a successful entrepreneur and investor, writes, the best mentors are “individuals committed to helping others become fuller versions of who they are.”
- While working at the consulting firm, Umair’s counsellor also served has his mentor. The clear vision he had for people, tasks and projects as well as his transparency left an impression on Umair:
“Over the last few years, I have interacted with great leaders. These mentors showed me the value of building relationships and using communication and collaboration to overcome issues. Exposure to great leaders showed me how vital it is to know your colleagues and to have solid one-to-one weekly feedback meetings” .
Clearly, collaboration can take us forward. At Jazz, Umair is applying what he’s learned from these meaningful relationships to build trust and work better with his team.
3. Have an awesome dinner party
What we’re saying is surround yourself with good people — and the direction you’re on will get brighter. That’s what Umair’s doing at Jazz.
“- At Jazz, we have brought together a diverse team with multiple skills and aptitudes. In my team, I have digital analysts, data analysts, strategy expert and channel experts who work together to develop meaningful insights to improve our customer’s lives. Investing in the right people is the key to success for any organization and with the right attitude, coupled with capability, any team can do wonders for the organization.”
Having such a well-rounded group ensures the team stays on the right path. This way, Jazz can make the successful leap to digital and improve millions of lives.
“When people ask me about applying to Jazz, I say you should. Jazz is driving Pakistan into the digital age. We’ve launched the National Incubation Center (NIC) to empower entrepreneurs and innovators. We’ve become a tech company. We make sure our employees learn and develop. It’s an exciting company to join right now.”
That point about learning and development is why Umair opted to come back to Jazz. He sees Jazz as a place where he can achieve more.
“- Coming back to Jazz and working in a vibrant environment has enabled us to achieve great things. The forward looking culture, facilities, policies and operating model has driven the intent to consistently improving everything we do, we require consistent push from the employees.”
You have to put yourself in the right environment, as Umair stresses. By the way, we also asked him the question about inviting three people to dinner (hence the subheader title). He has a great answer.
“Selecting only three out of all the great people I have interacted and/or worked with would be quite challenging, however to pick them; I would probably go for my team. There is no setting better than an informal dinner to get to know the team better and interact with them to get to know them better .”
4. Hang out with the customer
“It’s a new age. Gone are the days when you can offer standardized products for each customer. We must tailor products. When a customer signs up for a service, the journey must also be seamless. The benchmarks have been set higher,” affirms Umair.
Umair believes his team has the tools to personalize services. Because they have the data and they’re interacting with the customer.
“For example, we can see where customers enjoy eating and shopping. We can then make offerings and recommendations according to that data to improve the overall user experience.”
So, to develop better products, interact with customers, analyze what they’re doing, and create relevant solutions. This is how you figure out the best way forward.
5. Aim big
- Umair has been a part of exciting launches at Jazz. He was a part of of the JazzCash launch team, and now a part of the VEON launch in Pakistan. By launching the MFS services in Pakistan, JazzCash is contributing to the national cause by increasing the banking penetration in the country.
“We’ve helped millions of our user gain access to financial services. We’re now focusing on e-commerce and the mobile wallet. Our goal is to be the nucleus of payment systems in the country,” tells Umair
“Pakistan is moving in the right direction and we want to have a big, positive impact as the country progresses.”
That’s awesome. If you ask Umair about what advice he would give his childhood self or younger people today, he echoes this idea of preparation for a brighter road ahead.
“Get more technical expertise. I studied business in school but wish I would’ve studied tech earlier, too. I’ve caught up now. We’re in the digital age — so learn how to work with the machines if you want to accomplish more.”