An Interview with Zayn Sheikh and Nizar M’Charek, Forbes (Europe 2019) Social Entrepreneurs

(#00051) — It is important to stay patient. When you try to rush things they tend to fall apart.

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  1. Who are Nizar M’Charek and Zayn Sheikh?
  2. Forbes 30 Under 30
  3. What is EFCO Formation?
  4. Choosing a Business Partner
  5. The Importance of a Healthy Working Environment
  6. Three Skills Everyone Should Posses
  7. Work-Life Balance
  8. Definition of Happiness
  9. In The Next 10 Years
  10. Final Piece of Advice

To achieve long term results and growth, you have to keep learning and improving yourself throughout your entire life. No matter what you are trying to achieve, patience and resilience are the main principles you have to follow for this to happen.

Whether it’s a career change or becoming a better version of yourself, nowadays, you can find people who are willing to help you by leading you towards improvement.

Meet Nizar M’Charek and Zayn Sheikh, the people behind EFCO Formation, a vocational and education training provider in France. The company strives to deliver high-quality and efficient training courses by utilizing up to date technologies and software systems.

The amazing work behind EFCO Formation put Nizar M’Charek and Zayn Sheikh on Forbes’s “30 Under 30 Europe 2019: Social Entrepreneurs” list, which is one of their many accomplishments.

I enjoyed interviewing these two amazing entrepreneurs, and I warmly recommend everyone to read their stories.

First off, I would like to say a massive thank you to both of you for taking the time to do this interview with me! Can you tell us more about yourselves? Who are Nizar M’Charek and Zayn Sheikh? How did you choose your current career?

We met in Cameroon in 2016, we were both in the commodities industry and crossed paths by coincidence. Nizar had already been operating in the training industry in France, I came from a mining and real estate background.

After many varied discussions, we explored the idea of launching a new training business in France with a scalable model. We launched EFCO Formation in late 2016.

I would also like to congratulate for being among Forbes 30 under 30! Was this a dream come true? Did you see this coming? What do you believe contributed the most to this success?

Forbes 30 Under 30 gave us both huge gratification, acknowledgment, and appreciation for one another as business partners.

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Our strive for making a success of the business coupled with creativity in our execution and decision-making process were the key factors for us in our success

Now, can you tell us more about what is EFCO Formation? What is the mission of your company? How was your business born? How did you know this is the right business idea for both of you?

EFCO Formation is a forward-thinking vocational and education training provider in France.

Our mission is to utilize new technologies and software systems to deliver highly targeted and efficient training courses.

EFCO works to utilize both private company and state budgets to deliver training, often the courses offered are fully or largely subsidized by government budgets designed to further improve the skill set of the workforce.

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The business was born out of a common goal us to create for ourselves a scalable business that could give us regular and stable income, different to how we had traditionally relied on deals and projects for our paycheques.

According to you, how hard is to run a company with another person? How well must the co-founders know each other to function perfectly in business? What are some principles co-founders must respect?

Choosing a business partner is harder than choosing a life partner, a successful friendship doesn’t necessarily mean a successful business partnership.

Having an understanding of each other’s roles and strengths from the beginning was crucial for Nizar and I.

The business environment is highly stressful and not taking to heart one another’s outbursts or conflicting views is important to ensure a long-lasting partnership.

In terms of rules, communication is undoubtedly the foundation of any successful business relationship.

How do you ensure a healthy working environment? What are the best team engagement activities every company should practice?

Creating a fun, motivated and harmonious company culture is a tough task, respecting all team members and relaying information between individuals and departments is the most important way to ensure a good culture.

Small practices such as weekly drinks and social gatherings for all the team is a good way to create bonds and healthy relationships between staff.

What are the top three necessary skills everyone who wants to be successful should have, regardless of the industry?

Drive, patience, and a good knowledge of numbers.

What is your definition of work-life balance? Why is it so important? Please explain.

In the early stages of a business, there is seldom time for yourself to switch off and relax.

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Finding hobbies or practices that allow you detach and de-stress are so important, allowing stress to build internally always results in a breaking point in the workplace and so engaging in activities that give perspective and time to reflect on oneself is crucial.

Who are you outside your offices? Apart from work, what do you enjoy doing? What matters in life? What is your definition of happiness?

I was a semi-professional soccer player, and actively participating in the sport throughout my life proved to be a defining part of my character. Outside of work, family time takes much of my time, and I enjoy food and travel.

Outside of work I enjoy activities that drive me into a focused and meditative state, I find this through various practices such as climbing, yoga, and music.

Let’s say it is the year 2030. Where are you and your business? Do you have any milestones that you want to reach by then?

It is our goal to be a top 10 training and education provider by 2030, staying at the forefront of new technologies is at the center of our strategy and ethos as a company.

The next step for us is to begin delivery our services in other countries, by 2030 we would like to be present in every continent globally as a recognized education provider.

Finally, what advice would you give to anyone who struggles to find their career path?

Although easier said than done, it is important to stay patient. When you try to rush things they tend to fall apart.

Create achievable goals and strive for growth every day, even making one small step daily will get you closer to your goals.

Never waste a day — the negative effect of feeling you haven’t applied yourself can be highly destructive, stay ahead of that feeling by avoiding the “I’ll do it tomorrow” approach and push yourself in some part of your life every single day.

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We grow and learn for as long as we are alive. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. You can always learn something new and improve your reality in one way or another.

People like Nizar M’Charek and Zayn Sheikh are working to make this possible for others, and I hope that you found their story to be inspiring and that it encouraged you to think of ways to be better at what you do.

It’s always the right time for growth.

“The Mission to Empower 1 Million Entrepreneurs”

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