Success starts with an idea and the idea comes from an unalloyed determination to create the extraordinaire. And there are so many success stories, etched with the same passion as the individuals who have achieved it.
Understanding & empathizing with an individual’s thought process, that involves stepping into that person’s shoes, creates a great sense of appreciation for that individual. Sharing these success stories in a writer’s words may sometimes not be enough to create the perfect impact on the reader. It just means that the story being shared, do not have the words to express the individual’s success. So we decided to let this brilliant individual’s words reach your thoughts directly. A brief intro about this individual should acquaint you with his entrepreneurial progress.
Nadeer Ali, born in 1976 in Thiruvilwamala, a small village in Thrissur, is the second son in his family with three siblings, a father who was a taxi driver and a homemaker mother. His father moved to Oman as a driver in order to support his family.
Financial crunch didn’t crush Nadeer’s dreams. He graduated with a diploma in Electronics from the Govt. Polytechnic College, Palakkad in 1995. He started his career as an assembly line programmer that would span 6 years in Bangalore, with progress and immense knowledge acquisition, working with the giants in the world of Weighing & Industrial Automation.
His experience took him to the Middle East as an engineer in 2001 and got him exploring the business facets of the Weighing & Metrology Industry. Working there, made him realise the lack of regulations in the Legal & Scientific Metrology systems, and a huge scope for improvement in running a business.
Himatrix was started in 2004 by Nadeer wholly and he worked alone initially. With the key realization that the UAE’s Weighing & Metrology Industry could be organized and lead on with better standards, quality optimization and the best service to Clients, Himatrix hired employees, new to the Gulf and its work culture. This helped in moulding the new talent via training, to value the Clients, maintain high quality standards and build trust through such business associations. Himatrix got an ISO 9001:2008 certification in the year 2008 with just a strength of 4 employees and a turnover of 1.50 Million USD.
The Himatrix Journey so far:
2004 Himatrix started with back end support for Mettler Toledo in the Middle East
2005 Himatrix declared as the "Weighing & Metrology Competence Center" Mettler Toledo in the Middle East
2006 Himatrix declared as the „Best Marketing Partner / Customer Support Center‟ for Industrial & Process Weighing
2007 Himatrix was awarded by the Dubai Central Laboratories for the „Best Customer Support & Customer Training‟
Himatrix Declared as „Ex-proof System Service Support‟ for Metter Toledo in the Middle East
Himatrix won a „Best Service Support/Project Execution‟ award
2008 Himatrix received „Best Performer‟ Award from Mettler Toledo
Himatrix received „Best Contribution Award’ from ESMA for Metrological Activities in United Arab Emirates
2009 Himatrix was awarded ISO 9001:2008 from BSI
Managing Director of Himatrix was appointed as Member of Advisory Committee for DAC and was appreciated for the efforts and contribution by Dubai Municipality
2010 Himatrix Measurement Laboratory started, with the vision to support the market in the field of Legal Metrology.
Himatrix was awarded ISO 17025:2005 from DAC (Dubai Municipality)
Himatrix was awarded ISO 17025:2005 from ESMA
Himatrix has developed and supplied “METROLOGY VERISOFT”, a unique Legal metrology verification and consumer safety testing software solution, training National Inspectors of the Dubai Central Laboratories and Abu Dhabi Quality Council
2011 Himatrix won the prestigious “Mass Lab Order” from Abu Dhabi Quality Council as part of implementing partner of Emirates Metrology Institute
2013 Himatrix was Awarded EC Type testing approval from METAS Switzerland on behalf of Mettler Toledo to be the first in Middle East and Africa to legally verify Mettler Products in United Arab Emirates
2014 Won the prestigious “Stars of Business Award 2014” for business Excellence in Retail at the SME Middle East Awards 2014, awarded by the Dubai Economic Council
Honeycomb: Being chosen as the “Stars of Business” from among 4974 SMEs across 24 business verticals and winning such a prestigious Award. How excited are you at having won it?
Nadeer: Our quality standards that we adhere to and implement across all client projects in the industry, gave us the growth and the platform needed to compete for such an award. Winning this award is indeed a great confidence booster for Himatrix and a significant business achievement that we are proud of!
Honeycomb: Himatrix has grown leaps and bounds since you started it. What is your inspiration behind starting such a business?
Nadeer: My vision since a young age has been to help the needy and support orphans on their journey to a successful future. Here is where I drew inspiration to start what has become a great sense of solidarity to my vision. This business is just the means to achieve such a humble vision. Working under someone would never help me achieve my vision is something I realised since my first stint at Bangalore. My ability to start this business, 2 years prior to my target, is the key motivation to make this vision of mine a reality soon.
Honeycomb: We think it is only fair to categorise Himatrix as highly serviced oriented which accounts for its success. But, is Himatrix only concentrating on the niche market currently?
Nadeer: Clients in our industry depend on four key services:
1. Accredited Calibration Services
3. Software Solutions
4. Total Plant Automation
Rarely are these four services available with one company, except Himatrix. Hence we are primarily solution providers and not a service provider. Our USP lies in thinking ahead of our competition and providing effective turnkey solutions that help our Clients in the long run. We sell the most cost effective solutions in the world as against our competitor thanks to immense support from our key product vendors below:
- Mettler Toledo AG, Switzerland, Weighing Scales (Lab, Retail & Industrial Needs)
- Cargoscan, Norway, Volumetric Dimensioning Systems
- OSC, Germany, Check Weighs
- KBA Metronic, Germany, Marking & Coding Systems
- Cassel Messtechnik GmbH, Germany, Metal Detection Systems
- Squid Inks Manufacturing INC, USA for DOD printers
- Spiral Flow, UK, Specialised Power Handling Equipment
Our key strength lies in developing Software Solutions, Software Integrations & Total Plant Automation to help Clients reduce their process complications. In a sense, more than serving a niche market, we provide niche services to any client in the industry that requires it.
Honeycomb: That is an achievement indeed! What kind of marketing strategies did you adopt to achieve this level of business success?
Nadeer: Advertisements for marketing has never been a priority for us as our top-of-the-line services & solutions brought about word-of-mouth publicity in the industry. We have beaten our competitors with just marketing & service personnel, attending to Clients exclusively.
But now that competitors in the industry have realised the need for solutions similar to what Himatrix provides, we are planning to up the ante by initiating Brand Marketing Strategies for Himatrix.
Honeycomb: How did you finance your start-up and the expansions that followed until now?
Nadeer: The capital investment was only Rs.4,50,000, borrowed from a few individuals who believed in my capability to take this start-up to greater heights of success. These investors saw huge returns within five years, where Himatrix paid back Rs.1,35,00,000. Our expansions in 2012, were at an estimated cost of Rs.53,00,00,000, which was raised from our business.
Honeycomb: Did the 2008 global economic meltdown affect your business?
Nadeer: It did in a positive way only. Till the 2008 crisis companies did off with volume sales, paying no heed to quality & service. The government started implementing regulations during the crisis to ensure no further economic losses were sustained. Himatrix was already equipped with International Accreditations & Calibration Labs by that time to support the government with Training & Solution Development for legal Verification. Since high quality & service were imbibed into our business, we didn‟t have to do anything to evade the crisis. Other competitors had to re-think their business to tune up to the new government regulations & Himatrix pulled way ahead while such changes took time for them.
Honeycomb: What challenges have you come across while running this business?
Nadeer: Challenges are many. But, certain key challenges are a priority to solve in running a successful business.
At the beginning, investment was the key challenge. I hardly had any money to start the business. The initial days were hard, working 18 hours a day at a barren office & running around the market servicing Clients.
The next stage was the challenge of trust among suppliers & to show Clients that no matter how small we were as against the big giants, capable of killing small competition, we were one of the best and could even surpass every competitor‟s services provided in the market in terms of quality & reliability.
The final challenge was to develop an outstanding team, giving them the confidence for their growth and meeting Himatrix‟s work culture to achieve the targets.
Honeycomb: Where you see Himatrix 5 years from now?
Nadeer: Himatrix currently has 5 diversified registrations in the UAE, with the last one being our biggest diversification into a manufacturing unit named “Matrix Pack”. We are planning to start an offshore operations unit in India by the end of 2016. We are targeting to become a global orgnisation with an annual turnover of Rs.2,40,00,00,000 by 2020.
Honeycomb: What are the rewards of owning a business as compared to working for someone else?
Nadeer: Drawing comparisons, from my own experience, my beliefs & attitude of working towards achieving my career goals has been the same, irrespective of owning a business. The important difference is the freedom & power that is lacking when you work for someone else, especially when your beliefs aren‟t in tune with that of your employer. Then you don‟t belong there. With owning a business, your visions & ideas can be conceived and implemented ethically and you work responsibly towards making your vision a success. Being patient for the right opportunity to start your own business is the biggest reward in my opinion. That way, not only do you grow, but you create a platform for others working under you to grow with limitless opportunities.
Honeycomb: Do you believe there is some sort of a formula to becoming a successful business owner?
Nadeer: There is no specific formula as per my experience goes. The passion, the willingness, not giving up, working hard, being very ethical, giving your Clients the best, be it products or services etc. are just a few things. Most importantly, trusting your employees, giving them the respect they deserve & helping them on their way to success, is what will make you & your business successful.
Honeycomb: What according to you are the top three traits needed to become a successful businessman.
Nadeer: I believe, loyalty, a very strong personality & simplicity are the three key traits in an individual to help on the way to becoming a successful business owner.
Honeycomb: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Nadeer: Dr. Abdul Kalam, Sheik Mohammed Bin Sayed (Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi) & especially Narendra Modi, not on account of his political background, but for administrative & leadership skills, that help him make decisions & implement them, which are similar to how I believe in running my business.
Honeycomb: That is indeed inspirational! Finally, to end this brilliant interview, how would you define success, as a message for readers.
Nadeer: I define success as a result of our life‟s decisions & actions taken and how it affects our personal & professional relations.