The moment you say no, that's the moment you should converge and say yes!
In conversation with Khair Nissa - Director WTC/ Verbind
Khair and Verbind
Making a difference in people's lives, that's what Khair Ull Nissa stands for. Verbind was instituted as a Trade & Investment Service provider for the WTC's under the umbrella of the World Trade Center Association (WTCA), New York, and currently represents 330 members in 92 countries. It is a one-stop shop providing global trade services in India. It is an independent, integrated trade facilitation and business management services organization that seeks to unify components of trade services, education, and infrastructure. As Director at Verbind, Khair's drive is to connect with and support SME's in India enabling them to grow into larger companies.
She makes extra efforts for female CEO's guiding them towards growth and personal development. With an extensive business development background, she feels at home at WTC. As she candidly says 'I have a dream of Unified Brand India and Verbind will play a crucial role'. Khair has been on board Verbind, since its inception, when together they came up with the name 'Verbind', a Dutch and German synonym for connection and friendship.
"Verbind is a story which integrates Green Sustainable Trade Infrastructure Spaces (Ver) with Proactive approach (Verb) thru Services that connects and creates Global Access to Local Business network (Bind) in India (Ind)".
Change in Verbind/WTC India
Verbind, now active and operational since past one year, is undergoing continuous change as it develops a sustainable business model. It is a dynamic process, where, when things don't work, they adapt and change. Verbind monitors and measures it's progress regularly, trying to formulate the best business models. They continuously fine-tune processes figuring out how best to access funds for Indian SME's, develop human capital, mentor promising talent, and how to accelerate business by creating a sense of ease and trust while doing business. That is the flexibility with which Verbind operates.
As Khair says 'India is a demanding market'. Yet, in its very first year, Verbind set up 540 collaborations across the globe, , creating and strengthening the local network while creating global access. Creating trade-zones has been an effective solution for connecting Indian companies with their international counterparts and enabling WTC to provide trade infrastructure. Another goal Verbind is passionate about is development and fostering
Human Capital - Employability and Entrepreneurship. From Khair's perspective human capital development means developing employable manpower. Khair believes that access to the 3 M's - money, market and mentors, is important. Only then will one be able to guide and support the SME sector and contribute to Mr. Modi's motto 'Make in India'. WTC works closely with the Indian government, making it the focal point to help facilitate and promote the SME's.
Leadership style
Khair is open to change and has adapted her leadership style over the years. Currently working with the government, which requires a very different approach, she hired an advisor to help inform and educate her about the protocols and strategies to adopt. As she puts it 'I realize I can't do everything myself and need a team that is '. Secondly, Khair has learnt how to effectively delegate work to her team, while holding them responsible and accountable for their deliverables. The current team of 10, is expected to grow to 50 by 2016 and then finally to a team of 200 people across Indian cities by the year 2020. The long-term business goal is to organize 365 events each year, with an independent team and robust business model.
Khair feels that the hurdle that needs to be overcome in India is 'resistance'. She feels 'People don't believe that everything can be done. If it's difficult, then it won't be possible. It's a common thread in India to react immediately'. People need to think positively instead of just reacting and saying 'No'. This however, will not stop her. Her strategy is to keep repeating herself till they finally agree to listen and take up the opportunities that lie ahead of them. 'The moment you say no, that's the moment you should converge and say yes!'. When asked 'if she is a patient leader', she replied in the affirmative. As Khair says 'I ask myself why this person says no in the first place. Interestingly, it's essential to have the 'no' people around as they keep me sharp. I'm a doer, not a strategist so hearing a 'no' sometimes forces me to think on a more strategic level directing us all in the right direction'.
May 2015