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About Me

I am a keen technologist who is always interested in learning how to apply technology to solve today's problems. I am always eager to understand how and why something works and then how to better it through continuous improvement. My earliest exposure to technology was at the age of 6 when I saw my first travelator and experienced a magical room that took you to different places at the touch of a button (lift). 

To date, I have lived in 4 different countries and visited over 40 for my various projects.

 

Please enjoy your visit and feel free to connect using the "Lets Chat!" link below.

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Afsar Khan MBA

Chaos Pilot, Global Services, Portfolio and Programs

Email:
Chaos (ˈkā′ŏs ) Pilot

Someone who can confidently navigate and guide others through conditions or times of great disorder and or confusion.

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MY JOURNEY (career stories)

EXPERIENCE
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"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit"
(Harry S. Truman,
33rd President of USA )
Turning around a "Toxic Account"and turning it into a lighthouse project

One of the early breaks I got in my career was as a National UK Service Delivery (SDM)  @ SIEMENS IT Services. There was a rather poorly performing Customer account that most of the SDM's did not want to touch and the existing SDM was moving onto another account. A good friend advised that I should take on the challenge, to fix this account would be a massive demonstration of capability. I had already been exposed to the client due to the number of problems landing on my desk as a problem manager.

Within 6 months of taking on the challenge, with a recovery plan underway and improving service levels, the customer asked me to consider taking over from the then current EMEA SDM and manage the entire European services scope.

 

On the European level, relationships had turned turned sour over our service quality and individually between key members of both organizations. Rising to this new challenge, I first set about fixing the relationship problems, and as I had discovered with the UK based client, honesty, integrity and the drive to solve things once again helped smooth the way. Within a couple of weeks, my various customer counterparts and I were regularly meeting socially after hours and with the European level recovery plan and transparency (balanced score cards go a long way to fix problems) we were no longer discussing problems during these social events and focused on growth and expansion.

I even managed to solve a long running dispute between two individuals and had both of them participating in the social events.

With respect to the "lighthouse" - my recovery plan consisted of open transparency and the monthly national level performance report (from the balanced scorecard) was published to all MD's and my suggestions for a specific role in each country to focus on and promote service delivery became a regional standard in the countries. We all benefited from this greatly as we added more global accounts...

Stepping up to solve a Europe wide "crisis"

We all know that corporate transformations are very tricky and even more so when a multinational enterprise attempts both organizational and business transformation across continents or globally. Some things invariably get missed or forgotten along the way.

After bringing a successful program to an end on schedule and discussing what I may do next with one of the executives, a question came up about how in the last 4 years we did not see any large multinational managed maintenance / services wins in Europe (or elsewhere for that matter, these used to be driven out of Europe).

I offered to propose a business plan to address and 4 weeks later found myself leading a team of 1, (with a plan to increase to 20 heads), to rectify this lack of international maintenance and support services business.

We set about building back confidence in the company's capabilities and capacity in this area with a new services portfolio and stepping into a problem account to help steer it into a mutually acceptable state.

The organization I built went onto helping the company achieve over €400m of TCV and provided significant and often critical contribution into some amazing cloud infrastructure solutions with our global partners.

In one scenario, we led the engagement, design, co-creation activites, contractual negotiations and post contract managing the rollout of services internationally and BAU operations too; achieving the satisfaction of our customers and partners alike resulting in massively overachieving the original forecasts.

Tenacity - Getting it Done!

2012 saw me relocate to Mirdiff, a peaceful and quiet neighborhood in Dubai with a relatively short commute to the office and to the airport. I arrived in Dubai to help the regional execs and management to turn around the business from a focus on product only sales and grow the managed services business. Following on the heals of a recent success with Lufthansa, we decided to pursue Emirates and using Lufthansa as our reference. In the beginning my bid budget was but a shoe string with just myself, the sales man and the regional head of maintenance working on producing our first indicative offer for a €30m plus global service proposal touching airports and ticket sales offices in almost every single country. The deadline was close the workload was extensive, we realized and accepted that the only way to be taken seriously would be to submit a finished proposal on time and so the three of us worked 38 hours without any breaks to complete the proposal write-up, proof reading, prior to printing for the eventual hand delivery to Emirates 10 minutes before the deadline. This is when I learnt how much ones body is affected by missing just one night of sleep. 

Our proposal was well liked by the airline and we were shortlisted to the next round in tendering cycle. Given that we had proven ourselves to our global execs, my bid budget request for €150k was readily approved allowing for the use of expert European capabilities for the latter stages of the bidding cycle.

Servant Leadership versus Managing

My mentor always said to me that I needed to make myself redundant through developing a successor and thereby preparing/freeing myself up for the next challenge. To do this, I needed to learn how to lead and letting go, having been used to being in control of my projects to date. During a very interesting, complex, Supercomputing bid for King Abdul Aziz University where we combined the very best of Fujitsu's HPC expertise, I slipped into my normal controlling and micro managing nature when the deliverables appeared to be going off track.. My Solution Architect, Gerry,  a very seasoned and respected individual called out my micromanagement right away and asking me to trust him to finish on schedule. I belatedly relinquished control back to my team, and as promised things were delivered on time and to the quality I anticipated. To this day, when the urge to step in arises, I am reminded of Gerrys words - "Afsar  - you are micro managing, trust your team". Nowadays, I ask the team if they need any help with decisions and what I can do clear the obstacles to help them succeed (clearing the way).

"As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others"
(Bill Gates Microsoft)
Want to know more, or discuss how I may help your organization - please visit my LinkedIn pages or send me a message via the "Let's Chat!" link below.
EDUCATION
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EDUCATION & Accreditations

2019 - 2020

MBA (distinction)

The University of Manchester (AMBS)

Accelerated Global MBA

Electives

* Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management

* Corporate turnaround & Financial Restructuring

* Negotiation Skills

ITIL v4.0 Strategist (DPI)(Axelos), Lean Six Sigma-Black Belt (Aveta Business Institute), MSP (Axelos), LinkedIn Learning (Digital Transformation, Digital Leadership, Agile at Work,Collaboration in Modern Workplace, Foundations of the 4th Industrial revolution, Leading with Innovation, Product Innovation, Product Management, RPA & AI & Cognitive Tech for Leaders, Future of Performance Management)    

SKILLS

SKILLS

ITIL Strategist (DPI)

Leadership

Problem Solving

Continuous Improvement

Transformation Management

Stakeholder Management

EXPERTISE

EXPERTISE
Tenacious Problem Solver

* EMEA wide account stabilization, expansion and growth

* Global account standardisation, stabilization, scope expansion, renewal

* Complex global deals - "go to" for the tough ones (from complexity and risk)

Continuous Improvement

* Utilizing data to provide product health trends

* Introduction of campus-dispatch-hybrid support models

* Product transit through APAC region (elimination of choke points in supply chain)

* European iterative service model improvements and innovation in delivery

ITIL and LEAN application

* USA - $40m savings from elimination of muda

* APAC - advanced channel sales model

* EMEA - elimination of unnecessary repetitive redesign through standard modules to enable rapid customization of global services

CONTACT
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