Exclusive Interview of Dr. Anuraag Guglaani of Wazir Advisors. Edited by Powered Magazine
Image Credits: Dr. Anuraag Guglaani
The journey from being an aspirational fighter jet pilot to a renowned family business doctor and Entrepreneur – Investor, who believes in creating wealth through business, for utilization in the upliftment of women and youth empowerment coupled with entrepreneurship enhancement and employment generation.
In the realm of exceptional individuals, there exists Dr. Anuraag Guglaani—a visionary leader, a catalyst for change, and a passionate advocate for transformation and philanthropy. With a multitude of prestigious awards and accolades to his name, Dr. Guglaani is leaving an indelible mark on the world through his remarkable achievements and unwavering commitment to making a positive impact.
Tell us about yourself.
Well I take pride in being known as a renowned “Business Doctor” who sits on the Board of Multiple large family business groups, steering their growth, transformation and sustenance and am also an entrepreneur invested in couple of businesses, while being the Managing Partner & CEO of Wazir Advisors.
During my youth, I got trained at the world’s top most military officer’s training academy to fulfill my aspiration of becoming a Fighter Jet Pilot with the Air force. Apart from my armed forces officer’s training, I also have a Ph.D. in Family business transformation, Doctorate in Technology governance, Doctorate in Humanitariasm (hc), MBA in Finance & Marketing, EMBA in leadership and Management , Fellowship of Chartered Institute of Management and Leadership( FCIML) , Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and am a CISM ( Certified Information Security Manager), CDPSE ( Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer) & CGEIT ( Certified in Governance of Enterprise IT),
I am also involved with the public sector for policy formulation and advisory, and am an avid speaker at multiple global forums and universities on the topics of leadership, business, investments, entrepreneurship, and transformation.
You have been honored by the US President with a lifetime achievement award and also have many other laurels and awards in your kitty. Tell us more about it.
Yes, I have had the rare honor of receiving “Presidential Lifetime Achievement award” from US President’s Office which includes a medallion and a citation of “with grateful recognition” given by the AmeriCorps and the Office of the US President.
I have also been honored with the “President’s Volunteer Service Medal” along with a letter of appreciation from “The White House”, personally signed by the President of the United States.
In the recent past I have also received Global Humanitarian award, Top 100 change Maker, Global Icon, International Excellence and Tableau d’ Honneur awards.
The key reason behind receiving all these awards is that I have created an indigenous model for supporting women and youth entrepreneurship and empowerment through geographical expansion of businesses and profitability enhancement, and then utilizing the profits for the benefit of society through generating employment, skill enhancement, and knowledge transfer.
I am also a board member of multiple non-profit organizations and play an extensive role in elevating the status of women and the empowerment of youth while ensuring that they get to play a significant role at the board level in organizations.
Tell us about your business.
We are in the very interesting business of ensuring that other businesses become sustainable rather than fail and that they are able to maximize growth and profitability by capitalizing on market opportunities and structuring themselves better.
We build and implement strategies, transform and turn around organizations, and expand and grow businesses in multiple industries and geographies while mitigating risks.
Wazir Advisors is a 15-year-old, premier strategic advisory and implementation firm comprising 200 team members operating from 14 offices spread across the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa, serving 1000+ clients representing top brands and family businesses.
What were your biggest challenges when starting your business?
The biggest challenge always is to get the Founders and Chairman’s to realize the gravity of the situation which they are in and to make them understand that business can be conducted differently with lesser stress, better efficiency, larger productivity and greater profitability by imbibing a differentiated mindset and problem solving approach.
How have you handled success and failure over the course of your career?
I have always been a strong believer that failure is a better teacher since continued success makes us complacent while failure forces us to challenge ourselves and think outside the box.
What strategies do you use to stay competitive in a changing market?
Any business that exists, is there to solve a particular problem in the market or fill a gap. To address those needs, a solution is developed, which becomes the business model, and then it is essential to identify who is going to pay for that solution, and that becomes the customer. Subsequently, it needs to be ascertained what value someone is willing to pay for the solution, and that becomes the price and value proposition.
All of the above requires a deep understanding of customer behavior, the market, competition, etc., and in the current dynamic business landscape, it is essential to constantly remain informed in order to make the right decisions at the right time. Thus, the emphasis on market intelligence and research can never be undermined; however, businesses get so involved in day-to-day operations and firefighting that they lose sight of the importance of such initiatives.
What motivations drive you to keep pushing forward in the face of adversity?
My motivation comes from the fact that I am able to make a meaningful impact in the lives of Founders and Chairman’s of businesses and their families, by helping them create a more process driven, less people dependent and highly profitable organization thereby providing them sufficient peace of mind to enjoy their life in parallel.
Over and above that, the work that I do to be able to utilize these profits for the betterment of society, especially women and youth, fuels my passion to go stronger.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their chosen field?
Focus on 3 C’s : Curiosity, Connections and Creating value.
Extensive traveling across the globe for partnerships, alliances, JVs, mergers, acquisitions, sourcing, and conferences has helped me connect internationally with decision-makers in government and the private sector and establish a strong network with affluent business leaders, which helps me in every sphere of life.
How have technological advances affected the way you conduct business or operate your venture?
While I promote and implement intelligent automation as a business enabler, I also focus immensely on mitigating technology risk. Along with enhancing ROI for shareholders, I also envision and implement strategic goals and undertake transformation, automation, technology governance, risk management, and compliance frameworks to create well-governed organizations.
What have been the most rewarding and difficult aspects of your chosen career or business path?
The ability to make a difference for businesses and their owners has by far been the most rewarding aspect of my career and business path. Having been able to create a unique, differentiated, and affordable business model by listening to the needs of the market and the consumer and constantly upgrading and innovating the same keeps me on my toes.
Being able to constantly convince and help founders realize their shortcomings and weaknesses and to be able to let go of their ego and become more responsive is the most difficult aspect, and it takes time and patience on both sides to undergo that process.
Are there any skills or areas of expertise that you think are essential for success in your field?
Presentability, communication, networking, listening skills, risk-taking ability, an eye for opportunity, honesty, industry knowledge, constant learning, and above all, smart common sense are by far the key drivers for success.
How has working remotely or online impacted your business or venture over the past year?
Undoubtedly, the biggest benefit of being able to also partially work remotely and be able to talk to clients over video calls has been providing access to customers from across the globe, which was only possible earlier through travel.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers that we haven’t already discussed?
My message to business owners, founders, chairmanships, entrepreneurs, and C-suite executives is that they should never shy away from seeking external guidance and support.
Being involved in day-to-day operations, they would never get a clear picture of their own business, and neither would their employees be able to provide them with a complete and honest understanding.
Someone with external, unbiased, and varied industry expertise can look at things very differently and provide valuable guidance and a road map to success.
Always look for people who have a blended experience of industry and consulting so that they can become a part of problem solving and implementation rather than just advisory.