Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mounir Ajam, Co-Founder and CEO of Uruk Project Management, located in Houston, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a technology-centric management consultancy. We are developing a digital solution to help organizations lead product-delivery projects across the entire project life cycle. Our methodological process would enable organizations to lead the project across the various stages from concept to product in the market. Our ideal customers would be "project owners" organizations developing facilities. The facilities could be renewable, oil & gas, utilities, infrastructure, hospitality, medical or industrial.
Tell us about yourself
My education is in civil engineering. However, with my Master's Degree in 1990, I shifted to Engineering & Construction Management. I spent the next 15 years working in the Oil & Gas and Petrochemical industries as a member of the project teams building industrial facilities. I was privileged to work in different roles and on projects up to mega-projects (US$1 billion+).
After my oil & gas experience, I started a company in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For about 14 years, we have provided project management services (consultancy and training) to various organizations (government and private) across West Asia.
During my career in oil & gas and management consulting, we noticed that a large percentage of projects, in all domains, are either challenged or fail to meet some or most objectives. Our research into these failures identified many causes, symptoms, and root causes.
Knowing the problems, challenges, and causes of failure, we started to develop methods and solutions to help organizations minimize the risks and reduce the chance of failure. About three years ago, we decided to convert our work, books, and experience into a digital solution that is now the Uruk Platform.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Within a short time of starting our company in Dubai in 2005, we secured contracts from leading regional organizations. Some of them were the top and most known conglomerates in the area. Our success was partially due to my active presence in the project management community on a global level, mainly with the Project Management Institute (PMI). Later, our reputation led to numerous other contracts without any real marketing. Most of our work came as repeated business or referrals. Later, another significant accomplishment is to inspire many professionals to commit funds and invest in starting SUKAD Corp in the USA to develop the Uruk Platform. Since 2019, more friends, family members, and colleagues have supported us.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner is that I have many individuals and their families counting on us as a business. Another challenge is as an entrepreneur, founding and running a startup is notoriously difficult and lonely. Further, now the worries include my family, team members, and the investors who believed in my vision. Failing is NOT an option!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be clear about your vision and mission.
- Care about your team and people.
- Patience and focus are critical every day!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Being a business owner or entrepreneur is NOT for everyone. You might be one of the people who can contribute significantly to a corporation, social business, or not-for-profit. Discover your passion because you cannot discover your genius without it.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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