Bardya Ziaian is a Toronto-based entrepreneur and the CEO and President of SITTU Group Inc., a leading think-tank company whose mission is to create opportunities based on the current economic macro environment.
Prior to founding SITTU Group, Bardya served as the CEO of Virtual Brokers and BBS Securities where he was responsible for dealing with regulators and auditors. The company was ranked as the #1 broker by The Globe and Mail.
Since beginning his career in the early 1990s, Bardya has worked in a range of industries including technology, capital management and brokerage services, financial systems and the film industry. He is also the writer and producer of Super Dicks, a comedic mystery film which is currently in production.
A graduate of York University, Bardya received his Bachelor’s of Arts in mathematics in June, 1995, before moving on to earn a Master’s of Arts degree in the same subject in 1997.
Where did the idea for SITTU Group come from?
SITTU means to think and move forward. After I sold BBS, Virtual Brokers and its sister companies, my goal was to select bright individuals to take advantage of the current macro environment. This is how SITTU came to life. We have the luxury of time and therefore can take advantage of the macro environment by being patient and analyzing opportunities.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
No day is ever the same. I travel quite often and therefore I’m always working on different projects. I actually don’t have a typical day. I do, however, always work hard and try to stay healthy.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life by working hard and by surrounding myself with a team of intelligent and highly knowledgeable people. I surround myself with those who are better than me and I think every entrepreneur should do the same.
What’s one trend that excites you?
AI, space exploration and robotics all pique my interest. Although we don’t work in those spaces, I am very interested in technology and its latest developments, and I love following those areas.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Perseverance. I think it’s the key to success in entrepreneurship, but also, more generally, in life. You need to have desire and determination, always.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I were to tell my younger self something, it would be to eat healthier and exercise more often. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle should start at a young age. These are habits that you can build when you’re young and that can stick with you throughout your life.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
My opinion? I think the current assumption that a large number of people will continue to work from home after the coronavirus is over, and therefore office space won’t be needed, is exaggerated.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Work hard. I promise, hard work will eventually get noticed and when it does, you will be recognized for it and hopefully get to reap the rewards.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I think I’ve been able to grow my businesses because I’m always thinking outside of the box. My advice for other entrepreneurs is this: Take a step back to identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses and improve upon them. And when it comes to your competition, utilize your strengths in order to overshadow the weaknesses of your competitors.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Experience. You need to walk the walk and learn along the way. You have to be honest with yourself about your mistakes as well.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would invent some sort of new fintech application that would streamline the way businesses make investments.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Books, and I enjoy and recommend Ray Dalio’s recent books.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Microsoft Excel. I think it is one of the greatest tools in business to analyze a variety of situations.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. It is a book about value investing and teaches strategies on how to successfully use value investing in the stock market
What is your favorite quote?
“Buy cheap and sell dear.”
- Work hard
- Think outside of the box
- Surround yourself with people better than yourself
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.