Fahim Moledina has a passion for technology, finance and change and process management. A lean and agile solutions-focused strategist, he is owner of Opti Syn, a project management consulting company. As a member of Project Management Institute, he earned credentials including Project Management Professional, Professional Business Analyst and Agile Certified Practitioner.
With a customer-centric philosophy, Fahim Moledina has consulted for a variety of clients across numerous industries to help scale-up production, transition to the Cloud, improve processes, increase marketing, fine-tune web development, improve operational support and generate strategy.
He often helps companies improve the user experience and increase growth and scale. Fahim makes use of his years of experience across different industries to create complete solutions for clients.
He is able to leverage technology to modernize companies for optimal performance throughout the company and for customers.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I have served in a number of project-based roles in which an executive has an idea or a goal, but it rarely has actionable steps. I was recently responsible for leading the modernization of a large department at a very bureaucratic organization, all while cutting the budget in half –$14 million to $7 million. It was a big ask. Having the end in mind, I helped develop a strategy that fundamentally changed the way the four functional groups worked within the department and pushed efficiencies through at multiple levels. Many of those efficiencies were facilitated by optimizing processes and leveraging technology.
I have consulted for other companies in much the same way – the executive had an idea. I was brought in to build the strategy, implement and make the strategy clear, and rapidly pave the way to actions and deliverables.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Currently I am working full time for a digital transformation consulting agency. My past experience lends itself well to this type of role. Also, the company aligns with my values and goals, so I was willing to join and move my consulting agency to a part time endeavor.
I stay busy by wearing different but complementary hats at the agency, serving as both the Senior Project Manager and the Solution Architect.
I prepare for my date the night before, by figuring out what I will attack first thing in the morning or tie up anything from earlier meetings. I like to plan out my objectives and target results of what I will accomplish each day. If things shift, I can be agile and usually have a backlog of prioritized work. I like to plan to make sure I stay productive but at the same time realize that in building a collaborative team you need to take time to get to know people, to gain an understanding of how you can help make them be more productive as well.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I play a key role as a Solutions Architect to help provide solutions to client pain points and work with a team that assists in building the solutions that are mapped out from my discoveries with the client. In many cases I work as a Product Manager to provide solutions that our development team brings to life. I collaborate directly with clients and manage the completion of their established goals.
I have helped build solutions for clients from start to finish, following through the software development life cycle. In many cases, clients already know their pain points. However, they are not sure where to start to prioritize their projects to maximize their return on investment. With OptiSyn Consulting I have built some fairly diverse projects to allow clients to make data-driven decisions.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Technology is changing things every day. There are a lot of exciting items including decentralized finance and robotic process automation, but what is most exciting to me is the continuous push to acquire and use data to make decisions. It is interesting territory that requires the balance of ethics with consumer data acquisition, but personalization facilitated from data mining has changed many peoples’ lives without them even realizing it. From Netflix to retargeting customer purchases using data will continue to alter the customer experience.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am constantly learning. I love to learn and have never really stopped learning the past 20 years from post secondary education and earning certifications. I continually learn from working with so many talented people in diverse industries. I also work diligently to work smartly – I strive to put forth effort in the best possible ways, to become more efficient.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Take more chances. I have taken many chances and taken some very non-traditional roles to where I am today. I believe it has made me well rounded and in many cases has changed me. I have learned even more from my failures than my triumphs.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Make sure you orient. Are you doing what you want to do? I tell people often you can make excuses, or you can work toward what you want to do and be. I often like to re-evaluate my goals.
This has prompted me to make some key decisions in life, not just in my career. I took a bit of time off from work when my children were young and I had successfully completed a project. It felt like the right thing to do. Being able to do that for my family allowed for a closer relationship with my children. Those memories are irreplaceable. I morphed from the guy who gave them goodbye hugs in the morning who didn’t see them until dinner time to tending to them – keeping them safe, fed and happy.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I keep my eyes open to opportunity and continue learning and growing in my career and as a person. Being open to the possibilities of life and business has been at the foundation of my philosophy. My business is a startup, and I am working currently for a fairly new Digital Transformation Agency that is having hyper growth.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Optisyn Consulting is my first real venture. I had some bumps, and the pandemic changed my plans. I went back to full-time employment with a consulting agency and put my own company on the backburner.That’s life and that’s business – you roll with what happens, feed your family, find the silver lining and keep going. I am grateful to have found an agency that shares my core principles. I definitely had to adapt, will continue to strive for my dreams and also be tremendously grateful for the opportunity provided by my employer.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There are many high return on investment opportunities. Capital opportunities on the service side are worth exploring. I helped a client with a business opportunity that filled a niche of targeting specific industrial cleaning services. Again, business ideas are only as good as actionable objectives and again finding a niche or a competitive advantage or a first mover advantage can often help a business idea. I worked in the waste industry and can say there are a lot of opportunities in regards to servicing bins (commercial painting) or providing specific expertise.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently spent money on my kid’s extra-curricular activities, with all the craziness of the pandemic, I think it is important to their growth. I also am happy that I invest money each month at differing degrees of risk.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use multiple pieces of software that often sync together. I like to track my time and how long I spend on each task, activity or meeting, so I have been using Time Camp for years – even at a personal level. I also have used Notion for a while and find it is a great tool.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
There are a lot of options, but I really enjoyed “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” as well as “Getting to Yes.” Both books provide skills not just for work but general life skills. When paired with high emotional intelligence, business books provide a lot of tools and insights.
What is your favorite quote?
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” –Confucius
- I learned that the combination of innovation and experience should never be undervalued. I value my colleagues who challenge me and help me become a better collaborator and person.
- Failure isn’t really failure at all – it is focused and sometimes painful learning, but it is necessary for the path to success.
- The pandemic has proven that pivoting is necessary in life and business and that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. People and organizations will adapt and overcome.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.