Mohammad Ovais

Founder of Veraqor

Mohammad Ovais is the Founder & CEO at Veraqor and has dedicated more than a decade to building software solutions and applications for Fortune 1000 companies. Veraqor is a startup focused on IT services and data and AI solutions, specializing in delivering technological expertise to ensure excellence by leveraging data analytics and cloud. Before this role, he held the position of Managing Partner/Co-Founder at Streebo and he is also the Founder & CEO at qordata. He has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Rice University and an EMP from MIT, and also plays an active role on the board of the Entrepreneur Organization as the Strategic Alliances Chair.

What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?

My daily routine is structured for productivity and balance. Starting at 5 am, I spend 30 minutes in morning prayers for spiritual reflection. Prioritizing health, I work out 3-4 times a week for 1-1.5 hours. After breakfast, I work for around 2 hours until 10 am, and then I spend some time with my family. At 10:45 am, I take a nap.

I’m in the office by noon, working until 7-8 pm. We start a bit late, mainly due to the nature of the clients. Evening prayers at 9 pm precede meetings with US counterparts, concluding my day.

To stay productive, I list top priorities each morning, fostering focus, regular exercise and spiritual practices to keep me grounded and energized. Setting morning intentions helps plan the day. Maintaining discipline and balance empowers effective leadership, business growth, and work-life integration.

How do you bring ideas to life?

As an entrepreneur, I constantly generate ideas but focus on the promising ones. After identifying a potential idea. I only proceed once I’m confident and excited about the idea.

The next step involves sharing the idea with team members for critical evaluation and collaboration. Together, we develop actionable steps to actualize the idea. This approach has driven innovation and growth within our organization, with only the most promising ideas making the cut.

What’s one trend that excites you?

One trend that truly excites me isn’t the typical technological advancements like AI or electric vehicles, although they are important. I’m intrigued by the “inner conflict” propelling people amidst financial turmoil, pandemics, and strained relationships to explore their purpose. These challenges prompt introspection and a quest for purpose, leading to a resurgence of spiritual connections.

Amid uncertainties, people are rediscovering spirituality, which is often overlooked during stability. I firmly believe that this pursuit of purpose and connection is vital for personal growth. This journey holds immense potential beyond technology, shaping individuals, organizations, and society. As a leader, I’m excited to witness and support this transformative process.

What is one habit that helps you be productive?

A habit that greatly enhances my productivity is jotting down my top three daily tasks. I compile this list in the morning to give my day clear direction. As I complete each task, I experience a sense of accomplishment and heightened productivity.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I’d stress valuing time above all, even money. Back then, I didn’t grasp time’s significance as a precious investment. I’d prioritize health, and continuous learning. Volunteering and personal growth would also be central.

The lesson is to treat time as our prime asset. When properly invested, it nurtures personal development, well-being, and positive impact. Embracing time’s true worth enriches both personal and professional pursuits.

Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you.

A belief I strongly uphold, albeit unconventional, is in the inherent goodness of every human being. I initiate interactions with trust, despite differing life experiences that might lead others to be cautious.

Despite challenges, I firmly believe that people are fundamentally good. This belief shapes my professional and personal interactions. Most people disagree with me on this, but my belief system works this way.

What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?

Practicing gratitude has enhanced my well-being and sanity. Science also supports its benefits in fostering contentment, easing inner struggles, and promoting mental peace. This practice brings positivity and joy to our lives, highlighting the value of even the simplest things. I express gratitude daily, jotting down things I’m thankful for, and even incorporate it into meetings.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?

To regain clarity, I pause and create a list of occupying thoughts. With organized thoughts on paper, I prioritize tasks, often picking up easier ones. Starting with simpler ones boosts momentum and motivation, paving the way for tackling larger tasks. These incremental achievements lead to heightened productivity and a renewed focus.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?

Over 12 years as an entrepreneur, I’ve seen how genuine care and belief in individuals drive our success.

In a world of transactional employer-employee relations, my approach contrasts by valuing generational connections. Inspired by my family’s history of lasting employee relationships, I focus on employee welfare, leading to loyalty and longevity.

Our operations show higher retention rates than industry norms, a result of valuing and supporting our team. This commitment fosters belonging and loyalty, crafting a positive, productive workplace. As a leader, prioritizing people fuels business growth and career advancement.

What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?

Failures are an unavoidable part of any career or business journey, but they offer growth and learning. By viewing failure as a chance to learn and adapt, we gather experiences that lead to ultimate success.

In my 12-year entrepreneurial journey, a significant failure stemmed from excessive trust. A few employees exploited this trust, sharing vital information with a competitor. Swift action was taken, but the lesson learned was to balance trust with safeguards.

While I still believe in people’s goodness, I now prioritize internal controls to prevent breaches of trust to an extent without resorting to extensive monitoring methods.

What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I’ll let this one pass.

What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

The organization (Veraqor) mostly uses Asana (a digital tool) to manage tasks. This tool allows our teams to be productive and efficient. However, as mentioned earlier, I jot down my top 3 tasks for the day on a post-it notes, or a notebook and tick them off as they are completed. I prefer it that way.

What is the best $100 you recently spent?

The best recent $100 I spent was on stationery shopping in Japan. I’ve always loved stationery, especially notebooks and pens. Japan’s stationary shops are known for high-quality notebooks in terms of paper quality and offer a smooth writing experience and using them for my to-do lists and top tasks enhances both enjoyment and productivity.

Do you have a favorite book or podcast from which you’ve received much value?

Among my favorites, Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt stands out. It blends business lessons seamlessly into a captivating story, making it engaging and valuable for enhancing leadership and business skills. I recommend it to those seeking practical insights through an enjoyable read.

What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?

My all-time favorite movie is “The Matrix.” Its portrayal of dual realities, one perceived and another hidden, deeply resonates with me. This idea extends even to spiritual contexts. The film’s transformative journey, as Keanu Reeves uncovers his latent potential, mirrors our reality where unlocking our full capabilities can lead to remarkable achievements.

While fictional, “The Matrix” speaks to the limited realization of human potential. Its thought-provoking narrative continually captivates me, inviting exploration of our hidden depths. This timeless classic remains a personal favorite, inviting repeated viewings.

Key learnings:

  • Valuing time, taking it as a resource, investing it rightly, and setting daily priorities can enhance productivity and lead to a more fulfilling life.
  • Practicing gratitude regularly can contribute to improved well-being and foster a positive work environment.
  • Embracing failures as learning opportunities can pave the way for growth and success.
  • Prioritizing health and learning through reading fuels personal and professional growth and keeps one motivated.
  • Recognizing and accessing human potential can lead to remarkable achievements and success in various endeavors.