Home Interview Professional Icon: Zamshed Uddin Ahmed

Professional Icon: Zamshed Uddin Ahmed

Zamshed Uddin Ahmed
Chief Operating Officer

Discover the visionary leadership of Zamshed Uddin Ahmed, Chief Operating Officer at MAZADA. With a focus on innovation and excellence, Zamshed is reshaping industry standards and driving impactful growth. Join us as we explore his transformative role in the global business landscape.

Let’s learn about his journey.

Mr. Zamshed Uddin Ahmed, could you please share your professional and academic journey with our readers?

I am a Mechanical Engineer graduated from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET). After graduation, I started my career as a Mechanical Engineer in 2002. At that time, the “Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)” technology was growing rapidly as an alternative transport fuel. I was involved in this industry, initially for four years with a private organization, and then for the next six years with the government regulatory authority, Rupantharita Prakritik Gas Company Ltd. (RPGCL), a company of Petrobangla.

In the oil & gas sector, I had opportunities to explore, acquire, and enhance my skill-set regarding new product marketing, establishing new brands such as IMW-Canada (CNG station on a turnkey basis), Korean Diaphragm Meter, and winning an international contract with Titas Gas T & D Company Ltd. I also worked with Technolog-UK for electronic gas flow data logging to prevent system loss, RMG Regel + Messtechnik GmbH-Germany for knowledge dissemination on gas flow, control, and measurement, and managed Project Management for CNG Refueling Station projects, CNG Conversion workshop projects, and LPG Bottling plant & station sales.

With professional expertise, I completed my first M. Engineering in Advanced Engineering Management from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET) with a thesis titled “Development of MRP Schedule for CNG Conversion – a case of Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited (RPGCL).” I also had the opportunity to attend a two-month training program on “Compressed Natural Gas Technology and Application” in Sydney, Australia. Additionally, I successfully completed other training programs such as Public Procurement Regulation (PPR), Good Governance & Engineering, CNG Conversion Technology, and CNG Safety Codes & Standards.

Besides my professional engagements, I completed an M.Sc. in Environmental & Energy Management (EEM) from the University of Twente, The Netherlands. With a proven track record of driving strategic development and fostering innovation on a global scale, I was excited about the opportunity to bring my expertise in operations and leadership to Bangla CAT – an exclusive dealer of Caterpillar Inc., USA. Here, I had the opportunity to collaborate with renowned business leaders to foster my career growth through major businesses. Bangla CAT has a competitive advantage that aids in differentiating our products and services from the competition.

At Bangla CAT, I played an instrumental role in leading cross-functional teams to achieve ambitious business goals while streamlining processes to enhance efficiency and productivity. My role required a deep understanding of market trends and customer needs, translating these into actionable strategies that supported company growth and competitive positioning. I pride myself on fostering a culture of innovation where creative thinking and collaboration are encouraged, and where each team member feels empowered to contribute to our collective success. My leadership style is characterized by transparency, inclusivity, and a relentless focus on results, which aligns well with Bangla CAT’s values and mission.

The prospect of joining a market leader like Caterpillar in gas gen-set sales & after-sales product support programs, innovative IPP solutions, and a customer-centric approach excites me. With a robust background and experiences in the Power & Energy sector, I joined as the COO of MAZADA Group of Companies. My role requires meticulous attention to detail and a strong ability to provide management, leadership, and vision to ensure the organization meets its short-term and long-term goals, helping to create a company culture that strengthens operational efficiency, professionalism, and drives business objectives. My expertise in collaborating with diverse teams has equipped me to work effectively at all levels. At MAZADA, I am eager to contribute to the team’s success by leveraging my experiences to develop businesses in various diversified sectors.

As the Chief Operating Officer at MAZADA, could you share the key strategic initiatives you’ve spearheaded to enhance operational efficiency and drive growth within the organization?

By mapping out each step of the business operational process, I utilized Six Sigma-lean methodology to streamline the operational process through identifying bottlenecks, formulating action items, and then implementing those with key individuals’ responsibilities within stipulated deadlines.

To drive growth, working with the MAZADA team for individual goal setting – daily, weekly, monthly & quarterly, mentoring the MAZADA team to enhance presentation skills, team management & time management skill improvement, and business communication skill development, enhancing cross-functional collaboration & teamwork through creating a feedback loop from all team members. This approach minimized disruptions among the divisions and enhanced productivity significantly.

Through implementing a mentorship program with regular team-building activities, our team’s productivity increased by 15% and reduced employee turnover by 20% compared to the previous year. By implementing the Mentorship Program, the Mazada team is going to establish a cultural change and transformation by prioritizing accountability and instilling a sense of greater ownership across all levels. Now, customer experiences have tremendously improved at different touchpoints – Corporate office, Yard, Branch Office & project sites/offices in all business segments, i.e., Heavy lifting & haulage solutions, Heavy Equipment Rental, Sales, Service & Spare Parts solutions, Engineering & Construction, and project logistics business, responding to customer needs with a One-Stop Solution Center.

To satisfy customer needs better than our competitors do, my philosophy is to examine the 3C’s – Customers, Company & Competitors, to determine who I am hoping to serve, what my company’s relative strengths are, and how our team will serve the customer better than the competition. It turns out that this is exactly what we need to do to lay the groundwork for a brand strategy too.

Currently, I’m working to foster a proactive and results-oriented culture within the Mazada team to deep drive individual goals and business goals alignment. This cultural evolution not only strengthens individual accountability but also contributes to a more resilient and adaptable organizational framework, aligning our workforce seamlessly with the company’s strategic objectives.

What inspired you to pursue a career in operations management, particularly within the context of a dynamic and globally oriented company like MAZADA?

Operations Management is a business idea that has been around for decades, and some might attribute it to Dr. Joseph Juran, who taught Japanese business leaders how to improve quality to expand their growth and revenue around the globe. According to the concept of operational excellence, continuous improvement allows organizations to reach higher levels of service and product delivery through better processes and standards. This ultimately leads to a competitive advantage and the acquisition of greater market share in any given industry. MAZADA Group has started to work with globally recognized heavy lifting and haulage giants across all business segments, engaging with Foreign EPC Contractors on different foreign-aided projects. I would like to mention some ongoing project names, such as the Jamuna Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge Project, Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport 3rd Terminal project, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Project, Matharbari Ultra Super Critical Coal Power Plant Project, MRT Projects (Line-1, Line-5, etc.), Chevron Bibiyana & Jalalabad Gas Field Projects, etc. Recently, the Mazada team has started a significant project with the Bangladesh Government, having signed a contract with a foreign EPC contractor. Engagement with foreign-aided Government priority projects and leading to the acquisition of greater market share in the heavy lifting equipment industry encouraged me to pursue a career with MAZADA.

Secondly, while the ultimate goal is clear and straightforward, achieving operational excellence can be highly complex – especially at the enterprise level. It’s not something that happens overnight, either. Improvement on many levels, however, can be realized by the organization, and it’s the key to unlocking a company’s full potential. In 2023, the MAZADA group was rewarded in the best Sub-Contractor Award Category by a Japanese EPC Contractor for exceptional contributions regarding operational excellence and the successful completion of the project.

Lastly, many define operational excellence as a philosophy. This approach embraces problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership as the key to continuous improvement. In other words, operational excellence is not a set of activities but rather a mindset coinciding with the company culture. The culture where a business strategy focuses on customers’ needs, their experience, employee productivity and empowerment, and improving current activities within all levels of an organization. So what, then, is operational excellence? Is it a set of activities or a mindset? I strongly believe that it’s both. It’s these strategic transformations that enable changes to the external and internal processes needed to improve the business’s operations. This, in turn, should result in increased revenue, lower operational risk, and lower operating costs, which is challenging to comply with.

Can you discuss a challenging operational issue you’ve encountered at MAZADA and the innovative solutions you implemented to overcome it?

As a Heavy Lifting & Haulage solutions provider, we are facing some challenges in the marketplace. Concerned business units manage various day-to-day operations, including tasks such as equipment bookings, billing, and meticulous analysis of KPIs and deliverables. It is crucial to ensure the timely receipt of required rental items, necessitating careful documentation of budgets and timetables. Since numerous processes need to be managed simultaneously, being structured and efficient can be difficult. The lack of seamless integration between business processes makes it challenging to boost the availability, usage rates, and sustainability of rental fleets.

Like others, we are facing a significant challenge: we are spending a lot of money on various areas of our operations. Whether it’s purchasing new equipment or regarding equipment maintenance, it adds up and places significant strain on company resources. However, the systems in place may be inefficient, resulting in additional expenditures such as rising service charges or additional costs due to equipment malfunctions. Sometimes, preventive maintenance & corrective maintenance are not commenced on time, and equipment waits for parts, while some are in breakdown condition due to expertise.

After analyzing the situation, I have taken proper initiatives to track all equipment in one maintenance log according to date, time, equipment number, and upcoming maintenance alert system. In the last three months, we have received very good feedback regarding customer satisfaction and have established a robust maintenance record system and parts warranty management system. Furthermore, resources and teams are always deployed efficiently, resulting in increased turnover. Presently, I am working to reduce operating expenses by implementing systems or tools that boost operational efficiency, facilitated by equipment rental management software with automated and streamlined procedures, which is a key priority to maintain organizational sustainability.

Preventative maintenance helps decrease service and scrap expenses, along with reducing overall spare part inventory levels. Additionally, an improved warranty and claims process minimizes concealed costs related to damage and loss. Furthermore, using a graphical planning board enhances overall visibility, giving us a 360-degree view of our rental fleet.

Beyond your professional responsibilities, what personal values or philosophies guide your approach to leadership and decision-making as COO of MAZADA?

Personal values play an important role in leadership because values determine how we execute leadership, the team environment we create, and the success of the company. The values we display as a leader will permeate our entire organization and affect its performance. I’m comfortable breaking down information and charting new ways of interpreting challenging situations. I also enjoy thinking outside the box when it comes to problem-solving. Even if some of my ideas don’t work out on the first try, I see the process as a learning opportunity, helping me get that much closer to solving the problem. As the COO of MAZADA, I’m working to build a positive mindset and encouraging attitude, strong collaboration and communication skills within the team, empowering others, recognizing the team’s abilities, empathizing with the situations of others, and respecting others in all directions to build a culture where differences are respected and appreciated. Having diverse viewpoints within the organization is a strength, and those who differ from myself in opinion should feel as valued as those aligned with MAZADA.

As a leader in the international business arena, how do you navigate geopolitical uncertainties and trade complexities to ensure MAZADA’s continued success in global markets?

A series of unprecedented global challenges have underscored the need to think more carefully about how businesses adapt to the changing geopolitical and economic environment. Amid global challenges – such as the war in Ukraine, supply chain disruptions, and soaring food and energy prices – global growth is forecast to slow from 6% in 2021 to 3.2% in 2022 and 2.7% in 2023 according to a survey. This instability undermines real incomes, triggering a global cost-of-living crisis, particularly for vulnerable groups. Moreover, the rise in interest rates could further aggravate an already dire situation and trigger a recession and a surge in unemployment. Risk experts predict businesses could face another year of tumult as the U.S. and international powers jockey for position in a new era of geopolitical shifts. Political instability, regulatory changes, and diplomatic tensions can significantly impact cross-border transactions, posing substantial challenges to businesses aiming for sustained growth and profitability. However, with strategic foresight and proactive measures, MAZADA can mitigate these risks and safeguard their interests in the marketplace.

One key strategy for mitigating political risks is diversification. By spreading operations across multiple sectors and regions, businesses can reduce their exposure to any single political jurisdiction. Diversification not only helps in hedging against adverse events but also enables companies to capitalize on emerging opportunities in different markets.

Another crucial aspect is building strong relationships with local stakeholders and government entities. Establishing a network of contacts, engaging in dialogue with policymakers, and actively participating in industry associations can enhance our ability to anticipate regulatory changes and navigate political challenges effectively. Maintaining transparent communication and demonstrating a commitment to compliance with local laws and regulations can foster goodwill and mitigate potential conflicts.

Additionally, conducting comprehensive due diligence before entering into contracts or partnerships is essential for risk mitigation. In today’s interconnected world, technological advancements offer innovative solutions for mitigating political risks in international trade.

In this current environment, we are focused on growing our company smartly by continuing to deliver value to our customers. Our customers have different needs in times of uncertainty, and we can build trust and loyalty by continuing to meet those needs in new and more valuable ways. Our customers and company are still benefiting today from some of the core capabilities we built to respond to the global pandemic in 2020 because we built for the long term while solving short-term needs. It is now time to collaborate, open up, and work together to find solutions, offering previously uncovered answers. Priority number two unquestionably strengthens our technological efforts, providing our clients with the sustainable solutions they require to solve today’s difficulties by delivering relevant and appropriate responses, allowing them to achieve their strategic business and sustainability goals.

Mr. Zamshed Uddin Ahmed, please say something to the readers!

We, at MAZADA Group, are one of the fastest-growing business organizations in Bangladesh. We are actively involved in Heavy Lifting & Haulage (Inland & Marine), Heavy Equipment Sales, Rent, Service, Engineering & Construction (Mechanical, Electrical & Civil Engineering), Erection & Fabrication, Shipping Agent, Project Logistics, Turnkey Project Handling, etc. We work with multinational companies and EPC Contractors, especially in Power Plant, Energy-Oil & Gas Project, Offshore & Onshore Project, Infrastructure Development Project, Petrochemical, Cement, Steel Mill, Bridge, Port, Jetty Construction, and other Industrial Projects.

We contend with a spectrum of challenges stemming from both internal and external factors. Operating within a high-risk industry, these businesses navigate stringent regulations and policies surrounding safety, maintenance, and other compliance measures. We must remain vigilant and proactive in addressing these challenges.

Internally, these businesses grapple with intricacies such as efficient booking and scheduling, inventory management, and the imperative need for streamlined maintenance and repairs. Furthermore, the complex logistics associated with heavy equipment, including specialized transportation and handling, pose internal logistical challenges that demand strategic solutions.

Externally, equipment businesses are subject to the fluctuating demands of the market, influenced by seasonal trends and broader industry shifts. These external factors necessitate agile inventory management strategies to optimize resources effectively. Additionally, the variable pricing structures inherent in heavy equipment rentals, dependent on factors like usage and project duration, present challenges in accurate and transparent billing.

Mazada Group’s heavy lifting & haulage expertise will enable any project authority to navigate complex tasks and customer-centric solutions. Deeply understanding specific business requirements and project site survey, we develop a tailored business plan, focusing on risk management, cost control, quality assurance, effective communication, business strategy, and employee alignment with the Business goals.

A robust Career Development Program (CDP) is essential for any organizational brand. MAZADA L & D team has started a comprehensive CDP with all Operators, Riggers, Signalmen, Lifting Supervisors, Operation & Maintenance (O & M) Engineers & concern Managers. It lets our people know that this is where they can come and cultivate their talent, their work will be valued, and they will continue to be rewarded with opportunities to learn. Additionally, it can also improve cross-functional collaboration, breaking down silos, and leading with more efficiency and productivity. CDP is also a factor of engagement, helping to build inclusive teams’ leadership and can lead directly to enhancing individual performance. Henceforth, there’s no denying that having a learning and development team can not only lead to enhancing the skills level of individuals but also can impact the organization’s operational strategy just as much as sales and marketing. Overall, it continues to create a culture and a unique brand.

Quick Chat with Zamshed Uddin Ahmed

The most outstanding achievement of your life as of now:
“Winning A Million Dollar Contract with a Government Regulatory Authority at early stage of my career”

The greatest philosopher in your view:
Our Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him)

Your Icon:
My Father – Dr. Shamsuddin Ahmed

Name the most influential books you have read:
“Think and Grow Rich” written by Napoleon Hill

Your greatest fear:
Fear of disappointing others.

Best piece of advice you’ve received:
“Have patience, you will succeed”- My father Dr. Shamsuddin Ahmed

You in only three words:
“Believe in myself”

Skill Set:

• Hard Skills: Creative brief development, Writing and Editing, Marketing campaign management, Business analytics, Data analysis, Go to market (GTM) strategy, Market research, Forecasting, Project management

• Soft Skills: Team Management, Analytical Skill, Problem Solving, Business Planning, Contract Negotiation, Process Improvement, Decision Making, Time Management, Strategic thinking, Teamwork, Conflict Negotiation.

Prayer For The Human Civilization:

Allah! You are Almighthy and Great. Please keep us healthy and safe from all evils. Today’s a new beginning for us and an opportunity for a great start. Yesterday is gone with all regrets, mistakes, or failures that we may have experienced. Thank you for today, a new chance to love, give, and be all that you want us to be. Ameen.

The InCAP: Thank you, Mr. Zamshed Uddin Ahmed! It’s a glittering conversation with you!

Zamshed Uddin Ahmed: My pleasure! Wish you all the best! Thank you.

To read more about Professional’s stories, Please Click Here!