Q&A with Syed Ahmed, CEO of SAVORTEX, about his time on the Tuck residential programme

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At the end of November, one of  the runners-up of the MSDUK 2017 Innovation Challenge, award winning entrepreneur, Syed Ahmed, Managing Director of SAVORTEX was at the Ivy Leagues’ Tuck School of Business in Dartmouth in the US, attending the week long residential – “Building High Performing Minority Business” programme, having been offered a full scholarship worth $10k by EY.

Tuck’s minority business education programmes help owners adjust their strategy, refine their operations, and build their enterprises to scale.

The “Building a High-Performing Minority Business” programme focuses on strategy implementation to drive results, leverage the value chain, and improve the bottom line. The programme is designed for owners of diverse businesses who are committed to advancing their business capabilities. A curriculum mixing strategy and operations helps these owners leverage the value chain to their full advantage. Participants also explore financial statements in order to get a better understanding of how they can improve cash flow and increase profits.

Over the last two years, 10 ethnic minority business-owners from the UK have attended this fully-funded residential at Tuck and earlier in September this year, MSDUK delivered a weekend residential programme here in the UK, delivered jointly by Tuck School of Business & Aston Business School, that was attended by 16 entrepreneurs from the UK and South Africa.

The MSDUK team reached out to Syed on the last day of the programme and asked him to share his thoughts and experience at Tuck. Here is a quick 60 seconds interview with Syed:

 

 

syed ahmed at tuck school of business

 

Syed, please tell us briefly about your business and how you secured this scholarship to attend the week-long residential at the Tuck School of Business?

SAVORTEX is an award winning British, IoT (internet of things) hand drying technology manufacturer and we have just launched our latest innovation. Built on Intel® ATOM technology, the adDryer uses just 1/3rd of the energy compared to traditional dryers, and monitors dryer usage and washroom footfall in real-time, then wirelessly reporting the data to the web for analytics, alerting cleaners to washroom inspections based on actual footfall.

Further, the adDryer shows a full motion advert in response to users drying their hands; it creates advertising revenue per dry for the washroom owner (and us) by allowing (and empowering) local businesses and media agencies to advertise to its users on a one-to-one basis.

The scholarship to attend the week-long residential – “Building a high performing minority business” at Ivy Leagues’ Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth was offered to me by EY after becoming one of the top three innovators at the MSDUK 2017 Innovation Challenge.

The biggest challenge for any entrepreneur attending this programme is being away from the business for at least a week. Having completed this programme, do you think it was time well spent and why?

Fortunately, we have a great team at SAVORTEX, so even though I missed them, they just got on with it! The Tuck BHPB programme is necessary for all entrepreneurs who want to scale up! So absolutely worth every minute.

Three top learnings from the programme?

1. Strategy
2. Financial planning
3. Scaling up!

What impact has attending this programme made on you as an individual and on your business?

I’m sure the impact will be high i.e. SAVORTEX will now scale up rapidly and realise its full ambition; it means everything!

Any thoughts / messages for entrepreneurs in the MSDUK network about this programme?

I recommend if anyone has the opportunity to attend the Tuck BHPB programme they should grab it with both hands!


 

To find out more about the 2018 programme, click here

To find out more information about the 2019 programme, please contact Priya Arora