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Q&A with Michael Aboud

The trinidad Guardian / 1How many years have you been in business?

After 30 years in business, I remain dedicated to leading for today while at the same time keeping an eye focused on tomorrow. Without formal business education I quickly assessed my needs for a successful business outcome, driven by determination and desire to be the best.

As the first Security Officer, I struggled to be recognized but soon developed a reputation for dependable, reliable, efficient service. Getting clients to be proactive with adequate funding for security initiatives was one of the greatest challenges. Above all, I upheld that no business was too small, no opportunity would pass and every weakness was a challenge, as l became more irrepressible through the years.

As needs arose, I expanded the core business to include an accredited Central Monitoring Station with uniqueness of remote CCTV and keyless monitoring.

Cash management soon followed with a specialty fleet designed for high-security and low operating cost. Simultaneously, our electronic security business took of with integrated solutions being the focus and my expertise with relevance allowed competitive advantage.

Demand for secured information technology platforms was quickly recognized and new products and services like Inteltrack and Geographic Information Systems, bespoke platforms were created. These products now form the basis of some government’s rapid response initiatives.

The vision for the future is to provide more scientifically based services, continue regional and international expansion, and use E commerce and E learning infrastructure for security and public safety products.

2 What has been your biggest success?

My greatest success was building a professional management team and building the desirable work force with the correct ethics and trust. This being Amalgamated security services with a regional footprint in six countries, Barbados, St Lucia, Grenada, Guyana, Antigua and the obvious Trinidad and Tobago.

3 Have you ever failed at any endeavour?

I have had some failures throughout my journey but this was used to strengthen my resolve and they became lessons of what not to do.

4 What makes you decide whether you want to enter a new venture?

Market research, recognizing the windows of opportunities when they present themselves and taking advantage of my vision for what would be needed in the future.

5 Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Work hard, be persistent and have patience and keep God in your life while following your dream.

6 Have you ever felt like you could lose it all?

No, but market conditions do pose risks that one must mitigate against by introducing diversity, and reinvestment and the building of one’s human capital.

I think this has aided in not considering this as an outcome.

This also means not having all your eggs in one basket by diversifying your investments (tourism, real estate, E commerce).

7 What drives you?

The satisfaction of my successes and the ability to realize my ideas and see them work beyond my expectations. My work is so satisfying that it really is not work and therefore I don’t need to be energized. I love what I do. My vacations are always aligned with my work implementing “out-of-the-box” ideas that ultimately prove their value.

8 When did you recognise that you’d “made it”?

I never thought of this, but I would say that my success started when the company growth was consistent from year to year, my return on investment was evident and the many third party recognitions, whether locally and or internationally of my entrepreneurial successes and innovative work. This is well documented along with the most recent award of an ‘Honorary Doctor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation’ from the University of Trinidad and Tobago, a nomination for the T&T Chamber Master Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2015, the CIO 100 Award 2015 as a leader in innovation and business value creation and the Service provider of the year 2015 award by the TTCSI to name a few.

9 What do most people think about you that may or may not be true?

I am passionate about my work

I am fair and just with people

I work too hard

I am a perfectionist

I don’t believe in failure

I am very analytical

I am calm under stress

I am strategic

I believe in creating a family type work environment

I could be very autocratic and self-opinionated at time

I am loved

10 What do you believe are the key factors to succeed in business?

I would think as a leader one must have a broad repertoire of styles and use them appropriately:

Lead by example

Develop a reputation to deliver on promises made and no task is too difficult to do with the right level of perseverance

You must have the eye for making the right decision

Have a vision and stay on target

Hard work never kills

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