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Innovating through strategy

Filed on October 8, 2018
Innovating through strategy
Dr. Tabassum Khan, Chairman, Stratgurus Group of Companies

Dr. Tabassum Khan knows the art of diversification and is a management guru. Stratgurus is an extension of his vision for executing perfection.

Stratgurus is redefining the role of a conglomerate in today's world. A global player driven by passion and guided to make a positive impact, the company goes beyond strategy, their core offering, by diversifying into industries that are gaining prominence. Founded by Dr. Tabassum Khan in early 2009, who recognised the needs of a specialist approach in a rapidly evolving world, Stratgurus has a unique business model akin to none of its counterparts. 

In his own words, Dr. Khan explains that success is only achievable through an unparalleled approach and ceasing opportunities arising from a contemporary business culture. Experts in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and the halal industry, Stratgurus is dedicated towards helping clients achieve their business goals through strategic guidance. Their insight and analysis of relevant markets, accumulated over the years is indispensable to their internationally renowned clients. From helping business build their product portfolio, updating and advising them on mergers, training c-level executives, or halal compliance, to performing due diligence and market research, their strategy services cover the full range of business activities, including operations, finance, marketing, and R&D. 

Led by the heart: Passion was always a constant driving force for the Chairman who began his career in 1986. After over two decades of being a seasoned professional in the private sector, Dr. Khan took a leap forward and decided to contribute to the world on a larger scale. "What gave birth to Stratgurus was the desire to embark on my own professional journey. We began by primarily focusing on value management in London, and then branched out in Dubai. It was the ideal location as it connected us to potential customers in Asia and Europe. Dubai is not only a hub for growth and innovation, but also an incredibly enriching environment with a myriad of cultures. It promotes networking and accessibility with neighbouring and international markets. As we gained momentum in management, we forayed into pharmaceutical and management consultancy. Our portfolio of clients included the Ministry of Health. Our responsibility was to expand its continuous professional development programme. In addition, we have worked with the GCC Health Minister's Council on numerous occasions," he explains.

Creating a Global Impact:  Expanding their reach to the GCC, the first major project was to reportedly train 75 of the top-tier directors and managers of Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) on project management, in the year of 2009, according to Dr. Khan. "Our focus was also on value management and strategy pertaining to larger multinationals and government agencies. We carried out projects for giants like Pfizer, Sanofi Aventis, Sanofi Pasteur, AbbVie and Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation. Primarily, we offered management and strategic consulting, which prompted us to diversify. Casting a wide net to capture a large volume of opportunities was vital, it helped us find our strengths capitalise on them. Therefore, we retained value management, strategic project development and investments. Consulting currently is our forte. Further to project management, we develop projects and draw in investors," says Dr. Khan.

Management of the healthcare portfolio of the notable Saudi-based Al Jomaih Group, emphasises the status of Stratgurus in the GCC region. As Chairman of the Board for AJ Vaccines, which is dedicated towards fulfilling the need of essential vaccines, including polio, Dr. Khan felt that there were more industries to venture into. 

"Our portfolio of industries is continuously growing where we have applied our specialist investments, management and turnaround strategies. Currently we are assisting in and carrying out acquisitions as well, after the success of AJ Vaccines, which was previously owned by the Danish government for our client Al Jomaih. We are in the process of exciting acquisitions and projects in Europe, Korea and The Netherlands. In addition, we are collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture in the UK through AJ Vaccines for developing tuberculosis vaccines for cattle, and have ongoing projects in Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, France, United Kingdom, Denmark and Netherlands," the chairman added. 

Foraying into Fashion: True to its value of diversity, Stratgurus found another calling in the domain of fashion. Muslim women spent $44 billion on modest wear in 2015, according to the 2016-2017 State of the Global Islamic Economy Report (Gier). This statistic is an indication of the rise of the phenomenon of modest fashion, which had not become mainstream until a few years ago. With Dubai being one of the most important markets for modest fashion, Dr. Khan felt it was vital to establish a presence by launching an E-commerce brand, which celebrates contemporary modest wear, called Faspiration. 

The modest brand has appeared at Arab Fashion Week 2017, where femininity and strength were inspirations for its elegant couture collection. To encourage the growth of the fashion domain within the region, Stratgurus became one of the early companies to be KHDA-compliant to develop Fashtrat, which provide courses for aspiring designers to become into full-fledged professionals through their courses. 

Reviving Heritage: With existing ventures and projects in Malaysia, including Stratgurus Ventures and management of AJ Pharma Holdings, Dr. Khan saw it fitting to invest in more than pharmaceuticals. "I strongly support the notion of reviving heritage by employing artisans. Malaysian batik is one of the first forms of art to have originated in the country's region." A traditional form of textile art, Malaysian batik, not to be confused with Indonesian batik, is popular on the east coast of Malaysia in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang. In line with the concept, the Malaysian government is now endorsing Malaysian batik as a national dress to every level of the general population, by having local designers to create new batik designs that reflect the Malaysia idea.

"In honour of this technique and Malaysia's history, we have created a 100-metre saree, a traditional garment worn by many women in South Asia, in batik textile art through a very advanced technique called pointillism. The garment will relay the rich history of Malaysia by showcasing its origins. The result of this beautiful endeavour will be unveiled to the public in February next year. We aim to revive Malaysian batik by incorporating it into mainstream items of clothing such as hijabs as well, as it is an important extension of culture," he adds.  

Exploring New Arenas: For Stratgurus, the future holds new opportunities and ventures as they add more companies under their belt. StratVents will be a new vertical added to the group, which will provide a full spectrum of services pertaining to events. PassioNedia is the media arm of the firm, which will be a fully integrated film, television, digital media productions and marketing company. It will also offer a range of short courses, which will include photography, videography, graphic design, acting, filmmaking, cinematography and web design. A labour of love for Dr. Khan, the company is a launching pad of the social causes he is passionate about, which includes ending food wastage. Dr. Khan has produced a gripping video of the repercussions of a wasted meal, which in his words "is a step nearer for an improvised child towards his early grave." 

He has also lent his voice to the production of a video, that depicts the plight of those in countries plagued by political and socio-economic upheavals. "Our venture into media is to raise social awareness. We produced and conceptualised a song on food wastage, which was developed in Dubai. We are setting up our own media company in Studio City, and producing two short films in the UK. The topics are contrasting with one of the films being about forced marriages in the South Asian communities, and the other a satire about democracy. Our aim is to create an awareness towards these narratives and encourage people to help those who do not have a voice," he remarked.

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