Sabila Enun is an entrepreneur and a woman-a combination that our society does not see often. Currently, she’s working as a Project Manager at DCastalia, a company she engaged with since its birth. Along with her entrepreneurial pursuit Sabila also serves to number of national and international organizations as a consultant and trainer. We spoke to Sabila to understand what makes her different and we are amazed after knowing her spirit to deal with challenges and works. She pursues things that she wants to the end and she said she is a doer-two attributes we love most.
Future StartUp: Please briefly tell us about yourself .
Sabila Enun: Since my childhood I’ve always tried that I will be known by me and my work. I tried to do best use of freedom and education my parents gave me and I never hurt their belief they put on me. And they never stand on the way of my work because I never disappointed them. In some stages of my life like while I was in college I couldn’t score good grade but I made them up with my other activities. And my parents were never fed up on me on that. They always prayed for me and kept believing on me. Even whenever I got disappointed my parents supported me in all ways. So, I think you need a good childhood experience to remember. It helps.
Then if talk about my education, I graduated from Southeast University. University was a wonderful experience for me. From the day I got admitted in Southeast till end it was just great. During those days, Me along with some of my friends founded the Computer Club of Southeast University and now it’s expanded hugely and doing regular events. Actually I wanted to build up myself through those works. I started my professional life in my university second year. That time I started working in a software firm named by Imagine Graphics as Java Developer. Later on I engaged with Bangladesh Open Source Network as one of the Core Members and got connected with lots of people.
While in university I worked part-time in Cellbazaar with the Quality Assurance Team. Then got involved with GrameenPhone as an intern under Business Support & Service Management Division. I involved myself wherever I got a chance to learn. Even sometimes I missed the classes to participate some workshops. It’s interesting that I never feel unemployed in my life.
I’m now one of the lead Technological Analysts in Girl Effect project of Nike Foundation in Bangladesh Region; Here I work with BRAC as part of Nike Foundation and Frog Design, USA; since February of this year. Besides, I’m one of the Trainers of Two international organizations – International Open Source Network, UNDP & inWent, Germany. Both of the organizations worked for Capacity building in different parts of the world.
However, my main concern is DCastalia.
No doubt, Job is a more secured option; in job you get a certain salary, you don’t need to get extra pressure and so on. But why did you choose to become an entrepreneur by sacrificing all these things, what’s the underlying motivation?
I said earlier, I always tried to prove myself. People would know me as an employee of bank or any other organization, and I had to go through certain rules there set by them. And I would not get any identity of my own- that’s not me. Now I can say this is my own, and my office that really makes me feel happy.
Starting-up as an entrepreneur for a woman is one of the toughest jobs in our country. Can you share your experience and problems you have faced to far ?
People often underestimate me that how can I do in programming cause normally women prefer marketing, client handling, or at best teaching, but I started with programming and later on analysis, project proposal designing that are more challenging than our society perceive a woman is capable to do.
Then comes comments from my familiar circle. Say for example, some of my friends and some relatives made some unexpected comments regarding me that gave me much pain and at the same time those were kind of source of motivation for me too. It made me determine that someday I had to prove them wrong.
And when I look back and try to see what helped me to become who I am today, I see it’s my perspective. I always considered myself a person, not a mere woman. And I got this believe from my family.
What do you think, what bought you to this far that most others don’t have? What are the main reasons that help you out to make things happen?
Obviously it was my passion. I always wanted to do something significant and for getting into that I did whatever I had to do. My hard-work, supports from my friends, commitments, honesty helped me to make things happen and to come to this position.
Moreover, I’ve this habit of sticking with something that I really need. If I don’t get any problem solved in three days then i invest more time to get that. I believe that if you really want something and invest your time and effort then at the end of the day you’ll get something good out of it.
It’s hell lot important to have belief on yourself.
And be creepy in digging things deep. I always try to learn and get into deep of something. You have to have a concrete idea of what you’re doing. You have to have a tendency of developing and building up yourself.
Would you please share your learning from working with a start-up ?
It’s very important to have mutual understanding if you start partnership business, because partnership is very risky. We came this long way smoothly because we respect other partners’ belief and thinking, and when we criticize others, we do so in a very positive way. For example I might have made a decision but others might have added something to make the decision healthier. It’s not always necessary that only partners can share, sometimes some great ideas can come out from the juniors also. So you have to be positive enough, open enough and you have to have the ability to take things easily.
You should have patience because it’s obvious that you’ll be frustrated in some points.
You have to study to keep you up to date, to learn about your target people, who you’re working with & for, what’s going on in other countries relating to your industry etc.
And most of all, in work place: be flexible. I’ve seen if you give your employees flexibility then greater output comes out. If you behave roughly with the employees then their productivity goes down.
Don’t you think family support or support from someone reliable as a backup is important? Would you please name few variables that you think really make a big differences in how we make things happen/that change our life?
Family support is a matter indeed, you must have backups. But it is not THE most important factor. To me; what makes the game is focus. You must know what you want to do and you should do that exactly. I always wanted to do analysis and now I’m doing it. focus is unavoidable. You must have focus to shine, to ignite and to make things happen. Finding what you love is most important. Whatever support you have does not matter; if you don’t know what you want to do.
Then comes the connections. Connections are crucial. It even defines you. And now there are the social networking platforms and becoming social is a matter of click. So, as an aspiring entrepreneur you have to leverage these technological opportunities. Say for example, we spend a huge chunk of our time on social media and we should take it seriously. Maintaining relationship is important. And internet makes it easy, say just a hi to your friends. That’s it.
Recently, I was in a seminar in Santa Marium University and I had to tell something to few students. There I said this same thing. You should be a hell lot social. You must let others know what you are doing. Students are quite social now and spend handsome amount of time on facebook but they seldom care about the things that are productive. You must use your time in a productive manner. You know time is the currency.
Another thing is Ethics, the moral values we learn from our family, our friends, school etc. You have to be Honest.