Published On:24 June 2013
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Interview: 'Identifiying and Grooming transformational leaders from economically impoverished communities'

Shahabuddin Yaqub, Managing Editor of IndianMuslimObserver.com, talks to A. Mujeeb Khan, Founding President of BHUMI. Mujeeb has contributed immensely to BHUMI's scalable leadership framework and is committed to identify and groom transformational leaders from economically impoverished communities, who will bring about largescale, holistic and sustainable change. Here are excerpts of the Interview.

A dreamer and visionary, A. Mujeeb Khan has traversed many roads before discovering a ground that he now calls home. On many roads he met with failures and each time he picked himself up to walk again till he found Bhumi in his heart..

He serves as Founding President at BHUMI and wears multiple hats. He is chief ideologue and thinker and has contributed to BHUMI's scalable leadership framework that identifies and grooms transformational leaders from economically impoverished communities, who will bring about large scale, holistic and sustainable change.

He relentlessly pursues the dream of creating a nation that is led by honest and able leaders and believes that such leadership can exist only if one strives to BE & DO his/her best..

Mujeeb is also an organizational consultant and executive coach in the area of leadership development and is also working as an External Leadership Facilitator with McKinsey, a global management consulting firm.

He is intense. He is fun. He has a rare mystique around him which can leave you mesmerized. And, if you wish to experience all this and more, write to him at mujeeb@bhumi.in

S.Yaqub: Before talking about your leadership initiative which has been taken to raise human quality in every individual to its zenith, I would like to know after all what prompted you to create BHUMI?

A. Mujeeb Khan: You would be surprised to know that I m a mediaperson. I was associated with an advertising company in Mumbai as I understand the power of media in bringing the positive change to society. But, unfortunately this powerful organ has not been used to its best as far as social uplift and positive change is concerned so I decided to make a film in association with Sudheer Mishra, a well-known film director, to bring an affirmative transformation in society. My mother was unhappy, and in fact she was reluctant with this development. She asked me not to join film Industry. When I insisted, she told me how you would join film industry while you belong to me, you should never forget that you are my son. In respect of my mother`s decision I left this idea, but I constantly kept contemplating as to what would be another option to achieve my objectives in life.

One night I was in a deep thought. I asked myself whether I am really concerned about the ongoing development in the world. Did I truly want to bring change, and is the film going to help me to any extent.

Every year hundred of films are made, but we never experienced any big change at any level. Films are only made and watched for entertainment. From there I found my way. Today, I am convinced that until we work hard on grassroots level with common man and downtrodden people we are not going to experience any fruitful result.

S.Yaqub: How difficult it was for you to leave the film industry as you had invested your quality time and energy to comprehend this medium well and attain mastery over it?

A. Mujeeb Khan: It was very painful. It took me a month to come out of this. In fact, I would say that if you believe that whatever happens, it happens for the good then nothing going to hurt you whether you win or lose. As a Muslim it’s our belief that everything happens with the discretion and will of Allah.

S.Yaqub: How did BHUMI come into existence? Where did you get the idea from?

A. Mujeeb Khan: When I came from Mumbai I was in search of a Halal job, so I joined a dairy farm which was of my father`s friend. To some extent I was happy because my parents were happy. However, one problem continued to occur while I was working here. Whereever marriage proposal was sent by my parents for me, it got rejected saying that everything was fine, but the boy is employed in a dairy farm. So nobody was interested in me because I was related with milk business. This incident convinced my parent to allow me to find another job. Luckily I got some consultancy offers from multinational agencies and international NGOs, where I started working on different projects with them. While working in these companies I got chance to come across the hard facts of life. I would say in a very simple way that people of this country who are socially, educationally and economically far behind need to be empowered in a sustainable way which is regrettably not being done. Transformation in every field can only be brought through revolutionary process, and revolution requires a great leadership quality.

S.Yaqub: So it means you thought about leadership of our country and its people? And to achieve your aims and objectives you founded BHUMI?

A. Mujeeb Khan: Yes. You rightly understood. We believe that every man and woman has some qualities which others do not have. So we need to understand those qualities. And once we understand, it is very easy to develop and nurture them. We train people on grassroots level. Even those who do not have any educational qualification are also eligible for our training program. There is only one criterion that they must be sincere people having passion to serve their communities. We provide them multilayer training that makes them skilled and confident. They start earning good money and become financially independent. It is because of our training now that many young people have emerged as powerful leaders as well as social entrepreneurs in their respective communities, and they have inspired people in a great number.

S.Yaqub: What are the key areas you are working in and what result you are expecting?

A. Mujeeb Khan: At present we are working in six areas -- Education, Livelihood, Health and Wellness, Water and Sanitation, Environment and Social Justice. Throughout the training we give attention to the ways in which grassroots leadership can be enabled to achieve sustainable transformation in communities. Through this open platform, people experience happiness and joy around them. Everyone gets inspired by lived values of this platform and wants to contribute in over all development of society. We are companions on a journey that grows our hearts to embrace and heal humanity, and most importantly our home - India.

As a result I can tell you that we have transformed people and trained leaders who are being praised by their communities and others as well. One of such leaders inspired over 200 others to build a bridge in the community that can now literally save lives. They have been at the forefront in mobilizing their community and engaged over 700 members of their community to support their initiatives.

S.Yaqub: You have been providing leadership training to the companies’ employees, college students as well as people on grassroots. Have you ever thought to train the leadership of country?

A. Mujeeb Khan: It is my dream to train our leaders, but it is very difficult to train those who are deprived of a desire to serve people. If you wish to train them, it is wastage of time and energy. You can only train those who need training and want to perform better. As we know that today politics has become a career oriented business. People join politics for power and wealth, they do not find time to serve people of the country, they are not concerned about the public interest. Therefore whole country is awaiting good and honest leaders to come. Very soon I am going to start a fellowship program. With this assistance we will train talented and well educated young generation and after training we will get them in politics and make their victory assured. In 10 to 12 years you will observe great transformation. Today I have proved through my work that leadership training is inevitabile and dire necessity of present times. Now people are coming forward to join our organization in order to extend their support and cooperation to leadership program.

S.Yaqub: How do you train them? On what aspect do you focus more?

A. Mujeeb Khan: There are two characteristic of leadership. One is character which consists of integrity, honesty, authenticity, commitment, attitude, moral values, higher purpose and being responsible to others, and another is skill and ability to cope up with tough situation. One more thing I would like to add to the characteristic of leadership is that a leader takes pain and he/she has ability to understand the concerns and problems of people. So our training combines both.

S.Yaqub: It seems hard to train everyone coming with some unlike qualities and skills?

A. Mujeeb Khan: This is our uniqueness and individuality. We train every individual according to the need and his ability. We manage appropriate curriculum and right staff for him and provide him project based learning so that he learns fast and implements it efficiently wherever he requires. We do not impose any thing on him. When he joins us we give him some time to explore and judge himself. It is he who decides what he has to do and after admission in chosen course he puts his hundred percent to excel.

S.Yaqub: What do you expect from people and Muslim community?

A. Mujeeb Khan: I need mentors who could come along with me. Believe me, we can change the destiny of our country and our people. As far as Muslim community is concerned I would say spending money on conferences and meetings is not the solution of the problem, we need proper planning, and we need to take care of every single penny. We can do wonder if community comes forward. I would like to invite sincere members of the community to work together for uplift of Muslims wherever they are. I would request the youth that they must value their time, energy and money. This is era of excellence, so you must excel in your respective field. If you need me just let me know as to what I can do for you. I am ready to walk with you. Remember, you are future of the country, you are future of your family, and you are future of the community. Learn to live life with dignity, please never hurt anyone by your words or by your action.

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on June 24, 2013. Filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on June 24, 2013. Filed under , , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

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