Zaheer Abbas Sayed, Director at Financial Planning Academy
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Zaheer Abbas Sayed : I joined Financial Planning Academy (FPA) a few years after it was already in existence, however the product we launched was ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountant) which was a new ball game for all the promoters. As I was already into training at various colleges and pvt institutes for several years, realised that training was my passion, so followed the inner calling and set up the ACCA vertical at FPA.
Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by Financial Planning Academy
Zaheer Abbas Sayed : We provide training for several professional and globally accepted courses like ACCA, CFP, CMA, CPA and soon launching CFA as well. So it's a one stop shop for students who want to upskill for this very challenging and constantly evolving job market.
Great Companies: What makes Financial Planning Academy different from hundreds of other Financial Educational Institutes?
Zaheer Abbas Sayed : Our mission is to bridge the knowledge gap between academics and industry, for which we work with colleges across all the cities like Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Raipur, etc. Our constant endeavour is to make sure students are ready for the intense demands of working in an industry, something they don't realise while at College and Uni.
So not only do we provide training for these courses, we provide placement assistance where we use our extensive B2B network to place them at Big 4's and MNC's as well as train them for interviews, help prepare resumes, etc. So we are with the students throughout their journey, from a student who just cleared their 10th exams to a qualified working professional.
Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?
Zaheer Abbas Sayed : Covid has been a difficult time for all including us since it's not always easy to convince the students to study online, let alone for such high intense courses like ACCA. However we overcame this struggle fairly quickly where the students realised that our online sessions were equally good if not better than the face to face classroom sessions. This helped us immensely; and despite the working capital challenges that we faced at the outbreak of covid, we were able to comfortably close the financial year including never before hikes to the team members.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for a Financial Planning Academy?
Zaheer Abbas Sayed : We are focusing all our energies to utlise the Tech to the max possible. We have recently invested in a big way on Learning Management Systems, Telephony system, Internal Control and MIS, all of this is done to lay the groundwork of becoming a Global player in delivery of international qualifications. We have recently set up a centre at Bahrain, and soon opening up at Mauritius with plans to cover most of the middle east and south eastern countries over the next 3 years. So lots happening, and we want to thank all the students, colleges, partners and most importantly our team members who have kept faith in us over the years and helped us grow from strength to strength.
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Zaheer Abbas Sayed : Find the right people to work with, even if the returns are less and slow, ensure you are surrounded by people you can trust and blindly put faith in. The entrepreneurial journey is like a roller-coaster ride, and you need the right people when things go down for it to come back again.