We talked to Farhad Alessandro Mohammadi, founder and CEO at Mamazen, about startup building, and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Farhad Alessandro Mohammadi: Thanks for asking. Luckily, my family and I are doing good. This pandemic has affected a lot of people’s lives. Unfortunately is not only a health matter. My thoughts go to many small businesses such as restaurants, sports clubs, and artists that have been deeply affected. They have a lot of difficulties getting a decent life and pursuing their business. I think that everyone should help them as much as possible by contributing financially. Personally, I’m trying to support them as much as I can. Definitely, the government must take immediate action.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Mamazen.
Farhad Alessandro Mohammadi: I have over 12 years of experience in the digital field, 7 of which as an entrepreneur and an exit with my former startup Pony Zero. In the past, I’ve managed the Bakeca sales team and, after that, I’ve set up and coordinated Glamoo.com’s internal and external sales team as Commercial Director, contributing to the startup’s exit.
In 2013 I co-founded Pony Zero, a company that passed from zero to 6 million in annual revenues in just five years, acquired in 2018 by Cigierre Spa. After this experience, given all the lessons learned, I’ve explored the Startup Studio Approach. I sincerely believe (luckily, data confirm my thoughts) that this method is the best and more scalable way of building Startups, so I founded Mamazen. Mamazen is the first Italian Startup Studio focused on Building SAAS companies to serve fragmented markets. I randomly make some investments on the side. I’m a Club Degli Investitori and Toniic Investments member and the Founder of Studiohub: the most extensive European Startup Studio network.
How does Mamazen innovate?
Farhad Alessandro Mohammadi: Well, in a Studio, the key is innovation. We build companies from scratch. To launch one successful startup, you may need only luck. To throw two, you need skills. But to launch several ones, you need a model. Our model is quite simple. The Studio cares for the new startups’ early needs: provides a safe for growth environment, full-stack competencies, and talent attraction.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Farhad Alessandro Mohammadi: In our case, the pandemic has done some good things. Our Building thesis is that future will be as a service, and digitalization will automatize and make many processes flawless. The pandemic has accelerated this path; habits are changing, so our startups are growing fast. We are in the right place at the right time. Mamazen’s mission is to change the way of creating companies by automating processes to generate impact at scale. We believe in democratizing assets through a SAAS approach using the power of data and machine learning to allow everyone to defend and grow their assets.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Farhad Alessandro Mohammadi: Gladly, since our business is performing well, we had the chance to increase our team. We’ve gone fully remote to ensure our employee’s health. By doing that, we discovered the freedom of letting people work from wherever they love the most. This freedom is something that we want to keep. We trust our people; we believe that results are more important than being present in an office. We decided not to go back, so we decided to face this challenge and make it an opportunity. I would say that until now is paying well.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Farhad Alessandro Mohammadi: Well, by going remote, we had to adapt. We learned new skills and adopted new tools. We use project management tools such as Trello and communications tools such as Google Meet, Zoom, and Slack. We also have tools to monitor our KPI’s. Of course, the remote also has some challenges, such as keeping the company culture alive. We are creative, so we found ways to keep relations alive and boost and support our team in these difficult times.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Farhad Alessandro Mohammadi: Not really. But, again, luckily, there were no needs for.
Your final thoughts?
Farhad Alessandro Mohammadi: I hope this pandemic will help humanity understand that we are all part of the same World. We all face the same challenges; we must meet them together, care for each other.
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