There is no one path to becoming a capable leader. However, all capable leaders have a few common traits. They are innovative and creative; they take risks, and they don’t give up in the face of challenges. They also have amazing ideas and the determination to see them through.
Furthermore, good leadership can help to establish company culture and the developmental direction of an organization. Not to mention, there are many examples of good leadership in the business world. And one of them is Salman Khan, the President and CEO of The Gideon Group.
Meet The Salman
Advisory and capital markets, trading and hedging, funds management, asset financing, asset monetization, and research are all areas of Salman’s broad expertise. Under his exemplary leadership and guidance, The Gideon Group is growing by leaps and bounds. The industrious leader promotes teamwork, cultivates a sense of the greater good, motivates & inspires trust within the team, and fosters an environment that allows for creative and unique solutions.
Prior to The Gideon Group, Salman held many key level positions in leading organizations, like Managing Director of Avio Diepen BV, Global Head of Sterling & Wilson (a Shapoorji Palonji Company), and Regional Director of Jazeera Airways-Kuwait, where he was responsible for developing creative financial solutions to difficult funding problems.
From this, the versatile leader saw a chance to use his special financial structuring skills for big corporate clients and governments for whom traditional financing techniques would not work. And that’s how The Gideon Group saw the light of day.
Bridge Financial Gaps
Salman joined the Gideon group in 2016 As the President and CEO with a mission to deliver bespoke financial solutions to governments and large corporate clients everywhere in the world. Under his exemplary leadership, the company provides capital advisory and structuring on a fee-for-service basis, as well as capital access and direct investment.
Its funding programs require clients to provide collaterals in the form of a sovereign guarantee, standby letter of credit, off-take agreement, or the like, which will be used to secure its loan to the client. “Our expertise and culture of innovation allow us to develop bespoke financial solutions to meet the unique needs of clients across the capital spectrum and across the globe,” says Salman.
The workforce of The Gideon Group is incredibly diversified, and everyone knows that when a client comes to them with a problem, they have typically tried all other traditional avenues to solve it. Thus, Salman’s and his team’s expectation is to look creatively at each situation and develop a proposed solution without regard for how it might initially look or sound.
“Our tagline is, “Global Corporate and Project Financing.””
This unique culture teaches them that there is always a solution to a problem if those involved are prepared to work hard and be creative enough to find one. Thus, they have become the preferred choice of their clients.
Tackling Pandemic Challenges
According to Salman, his company, like the majority of businesses, was significantly impacted by the global pandemic. Many of his clients and business partners underwent substantial changes, including, in some cases, a total closure in their operations. The Gideon Group, too, had to respond rapidly to an ever-changing climate by decreasing overhead and modifying staffing levels. Despite these difficulties, the leading company was able to continue operating and even grow more slowly than Salman had hoped.
The Hardest Decision
The Salman was forced to make extremely difficult operational and personnel decisions during the pandemic in order to adapt to a constantly shifting environment and keep his company focused on its revenue and profitability targets. In some cases, this meant laying off employees and ending strategic alliances, some of which had been in place for many years. “However, I learned that making these difficult decisions early on, rather than postponing them until the full extent of the pandemic was known, helped us return to profitability much sooner than would have otherwise been possible,” says Salman.
The Most Important Values
When asked to share, values that are most important to him as a leader, Salman replied, “From an internal perspective, work ethic and perseverance. I give our staff a great deal of latitude as it relates to work environment and work hours, but they will always be measured against their ability to produce. From a client perspective, what is most important is transparency.”
He further adds, “Too often clients face difficult financial challenges for which they are hesitant to reveal the full extent of the problem. In these instances, we have found ourselves wasting a lot of time that could have been avoided if the client had simply been more transparent from the beginning.”
The year 2023 will be exciting for The Gideon Group, according to Salman. The company will focus on two strategies –
1) Its assessment of existing market, and 2) Its view of the economic conditions for new market which is the SARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) region, which includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, is going to be one of the company’s most important milestones.
Salman and his team plan to change their views and take some risks with the vision of turning them into rewards on a mid term basis for their new target market (SARC). Plus, they can turn positive in different ways, such by evaluating the existing market or determining how much damage control should be planned for the future market.
“I believe in experiencing things myself and am learning everyday through my own mistakes.”
As the President and CEO of Gideon Group, Salman has observed that despite supply disruptions brought on by the COVID-19, he sees three long-term challenges that will maintain the current global position in place and inflation above pre-pandemic levels: ageing populations, geopolitical fragmentation, and the transition to a lower-carbon world.
Forecasts and expectations in the market have begun to recognise that inflation will become more enduring, which indicates the need for additional sovereign development, which in turn addresses a need for nation wide development for their market/s. “We don’t see a return to conditions that will sustain the kind we experienced in the prior decade. Asset and portfolio mix is very important, this confirms our diversified approach for 2023,” says Salman.
Words of Wisdom from CEO Salman
As a key player, Salman shares a message for our readers, “No problem is too complex or too difficult to solve if everyone involved is committed to finding creative solutions without regard for who gets the credit. Sometimes those solutions look nothing like what was originally envisioned, but what is most important is a process that encourages dialogue and dissent with mutual respect.”
He further adds, “We live in a rapid evolving World now. We want instant results because that’s what we’ve become accustomed to. We can literally buy something from Amazon and have it delivered in an hour. But that’s not how life, trade or money works–like at all. we better get accustomed for long term goals and targets going forward business and investing is only going to get tougher. YouTube,Facebook, TikTok and Instagram are NOT a good indicator of how much time, dedication, and work goes into building a business or achieving success”
“We specialize in difficult-to-fund opportunities where conventional financing is simply not an option.”
Life Or Success Mantra
When asked to share life or success mantra, Salman replied, “My mantra is one which is a quote by Dr. Abdul Kalam – IF YOU FAIL NEVER GIVE UP BECAUSE FAIL MEANS “FIRST ATTEMPT IN LEARNING””.