About Hazim Gaber
Hazim Gaber is a mechanical engineer with an extensive business and technology background. Since 2018, he serves as the CEO of three Engineering corporations, overseeing every aspect of the business including strategy, program management, and business development. He has received multiple bachelor’s degrees in the field of science and engineering, first from MacEwan University in 2013, then at the University of Calgary in 2014, and finally from the University of Alberta in 2017. He is an RCDD—Registered Communications Distribution Designer.
In 2017, he developed the course, Design & Deploy an Enterprise WiFi Network, which he teaches at Udemy and is currently developing other courses. His rich background in business and technology has been applied to serving Fortune 500 clients including Walmart, GM, Ford, and Apple.
Where did your passion for mechanical engineering come from?
I always liked taking stuff apart and seeing how it worked. I am always naturally curious about how things work, even now. It isn’t just mechanical devices, I have interests in many other areas as well.
What inspired you to accept a position at Udemy?
I like teaching others, and I like making other people feel good. I like seeing people learn new skills and use them to improve their careers and deliver a better life for themselves and their families. I also find that teaching something to somebody is a great way to learn.
What is unique about the brand that sets you apart from your competition?
Never saying no. Whenever a customer comes to us with a problem, we work to find a solution. That has allowed us to become a one-stop shop for our customers so that they don’t have to look elsewhere. It has dramatically improved our ability to deliver efficient services, and it also allows us to improve the skills of our employees. We also work to understand our customer’s business, not just the technical aspect. This allows us to tailor our products and services to the customer.
Looking back on the last five years of your career, what’s the highlight?
Adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed us to launch our construction business and bring in millions in additional revenue, writing over ten books, and being appointed by BISCI to help rewrite the low-voltage building codes.
What does a typical day look like for you as a CEO?
I don’t have a typical day, the situation is always dynamic and I have to adapt. Running a business across Canada with over 100 projects on the go at any given time means that I always have different things happening. I generally make a list of tasks that I need to accomplish and then I can focus on getting everything done.
Name the top two or three lessons you learned from your experience as CEO of HSM Global.
Talk to everybody. Everybody, no matter their role or background has something important to contribute, and being able to consider their perspective is really important to our success. Help everybody on the team to see the big picture, and not just their role, so that they have a greater sense of accomplishment, and are motivated to do better. Offer excellent customer service and communicate well with everybody – customers, employees, and vendors – especially when there is a problem. People are willing to work with you as long as you are open with them no matter what happens. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and try something new – business is all about solving problems and so expanding into another industry can be very rewarding.
How do you incorporate new strategies/tactics in your business?
We look to see what problems people are facing that we can solve. We listen to what products/services our customers are looking for: What will make their business better/more efficient/profitable? How does your product/service make more money for your customer?
Name a necessary skill that is crucial to be successful as a mechanical engineer.
Getting some hands-on experience is the most important thing. It is easy for an engineer to draw out the design on paper but having the experience to understand how your design fits into the real world and how people are going to put it together is important Is my design practical? Is my design cost-effective? Are the materials readily available? Is it easy to install and maintain? You learn a lot of things in university but there is so much information and very little of it is practical.
University does not teach you how the world actually works and certainly does not teach you anything about running a business. Customers don’t care much about the technical side of things – that is why they hire you. You need to be able to understand the customer’s business and explain your solution to them in terms that they understand.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would have focused more on the education side of our business, and on areas that provide recurring revenue. I was more focused on the type of work that only paid when something broke. But once everything was fixed, money stopped flowing in. There is a lot more money to be made on the management side of IT. Customers don’t want to think about IT, they just want it to work.
What do you envision for the future of your business?
The future of the business is to expand our construction and engineering operations across Canada and take on much larger projects. We are already providing IT services across Canada. Then the much longer-term strategy is to use the money to set up manufacturing operations here in Alberta and create many more jobs, God willing.
To learn more about Hazim Gaber check out his website: hsmglobal.ca