Pick a random 24 year old from the street. Or pick two. You know what, gather as many 24-year-olds you can and ask them about what they are doing with their lives. The answers will vary, but most of them will probably fall in one of these two categories: Unbothered or unsure.
At 24, Shamim Munshi is living the life many his age couldn’t dare dream of. Instead of chasing shadows, Shamim is focused on a greater purpose and is the President and General Manager of Global Incentives Manufacturing (GIM), a large textile manufacturing factory based in Bangladesh.
Leading the factory, in meeting the diverse needs of its global customer base through a wide range of services including the production of clothing, such as shirts and ties to shoes and boots. We sat down with Shamim Munshi in this interview, as he shares with us his life as a young leader in charge of a huge company.
“I pride myself in my decision to open production lines to smaller quantities for designers who are just starting out,” he says. “Of course, I am aware of the costs. I am fully aware of how this can sometimes deter fashion entrepreneurs from moving forward with the production of their dreams.”
“This is the decision I took because I believe everyone should be given the opportunity to easily access quality products for their blossoming businesses. Everyone deserves a shot at greatness.”
Shamim himself has been privileged to work under a corporation that rewards hard work and talent. As a subsidiary of Venture Beyond (VENBEYCAP). According to Munshi VENBEYCAPhas served as an enabling platform for Shamim to maximize his talents and potentials.
Munshi talks about how well those leading the company have instilled in all their teams across the map a strong sense of independence and the importance of entrepreneurship to the community and the world at large.
“It is through them that I am able to really see a better future for myself.” Munshi credits Entrepreneur Courtney Jordan who founded the VENBEYCAP for instilling a culture throughout the ‘portfolio’ that rewards hard work rather than looking at age or gender. “I was a young talented guy with a big dream. [Courtney] Jordan became a mentor to me. He would never stop reminding me of how much potential I have.” At this point, Munshi starts to laugh hard and with a blushed face say “He would look at me in the eyes encourage me to focus my time on pushing forward. He would tell me that anything I want can be mine if I focus less on the BS” Exclaiming, “please excuse my french.”
We would excuse his french, for someone like Munshi, a young man fluent in 4 languages, a little, ugh, French should be expected. We told him.
Apparently, he is in good company. We would know after his laugh.
“You know one thing I love about Mr. Jordan? His intolerance of BS. He is a hard person, the type of person who will cuss you out and call you on whatever he sees you doing wrong. He does not play around with you or pamper you. He’s a very interesting person, to say the least.” He laughed again.
“To give you a better picture, if Courtney Jordan is your mentor, it is essentially like being thrown in a Lion’s den. If he spots your potential and sees you not living up to it, be ready for some not so nice conversations.”
“Whatever you sow here, you reap – no room for favoritism. If you are on your toes and keep delivering to the best of your abilities, he’ll encourage and celebrate you. But if you rest and get too soft and comfortable, well, let’s just say you won’t be that soft for long. He will make sure you get the message clearly. I admire that!”
“Being the President and Manager of GIM is a huge privilege for me. It is an opportunity for me to keep showing what I am capable of. What makes me even prouder [sic] is that I have earned my place. I am so happy to be a part of something bigger than myself. I have had some incredible achievements, but I know that this is not the best I can get. I know that, as I keep contributing to the greater vision, I can keep moving up and taking on more responsibilities. It is really a great privilege to be of service to humanity.”
“Seeing Mandee [Woodard] and Heather [Montgomery] as heads of our parent company, I am continually inspired and see for myself that anything is possible. Mandee was just here personally for 2 weeks. All through her visit, she kept asking me about my interests, always encouraging me to explore them here. I was like, ‘Wow! What a place to be!’”
Munshi talks about how this has inspired how he oversees more than 60 staff personnel, living in Bangladesh. “It is amazing, he says. Every day, I get to see the beauty in the people that come to work here. They just love the opportunity to work and provide for their families.”
When asked if his age ever gets in the way of him garnering respect, he says no. “Here, it is about how hard your work. When people see you working hard and looking out for them, they respect you.
I didn’t position myself as a boss, but as the person who cares and looks at them as people. If anything I believe my age is a benefit.”
“I am open to people and fun to be around. I have my hobbies, just like any other. I am connected to the world through Twitter and Instagram [@ShamimBigboss]. I observe how people think. I learn from the views of people from across different classes and terrains. I have a better view of the world and what is right and wrong.”
“I love film and television, not just as a consumer but also as a producer. I am so much in love with the art of photography and cinematography. As a hobby, I’m learning to master the craft and hope to move within the ranks to one day work as an executive within the company producing movies and TV shows. That would be a thrill!”
“I have always had vivid dreams of what I want of life. It reminds me of my days growing up in Thakurgaon with my family. I lived and played like every other kid. I loved football and Cricket a lot. Yet, as young as I was, I knew I wasn’t like everyone else. I think differently, pay so much attention to details and have this outlook that is unmatched for my age. I see the world in a totally different light.”
“Remember I was just a kid then. So, I don’t really have a full grasp of what that is all about. I kept taking each day at a time and following my gut as I pursued my dream. I took my chances and moved to Chittagong, where I was working at a hotel. As providence would have it, I met the entrepreneur Courtney Jordan. And, as they say, the rest is history. [sic]”
No one in that office left uninspired. We can’t stop thinking. Here is a 24-year-old man firmly in charge of a company. Even more importantly, he is in charge of his life. There is a lot to take away, but we boiled it down to a sentence.
When talent and hard work find an enabling environment, magic happens!
And the story of Shamim Munshi is nothing short of that. We can only keep our fingers crossed as this magic continues to work itself.
***story updated with the merger of sommagazine; all sommagazine articles are being migrated over to vents, and republished. ***