Name: Anas Niaz
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Anas Niaz, Founder & CEO of Bioniks, a social enterprise that provides innovative solutions to empower individuals with limb differences and other physical disabilities to regain their mobility, independence, and quality of life.
We use advanced technology and cutting-edge engineering techniques to create custom-designed , A I powered, brain controlled, affordable bionic limbs and other assistive devices for all age groups that are tailored to the specific needs and preferences of each individual.
Under my visionary leadership, Bioniks has successfully empowered over 600 individuals with limb differences globally .
My achievements extend beyond my role at Bioniks. I won the first prize in The Startup Gen, a digital reality show for startups, organized by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF). I won Future Star competition at GITEX GLOBAL,
Bioniks was selected among the 100 meaningful businesses of 2022. Recently, Forbes recognized me in their 30 under 30 list, further solidifying my reputation as one of the youngest and most influential CEO.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Anas's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
As a leader, to find an assembling and maintaining a high-performing team is a significant challenge. Finding the right talent, a strong professional team , ensuring teamwork, and managing conflicts are difficult.
Another challenge is to stay motivated and keep your team motivated regardless of the challenges and struggles we face .
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
My journey began in a small town of Pakistan called Nawabshah, where I received my primary education. I was elected as the head boy of my school and college, and I won several awards in sports and debate competitions. I went on to complete my BE Mechatronics from SZABIST Karachi, where I was elected as the President of both the SZABIST lions club Karachi and ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) during my second and third years.
Before founding Bioniks, I started my career as a radio host at a young age and worked for more than 3 years in this field. I then began working as an entrepreneur and launched my own company, Viscous.co, which specializes in product designing and development during my undergraduate studies . It was during this time when I was approached by a family of a 5-year old boy who was born with congenital limb difference. The family asked us to design and develop a prosthetic for him and we did it . When the news of our iron man themed ( as desired by the kid) prosthetic published , we were approached by a number of people who were in need of advanced functional prosthesis . It was the time we realised the need for advanced functional prostheses in my country, which led us to start Bioniks in 2016.
Since then, Bioniks has made a significant impact on the lives of many people with limb differences and other disabilities.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I wake up early in the morning 6:00 am and start my day with physical exercise, either jogging , swimming or cardio exercise to stay healthy and maintain high energy levels during the day .
I take shower and have a good nutritious breakfast.
I go to my office , and plan my day while having my black coffee .
I interact with my team and make sure everyone and everything is well and keep them motivated.
I have meetings scheduled for all day and I carry on my meetings .
I take out some time to quickly go through my weekly , monthly and annual goals and see how progressive things are.
I had back home in evening. Have dinner with my family and watch something productive or motivating on Netflix .
Then before going to bed I quickly take a recap of my day and evaluate how productive I have been and what improvements I need to make to be more efficient and progressive .
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
One crucial lesson that I have recently learnt is to lead by example via my actions and behaviour set the tone for my team, so demonstrating the qualities and work ethic I expect from others is essential in effective leadership.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The book “Rich Dad , Poor Dad” has taught me essential things for being a good effective leader . I learnt the following things and that helped me to grow as a leader .
Financial Education: The book emphasizes the importance of financial literacy and education to make informed money decisions.
Assets vs. Liabilities: Distinguish between assets and liabilities.
Entrepreneurship: Encourages an entrepreneurial mindset and creating passive income streams.
Importance of Investing: Emphasizes investing in stocks, real estate, and small businesses to build wealth.
Risk Management: Understand that taking calculated risks is essential for financial growth.
Avoid the Rat Race: Break free from the cycle of working for a paycheck and instead strive to make money work for you.
Mindset Shift: The book promotes a shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset when it comes to money and wealth.
Financial Independence: Focus on achieving financial independence and not relying solely on a job for income.
Learn from Mistakes: Don't fear making mistakes but see them as opportunities to learn and grow.
Teaching and Learning: Teach financial principles to your children and continue to educate yourself.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Remember that leadership is a journey not a destination so never stop learning and seeking personal growth. The more you know, the better you can lead and model the behaviour and work ethic you expect from your team.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
When providing functional bionic limbs to individuals with limb differences, we often encounter people from diverse backgrounds who share their heart-wrenching stories. Last year we had a young girl as our beneficiary who had lost both her arms from the shoulder joints in a very tragic electrocution accident . She was living a life of complete dependence, unable to eat, drink, or perform even the simplest tasks on her own. Her case was among the most challenging we'd encountered.
During her pre-prosthetic training at our rehabilitation clinic , she had a profound encounter. She met another patient, a man who had lost one arm and was blind. This meeting left her in a deep contemplative silence. When I inquired about her feelings, she shared her inner turmoil.
She had always believed that her life was the epitome of misery, but after encountering a blind man with a missing hand, her perspective underwent a dramatic shift. It was in that poignant moment that she realized the blessing of her vision. This story is a powerful reminder of how one's perspective can change in an instant, highlighting the strength of the human spirit and the capacity to find gratitude in the face of adversity.
Her perception taught me the importance of gratitude, resilience, empathy, and compassion, showcasing how understanding others' struggles can lead to a deeper appreciation for one's own life and a renewed sense of empathy. Additionally, it showcases the role of supportive communities and innovative solutions in improving the lives of individuals with disabilities, ultimately serving as a poignant reminder that hope, gratitude, and personal growth can be found even in the face of adversity.