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Shamayun Miah, Technology Industry Leadership, Digital and Giving back to the Community

Shamayun Miah has an impressive background in the technology industry, not only pushing boundaries and creating innovation in the business world; he has humanitarian ambitions to make a difference and alleviate suffering. The crisis in Yemen has particularly moved him. He has helped raise awareness and raised money to provide medical equipment, access to doctors and bedding for children. Today, we spoke to Shamayun Miah to learn more about his backstory and how it has made him the person he is today.

Hi Shamayun Miah, can you begin by giving us some background on your career?

I have spent the last twenty years working in the technology industry. My career kicked off in the 1990s, working with dot-com and startups with lots of ideas and energy. I later moved to work for a management consulting firm. I’ve worked in the UK and globally and spent most of my career in leadership roles.  I was responsible for heading up the company or a division, supporting the growth ambitions, employees, and clients. I have been fortunate to work across different industries, including banking, airline, and energy. I have always been passionate about building businesses and helping my clients become successful.

My role has always been to support and enable client leadership to deliver rapid performance improvement to those facing significant operational and financial challenges or help companies accelerate their growth plans and capture market share through digital transformation.

You have been involved in raising awareness of the Yemen crisis; can you tell us more about it?

Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis globally, with around 24 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. The conflict in Yemen started in March 2015, and the human tragedy of this has been heart-breaking.   Only a small number of the health facilities are functioning in the country and many that remain lack beds, essential medical equipment, and doctors. Many of the health workers have not had a basic salary in several years. It is desperately sad and a travesty of justice that this can happen under the watch of the world.

Last year I decided to raise funds for a charity called Muslim Hands UK for the children of Yemen.  A group of friends and I got together and did a charity bike ride from London to Brighton and successfully raised £7,500, a fantastic experience for a fantastic cause.

What is the impact of the crisis on women and their children?

There are around 11 million children in Yemen. There are at least 10,000 young children who have been killed or seriously injured or have been disabled because of this conflict.  1.7 million children have been displaced, and many of the schools have been destroyed.  We now have over 2 million children who do not have access to education, further damaging their prospects. There are also thousands of young people recruited to fight in the war as child soldiers.

Due to the conflict, women and girls have been left vulnerable to inhumane violence, physical and psychological abuse, and exploitation.

I am a father of three boys, and I believe that all children, as birthrights, should have access to food, clean water and education. This conviction has motivated me to do the little that I can to bring awareness of the situation in Yeomen.

You are also a digital transformation leader; why is digital so essential for companies now?

In my view, it’s simple. Companies now face an urgent choice: go digital or go bust—those companies who do not transform in this time risk being left behind.   Take the examples of companies such as Kodak, Blockbusters, Toys R Us, which had dominated their industries, but failed to adapt, innovate, and transform over time. They lost their market lead or have gone out of business. As a business leader, my responsibility is to help clients digitally transform, innovate, and create new business models and remain relevant for the times. The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the need for companies to accelerate their digital journey.

As we digitise our companies, do you think robots and automation will take over the future human workforce?

It is predicted that robots, automation, and artificial intelligence will replace 800 million jobs globally by 2030; almost 1 in 5 jobs will be impacted by automation. Some professionals like doctors, teachers’ lawyers will be less impacted.

The shift in work is similar to what we experienced during the Industrial Revolution in the latter half of the 18th century. The workforce transitioned from labour-based to manufacturing work due to technological advancements.  The future is bright as some jobs go due to automation; new roles, skills, and opportunities will be created. We saw this in the 1980s with the introduction of the personal computer, which made a new IT global workforce.

How can companies prepare their workforce for a digital future?

Companies need to ensure that digital is fully integrated into their strategy and becomes part of their culture.  Disruptive technology is changing the way we work and the nature of the work.  Employees need to think about future career paths, what digital skills and competencies they need as the market, their companies change and grow.  To make the most of the digital opportunity, companies and employees should focus their efforts on building new skills around, Cloud, Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Quantum computing and other disruptive technologies.

Companies need stronger partnerships with schools, colleagues, and universities; the next generation of innovators and digital leaders needs to have an increasingly creative and lateral-thinking skillset.  Soft skills will become even more critical, such as emotional intelligence, adaptability, and resilience.

Shamayun Miah, finally, what are your plans for the future?

I am very much enjoying what I am doing.  I continue to develop new skills, work on exciting projects, and create new networks.  My long-term ambition is to get more involved in charity work, maybe even head up or start a charity to empower women and children in developing nations.   I would also like to help startups and entrepreneurs in the early stage of building their businesses with my knowledge and expertise. I believe in community and the concept of ‘giving back, which is necessary to support and mentor the future leaders, and from a personal perspective, incredibly rewarding. I do this now in informal ways, but I’ll be trying to carve more time and prioritise this in the longer term.

Thank you, Shamayun Miah, for your time!