Influential Ajaz offers hope to town business

Digital Scarborough 2012. 'Ajaz Ahmed, one of the world's most inspirational and successful business leaders and founder of Freeserve, gives the keynote speech at Woodend Creative Workspace.'121171c. Picture Kevin Allen.'17/03/12.
Digital Scarborough 2012. 'Ajaz Ahmed, one of the world's most inspirational and successful business leaders and founder of Freeserve, gives the keynote speech at Woodend Creative Workspace.'121171c. Picture Kevin Allen.'17/03/12.

Digital visionary Ajaz Ahmed visited the town to deliver his highly-valued business acumen during a talk at Woodend Creative Workspace.

Mr Ahmed, who founded the massive internet service provider Freeserve in 1998, spoke at the Digital Scarborough 2012 event and scores of guests about the future of business in the digital age.

Digital Scarborough 2012. 'Ajaz Ahmed, one of the world's most inspirational and successful business leaders and founder of Freeserve, gives the keynote speech at Woodend Creative Workspace.'121171b. Picture Kevin Allen.'17/03/12.

Digital Scarborough 2012. 'Ajaz Ahmed, one of the world's most inspirational and successful business leaders and founder of Freeserve, gives the keynote speech at Woodend Creative Workspace.'121171b. Picture Kevin Allen.'17/03/12.

Mr Ahmed, who has spoken in conferences and meetings across the globe, told the Evening News success in the cut-throat industry was tough, but equally accessible.

He added businesses and individuals who were continually falling behind in the digital race could face a harsh backlash.

He said: “You have to keep on re-inventing yourself because without realising the world has gone on to the next phase.

“We have gone from the computer to the smart phone and tablet.

“They are the future and anyone still functioning on their desktop computer and going to get left behind.

“It is not about software now, it is about the apps on mobile phones and tablets.”

“The world is not moving, it has moved and companies that are not doing that are the ones going out of business.

“If you have a good product you cannot just keep on doing that and running with it.

“You have to adapt because people will come along with a better model and take it from under your feet.”

Mr Ahmed revealed his determination and will to succeed derived from a humble bread advertisement which propelled him into action.

The former Dixons store worker, who quit his job to launch Freeserve, said the lingering image of a former factory worker clutching a carriage clock as a retirement gift really stirred him into working hard towards achieving his goals.

He said: “I though to myself, that man had worked all his life and what has he got to show for it?

“That made me reflect and think when I retired I wanted to be able to look back and say ‘I made a difference’”.

And Mr Ahmed also had some key words of advice for business people in Scarborough.

He added: “One of the key lessons is that business is not difficult.

“The hardest part is not coming up with an idea but finding people who believe in the vision and can see the potential.

“However, just because everyone cannot see it, that doesn’t mean that it work.”

Andrew Clay, director at Woodend, said Mr Ahmed’s visit was a real coup for Scarborough and would build on some solid and successful foundations in the town.

He said: “It is always very exciting to welcome entrepreneurs from across the world into our midst and it is always extremely interesting to listen to someone as successful as Ajaz.

“It was fascinating to hear about the challenges and the journey that he has been on.

“Scarborough is teeming with entrepreneurs and very innovative people and it is important that we support that.”