GII Feature: Razzaq Reyal
Friday Sep 18,2020 | IIE News
Razzaq Reyal is a Year 4 Economics Student. He joined Health at Home as a Business Analyst Intern as part of GII Thailand in 2019.
Being interested in entrepreneurship, he aspires to work in the startup scene or have his own startup someday. Given that GII partners with startups across the region, it was a natural fit for Razzaq to apply to GII to truly experience how working in one is like.
In this interview, we ask him more on his experience at Health at Home Co. Th., a health-tech startup that provides a platform for on-demand caregiver across Thailand.
What was your motivation for a GII internship in summer?
Having the opportunity to work overseas is unique to me. I grow up around people who have always been working in different parts of the world. To be given the chance to experience that in a short term seemed like an exciting opportunity for me.
Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset
My role was business analyst where the company tasked me to compare and analyze their business processes and proposed and implemented improvements. A main bulk of my time was devoted to the company’s financial modeling for pitching to investors during the company’s Series A fundraising.
Given the fact that I had no formal background in finance and accounting, I was determined to tackle the task at hand. Google became my best friend for that few weeks to make things work. I believe I seized the opportunity to take up a project that I was not ready for but learn along the way to make things work and gain useful knowledge along the way.
I was given the liberty to come up with the company’s future projections that were used for their Series-A investment round. I had no prior experience in this, except for the fact that I read a lot on startup contents anywhere and everywhere, from the internet and books. It has always been a learning process throughout, and I am glad that I was able to manage the difficulty well.
To me, having an entrepreneurial mindset means that I make the most of the opportunity given to me, overcoming and learning from the setbacks that happened, and then succeed in some way or another.
Getting the Right People on the Right Bus
Throughout my internship period, I see the bosses devote a lot of time (I mean A LOT) on recruitment. They are always looking through the stack of applicants and coming to office really early to interview candidates. They told me that getting the right individuals for any company is the most important thing, which I totally agree.
I am thankful that they place high emphasis on company culture. It is important to employees because workers are more likely to enjoy their time in the workplace when they fit in. The people at Health at Home clearly showed that they enjoy coming to work and their conduct were in line with the company culture of being Speedy, Innovative and having Empathy. I am really appreciative that the founders of the company are really good at managing people and their expectations.
Throughout my internship stint, I was given the chance to do some awesome things that built my sense of belonging to the company. I shared about myself, made arts and craft stationary for a CSR initiative, visit a nursing home in Bangkok, attend South-east Asia’s largest start-up Techsauce summit, try out 1,001 different types of food, snacks and desserts and many more!
What is something you learned that will stick with you post-GII?
Do not be shy, ask more! I intentionally typed out this point in an ambiguous way so it will have multiple interpretations like “Don’t be shy, ask for more work”, “Don’t be shy, ask more about what you don’t know” or “Don’t be shy, ask for more help”. In essence, I would like to bring out a point that we (including myself) should go out of our comfort zone to ask about almost anything (just don’t go beyond the boundaries). Ultimately, we will not lose anything. In fact, we will enrich ourselves with information that might be useful to us, maybe not now but in the future.
Why should students take on an overseas internship with IIE?
The internship opportunities offered are very unique. It provides a good stepping stone for those who would like to be part of the startup ecosystem. Students can widen their understanding about doing business in a different country. The amount of red tapes that one country may have while it is easy to do business in Singapore.
This experience will give students a good prequel on whether working abroad after graduation is something that they really want to pursue.
What is a piece of advice or tip for a student on how to make the most of GII?
Immerse yourself with the lifestyle there. Mix with the locals to understand their way of life. Not everything that we see on the media clearly reflects the reality. Take GII as a learning journey for yourself towards discovering your possible career choices or for any other future pursuits.
Time flies when you are having fun. Make full use of your undergraduate period towards discovering on what you want to do!
Global Innovation Immersion (GII) is a 3-month virtual/overseas internship at innovation hotspots, where you get to immerse yourself in the startup / innovation ecosystem, work alongside entrepreneurial minds and expand your connections in a foreign market.
Applications are open now for summer 2021! Feel free to sign up for the info session or iie-gii [at] smu.edu.sg (email) us for queries.