G. Sumdany Don is the Chief Inspirational Officer at Don Sumdany Facilitation & Consultancy. He is a “Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)” Trainer in Bangladesh. He has also completed “Facilitation and Training Skills” with certified Master-trainer Sarah Krasker at the Master Trainer Institute (France). Also trained under global facilitator and brand marketing guru Trini Amador from BHC Consulting (USA). For over four years, Don had the privilege to work for Philip Morris International (PMI), a Fortune 500 Company and represented one of the top 10 global brands in the world. Currently, he is training up 1200+ full-time employees of several corporate companies in the country. Don trains people to communicate with the customers effectively, build great teams, and inspire strong leadership among managers.
News Hour had an opportunity to take interview of him. The whole interview has been provided below.
News Hour: Thank you for your time Mr. Sumdany.
G. Sumdany Don: It’s my pleasure.
News Hour: How did you get the idea of “Don Sumdany Facilitation and consultancy”?
G. Sumdany Don: It was in the year 2014 when I was working at Philip Morris International, one of the leading multinational of in their industry. At that time, I and my wife were returning home from the airport, and on the way, my car was hijacked and I was shot in my leg. I was rushed to the hospital and was bedridden for near about 4 months. During that hiatus, I was very depressed and broke inside due to the drastic change I had to go through. Laying on that hospital bed I was wondering about the purpose of my very existence. Realizing that our life is meant for a bigger purpose and bigger dreams, I reached the conclusion that, we only should be doing what we love to do. Thus, I decided to give up my 5 years of corporate career and use my previous experience in teaching and training to start my new venture Don Sumdany Facilitation and Consultancy and it was started in June 2014.
News Hour: What services does Don Sumdany Facilitation and consultancy provide and how many people are working in your organization?
G. Sumdany Don: We provide corporate training on diversified modules, one to one coaching, certification program and we also do speaking sessions in different universities and institutions. Our services are broad and customizable as per the necessity of our corporate clients. Currently, we have a team of 5 full-time employees who looks after the different operations of Don Sumdany Facilitations and Consultancy. Apart from that, we have a pool of brand ambassadors from different universities who works with us as part of their summer internship program and extracurricular activities.
News Hour: What do you train people?
G. Sumdany Don: We train people on different soft skill modules such as Leadership and Team Building, Communication, Positive Thinking, Presentation and Grooming, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Managing People for the First Time, Train the Trainer, Customer Service, Sales Mastery and so on.
G. Sumdany Don inspires people to take a lead in their lives. He plans to do so by helping people develop new skills, by sharpening existing skills, or by making their skills relevant for the business
News Hour: Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?
G. Sumdany Don: I would say all my previous Bosses with whom I have worked with are my mentors and have had a tremendous impact on shaping my life, the learning I received from them was only possible because they loaded me with tons of workload so that I can learn and grow in the process.
News Hour: What motivates you to do what you do?
G. Sumdany Don: I believe in doing what I love. For me, the profession I am in is something I would do even if I know today is my last day alive. The only thing that motivates me at the end of the day is the ability to add value to the lives of others. When after my training, any participant comes and says that I had been the reason for a development or improvement of his life, that feeling motivates me to keep on doing what I do.
News Hour: What made you interested in motivational speaking?
G. Sumdany Don: Well, I would like to say that I am a Corporate Trainer than a motivational speaker. Motivational speaking is one of the many things that I do, but my core is corporate training and I am also a certified one to one coach. Motivational speaking or live speaking session is also part of what I do and the ability to reach and touch the lives of thousands has made me interested in being a trainer.
News Hour: What set you apart from other motivational speakers?
G. Sumdany Don: I believe, to be at the level of becoming a speaker, any individual must have some credibility. Nowadays we see a trend among everyone calling themselves a motivational speaker irrespective of what profession they belong to. The line that can be drawn between other motivational speaker and me might be my corporate background and experience as a trainer. The scope of work I have, compared to other motivational speakers is also different because of me having international certification on training as well as on One to One Coaching by American Board of NLP.
News Hour: What is the key to motivating and training people effectively?
G. Sumdany Don: The key to motivating and training people effectively is understanding the map of the world of your audience. If we know what will touch and have an impact on the audience, we can design our module accordingly. Apart from that, original content and interaction with the audience are also an integral part of effective training.
News Hour: What is the secret of being a good motivational speaker?
G. Sumdany Don: There are only two secrets to becoming good at anything: persistence and hard work.
News Hour: What is the kind of client that you deal with on a regular basis?
G. Sumdany Don: Our corporate client is from different backgrounds. We have trained multinationals, local conglomerates, group of companies and so on. Our major clients are Coca – Cola, Perfetti Van Melle, Grameenphone, BRAC, Holcim, Berger, Japan Tobacco International, H&M, Epyllion Group, Rahimafrooz, Anwar Group, Energypac, Li & Fung, ACI, Envoy Group, Syngenta, Apollo Hospitals and so on.
News Hour: How often do you travel for your talks and workshops and where all do you conduct them? What exactly do you do at a typical session?
G. Sumdany Don: We have speaking session or training outside Dhaka quite often almost in every month. The venue is often picked by the clients. Apart from these I also travel for speaking session in different universities and organizations. My typical training session is filled with tons of original content, games, activities, role-play and so on. And to have the full essence of the unique experience, attending a Don Sumdany training will be a better option.
News Hour: Since the beginning, how many workshop and training sessions you and your Don Sumdany Facilitation and consultancy conducted?
G. Sumdany Don: It is too many to have a countdown of. But in total, we have touched and inspired more than millions since the beginning.
News Hour: Please outline at least one or two instances where your motivation/training has helped people realize their potential and achieve their goals?
G. Sumdany Don: I have encountered many individuals who came up to me after my session and said he/she said they have been very depressed at some point in their lives; and after listening to my videos or attending my session, they have found motivation to relook at their lives. Every day we receive tons of messages through our facebook page, saying how our session has added value to their lives.
News Hour: Who is the inspiration behind your decision to become a trainer/motivational speaker?
G. Sumdany Don: When I was going through the phase of recovery after my accident, I used to watch a lot of videos of Robin Sharma and Tony Robbins. They are the two persons who had been my inspiration to become a trainer.
News Hour: Tell us if you had any hindrance in your path that time?
G. Sumdany Don: Starting a startup and growing it is very hard in Bangladesh. There are a lot of blockades that will come down the line. But at that moment, I recalled a theory of Malcolm Gladwell. He said every organization or individual needs to keep on going until it hits the tipping point, just like a rocket does until it hits the atmosphere. In the case of my organization, it is same, unless or until we become what we are the dream of, we have to go through with persistence and hard work.
News Hour: Apart from Don Sumdany Facilitation, did you work somewhere else?
G. Sumdany Don: I started my career from Adcomm and then moved on to PMI (Philip Morris International). Later on, I was appointed as the regional trainer of the South Asian zone at PMI. Apart from that, I have taken courses on Career Counselling and Development at East West University.
News Hour: What suggestions will you give to the newcomers in motivational speaking and training?
G. Sumdany Don: My suggestions will be very simple. Not to be the jack of all trades and master of none. Find your specialty and core concentration and keep your focus on that. Maintain your originality and never give up.
News Hour: Will you give a small motivational quote for our readers?
G. Sumdany Don: “Life will never get better, or it will never get worse. Life is as it is. You have to deal with it”
“There is only one key to success: persistence”
News Hour: Before I finish taking your interview I would like to ask about your family.
G. Sumdany Don: My father is a businessman and my mom is a housewife. I have two younger brothers and I am married for almost 5 years now.
News Hour: Thank you Mr. Sumdany for giving the interview. I wish you good luck on behalf of News Hour team.
G. Sumdany Don: It’s my pleasure to give an interview. I wish News Hour good luck. It’s doing well.
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Mehrab Masayeed Habib studied Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE) at American International University Bangladesh (AIUB). Currently, he is working for News Hour. He is passionate about automobiles. He is also the founder & trainer of Bangla Automobile School. He conducts workshops on automobile engineering at local level.