Driving home past midnight were Ghulam Sumdany Don and his wife. They were returning to their Bashundhara residence after dropping one of their friends off at the airport. As their car stood at the gate of their home, waiting for the guard to unlock it, they found themselves in an unprecedented and baffling situation. A biker gang had encircled them with one of them demanding Don to come out of the car. He and his wife froze, stunned at the situation which had escalated in mere seconds. Upon realizing that the neighbours and the guard would become aware of what was happening, the biker took out a pistol and took a shot at Don. Fortunately enough, the bullet deflected through the window and pierced his leg. Don and his wife were pulled out of their car and the muggers drove hastily with what was supposedly Don's entire lifesaving.
“I come from a humble background. I had put in all the money I had saved from my time teaching in East West University and University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh and all that I had earned in Philip Morris,” recalled Don with a tinge of sadness overtaking his jolly personality. “I was lost and had fallen into depression. My performance at work had dropped; nothing in life seemed fulfilling as I was slowly becoming suicidal,” he continued. “Years of hard work seemed to have died out and I felt I was slowly going into oblivion. Every day was another day of renewed struggle; struggle to fight back into feeling alive once again.”
Don wanted meaning in his life and so he quit his job in Philip Morris exactly a year after the harrowing incident and spent four months at home creating the Don Sumdany brand. That one near-death experience catapulted him into taking the leap of faith and incepting a unique sector which no one in the country had tapped into before. With nothing else to possibly lose, Don marched forward with his passion to teach as he formed a corporate training agency. He pulled himself together and braced himself to face the world come what may, and the rest, as they say, is history. Since founding Don Sumdany Facilitation and Consultancy, he has worked with world renowned companies such as H&M, Marks and Spencer, GrameenPhone and more than 20 other companies.
Ghulam Sumdany Don's journey to becoming one of the top corporate trainers of the country can be traced back to his time in the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh where he enrolled in a workshop under its founder Dr. Anis. The workshop focused on the importance of extracurricular activities, CV writing, preparing oneself for an interview and all those basic nuances which will prepare the students for the outside world, to take the world head-on and realise their dream, braving all odds. Partaking in the 'Career Vision' workshop, Don realised the unabated potential one has in order to accomplish their dreams with utmost dedication and effort. Following graduation, he expressed his desire to his faculty for conducting the course on his behalf and was granted permission. His passion for training and teaching led him to being invited to speak in universities such as East West University, Dhaka University, North South University and many more. By now, he had sowed the seed to becoming a renowned professional trainer and inspirational speaker.
Being an internationally certified trainer and having certification in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), rest assured that under Don's guidance, you will not go astray, but instead be guided to excellence.
“The market misunderstands me as being a motivational speaker only, but that is just a part of what I do. I am essentially a corporate trainer. My training programs are elaborate and can go up to 2-3 days where the trainees are involved in various activities as they learn and groom themselves in an interactive manner,” explained Don emphatically.
The rise of social media has played a vital role in making people give heed to inspirational speakers according to Don. Not only do they see it as a source of entertainment but as a fantastic tool to learn. Exposure to international icons such as Oprah Winfrey, Tony Robbins, Sandeep Maheshwari and learning about their life struggles and how they surged forward to attain happiness and excellence has given them a boost of self belief. Inspirational speakers give their listeners the push needed to shine just as they once did themselves; they are relatable and can make others feel confident in the fact that they aren't alone in this rat race called life. The speakers' stories guide them to learn how to tackle hardship; that chasing excellence will only lead to success, discipline and dedication will groom you to achieve the impossible. People feel this very connection with Ghulam Sumdany Don and hence trust him with their time and future.
In today's world, where the younger generation seems to be lost in finding themselves and have difficulty coping with the fast-paced world, inspirational speakers like Don can be very helpful in getting them out of their shells and face their problems head-on instead of hiding from them. Stepping outside their comfort zones is the key to shedding negative vibes. One major issue which youngsters fall prey to is finding the right friend circle. Surround yourself with those who are studious and you will begin to take your studies seriously. Share your presence with those who are carefree and loitering around aimlessly, you'll find yourself being no good. Realising what environment is right for you is crucial in shaping a better you.
Creating a life plan or purpose can provide you with a guideline to follow. Every time you feel as if you're fast approaching a cul de sac, fall back to them and find mentors for yourself. Let's face it, none of us were born with a game plan; we must learn to adapt and create one for ourself with a helping hand from our guardians.
“You must start preparing yourself to work hard from today. Don't wait till you graduate because once you are out in the market and get bombarded with intense workload and multiple problems, you'll find yourself in a state of panic and hysteria,” advises Don to the young guns of the nation. “Take up part time jobs, get involved in ECAs and activities which expect more from you rather than just studies,” he further added.
Coaches and mentors are crucial in our lives, they show us the way to the light at the end of the tunnel. However, it is our responsibility to follow their guided path and reach our desired destination. If we don't put in the effort and determination in accomplishing our goals, expecting everything to fall into place by itself will strand us in no man's land. A calm mind and modest lifestyle can not only give you happiness but also success. Twinkle Khanna, in her book 'Mrs. Funnybones', lays out the ingredient to excellence beautifully, something which we all will understand and relate to, but hardly anyone will commit to. “I wonder why most of us can only perform to our utmost when circumstances drive us, and then I realise that the few who push themselves are the ones who succeed. The driven, passionate ones give their best on ordinary days and that is why they are extraordinary.”
By Ali Sakhi Khan