The 2018 Olin Business magazine shared a series of vignettes featuring alumni faced with a business decision requiring them to weigh data with their values. We featured these stories to support Olin’s strategic pillar focused on equipping leaders to confront challenge and create change, for good. This is one of those vignettes.
In 2012, Munir Mashooqullah’s company was an acquisition target. For shareholders, the deal might have made sense: Mashooqullah, EMBA ’98, and an Olin Distinguished Alumnus, said the acquiring company had higher profit margins and better systems and IT infrastructure.
Even some of his employees thought the deal would be good for Synergies Worldwide, which manages apparel sourcing and supply chain management for the “fast fashion” industry. “Everyone was saying, ‘Why can’t you be more like them?’” said Mashooqullah, founder and custodian, Synergies Worldwide. “I lost people. I lost tactile monetary opportunities.”
Clients, however, didn’t like the deal. They liked their current service. They appreciated the value they received.
“There are stories in leadership where you do not go with what is told to you just because the numbers look right,” he said.
Today, the company Mashooqullah founded 31 years ago is thriving. In fact, a senior executive for the competitor jumped ship to become the CEO when Mashooqullah retired in 2016.
“If there is something you believe in— and you’re not just driven by the dollar sign—in retrospect, many times people win,” Mashooqullah said. “But at the time, it may not look right.”