Despite making it big and being named among the top 50 CEOs in the United States, Shafat Qazi still remembers his father hugging him at the Srinagar airport when he told Qazi that he would be in addition to the $700 he was given. Do not expect any further financial aid.
Founder of BQE SOFTWARE – a business management software firm, Cazyleft K as a young boy to follow his dream and passion of making technology to simplify the lives of people around the world.
“When I arrived in the USA, my university fees were $22,000, while I had only $700 in hand. At that time the government had limited the amount of foreign exchange I could take out of the country,” Kazi said, adding, “After strenuous efforts, I borrowed $5,000 from my cousin to pay my first semester’s fees. I succeeded. That was the only loan I have taken. ,
Kazi immediately approached a candy store and university cafeteria for odd jobs in the night shift and began earning enough to pay his bills and tuition fees. “I was not shy or hesitant to work as a cashier in a candy store or as a waiter in a cafeteria. I knew this was temporary and a step towards reaching my ultimate goal of building my own technology company. ,
Qazi believes that a positive and optimistic person is more likely to be successful than a negative and pessimistic person.
He said, “Technology is the digital plumbing of every business. I was naturally good at it, and it helped me build a great business on top of it.”
After graduating from the State University of New York, Kazi relocated to California and joined the David C. Breiholz, Inc. , eventually becoming a partner in the firm, which was later renamed Breiholz Kazi Engineering (BQE).
He was appointed chairman of the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) Computer Applications Committee.
He holds a master’s in structural engineering from New York University and a bachelor’s degree from the National Institute of Technology (NIT).
While working as an engineer, in 1995, Kazi developed BillQuick, a billing software program. By 1998, Kazi had left his engineering firm and devoted himself full time to Bilquick and his company, BQE Software.
Today, Kazi has around 260 employees working for his company from many countries, including USA, Australia, India, Mexico, Philippines etc. Half the staff are working in the Srinagar office, serving thousands of businesses across the country. World.
Qazi chose his hometown, Srinagar, for the offshore office, despite the fact that the region is plagued by challenges. Qazi said running a technology-based office in Srinagar, where the internet is sometimes disrupted, was no ordinary task. However, “I believe that if a proper system is put in place, efficiency will follow.”
KAZI founded BQE in 1995 to make the lives of millions of service professionals easier. An engineer by profession, he was well aware of the pain professional services firms face when it comes to billing, accounting, time tracking and project management. He built the original Bilquick in his garage.
Two decades later, when he oversaw a global venture, he was listed as one of the Top 50 CEOs by USA Today in 2018. Despite this, it has never forgotten its roots, and BQE remains at the forefront of customer-driven innovation.
His journey began when he spent eight years working for a structural engineering firm, including six years as a partner.
During his time as chairman of a committee for structural engineers, he visited hundreds of professional service firms and saw similar problems everywhere. Engineers and architects were focusing on bookkeeping rather than designing buildings, bridges or roads. There had to be a better way, so he stayed home and worked out of his garage to invent the Bilquick in 1995.
The goal was to create a world-class solution that would make the lives of millions of engineers, architects, accountants, lawyers and other professionals in the service industry easier.
Even though he leads a worldwide corporation, BQE is at the forefront of customer-driven innovation under his leadership. This is the company that introduced its initial web-based product in 1997, a mobile app for flip phones in 1998, and electronic bill payments in 1999. BQE and its employees are pioneers in the industry.
But the Qazi never let them forget where they came from. They are cut from the same fabric as their customers. Every year, the company’s biggest focus is on simplifying the tasks its customers take and reducing the time taken to complete them. Add in a steady dose of invention and the company consistently produces concepts that are adopted by the wider technology space.
When Qazi was listed as one of the top 50 CEOs, he became the first and only Kashmiri to achieve this status. When he’s not managing a company or working on a new invention, he enjoys flying airplanes, listening to music, and traveling. So far, he has visited 55 countries out of a target of at least 100. Qazi is also passionate about preserving the Kashmiri language, culture and music.
Says Kazi, “I am always on the lookout for great business innovation ideas or startups that need help.