Interviewed by Razia Mashkoor; 3/7/2017
Interview with Rashid Shaikh who is running for selectman from Shrewsbury MA.
Welcome at BDC-TV Rashid Saheb.
R.S. Thank you, Razia for taking a time to talk to me.
Razia. Absolutely Rashid Sahib, so my first Q. is can you tell Me About Yourself? (Highlight your qualifications, family background, family members, work/business)
R.S. Rashid Shaikh is an alumnus of UMass Lowell and Harvard Business School. He earned his master’s in engineering and MBA from UMass Lowell. Rashid later attended MIT for SCM certification andHarvard Business school for post grad program in leadership called PLDA. Mr. Shaikh served Holmes Group( Household Appliance company in Milford MA) for six years as Vice president of Purchasing and served Nypro Inc (A medical device manufacturing company in Clinton MA) as head of global supply chain operations. Mr. Shaikh developed change management program for company managers around the globe that helped grow the company both by improving its managers’ skillset and un-tapping its global footprints hidden potential. Mr. Shaikh saved tens of millions in contract negotiation and program implementation. He later started Value Max Inc in Shrewsbury MA that has global supply chain and Real Estate Development divisions. Mr. Shaikh has been an active member of Shrewsbury town and has served many causes both in the town and around the commonwealth. He has been living in Shrewsbury with three public school going kids since 2001 and elected town meeting (legislature) member. He served as vice-Chair of AMSA charter school, in the council of Floral street school, superintendents’ Calendar council, SKMT cancer Hospital Fund Raising Chair in New England, Member of the Mass Real Estate Board, the incorporator of the greater Worcester community Foundation and TV show host Shake it up with Shaikh.
Q. Can you tell me about what motivates you? (Demonstrate your confidence. Reinforce your commitment. Understand the selectman’s challenges. Make yourself accountable. Advance your candidacy)
R.S. Less than 20% people vote in the town elections while town governments impact our lives the most. Our community is loaded with professionals and successful businessmen but we don’t even participate in the local elections. How long are we just going to complain about the things? This country has given us a lot and it’s our time to get organize and give back. We cannot just tuck down, we need to get up and show what we have to offer.
Shrewsbury is a growing town that has changing demography and unique set of challenges.
Water contamination, sewer capacity, new gas pipeline, neglected road infrastructure, public safety, and school budget constraints even with recent overrides are daunting issues for Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury tried solving its school and town budget deficits with overrides and service fees but unfortunately, the issues are greater now than ever before.” – Rashid Shaikh said.
Shrewsbury has a great town manager who is retiring in June. There are two seats up for election on May 2nd where one of the incumbents is not seeking reelection. This is one of the most important times in the Shrewsbury history to either solve its problem with out-of-the-box thinking or just keep the “business as usual”.
Mr. Shaikh ran for selectman in 2009 and brought a lot of new ideas to the table. He studied the entire budget and laid out the plan to save 5 million dollars in 21 line items. Unfortunately, he came second and could not execute those ideas.
Mr. Shaikh is a change leader that has proven track record of abundant value creation with minimum resources.
Shrewsbury board of selectman can greatly benefit from his skills and talent.
Q. How do you see yourself as a next selectman?
R.S. A compassionate leader that is from people and for the people. A person that can increase momentum and participation. A businessman that help reduce cost and generate revenue with value creation. A person with networking that can help increasing economic activity that can pay for improved infrastructure and public safety. A leader that welcome people of all kind and diversity to the town boards and committees.
Q. What keeps you up at night? Well in short what Is Your Greatest Weakness these days?
R.S. Elections are won with (3 Ts) Team – Talent – Treasury. We have lots of momentum and good team but our team is bit green. The experience only comes by getting out and doing it. We going to call people, knock doors, and organize stand outs. We are abundant in talent so our strategy is second to none while we fortunately have branded candidate since he ran and lost in a close election 8 years ago. We are blessed with lots of successful people so we should be able to collect funds. What keeps me up is that many of us are not very comfortable knocking door and asking support. We have to stop assuming and ask for vote and support at all level and from everyone.
Q. Can you tell me about the toughest negotiation in this political scenario?
R.S. I have been negotiating with all kinds of people, cultures and environment so it’s a fun activity for me and it motivates me. I have taught negotiation both in class and workshop setting. Negotiation is easy when you know your BATNA (Better Alternate Than Negotiated Agreement) but if you have no prepared and don’t know your opponent and alternates than its very difficult. The toughest part for us was to convince ourselves as family, team and community. Most of the hurdle is out when we are all on the same page. No one can beat us except us, if we are united and committed then we can win any race. We are on one page so we going to win this.
Q. So, What Is Your Long Term Objective?
R.S. I envision to set the vision, motivate other professionals and establish good practices in 1-2 terms. It will be my strong desire to set aside in 1-2 terms and let new blood take the seat and run town business. I just want to set a good precedence for people of professional and diverse background.
Q. What concerns/reservations do you have as a future selectman?
R.S. I understand it’s a distributive government so my vote is only one of the fives. I would have to build coalition and use my change management skills to convince my colleagues to bring positive sustainable change and better business practices to increase customer experience.
Q. How Would Others Describe You? Or see you as selectman? I understand that another tricky question but we would love to hear how much support you have from the community?
R.S. I was totally new face when I ran 8 years ago. I stayed involve both as a town meeting member as well as an activist. I started a TV show on cable access to discuss major town issues. I believe our brand is pretty strong and we are known in the town as educated people that want to give back to the society.
Q. What skills and experiences would make you an ideal candidate?
R.S. Any candidate that has good track record on issues, has likeable personality and capability to deliver will do well in any field. Unfortunately, there are political machines and special interest active in any election. Shrewsbury people are very smart and vigilant, they know who is backed by the political machine and who really wants to serve and has track record and ability to stand up and resolve their issues
Q. What have you enjoyed/liked most about campaigning for yourself?
R.S. The most enjoying experience is meeting with people and understanding their concerns and issues. I recently met with many concerned citizens who are working hard to be heard on genuine issues like water quality, sewer capacity, gas pipeline going through proposal. Many times voices are not heard- I like to be the voice of all those people and present their issues at all levels.
Q. How Would You Describe yourself as a future selectman?
(Ya! Its little tricky question, but would love to hear from you)
R.S. A leader that set the vision and help the town make wise, long-term and customer friendly decisions. The customer service is a huge element that motivates residents to do more, we will make sure residents are treated like customers and policies are set that address short-term goals but long-term needs.
Rashid Shaikh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
(This story has not been edited by BDC staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed from IANS.)