Farooq's Absoft Story
Principal SAP Consultant Farooq Durrani recently took time out to reflect on his 10 years working at Absoft.
Moving to a different country to start a new life is a daunting prospect. IT consultant Farooq and his wife, Ayesha, did just that in 2006 when they left their home in Pakistan and came to the UK.
The family now have two young boys, age nine and two, and have been in the UK for 10 years. Muhamad Farooq Durrani, 37, has spent nearly all of that time in Aberdeen working with Absoft and is now a principle SAP consultant based in an onsite role working with SAP software.
“When I came to the UK I spent some time in London. I had some contacts and looked at jobs,” he said.
“We thoroughly love living in Aberdeen, even if it is a bit cold here.”
Farooq came to the UK as part of the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme which was to encourage skilled workers to the UK. At the time Farooq was based in Pakistan and had completed his education and training there, which included a bachelor’s degree in Computer Software Engineering and an SAP certification.
A few of his friends also applied to the programme which was an immigration category for entry to the UK for people with sought-after skills. It has now been replaced by Tier 1 of the UK’s new point based system.
Farooq said: “We were working in the SAP industry in Pakistan and came here to explore the market. SAP in Pakistan at that time wasn’t as established as in the UK.
“We were looking for opportunities and the first challenge was to get into the UK market. When I started my career at Absoft it was a big boost for me.
“Absoft encourages you to work in other areas for personal development and it gives us the chance to learn something new.”
He sought a job with Absoft first as an SAP Development Consultant in the programming team, and has since progressed within the company. He has led the SAP Development team at the company’s Aberdeen base and has also worked on site for Total and ConocoPhillips as an SAP Supply Chain Consultant. He is currently a Principal Consultant in Absoft’s Supply Chain team.
Farooq said: “My programming background helped me a great deal with my transition into business consultancy.”
SAP, the software Farooq works with is an integrated software and is used by many companies to manage their business processes. Farooq’s role is mainly to engage with these companies to help them improve their processes.
“I always wanted to move into business consultancy and focus on supply chain in particular” he said.
According to Farooq, no two businesses are the same. There are many variations with plenty of opportunities to learn and grow. Absoft has clients in many different industries. The downturn in the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen has opened more doors for Absoft in other sectors giving Farooq a lot of opportunities to develop his SAP skills and business process understanding further.
He said: “Being in Aberdeen, oil and gas was our main customer base. We have been very fortunate because we can look at other industries and diversify. The industry downturn has pushed us to look at other industries and encouraged us to expand our footprint outside oil and gas."
Farooq is a huge fan of cricket, following the Pakistan cricket team while also playing in the Aberdeen Evening Cricket League for Shell Cricket Club, which has won the league for the last three years. His ambition and determination shows through in his hobbies. He has climbed Ben Nevis, Snowdonia and Scafell Pike for charity.
Farooq said: “The sky is the limit. Every day is a new challenge with something new to learn.”