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Entrepreneur Nauman Saeed reaches career goals with help from OHIO’s PMBA program

Monday, January 18 2016 12:00am

What do Pakistan, a wedding bid website and Ohio University’s College of Business have in common? PMBA alumnus Nauman Saeed.

By Brianna Wilson

Oftentimes, entrepreneurs can look back and say, “That’s the moment I knew.” College of Business Professional MBA graduate Nauman Saeed, on the other hand, was a born entrepreneur.

Saeed grew up in Pakistan, and looked up to his entrepreneurial father, who owned 13 companies in unique industries. “I was encouraged to be independent, and always knew that I wanted to own a business someday,” he said.

Saeed worked at a variety of companies, including IBM and a small information technology consulting company before becoming an independent consultant. In 2014, he decided to pursue an MBA degree at Ohio University’s College of Business. There, two amazing things happened: A professor’s connections helped him secure a job at Hyland, and he was finally able to realize his 10-year dream of building a wedding website where couples could “bid” for wedding services from vendors. How?

Saeed connected with Stacy Less, one of the PMBA program’s professors. “Stacy always talked about Hyland being the ‘place to be’,” he said. “So once, I asked her, ‘What if I want to work at Hyland?’” Less said she’d “highly recommend it”, and followed up with Saeed a few times about whether he was planning to apply for a position there post-graduation. “I hadn’t updated my resume in 10 years, but she told me to send it to her anyway and sent it out via email to the executive team at Hyland,” explained Saeed. He soon began interviewing, and ultimately accepted a job as project manager.

While working for Hyland may have been a “newer” dream for Saeed, his wedding bid website had been in the works for years. Five years ago, Saeed and his wife began attending wedding shows to conduct research on whether vendors would be interested in participating. More than 95 percent of vendors responded with an enthusiastic yes. “That definitely helped me decide to pursue the venture more seriously,” he said. Saeed hired a few development partners, all of which fell through. It wasn’t until his MBA program that he again he revived the idea, using it as a basis for many of his projects and presentations.

“My cohort liked the idea and my professors were supportive of it as well,” he said. And some liked it enough to join Saeed in business. Evan Scurria now assists with operations, and Nick Newnham with marketing. “I’d been looking for help and was able to find it through my program,” said Saeed. Though the site is already live, they aim to have it fully functional this spring. Find out more at bid4mywedding.com.