A Week in My Life: Furqan Alamgir, Co-founder and CEO, Connexin

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

Hull-based scale-up Connexin specialises in smart technologies and the Internet of Things, operating wireless networks across the UK.

It was co-founded by Furqan Alamgir and Alex Yeung in 2006, and has become one of the UK's leading Smart Cities innovators. Today, it supports organisations including Hull City Council and Amey, enabling the collecting and aggregation of data to drive positive change, and helping build sustainable, programmable infrastructure.

Alamgir was previously a surgical registrar in the NHS and has a personal passion for the role of technology in healthcare.

We found out how a week in his life looks...

 

Monday 

Having worked with our legal team on agreements until late last night, I am up at 5am to get the 6:26am train from Hull to London. I jump on the train and, after catching up on the weekend's emails and discussing plans for my trip with Charlotte my Executive Assistant, I take our weekly Business Unit team meetings on the way down. 

Pre-pandemic, Mondays and Tuesdays were spent in London pretty much every week, so it’s great to be travelling again. 

I arrive at Kings Cross and take the tube to Bank station to meet with investors. After lunch, I'm back on the tube for an afternoon of back-to-back meetings with partners. 

Jumping on the 9pm train back to Hull, I check in with the rest of the C-team and some of the team back in Hull on the journey back. I find it important to interact with the rest of the team when I can to get charged up with all the activities back at the office, especially after a long day away from the action.

Tuesday

An early morning start again today - I pick up a Cortado from Starbucks on the way to the office to get organised for the Invest North online conference.

I’ve been invited to attend and speak about Connexin's start-up to scale-up journey as part of their ‘Creating Unicorns’ session.

It's a great event and a pleasure to speak with the likes of Matt Moulding, CEO of The Hut Group, and Paul Hallett, Founder of Vet AI

Wednesday

When I can, I try to take my first few calls in the morning from home so I can have breakfast with my kids. With the whole team able to work flexibly between the office and home, it’s been great to be able to make the most of spending more time with my family.

Once I’m back at the head office, today is filled with weekly 1-to-1s with the C-suite and Head of People to align on the week so far. My afternoon is filled with meetings with City and Council leaders and our legal team. A late-night finish reviewing legal agreements is in store!

When I'm in the city on Wednesdays, I try and squeeze in a workout at Luke Campbell’s new gym in Hull. Today Alex (Connexin Co-founder) and I managed to get a boxing session in which put us both through our paces! 

Thursday

A great day to be in the office - there's always a great vibe in the office on Thursdays, and the team are coming to the end of a very productive week.

There is a real sense of high morale and energy, and it's always a busy day with lots of staff in, meetings coming and going. At a time where we're coming out of the pandemic, and the team are transitioning from working from home for such a long time, we're finding the team wanting to be in more and more - which tells me we have a great culture here at Connexin.

I have interviews for most of the afternoon. We are currently recruiting heavily to prepare for our next huge growth stage after our Series B investment at the end of last year, and I like to meet as many final stage candidates as I can if my calendar permits. 

Friday

It’s board meeting preparation today. We have our bi-monthly board meeting 10 days from now, so the morning is spent finalising the teams' packs and putting the final version together ready to circulate to the whole Board. 

I usually block Friday out as time to get everything that needs to be done for that week finished off. If I get ahead of my workload, it also gives me some extra time to spend with the family.

At noon we have our monthly team lunch - today is company culture bingo! Not a winner today, but it’s great to watch the whole team wind down after a busy week and have some fun together.

Fridays also give me a chance to catchup with Willaim Priest, our chairman, and the rest of the non-executive board members to bring them up to speed with what's gone on during the week. I’m able to finish these calls earlier than expected, which gives me the chance to go out for a walk with the family and enjoy dinner together to round off a great week.

The weekends for me are spent with family. As I'm often out of the house early and home late in the evening, it’s important that I spend as much of the weekend I can with my wife, children and family. 

There are, of course, those weekends where work creeps in, but as much as I can I like to have this time, watch my children grow, and recharge ready for another busy week.

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