Academic Professor and CEO of Khandelabra Incorporated, wears many innovative hats.
(Washington, DC) Now entering his thirties, acclaimed academic and businessman Anwar Khan has already achieved a pinnacle of success that is only going to expand as far as his dreams will grow.
After spending his early years working full time towards his academic degrees, the D.C. resident set out to enter the information technology field. A fast learner, Khan would eventually outsmart the rigid settings of the IT world and yearn to create a new journey for himself.
“I spent 5 years working at a prestigious IT company and felt like I was in a technical bubble,” Khan says of his sudden realization to start a business of his own. “I soon discovered that I had a skill set that I could turn into a company of my own.”
Soon after, Khandelabra, Inc. emerged. The company is a self-proclaimed VAR “value-added reseller” that is devoted providing affordable storage, infrastructure management, virtualization, backup and disaster recovery and data protection solutions to their customers. “We put forth our best effort to exceed our customers’ expectations,” Khan says of the mission for the company as the President and CEO. “We take our job seriously and do it with passion…we always do what’s right and never take the easy way out.’”
By valiantly not taking the easy way out, Khan initially face some challenges that every new entrepreneur in his field encounter. Having to run the show alone most of the time and know the business rigorously was one.
“We had limited resources starting out and I had to wear so many hats…I was the CIO, IT, manager, and HR all at once,” Khan says of the first days starting his business. “But eventually things come together and I was able to self sustain the business by hiring contractors and utilizing partnerships and the networks I had.”
Over 5 years later, the company has only expanded with contracts with companies ranging from domestic construction to international travel. But it would be in this growth in one field of his life that Anwar would look to pursue other avenues of interest.
It would be his experience as a board member for the African United States Partnership that he realized his passion for technology was more than just business. “I began to use IT as the medium to change people lives,” Khan says on his role in servicing IT infrastructure for an internet cafe established at Muthara High School, a rural part of Nairobi, Kenya. “Going to the region made me realize that the work I do makes me an agent of change way beyond a corporate level, it touched me to know that I contributed to students at Muthara High School being able to attend webinars being taught by American instructors.”
Education has always been a major aspect of Anwar’s life strategy. Khan earned an MBA from the University of Maryland, University College at Adelphi, a Bachelor of Arts in Information Systems/Business Technology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Catonsville, Maryland and a Bachelors of Arts in Arabic and Islamic studies in Khartoum, Sudan. His global experience in the African region would soon compel him to take his interests to a higher level. And like all things he has done in his career, he would make himself an expert at it. He became a professor.
“I have always had an interest in education, teaching people something is basically what I do in my other professions,” Anwar says on recently becoming the Collegiate Professor at CCBC. He has taught multiple courses in the Academic Career Enhancement, Small Business & Entrepreneurship, Personal Finance, and World Language programs. Currently, he instructs and develops curriculum for continuing education-level for Computer Literacy and Arabic and Arab cultures. In many ways, Khan feels this is his way of giving back to the community, while also looking forward to more ways in the future.
“My short term goals would be to expand my interests into the government public sector with the proper certifications,” Khan says. “In the long term, I would love to be a traveling international IT consultant fixing the world’s problems and being a professor along the way as well.”
Although the married young professional has accomplished so much in such a small amount of time, he only has a piece of simple advice for those who intend to follow in his footsteps.
“Think big, believe it’s possible and network, network, network,” Khan emphasizes. “My journey has been filled with a world full of emotions, but it’s normal…don’t ever feel despair, it will get better!”