Faizan’s is a story of professionalism, perseverance, and a large helping of positivity. In 2017, at three years old, Faizan’s son contracted neuro-orthopedic symptoms, from a yet unknown disease, that would see his ability to walk seriously deteriorate over the next few years. What followed, once Faizan and his wife were able to collect themselves after this shocking news, was an unbelievable act of resilience and resourcefulness.
Having been trained as a software engineer before going on to work as a consultant in the pharma, insurance, and financial services sectors, Faizan had spent most of his career focused on digital transformation and machine and industry automation, with sporadic but deep exposure to robotic systems. And, at the time of receiving his son’s diagnosis, Faizan had been working at a large corporation in the insurance industry, in innovation management.
“I asked myself then,” Faizan recalled, “Is there anything I can do with these skills and experiences to help my boy?” It was during this phase of intense focus and deliberation that he received a call from an old colleague who had been exploring medical device design. He had contacted Faizan to ask for his help in setting up a business entity – he was aware of Faizan’s skillset and figured he’d be crucial to its success. “It was quite an amazing coincidence, actually,” Faizan explained, “This company could eventually produce precisely the type of devices that my son needed and that which we had not been able to find! It was at this point that I did a hard pivot in my life and career,” he added.
Faizan took on this challenge. He established Leg&airy – a company dedicated to mobilizing children and adults alike with varying degrees of neuro-orthopedic symptoms with autonomously fitted and manufactured orthopedic devices. “I realized shortly after establishing the company that I didn’t have any formal education in business. Not only that, but I realized that this business will be so important to so many people that I wanted to do the right things in the right way. That’s when I enrolled in the EMBA UZH!” explained Faizan.
“During the EMBA year, our company grew by triple digits. Perhaps one of the most valuable skills that I learned – and there were many – was a big boost in my abilities to lead. For example, gaining the ability to communicate the purpose of our company in a comprehensible manner had a huge impact on my relationships with co-founders, colleagues, investors, suppliers, and customers. Suddenly, I became the driving force behind the business!” Faizan explained.
Today, Leg&airy continues to grow, with Faizan at the helm. He has many people to thank for this journey, not least his wife, without whom he says he could not have achieved this. Thanks to her and Faizan’s efforts their son is “thriving”, wearing comfortable, custom-made devices designed and built just for him.