Meet Abay Ali who is an entrepreneur with a mission to create IT products that address the challenges of our time, driving innovation and positive change in various industries. Abay Ali takes pride in his company, ME Group which is a group of companies focused on developing and implementing augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies, providing services across various sectors, including education, tourism, marketing, and industrial safety. ME Group creates products that bring value to each of these industries. ME Group projects have unique missions, and through them, Abay Ali aims to impart knowledge and experience to ME Group’s users.
ME Group has various solutions that cover all age categories (from kindergarten to university) in the education field. The company has developed 20 AR Books for different themes and also created tailored AR books.
The company’s flagship EdTech project is Digital Lab, an innovative virtual platform that allows K12 students to conduct complex laboratory experiments in physics, chemistry, and biology using AR/VR technologies and Metaverse. It comprises 4 front tools – mobile & desktop applications, a VR set, and an interactive panel – students can use them to conduct experiments according to their preference and convenience.
The company has developed AR projects for the tourism industry – AR Turkistan, which features 15 AR targets throughout the city of Turkistan. The AR technology enables tourists to witness a 3D recreation of the city’s modern events or learn fascinating details about its attractions through a 3D guide available in 4 languages. Moreover, we have created a souvenir AR book for Turkistan with the accompanying app. The company has also designed AR Burabay and AR Shymkent projects for improving tourism in regions.
In the field of technical safety, the company’s AR/VR solutions simulate hazardous scenarios in a virtual environment to enhance workplace safety. For instance, the company has developed VR training such as Fire Safety, Inspection of Transport, and Emergency Situations in a Coal Mine. Additionally, the company creates AR posters that cover safety themes.
ME Group possesses vast expertise in the development of AR/VR projects and their team consists of highly skilled professionals who specialize in Unity, Unreal Engine, 3D modeling and animation, project managers, sales and marketing. ME Group is dedicated to delivering innovative and customized solutions to clients to help them achieve their business objectives. The goal is to continue to push the boundaries of AR/VR technology and provide cutting-edge solutions that meet the evolving needs of our clients and the market.
Stankevicius: Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as THE real challenge right now?
Abay Ali: I see the current moment as an opportunity rather than a problem. Business has always been associated with challenges, and the ability to see them as opportunities for growth and development can be the key to success. In today’s rapidly changing world, the ability to adapt and leverage emerging opportunities is more important than ever. So, I perceive the current situation as a chance for creative and successful business development, rather than an insurmountable problem.
Stankevicius: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about leadership in times of crisis?
Abay Ali: The most important lesson I’ve learned about leadership during times of crisis is the understanding that there are always multiple ways out of any crisis. Even when it seems there are none, hidden opportunities can always be found, and 2-3 new directions can be opened. The key is to keep a clear head, not give up, and constantly contemplate how to overcome the crisis.
It’s also crucial to realize that during times of crisis, change is happening, and every century brings new challenges, such as the current rapid development of artificial intelligence. To be a successful leader, one must not only comprehend what is changing but also how to adapt to these changes. Reflection and a deep understanding of the problem enable you to leverage it for your own purposes.
Furthermore, it’s important to understand that technology is increasingly compared to human thinking and the brain. Leaders must learn to apply these technologies in their work and use them to solve problems and achieve their goals.
As a leader of my company, I have a strong passion for and actively engage in the study of brain development and biohacking. It’s an ongoing process of learning and skill enhancement, even as I approach the age of 60. Taking care of my physical and mental health is a crucial aspect of effective leadership. It can also serve as an inspiration and motivation for colleagues and team members.
Stankevicius: How do you build a resilient team? What qualities do you look for in your team members?
Abay Ali: I place a high value on the qualities I seek in my team members. Foremost among these is professionalism. It’s crucial that team members possess the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles. Professionalism includes not only competence but also a strong sense of responsibility.
Additionally, optimism is a key attribute. Maintaining a positive outlook, even when faced with adversity, goes a long way in boosting team behavior and motivation. Integrity is another cornerstone for me. Building trust and maintaining it within the team is fundamental to successful collaboration. Given the ever-evolving nature of our world, adaptability and flexibility are vital traits. Team members need to be adept at embracing change and adjusting strategies and methodologies to align with new directions.
Lastly, the ability to work seamlessly within a team is essential. Effective communication, active listening, and a willingness to be open to others’ ideas are all part of this essential skill set.