Jak Kahn: Dream Partnership Made Him a Better Consultant

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MgtStrat Consultant Jose Antonio “Jak” Kahn knew early on that he wanted to pursue teaching as a vocation.

However, the route to realizing his dream job where he can use this passion took several turns before arriving at its destination: becoming a full-time consultant.

Jak studied Computer Science at De La Salle University but later transferred to the College of St. Benilde to take up Business Administration-Computer Applications. “To cut the long story short, it was the wrong choice for me. I should have stuck to my instinct for either Psychology or Math (laughs). But I did appreciate the logical approach to programming and systems analysis and design. Those are skills I still use today as a consultant.”While studying, Jak did part-time work as a tutor. While tutoring, he discovered the passion for teaching and the fulfillment in helping his students understand their lessons. “I found new and simpler ways to explain complex concepts to help them comprehend. There’s nothing like seeing your students’ eyes light up when they finally get what you are teaching,” beams Jak.

Then a friend introduced him to a call center career. It was in his work experience in the Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) industry where his teaching was honed and developed as a soft-skills trainer. But it was at this stage, also, that he realized that the corporate ladder was not for him.

His path to consultancy started at the time when his wife was assigned to Singapore and they moved there. It was then that he put up his own consulting company. “While we were there, my wife and I started talking about future plans and agreed that at some point we would leave the corporate world and get into consulting. Since I was already free, we decided I would try it out first and see what happens,” recalls Jak.

They returned to the country in 2013. Jak decided to continue his consulting in the Philippines. Looking for a mentor to guide him while he was establishing his presence, Jak reached out to Leo Castillo, who had just returned from Japan and happened to be a new partner at MgtStrat. And this was how Jak got involved with MgtStrat.

Although both businesses – his and MgtStrat’s – are both into consulting, Jak affirms that there is synergy rather than competition.  Aside from catering to a different clientele, Jak adds, “The bottom line is, I was very clear with MgtStrat with what I do and if there might be concerns. And they were very clear with me also. We always communicate, we never assume, and we clarify everything all the time.”

Out of respect for his relationship with MgtStrat, Jak also made it clear that whenever he does a project for an MgtStrat client, he would always present himself as part of MgtStrat and not as an independent consultant.

Jak also sees a lot of advantages working with MgtStrat. “The beauty about my MgtStrat work is that with their network and capable team, they make my work easier. And on the professional aspect, I am learning a lot from them…not only as a consultant, but also how to run a consulting business.”

“I am used to working alone on all aspects of the business, and the very first project I had with MgtStrat, there was so much organization and support which made it really memorable for me. I couldn’t help but say, ‘This should be my benchmark on how a consulting business should work!’” he continues.

This might be too good a partnership to be true for some, but MgtStrat and Jak both share the same passion: to help employees and companies do their jobs and strive to be better at what they do.

While this could be their aim for their clients, they would also like to ensure that they “practice what they teach.” Jak has this to say about his partnership with MgtStrat: “I love how they are forward thinkers and heavy into developing and trying new things. It will be a joy to grow together with them.”

Jak also feels that MgtStrat changed him professionally. “For one, I’ve seen the proper way of doing things as a consultant. It has made me more passionate” he says.

While he may already have his own consulting firm, “MgtStrat has been very supportive,” he continues. “We share best practices, we talk to each other. When I present ideas, they give me feedback and tell me how to improve it. They are pushing me to be a learning coach.”

To finally realize that dream job of yours of being the boss of a business you’re passionate about, and to also have a “dream” partnership with one of the leading consulting firms in the country, Jak feels he is right where he wants to be.

Jak has this to share with those who are planning on taking a flight to their dream jobs: “Know your passion. By focusing on my strengths, I was in a better position to sell myself to clients. Have the right credentials. Be realistic.”

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