Location: Bethesda, MD
Industry: Management consulting
Years in role: 14
Years at company: 14
Founder and Director
LEADERSHIP AND MENTORING: When Manhattan Strategy Group (MSG) founder and director Shezad Habib achieved his goal of starting his own company, he realized that even the smallest triumphs can be significant successes. That’s why he has worked to create an idea-friendly and welcoming environment by never dismissing any idea or suggestion. “In every interaction I have with my staff, I am always sure to either answer a question or pose a new one that will challenge them,” says Habib.
FUN FACT: Habib is an urban explorer.
OVERCOMING CHALLENGES: When MSG graduated from the 8(a) program for small disadvantaged businesses, it faced its greatest challenge: adapting to a new marketplace full of larger competitors. MSG established relationships with university partners and was able to recruit talented doctoral students. This has broadened the scope of projects the company bids on and increased its competitiveness in the market.
DRIVING VALUE: MSG’s most impactful project to date has been the development of a housing and transportation cost index for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Marred by competing studies and an unsupportive housing market, the company was met with an “average” client review. In response, Habib and MSG created a turnaround plan and were able to gain the favor of HUD as well as the media. Not only did the project highlight an important issue, but it also improved the company’s reputation and ability to overcome challenges.