Mentor for unusual book publisher makes sure the kids are all right!

18 April 2012

SMILE-Kidz4mation

Delwar Hossain is a UCL alumnus, architect, entrepreneur, executive coach and mentor to minority ethnic children. Yet he was prepared to take on another role when SMILE asked him to mentor Kidz4Mation (www.kidz4mation.com), which produces a series of books and run workshops to raise children’s self-esteem.

Del felt they had a “dynamic product, outstanding brand and a great front-man.” After a series of regular phone calls, emails and board meetings, a new home-study kit has been introduced for parents and channeled through schools and local councils. Kidz4Mation is also looking at link-ups with children’s charities and even registering as a charity itself.

It’s easy to see why SMILE would want Delwar Hossain as one of its mentors. A UCL alumnus, he practised as an architect for 15 years with top firms such as Foster & Partners. He now owns Adrem Group, which he has transformed into London’s leading architecture and design careers agency. He is a director of dreamspace, a gallery that shows the work of up-and-coming artists and designers. He is an executive coach and mentors children from minority ethnic backgrounds to steer them into higher education – all part, he says, of “giving back” to the community.

Not surprisingly, Del initially thought he was too busy to take on another mentoring role when SMILE approached him in 2010. However, when he heard about the company that he was being matched with – Kidz4Mation (www. kidz4mation.com), a small London-based company that produces a series of books and runs fun and engaging workshops to raise children’s self-esteem – Del found he couldn’t refuse.

Kidz4Mation’s co-founder, Hitul Thobhani, had contacted SMILE for a business mentor that could offer guidance to the company, launched in February 2009. Since October 2010, Del has helped them increase their profile, develop and market their product, and shape their business through regular phone calls, emails and board meetings.

Del, who is studying the psychology of happiness in his spare time, says: “Many small companies aren’t sure where to go after they’ve achieved their initial goals – in this case, it was to produce a series of books – and made a profit. They think they have to sell the company and move on to the next venture. This doesn’t have to be the case when you have such a dynamic product.

“Kidz4Mation has a belief that children can accomplish whatever they set their hearts on and this, along with an outstanding brand and a strong front-man, means they have a great foundation to build on.”

Recently, a new home-study kit was introduced for parents and channeled through schools and local councils to develop a healthy and happy next generation. Kidz4Mation is also looking at link-ups with children’s charities and even registering as a charity itself.

Hitul Thobhani says: “Del has been a supportive mentor who has the experience and know-how to take us further, and with his guidance we really anticipate moving the business forward. Universities are a great source of practical business support for small businesses, and SMILE is a perfect example of this.”