A chapter buzzing with high energy, BNI Insomniacs is celebrating 14 years of success along with becoming the first Titanium Chapter in the UAE. How does the Leadership Team feel about it? One word springs up in the answers of Samarth, Karan, and Neha – amazing!
“As Insomniacs, we’ve been first in a lot of things we’ve done over the last 14 years now,” President, Samarth Meherish beams.
Reaching this milestone has been on the radar of this leadership since the term began. Vice President, Satyanarayan Karan says, “This has been our vision when we started the term because we were so close to the numbers. That was one of the targets, we have to cross the line. It happened sooner than we expected!”
Sam is quick to congratulate both the chapter’s current and former members for their hard work. He says, “We have so many of these firsts. We were also the first to reach AED 1 million seat value, the first to have 50 members and now we’re the first Titanium Chapter. It is nothing short of exceptional!”
The Happiness Quotient
BNI Insomniacs is not only the largest chapter in UAE but also in the Middle East and Africa. What’s been constant is the vision. Sam says, “Our vision remains the happiness of our members”. Happiness is dictated by how confident their members feel with the process of BNI.
“The importance of happiness also comes into Building Relationships. As we keep doing that, members feel they need to give more and do more for the chapter. This eventually brings them more business as well, and will make them happier”, he adds.
Sam believes that 100% building better relationships will get you more business. This frame of thinking has been yielding results. The Insomniacs have been doing close to AED 100 million a year!
The new leadership term started three months ago, so what has been working for the team so far? Sam believes high renewal rates have been key. “Historically, BNI Insomniacs has had one of the highest retention rates. We’ve had something like 80% year on year, which enhances the relationships they are building. That is what really works for us.”
This creates trust like a family. Since they feel connected to Insomniacs, members want to do the best they can to keep the chapter on top. “They feel responsible for their chapter and many members renew consistently. Roles are taken up voluntarily,” he adds.
Discovering What Works
Karan is happy to share advice on challenges the Insomniacs face being the biggest chapter. “Like age, the size of a chapter is just a number. The systems and structure of BNI are so robust that it can handle any number, any size given a choice.”
However, size can become a challenge when member meetings need to conclude within the time frame and social distancing comes into play. “Finding a venue for a chapter of this size can be difficult, considering the current protocols. With this size, we may also be the last chapter to go for in-person meetings. But, I would say these are good challenges we face,” he smiles.
Talking about BNI’s tools that improve work efficiency, Secretary Treasurer, Neha Gaggar says, “Training has been robust and there are systems and tools in place. For example, we have BNI Connect which is amazing. The tools and all the data are accessible. We can look at things, analyze them, and therefore do better justice to our roles.”
Carrying the Baton
Apart from all the milestones and accolades, Neha has been most proud of the mindset BNI Insomniacs members have. “In my two years, three-month journey, there have been a lot of firsts,” she says. “There have been a lot of proud moments as a member, but from day one I felt like I belonged. This chapter is a place where people believe in building good relationships and supporting each other.”
Karan says past Leadership Teams have played a large part in the success of the Insomniacs today. “You cannot accomplish all these overnight. The earlier Leadership Teams created the momentum and put us in striking range.”
“It is a relay race,” Samarth adds. “The baton has to be handed over to each person appropriately.”
BNI Insomniacs continue to add feathers to their hat! We congratulate them on their achievements and wish them all the best as they continue to run their race.