Before Faizal Thobani graduated from the University of North Texas (UNT) in 1999 he was already ahead of the curve.
While he may not have realized it at the time, his decision to major in Business Computer Information Systems would later become pivotal to his career choices—opening doors of entrepreneurial opportunity.
Thobani fondly recalls COBOL classes at UNT with Dr. Spence as the “litmus test” of his degree—they were his hardest, but most memorable classes. So memorable, in fact, that he found himself quite literally “dreaming in code.”
“I once had fallen asleep in the passenger seat while driving with my girlfriend at the time and she told me that I was talking about coding to the green lights on the car display,” recalled Thobani.
And those big coding dreams led to some big offers.
Fresh out of college, Thobani found himself choosing between job offers from big name consulting firms like Accenture, EY, and Concur Technologies—ultimately starting out his professional career with Concur.
“I stayed with Concur for two years, until I got a better offer from a company called Siebel Systems based out of Silicon Valley,” said Thobani.
His job with Siebel is what truly changed the trajectory of his career—giving him the expertise needed to propel him further.
“I became pretty much an expert in Siebel Software, and then I quit to start my own consulting firm—Genuity Consulting.”
With the competitive edge of Siebel Software (and a UNT degree) in his back pocket, Thobani earned a contract in the public sector of Washington, DC—exploding his business and opportunities.
“I saw how big the market was, so I decided to move to DC in 2008,” he said. “It turned out to be the best decision of my life as this is where I met my future wife. We have three wonderful kids together and I couldn't be more grateful for that. I've been in DC ever since and I've worked with almost every major government agency.”
While Thobani has had ebbs and flows in his career throughout the years, one thing has remained consistent—his insight and ambition to pivot when needed.
When Thobani noticed government agencies shifting from Siebel to Salesforce, he quickly followed suit. And his keen discernment for anticipating the next big move wasn’t only in technology.
Throughout his career, Thobani even looked ahead to other ventures on the rise, like FedEx delivery routes. While he may not have anticipated the high demand that COVID would have on FedEx, his entrepreneurial instinct still gave him good instinct to purchase routes in his area—a business that grew from eight employees to nearly 43 in just four years.
And today, Thobani is using his enterprising intuition to see the future in UNT’s business students by establishing a legacy of support for those working to follow in his footsteps.
“I wanted to give back to the organization that helped me get to where I am today… I feel grateful to UNT because they took a chance on me when I didn't have a lot of options coming out of high school,” explained Thobani. “I actually feel like if I had gone to someplace like The University of Texas or Baylor, I may not have been as successful as I am today, and I feel very grateful to UNT for that.”