Naeem Farooqi (BBA ’08), a Sessional Instructor at Schulich and Principal Consultant at WSP in Canada, was recognized in this year’s Mass Transit’s Global Top 40 Under 40 list for his leadership, innovation and impact in public transit.
Farooqi actively introduces innovation throughout the entire lifecycle of urban transit buses and deploys those innovations around the world. In his role at Metrolinx, Farooqi was instrumental in establishing the Transit Procurement Initiative, a group of over two dozen Ontario transit systems that seek to achieve economies of scale by bulk purchasing a variety of urban transit bus models. To achieve this outcome, Naeem actively engaged with in stakeholders and developed bus specifications that were flexible enough to allow participants to customize buses for their local constituents. Beyond bus specifications, Farooqi was influential in developing and leading an award-winning vendor managed parts inventory project, known as the Transit Inventory Management System (TIMS). TIMS pooled the supply chains of over 10 transit systems into one centralized vendor, which yielded costs savings by reducing lead times, pricing, and local on-hand inventory levels. This project innovation was recognized by Supply Chain and Logistics Canada in which Farooqi won the 2012 President’s Award — and was, at the time, the youngest recipient of such a prestigious award.
He believes that his experience at Schulich enabled his successful career in this industry. “During my third year as an undergraduate student, I had the opportunity to go on an exchange to Warwick Business School, in Coventry, for over a year. I was able to rely on public transit as my only form of transportation across England,” shared Farooqi. “This experience got me interested in public transit as a career choice, which led me to my internship at Canadian Urban Transit Association as part of my undergrad course.” Yet it was a fourth-year elective course in government policy and business that highlighted the way that Farooqi could leverage his management and finance training to enhance transit infrastructure globally.
“Being taught by the former Deputy Minister and Treasurer [Ian MacDonald] cemented the fact that I could use my BBA to tackle growing public issues.”
Upon graduation, he moved on to become an award-winning Program Analyst at Metrolinx (Ontario), a dynamic Supply Chain and Business Development Director, and now as global bus expert and Principal Consultant at WSP, where he oversees the company’s Canadian transit advisory services group.
“I enjoy being part of the industry because it really is a family of people who share a common vision and idea of improving the lives of people and how we all move through our cities, towns and rural communities.”
Farooqi is also heavily invested in nurturing new talent in the industry. He teaches a graduate business course on infrastructure for the Master of Real Estate and Infrastructure and MBA program at Schulich, and provided workshops and books to schools in emerging markets. This course draws upon selected infrastructure projects to expose students to the perspectives of key stakeholders involved in infrastructure development, delivery and management, including investors, financiers, contractors, designers, politicians, end-users and policy-makers. Selected cases will be subject to in-depth analysis conducted through a combination of lectures using the case method, presentations by project stakeholders, and site visits.