In the face of great adversity, think of it as a great challenge, and find the opportunity within it.
Back in 1999, as a medical school graduate enrolled in the Fox School’s Executive MBA program, Raza Bokhari, MD, recognized some striking differences between medical and business education. In surgery, for which he’d trained, the surgeon must arrive quickly at a defined course of treatment. In business, on the other hand, “you have to think in multiple dimensions,” says Dr. Bokhari. His Fox training taught him to steer his decisions toward sustainable success, not quick fixes. “You learn that everything is a marathon, nothing is a sprint,” he adds. “In the face of great adversity, think of it as a great challenge, and find the opportunity within it.”
As managing partner of RBx Capital, Dr. Bokhari makes select investments in public and privately held companies in life sciences and healthcare space. Dr. Bokhari is the Executive Chairman & CEO of FSD Pharma, Inc (CSE HUGE), which is a public entity that is building the world’s largest cannabis company in Canada, and is transforming into a global pharmaceutical company focused on developing a robust pipeline of FDA approved synthetic cannabinoid applications targeting to treat diseases of CNS, autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal systems, especially better treatment for opioid addiction. Dr. Bokhari is also Chairman of the Board of Parkway Clinical Laboratories (PCL), a global diagnostic provider of addiction screening and opioid prescription medication monitoring services.
The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute suite in Alter Hall bears Dr. Bokari’s name, in honor of his generous 2007 gift. “The Institute is an incubator for bright young people who are tomorrow’s innovators and business leaders,” he said. He considers the gift a way of giving back to Fox because, “It was there that I gathered the wisdom and strength to transform my entrepreneurial passion into demonstrated business success.”
When looking for top talent, Dr. Bokhari assesses people on the basis of four C’s: confidence, competence, commitment, and contacts. He’s interested in job candidates who know the value of a strong Rolodex. “In the end, it’s about people-to-people contacts,” he says. “People give you access to capital: social capital, intellectual capital, financial capital.”
Toward that end, he recommends building relationships with people who are either 10 or 20 years older or 10 or 20 years younger than yourself. Older contacts, he says, “are a source of sage advice and good counsel,” while time spent with younger people “keeps you young at heart.”