Azran Osman-Rani began his career as a management consultant where he was tasked with helping corporate clients develop strategies and address tough financial issues. He later oversaw business development at Astro and subsequently was brought in by Tan Sri Tony Fernandes to act as the founding chief executive officer for AirAsia X, leading the fledgling long-haul low-cost airline from a startup to IPO within six years.
He later served as the chief executive officer for video-on-demand service iflix in Malaysia, growing it beyond our borders to reach millions of users across Southeast Asia as well as the Middle East and Africa in its first two years of operation.
Though his career has taken him to wildly different industries, Azran says he has never shied away from jumping into the deep end and taking on new challenges. The process of discovering new ways to solve problems in each new business he leads has always fascinated him. To him, the prospect of tackling something fresh, starting with a clean slate, is something that energises him.
Azran has always been intrigued and motivated by problems faced by existing businesses. He often frames his mind around how he would do things differently rather than relying on tried-and-tested formulas.
“What I do with the product could change over time as I learn what works. But the one thing that doesn’t change is the problem that you want to tackle,” he says.
“The good thing about being a startup is I don’t have any legacy systems or constraints,” he explains. “I don’t have to change or deal with existing businesses, though it is a double-edged sword because you often start with little to no money and you need to rally your stakeholders to convince them to believe in your vision.”