The Passenger, The Driver, The Owner & The Call Centre

The Passenger, The Driver, The Owner & The Call Centre

By Ejaz Shah  — 18th December 2020

The Passenger

The Passenger

The Passenger

The wind blew the rain on my face as I stood waiting for my taxi, they had said 5 minutes so I saw no point looking for shelter. The minutes passed by, but no taxi came. I rang the taxi company to enquire why the driver was not here yet but before the operator could answer the phone, a Volkswagen Passat pulled up in front of me. I hung up and got in.

“Aright mate” the driver asked,

“yeah, I’m good, how you doing?” I replied

“all good, Stanley Road?”

“Yeah mate, thank you”

The rest of the journey passed by with no other words uttered aside from Capital FM playing in the background. When we pulled up outside my house, I handed the cash over, tipping the driver an extra few quid and then made a dart for the front door through the now, much heavier, rain.

Ten minutes later, as I finally sat down in some fresh clothes, I realised that I did not have my phone on me. It suddenly dawned on me that I had no recollection of getting out of the taxi with my phone. 

I grabbed the house phone and dialed my mobile number immediately. One ring…two rings…three rings…four rings…five rings and then my own voice asking me to leave a message. ‘Damn it!!!!’

I rang the taxi company office and explained my predicament, the operator put me on hold while he tried to contact the driver. After a short while, he came back to me apologetically saying the driver had finished the shift for the night and he couldn’t get hold of him.

‘Really?!?’ I could feel my temper rising.

“What do you mean you can’t get hold of him?” I demanded

“Please ring back tomorrow, if I manage to get hold of him today, I will ring you back on this number and get the driver to drop it off to you”

I hung up the phone frustrated.

Watching tv the evening slipped away and no phone call from the taxi office came. This is ridiculous, I thought, surely, they have the driver’s personal number?! Thoughts continued to build up in my head, he’s going to keep it, he is going to keep my phone and deny seeing it. It’s my word against his! Aaargh!

Impatiently and getting more and more frustrated, I rang back and explained to the operator once again what happened. Again, I was told to hold whilst they tried to get hold of the driver.

The operator returned having had no luck getting hold of the driver and then repeated to me what the previous operator had. With my patience running very thin and my frustration turning to anger, I demanded to speak to whoever was in charge. After another what seemed an eternity on hold, the manager came onto the line.

“Sir I believe you have left your phone in the back of one of our taxis?”

“Yes, I have” I replied

“Like my colleague explained, the driver has finished for the night and will be back tomorrow, we have tried to reach him but have had no luck. If your phone is still with him, you can pick it up from the office tomorrow or we can get someone to drop it off to you”

I knew it!! A voice in my head screeched. “What do you mean IF my phone is still in the back of the taxi?!”  I bellowed back.

“The driver had another pickup after your job sir, so someone could have picked the phone up, let’s wait until we get hold of the driver”

“This is a joke!? Come on!! I am a regular customer; I have paid so much for your taxis over the years and this is what I get?! This the best you can do?!”

The manager tried to get back into the conversation, but by now, I was completely seeing red.

‘I am disgusted by the way you are treating me. Let me make it very clear to you, IF I do not get my phone back, not only will I never use your taxi firm again, I will make sure everyone hears about this!!’

And with that, I disconnected.

I pulled out my laptop, went onto the companies Facebook page, and started typing away furiously. One negative review down, I turned my attention to google and continued venting my frustration.  

Overnight I had decided I was going to uber it to work the following morning. However, I soon realised Uber was on a surcharge, again. I had no choice. I didn’t mention my phone to the operator when I called in, I was going to wait until I met the driver.

As I hastily finished the last bite of my breakfast, the usual familiar sound of the taxi horn alerted me to its arrival.  

With a stoic look I jumped into the front seat, ready to start the conversation. But before I could say anything, the driver turned to me with my phone in his hand.

“Oh, thank you, thank you”, I gasped, the relief tangible in my voice. The rest of the journey consisted of a big grin across my face and my face in my phone. As I left the taxi, I made sure I tipped the driver a quid or two extra and thanked him once again.

Work was craaaaazy busy. I had lunch at my desk and just managed to meet my deadlines as the clock struck 5pm.  Exhausted at home, I was about to call it a night, when I remembered the bad reviews I had left the taxi company the night before. I quickly logged onto my laptop and then froze at the sight of what greeted me.

My Facebook review had gone viral!!

The Driver

The Driver

The Driver

2020 was to be my year, it’s certainly been a year to remember. The muscles in my neck ache every time I turn my head. My shoulder feels heavy, stiff and heavy. 

What an awful, awful year. I can’t remember the last time I had a day off, 14-hour days, 7 days a week and not a penny to show for it. If it carries on like this, I’ll be paying for the fuel out of my own pocket, fuel to just roam the streets looking for work! 

The virus has scared away all my regular customers. There’s barely anyone to see on the streets. More money, more problems they say, no money and so many problems for me.

Missus isn’t happy either, she barely gets to see me and when she does, I’m zoned out, no help at all with the kids. We’re living on basic rations, hand to mouth stuff. The bills are piling up and I am already behind on my mortgage payments. 

There has been no help from the government, not surprising, although thankfully the taxi company reduced the rent but at the same time, they reduced the fares too!!

It was getting late and I was exhausted. I had only five jobs to show for the whole day. When I spoke to the operator at the office, I asked him to find me something to take me home.

‘Stanley Road, ready for pick up now?’

It wasn’t quite near my home, but it was in the same direction and I wasn’t in a position to decline.

I headed straight for the pickup and as I turned the corner, I could see through the rain the passenger waiting by the side of the road. We exchanged greetings and I started on with the journey. The passenger seemed lost in his thoughts and as experience had taught me, if they don’t instigate the conversation, it means they want to be left alone. So, we continued in silence.  

I felt a pang of guilt as the passenger walked away, after tipping me for the ride. Maybe I should have struck a conversation with him??  Maybe I got the tip for the silence?!? Bless him, either way, it can’t be easy for him either in the current climate.

I was still thinking about it, when I heard the operator call in another job, the drop off was right next to my house. I took it and sped towards it as quick as I could.

A couple got into the car, they seemed friendly and we chatted along the way. As we pulled up near the drop off point, the husband leaned forward:

“Mate, just drop my wife here, we live in that cul-de-sac and can you drop me off around the corner”

“Yeah no worries” I replied, as I pulled over

As the woman went to leave, she whispered to her husband

“Don’t do it Pete, don’t.”

She then turned around to me and softly whispered ‘sorry’.

I smiled back at her, caught up in the situation I didn’t pay attention to what she had said. I drove around the block and pulled up to where I was instructed to. The male passenger got out of the car, reaching in his back pocket as he did, I started rolling my window down in anticipation. 

But as soon as he had shut the door he darted off, jumping over a fence and disappearing into a field. I got out of the car but there was no point, he was long gone. The wife’s ‘sorry’ echoed in my head, as I turned around and drove back to where I had dropped her off. I had been too distracted by the male passenger and hadn’t seen the house she had gone into. Completely downtrodden, I called the office and reported the ’runner’, as per office policy. 

They blacklisted the caller’s number and offered me another job close by, I refused. I was fed up, I switched the system off and drove home.

Just as I got home my phone started ringing, I couldn’t face talking to anyone, I was done for the day, the week, the year. I walked in, went straight to the shower, chomped down some dinner and hit the sack. I heard my wife whisper ‘good night’ as I drifted off, I was too exhausted to reply.  

My eyes awoke to a silent house, my wife nowhere to be seen. I had overslept. Why had my alarm not gone off?! I searched around for my phone and realised when I saw it that the battery had died – I’d forgotten to put it on charge. When I got out of the shower, I could hear my phone ringing, on charge in my bedroom, it was the office;

“Where have you been, we’ve been trying to ring you all night”

“Sorry my battery was dead, I’ll be logged on and ready in a short while, is it busy?”

“Can you come into the office; I need to see you. In the meantime, a driver is headed towards your house, someone left a phone in your car last night, can you give it to the driver, he will pass it on”

I went to look in my car and under the passenger seat there was a phone, it was locked and on silent but had a few missed calls on it. When the other driver turned up, I handed it to him and headed to the office myself, wondering why he wanted to see me. He rarely calls drivers in.

He was fuming. The guy who had left his phone in my car last night had left a bad review on Facebook. Unlucky for us the review had hit a chord with several people and was now doing the rounds on social media.  

“How many times have I said, check the car when you drop a passenger off before heading to your next job”

“I know, I know, I’m sorry. It was just such a long day yesterday man, I usually do but I don’t know, I got another job and it was near my house so I just kind of sped off for it. A waste of time, it was a bloody runner!”

“You’ll get compensated for your dead mileage on that don’t worry, part of the job, but why the hell was your phone turned off all night? We could have rectified this issue straight away if you answered your phone”

“Sorry man, my battery went dead, hence the late start today! Sorry.”

I left the office feeling crap. It wasn’t a telling-off really, the gaffers a good man, but I’d caused a big problem. What a start to the day!? I logged onto the system and was greeted with the news that I was at the back of a 55-car queue. Brilliant, another long day, another day to figure out how to get on top of those bills and keep a roof over my head.  


The Owner

The Owner

The Owner

I looked at the accounts, slowly turning the pages of the books, work had been cut by 70% and I had lost about 50% of my fleet. 15 years in the making and I was witnessing all of my hard work, blood, sweat, and tears going down the drain. If it wasn’t for the school runs, we’d have completely folded, however, I don’t know how long they alone could keep us ticking over. The drivers that still remained with us were on a pittance, earning below the bare minimum. 

My hands were tied, I had already offered them reduced rent rates, there was no more I could do. My thoughts were disturbed by the office phone ringing, I answered to the voice of my main dispatcher speaking over me:

We’ve got an irate customer on the line, wants to speak to a manager but he is on a call, can you deal with it?”

“Yeah, what’s the situation though?” I replied.

“He’s left his phone in one of our cabs and the driver has finished for the night, we can’t get hold of him”

“Ok no worries, put him through”

I tried explaining the situation to the customer, but he wasn’t having any of it, he very abruptly and rudely hung up on me, midway through my explanation. I called the dispatcher into my office and we pulled the customer’s records of the system. I valued all customers, but regular customers were a precious commodity nowadays, we couldn’t afford to upset them.

However, to my surprise and contrary to what the customer had said the cheeky bugger had only used us once before about 6 months ago and then earlier on tonight, so much for being a regular customer! I got the driver details and tried ringing the driver but it went straight to voicemail.

He’s probably sleeping” the dispatcher said, as I hung up.

“Minor issue”, I replied, “it’s only a phone, the customer should have been more responsible with his belongings, the driver is a good guy he will most likely hand it in tomorrow, he probably doesn’t even know…” the dispatcher interrupted me mid-sentence

“the driver had a runner on his next job, got a funny feeling the phone went with the runner”

“Great!” I sighed

I returned to looking through my accounts when I noticed a notification on one of the tabs. I had my company social accounts opened, it’s an old habit keeping an eye on all the business fronts.

Someone had left us a review, and to my horror, it wasn’t the positive review that I was hoping for

“Useless company made me wait an hour in the rain, rude driver barely uttered a word, ignored me throughout the journey and then drove off with my brand-new phone. To make matters worse when I called the office to report it, they CUT ME OFF!!! ***DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY – UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE TREATED LIKE SHIT AND TAKEN ADVANTAGE OFF***

Our calls are answered by an oversea call centre, we only have a main dispatcher in this office and a manager during office hours. Without thinking I typed an email to the call centre manager asking for an explanation as to why customers were given the wrong time and why they were being hung up on?

I went back to the review to leave a reply apologising and assuring the customer that I would be getting the matter looked into, when I noticed several people had jumped onto the post, the customer had tagged a number of people and had used some popular hashtags, which had led to the high traffic the poster was now getting. Aside from two people sticking up for my company, the rest were going all out tarnishing our name!

I stared at the screen, shocked at what was unfolding in front of my very eyes. The business was going viral but for all the wrong reasons.  I called the office manager in, who walked in red-faced, his laptop in his arms. He had already seen for himself what was happening and turned my attention to our business page on google. The customer had left the same negative review on it.  There was nothing we could do, but report both reviews and then wait and watch the business name being tarnished.

My computer beeped with a notification of a new email. I had been sent both the transcript and call recording of the original call the customer had made to us. As I expected, our operator had been polite, professional and respectful throughout the call, something that could not be said about the customer!

We put a statement out on our Facebook page, clarifying everything that had happened. There was nothing more we could do.

In the morning the office manager alerted me to the fact that the customer had booked another taxi with us, I quickly rang the driver from last night, luckily managing to get through to him. By the time the customer had taken his seat in our taxi he had had his phone returned to him.

I scrolled through our social media. The reviews were still up, both platforms had refused to delete them, I was in despair, I had tried everything, but we had no power. The post was still getting hits and it didn’t look like it would stop anytime soon.  

I was lost in my thoughts when the driver from last night walked through my office door, I looked up and wearily forced a smile on my face. Someone had to try and keep the mood lifted, if not me, who?

The Call Centre

The Call Centre

The Call Centre

Six months that’s all I needed. Six months of hard work, head down and I would pass the probation period. With that came a permanent contract and a pay rise and then, maybe then, I could finally enroll into university and complete my studies. That was me four months ago and I was struggling now. 

Redundancies had taken place, out of the ten of us that had started together, only four of us were left. The business was struggling, it was clear to see, the managers were stressed and the atmosphere was tense. I just tried to remain as focused as I could.

“Believe it or not you can smile through the phone”, that’s what my trainer had told the group on our first day.

That’s what I reminded myself, every time I took a call, smile…smile…smile.

The call last night had caught me off guard. The customer would not let me speak and was absolutely fuming. There was nothing I could say or do to calm him down. He had left his phone in one of our taxis and for the life of me I could not get through to the driver. The customer had hit the roof. I recorded everything as per company procedure and although I went home with an awful headache, I felt I had done everything I should have done.

This morning, the feeling was different. Overnight a negative post left by the customer had gone viral. It was the talk of the office and I had already been pulled into the office, ‘if the customer was so upset why had I not come to one of the managers?!’. I had tried to look for a manager, but everyone was busy, I tried telling them this, but fear stopped me, I could barely get a word out. I just sat and listened. 

They were going to listen to my call and speak to the CEO who was in the UK and then decide on what action needed to be taken. 

We were ahead of U.K time by several hours so it was a waiting game and time seemed to have frozen.

I couldn’t remember if I raised my voice at the customer – did I??

Did I ring the right number?

I don’t think I did, I should have rung his personal number, did I ring his personal number??

My head was filled with thoughts, thoughts of my failures. I pressed print on my letter.


I looked over, Asif from two rows down was trying to get my attention.

‘Umer’s gone. They let him go yesterday, something about poor quality’.

Umer had been here for three and a half years, me just over four months. My head throbbed. It had been so difficult to get this job. It was a highly sought-after position. There was no way I would be able to get another job like this if I was dismissed, I could not afford a bad reference. I just couldn’t.

I sealed the envelope and scribbled my manager’s name on top. They were looking to reduce the numbers, so they wouldn’t take my departure to heart. With my resignation letter in hand, I slowly walked over to the manager’s office.

New Era Outsourcing Specialists where every side of the story is understood. With our experience, we are able to handle any problems that arise, you can rest assured, New Era OS is working with you, for you, for your customers.

Get in touch today

Taxi, Technology & Outsourcing

Taxi, Technology & Outsourcing

By Ejaz Shah  —  25th November 2020

Reminiscing about the old taxi offices

“One second King, Sierra pick up from 254 VPR let me know the destination, King head towards CT”

I remember sitting in the taxi booking office, yellow walls and a cloud of cigarette smoke hovering above the desk, phone receiver resting on the shoulder as the main dispatcher spoke to the drivers on the old two-way radio system. Two operators were busy on the phones scribbling the jobs down on a sheet of paper, all 3 of them had a cigarette in their mouth and they were all stressed. I didn’t understand what the dispatcher meant when he spoke to the drivers in short code but he was managing a fleet of over 50 cars and I marvelled at how even though they were all stressed out, they still managed to have a laugh.

King and Sierra were both drivers and Sierra was told to head to 254 Victoria Park Road to pick up and King being directed toward the Clock Tower, I know all the shortcodes now but back then, putting in an 8/10-hour shift was like hard labour, you were mentally and physically drained.

Years later,  I found myself working as a taxi driver and studying in Stafford.  It was the best job you could do while studying as you could pick the hours you did working for the largest company there. Here the driver code names were changed into numbers to make it easier and I remember this one time a driver came through on the radio..

Driver: “Car 84 hat in bush”

Dispatcher: Car 84 come again

Driver: “Car 84 hat in bush”

Dispatcher: Car 84 I don’t understand

Driver: “Car 84, Hat in bush, head in hat”

I nearly choked on my tea as the office burst into roars of laughter

Dispatcher: “Car 84 are you ok bud”

Driver; “Car 84 on my way back to the office need a break, I am ok”

Dispatcher; “Roger bud”

Now a driver had been assaulted but the way he reported it back had us all in tears. Car 84 could look after himself but if you picture the incident, he had to drag himself back to the car and report it, there was no mobile phones back then.

Taxi and Technology

This has all changed now, you might find the odd small company still using the old two-way radio system but nearly everyone has moved to computerised dispatching systems. The taxi industry has come a long way from where it used to be and there was a massive surge of drivers joining the trade once outsourcing became the new way of business for many leading industries who chose to move their business overseas. Back then you would struggle to find a company with over 500 cars, which is now the norm, the standard as you will find a lot of small companies are now merged into one large company.

Back around 1995 I was introduced to a family friend Ali, a computer geek, who would go around taxi offices and sell them an Excel spreadsheet that he had made. The idea was to get rid of all the paperwork and make sure everything was categorically organised and while he was rejected by quite a few companies, he did manage to sell quite a few too.

This wasn’t an original idea of Ali’s, he had seen a proper dispatch system doing it’s rounds and had mimicked it, not as advanced as the proper dispatch system but the concept was the same and you had to marvel at Ali’s hustle.

That then was the tip of the iceberg, for the taxi companies that refused Ali back then are now using a dispatch system.

Bookings are now taken on a computer, stored on a computer, dispatched to the driver via the computer to the driver’s mobile and the driver’s job history is stored on the computer. This automation of the taxi booking office allows taxi companies to now take more bookings whereas, in the past, they would refuse them when the sheet was full.

I would be lying if I said the assaults on taxi drivers had now calmed down with the introduction of technology – it hasn’t, however, offices are now able to track the location of their drivers and all drivers have an emergency button on the screen, once pressed it alerts the office and every single driver on shift so help does get their quicker than it used to!

Life for the back office has become a lot easier with an easily accessible record of all the jobs done. Accounts at the end of the month or even week are a lot easier to arrange, whereas before you would have to go through the whole paperwork just to find who did what job on a certain day.

Taxi, Technology and Outsourcing

Even though taxi and technology have been working hand in hand since the 90’s, outsourcing did not come into the picture until after 2010. Allthough outsourcing has been in the market since around the 80’s the taxi trade was very late to jump onto the bandwagon.

Even while I type this blog there are quite a few taxi companies that still treat outsourcing as an alien concept and something they refuse to indulge in, it reminds me of the times I would go around with Ali trying to sell his Excel Spreadsheet to various offices.

Similar to how technology helped the taxi industry move onto the next stage of transportation, outsourcing is also just that, a helping hand.

Majority of the large taxi firms are outsourcing either just the overflow of calls or having outsourced staff handling every aspect of the booking. It is not only more convenient for taxi companies to outsource, it is also a big money saver. If you have recently seen a local taxi company rapidly growing and advertising heavily, chances are they are outsourcing!

All three do work hand in hand though, without the combination of taxi and technology, outsourcing would not be possible, because of technology it is now possible to have a remote worker on the other side of the world answering calls and booking in jobs as well as dispatching!!!

So, what can be outsourced?

Putting it simply, every repetitive task can be outsourced, below I will list a few for a basic taxi office;

  • Operator/Dispatcher
    • From answering the call and taking a simple booking to recovering a job, modifying it and re-dispatching it back to the same driver.
    • Taking account bookings
  • Online bookings
    • Bookings from your website to bookings done on social media
  • Customer Service
    • Customer complaints through emails
    • Customer complaints through social media channels
    • Customer complaints over the phone
  • Bookkeeping
    • Driver accounts including driver base rents and refunds, vehicle MOT’s and driver licensing
    • Weekly staff wages
    • Promotions, advertising and software fee’s
    • Account job’s

By outsourcing the above listed jobs, a taxi company could save around 70% on wages, this money can then be put back into and invested in the company and its future growth.

Me and New Era OS

Having gone through manual taxi dispatching to computerised dispatching systems with call centre experience from the UK not to mention first-hand taxi driving experience I created New Era OS to help taxi companies grow to their full potential and reach heights which they once thought impossible. At New Era OS we can easily handle all the above tasks in a professional manner that the customer would never guess they were speaking to someone some 4000 miles away.

If you have had a bad experience with an oversea call centre or outsourcing is something you have never tried before, get in touch today and take advantage of the no setup fee with your first agent. We are so confident in what we do we do not ask for anything upfront, you really do not have anything to lose!! 

New Era ~ A New Approach

New Era

A New Approach

By Ejaz Shah  —   7th October 2020

For those of you that have read my previous blogs, I hope the one thing that you have picked up on, is my passion about my job. I am not simply passionate about making money or having my own business – I would be lying if I said these factors didn’t play a part, of course they do, however, I am passionate about everything to do with my job.

I write this blog knowing that some points might seem controversial, this is not my intention. It is important for me to be clear and open with everyone and that is exactly what I want to do here. I want to share with you my vision and the outlook for my business. The points I make here are purely based on my experiences and I am fully aware there are limitations to this, therefore these are not generalisations I make but purely statements on what I have experienced and what I hope to achieve in the future. 

The dream from day one was to start a business that was different to others. Different specifically in it’s approach.

Now see I have many years experience in this field, right from front end to back end duties. I have worked alongside many different characters from many different walks of life and from each and everyone I have taken something. Collectively these learnings are what I have implemented in my business.

When I first entered this industry in Pakistan it was a huge shock to my system and unfortunately not in a good way. I had been fortunate to have worked in businesses in the UK where I really relished going into work and giving my all, as did all those around me. I specifically recall fond memories from my time at a national company call centre in the UK, where majority of the staff had been employed for five plus years, they loved their jobs and were so dedicated to what they did. I know it sounds cheesy, but the company really had a family feel to it. Everyone was keen to play their part in the success of the business and were rewarded – rightly so – for their efforts.

New Era moto

My introduction to call centre life in Pakistan was somewhat different. Therefore, when the opportunity came, I knew I had the experience, the knowledge and the desire, to make a change, to build a business with a ‘feel good’ factor to it, similar to what I had experienced back in the UK. I envisioned a place where I could offer employees a place where they were valued, a place where they were appreciated and the opportunity to grow. At the same time, I wanted to be absolutely dedicated to my clients, working with them, for them and for their customers. That very idea is where the moto of New Era came about. New Era OS, working with you, for you, for your customer!

So how have I gone about this and what does New Era have to offer:


There is no single person that makes New Era. It is a collective effort by every single member of staff, irrelevant of your title or your salary and this includes me. I alone cannot make New Era a success, the success of New Era is in the hands of the entire team.

I recall one thing that I couldn’t get my head around when I first came to be working in Pakistan was how staff were treated depending on their ‘level’. Simply put if you were not one of the big bosses, the senior employees, the one with flashy job titles, you were not treated with respect. I fundamentally disagree with this notion.

I remember pulling in the cleaning team one day into my office and telling them that they were employees of this organisation, the same as everyone else and they had a designated – important – job role, no one had the ‘right’ to give them extra duties apart from their line manager. When I say the right I mean they were being used to run personal errands, heat food for staff ‘higher up’, wash their lunch dishes, they were treated as personal ‘butlers’, though the term butler comes with more respect then was ever bestowed upon them. Heartbreakingly, these individuals did not feel they could say no, so they did everything that was required of them by the business, doing their own jobs as well as running around doing personal chores for those that viewed themselves as more ‘important’.

This quite frankly ‘toxic’ mind frame filtered down the business and employee chain, with each member of staff looking down on those they considered to be more inferior to them. Now let me be clear, this wasn’t everyone, there were those that played no part in this. But this mentality was never challenged, it was deemed okay, I learnt this first-hand myself, as my intervention with the cleaning team did not go down well with the management team, apparently this is the way things are done here.

Well no, not in New Era. Right from the offset the approach we take is to ensure satisfaction and satisfaction goes hand in hand with success.

At New Era a waiting list is used to select candidates for interviews based on their capabilities. This is a new era of call centre work, so once part of the New Era family, employees have the chance to grow and advance in their career and be rewarded along the way. We got rid of the hourly pay that is common here in call centres and put our staff on fixed wages with paid holidays. Overtime is paid as overtime and wages are in the bank by the end of the month. We want our staff to want to come into work and feel valued. We know how important these benefits and bonuses are to our staff.


A thing I noticed very early on here in Pakistan was that the owners of a lot of the call centres here are overseas citizens with a business in the west and the setup here in Pakistan to purely support their venture in the west. This divided interest, or in some cases, lack of interest to the business in Pakistan, is reflected in the way businesses are ran.

With New Era there is no divided or lack of attention. I am 100% dedicated to New Era, my time is completely dedicated to our clients without having to worry about my own business in the UK.

Again, with clients too, we use a waiting list, and to those currently on the waiting list,we ask for patience. We are perfectionists, we have a strict policy of only taking on a new client on either a Monday or a Tuesday at the latest, for our onboarding department needs a week to collate all the requirements from the new client and relay the information to our training department. The training package for the operator is then tailored around these requirements, ensuring the operator and New Era as a whole, are delivering everything that the client requires of them. Each client has a dedicated member of staff to address any issues or queries and we only move onto onboarding the next client, once both the current client and the New Era team are completely satisfied that the onboarding process has been a success. We are our biggest critics. We believe everything should be done precisely from inception and then this very perfection should be maintained throughout. This is our only project, New Era. We are not side-tracked by any other investments; our focus is to build this into a brand that can be trusted by clients worldwide and give security to our work force. I know there are many of you out there that share my vision, I have had the privilege of meeting many of you in person. Let’s work together to build the infrastructure that provides equal and fair opportunities to all and enables the many to reap the success of their dedication and hard work. Once again, please comment below and share your thoughts and stories and pop over to our main page to learn more about New Era

Imposters Syndrome

Imposters Syndrome

By Ejaz Shah  —  22nd September 2020

Have you ever felt anxious that you are not good enough? Felt like a fraud? That regardless of all the certificates decorating your walls, the trophies lining your cabinets, the accolades behind your name, you know nothing, and that sooner or later you will be exposed? Well you’re not the only one.

David Bowie, Maya Angelou, Tom Hanks, all leading figures in their industries, have felt the same:

“I really felt so utterly inadequate” – David Bowie

“I have written 11 books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out” – Maya Angelou

“How did I get here? When are they going to discover that I am, in fact, a fraud and take everything away from me?” – Tom Hanks

At some point in their celebrated careers, each one of them has/had suffered from ‘imposters syndrome’.

Imposters syndrome is the feeling of constantly doubting yourself, your talents, your abilities and living with the fear that you will be exposed as a ‘fraud’, regardless of your accomplishments. The phenomenon was introduced by psychologists Dr. Pauline R. Clance and Dr. Suzanne A. Imes back in 1978 and I’ve attached a link for you to read up more about this phenomenon if you wish to do so.

Why, when we have the skills, the expertise, the know-how, do we feel this way?!

Me, the Imposter and I

I remember anxiously waiting for my turn in a room full of interviewees as I watched hopeful candidates walk out of the interview room with a long face. I had been working at this well-known call centre for a couple of years and was now going for a more senior role. I knew everything I needed for this new role, because I had been temporarily covering the position for the last six months. But still, deep inside the knots were tightening as each moment passed. By the time I entered the interview room I was 100% confident that they would blow my cover, call out my bluff for what it was. A fluke. I was a phoney, a fake and that by sheer ‘luck’ I had managed to succeed in my roles.

This couldn’t have been more further than the truth. I was good at my job, because I had the expertise, the knowledge and the talent, which combined ensured I succeeded. I couldn’t see this at the time, however – thankfully – the interviewers did, and I got the job.

It wasn’t the first or the last time I felt this feeling of being an imposter in my own success. I recall years later, feeling the same, when I was working as a taxi dispatcher. The firm was going through a tough busy period and I was managing dispatching to a fleet of 100 plus cars. As the most busiest week of the season came upon us, I recall the voice in my head telling me, ‘this is it…you are about to be found out for what you are’, I felt awful, the doubt in my mind was eating away at me.

How do we deal with this? This feeling that most people will feel at some point in their lives/careers and some will constantly be battling it. The first step is crucial.

First Step: TALK

Talk, talk, talk talk! Communicate your feelings. I cannot express how important this is. If you keep this feeling to yourself, it will eat away at you, like it did to me. In my case I turned to my sister, who I have continuously relied on for advice and support. A recent graduate in psychology, she introduced me to the term imposter syndrome. At that time when I was questioning my worth, she was able to talk to me about my many talents, highlight my skills and show me my worth. It is hugely important that you are able to turn the negative thinking into positives, and whilst you nit-pick at all your faults, it is those that surround you that will be able to remind you of your many achievements and successes. Turn to your colleagues, your managers, your mentors, so that they can guide you back onto your path.

Talk, talk, talk talk! Communicate your feelings. I cannot express how important this is. If you keep this feeling to yourself, it will eat away at you, like it did to me. In my case I turned to my sister, who I have continuously relied on for advice and support. A recent graduate in psychology, she introduced me to the term imposter syndrome. At that time when I was questioning my worth, she was able to talk to me about my many talents, highlight my skills and show me my worth.

It is hugely important that you are able to turn the negative thinking into positives, and whilst you nit-pick at all your faults, it is those that surround you that will be able to remind you of your many achievements and successes. Turn to your colleagues, your managers, your mentors, so that they can guide you back onto your path.

Second Step: BELIEF

Believe in yourself. You have come so far, you CAN continue on the same path and fulfil your ambitions. Take the positives that have been highlighted to you by those that you talk to and keep them in mind. Focus all your energy on them and when they fully encompass you, there will be no stopping you. You need that belief in your abilities; and remember those around you see these abilities day in day out, believe what they say. Believe in yourself.


Ooze confidence. You’ve doubted yourself, you’ve talked to those around you about your doubts, they have shown you your worth. You have changed your negative thinking into positive, by believing in your talents. Now move forward in confidence. Be confident in your abilities, take pride in your achievements. Remember everyone around you at some point will have had these very feelings that you are experiencing. The people you look up to, the people you aspire to be like, they too have felt the way you are feeling. They expressed their feelings, grasped the positives and took giant strides in confidence – you too can do this!

And if all else fails. Crack open that giant tub of chocolate ice-cream (or whichever flavour takes your fancy), take the biggest spoon you own and make some heavy dents in that giant tub of deliciousness.

I joke – have the ice cream but in proportion and after you’ve taken the above mentioned three steps. You deserve a treat after all 😊

In all seriousness, we all could name at least one or two people in our lives that have doubted our ability, that will revel in our failures. So why do it to ourselves?! Let’s be our own cheerleaders. Recognise that these feelings can occur, this ‘imposters syndrome’ does exist, but we can battle through it and overcome it. Take those steps to rediscovering your worth and hold on to it tight!

I hope this blog has helped you if you are feeling this way. Comment below to share your experiences and your tips? Have you ever felt this way? How did you overcome it? What did you do? Please do share, I look forward to reading your comments.

Do you have the talent, the skills that we are looking for? If so, don’t hold back, we believe in your abilities and will support you to excel yourself further. Come, join the New Era family!

The First Step

The First Step

By Ejaz Shah  —  31st August 2020

If you look up the meaning of ‘apprehension’ in the Oxford dictionary you will find:

Anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen.

‘he felt sick with apprehension’

Interestingly, the origins of the word apprehension and its meaning from late Middle English is the ‘learning, acquisition of knowledge’ and from late Latin the word ‘apprehensio(n-)’ comes from apprehendere, as to ‘seize, grasp’, as in ‘apprehend’. 

Was I apprehensive when I decided to take my first step? When I decided to pack my bags and move my young family some 6,091 kilometres (that’s around 3,785 miles!) from a country I had grown up in, from the streets I knew like the back of my hand and from the sounds I danced my daily routines to? I can tell you that every inch of my mind, my body was apprehensive. Of course I was scared of the unknown and possible bad, but alongside this notion of apprehension, was the echo to ‘apprehend’. I had to seize, to grasp this opportunity and make it a success, for me and my young family.

Couple of years in and my girls (yes, I am a proud #girldad) have flourished in their new surroundings, taking everything in their stride. I knew they would, they’re beautiful, confident girls, but I knew I had to provide them the assurance and support for them to settle in their new surroundings. I’ll be the first to admit it wasn’t easy, there were tears, tantrums, and that’s just me (!) but I was confident in both mine and my wife’s perseverance. Together, I knew we had the capabilities and attitude to make this switch a success for our family.

Similarly, when I decided on this new venture, the start of NewEra, I was apprehensive. This was a big risk. However, it was a calculated and well researched risk. I was investing my time, my money into something I was passionate about and experienced about. I knew I had the strength, the capability and know-how to make this venture a success.

The first step...

So how do we deal with this notion of apprehension, this fear that holds us back from taking the first step, from venturing out and making a success of our dreams. I want to share the small pearls of wisdom and knowledge I have picked up whilst venturing out with NewEra:

1. Knowledge

I cannot express the sheer importance of knowing your business, inside out. The area you choose to venture into must be something you are both learned in and constantly learning about.

My father was a taxi driver. At the age of 15 I was helping out at the local taxi business as a part time taxi operator assistance (that title is made up, but I promise you I was there, at that age I had no choice, my father was determined that I was working and off the streets). By the age of 19 I was working part time alongside my studies as a taxi driver and a taxi operator – depending on where they needed me. After my studies I ventured into Business Development as a Manager at one of the biggest call centres in our city. It was an eye-opener and the knowledge I amassed was invaluable. In 2013 I moved back into the area I first started in, the taxi service. I worked as a Project Manager and Team Lead for one of the most successful taxi providers in my old city. 

When I made my big move to Pakistan and joined my previous employer, I came with a wealth of knowledge and experience. From front line taxi drivers, to taxi operators, and back end Project Management and Team Leads in a call centre environment, I knew it all, because I had done it all. This was my passion, my fortress. So, it was not surprising that with me onboard, alongside other talented individuals, we were able to make it into one of the largest taxi oriented outsourcing call centre’s in Pakistan.

Know your product – know it inside out. Breath it, sleep it, dream it; and surround yourself with knowledge. Have people working alongside you that are experts in their fields, so that collectively you are a force of knowledge.

2. Visualise

How do you plan a journey if you do not know where you are going? How do you achieve or work towards a goal, when that goal has not been set? (I could go on, but I am hoping you have got my point – stay with me). Visualise where you want to be, what you want to achieve. Set your goals, your targets and visualise how you will get there.

I knew very early on that I wanted to build my own business, I just needed to find that niche area that I was passionate about. When I realised the time was right for me to put everything I had collated over the years into setting up my own business, I took some time out to plan. I did this backwards. I visualised where I wanted to be, what steps I needed to take to get there and how I would be able to make it work. Slowly I worked backwards to where I was in real time. I had created myself a timeline, a map, a plan to help me achieve my dream.

So, visualise, create vision boards, think backwards, forwards, whatever works for you – but remember, dream big by all means, but plan realistically.

3. Hard work

I’m sorry, I have no magic formula. There are no shortcuts I’m afraid. To achieve anything, you have to put the effort in, the graft, the hard work. Key to this is not to give up when it gets hard, and hard it will get – but persevere. Perseverance, a good attitude and mindset will get you through it. Keep going, because you can succeed, if you put the effort in.

I can’t put a figure on the number of CVs (resumes) I have hand delivered in pursuit of getting a job. The number of miles – yes miles – I have walked, to save money on transport, searching for opportunities. The missed social events, the late nights, the early starts, the working-through-the-day-and-night, I have done it all. Of course, I recommend putting your health first and to look after yourself, however, when I have needed to graft, when I have needed to work hard, I have done so. 

The most reliable person you will ever meet is yourself. You will reliably, on point, every morning, either jump out of bed or press the snooze button. You know yourself. Work to your strengths and work hard.

Nothing is gifted, to achieve, you must work for it.

Comment below with stories of your journeys, your dreams, plans and how you were able to take that first step.

If you have knowledge, if you are eager to learn, if you have a dream and you don’t shy away from hard work, then join us. Let’s achieve our dreams together. NewEra provides a supportive, nurturing environment for all its workers, so if you want a new challenge, go over to our Careers Page