One part indomitable, two parts unorthodox, and zero parts good looks, CEO Fasha Mahjoor has architected a culture of innovation that has led his scientific companies down a path to transformative and explosive success.
It was clear that Fasha had an eye for art and design when, at age 10, he attempted an unauthorized, non-permitted and yet distinctive redecoration of his family home in any number of flashy patterns he could get his hands on. This may have been part of the reason he was sent from his childhood home in Persia to boarding school in Worcester, England to be educated in sorcery alongside similarly mischievous boys whose great talents only needed more focus. Fasha thrived in this new western culture and environment, and went on to study Architecture at Manchester Metropolitan University. His Mastery of Architecture continued across the pond at the University of Southern California, where, while earning his Master’s degree, he quickly learned that his poorly adopted British-ish accent made him sound more intelligent than he actually was—possibly even charming—and thus he became a formidable contender in his pursuit of the American Dream.
Even though Fasha’s architecture practice was gaining traction in the early 80s, the lure of an entrepreneurial opportunity from an old high school friend donning an era-appropriate fluorescent ensemble was too thrilling to pass up. His challenge? To start a separations sciences (chromatography) company. As if he knew what that even was at the time!
Having failed all of his chemistry exams in school at the age of 16 and having no financial backing or industry knowledge to speak of, Fasha—with his penchant for perfectionism, fiercely competitive nature, infectious charisma, and tireless work ethic—quickly realized that in order to succeed in the competitive landscape of chromatography, he had to build a company that valued exceptional quality products, fanatical customer service and uniqueness of culture above all else. His company, built in a garage next to his trusty 1982 Jeep Wrangler, would rapidly turn from distributer to manufacturer to innovator, producing the most game-changing technology in the industry.
Nearly 34 years later, Fasha’s company, Phenomenex, the worldwide leader in separations sciences consumables, is an award-winning company with over 8,000 products, 800 employees, 16 global companies and 75 international partners serving over 100 countries worldwide, earning the impressive titles of "Most Likely to Succeed" and "Science’s Most Titillating Company."
After paying off the heads at The Wall Street Journal and International "Spirit at Work Award" Committee to honour the company with prestigious corporate awards such as a "Top Small Workplace," it was clear that Fasha's tendency towards madness was paying off. His obsession with being the best had put his company on the map, his products in nearly every lab on the planet, and all but a handful of his initial competitors still standing… and only on one leg!
In fact, Fasha somehow managed to slip through the cracks in 2013 and was voted to be one of the “Top 100” in the world for his influencing advancements in the field in The Analytical Scientist’s "Power List 2013."
Of course, there were many more awards given to Fasha over time by the likes of Ernst and Young, Deloitte, the Los Angeles business community, and R&D Magazine, including a collection of 12 "R&D 100" awards for his company’s innovative technologies. Fasha even received the "Ellis Island Medal of Honor" in 2013 - one of the USA’s most prestigious awards—placing his name in the Library of Congress alongside US Presidents and Nobel Prize winners. How he managed to be honoured with this award simply proves that miracles clearly do happen!
Awards aside, one might be flabbergasted wondering how a young architect–with a scientific know-how limited to what he could photocopy out of an encyclopedia Britannica and cram into a 3-ring binder—could grow his company from $121,000 a year to a very large, multimillion dollar corporation ranked No. 1 in the world. And even more surprising still, to have accomplished this having gone head-to-head against many multibillion dollar Fortune 500 corporations who had dominated the market before Fasha had decided he had no choice but to be “David” and take on the industry "Goliaths."
One of Fasha's reasons for success has been his innate ability to spot and mentor the right young, (often very green) talent into some of the fiercest forces of nature. Through his own insatiable competitive spirit, drive, and self-sacrifice, he brought on colleagues that had no option but to reflect his indomitable spirit, and he counts these colleagues as the best of his friends. To this day, he still spends 80-hour workweeks dedicated to building his companies (though he could be playing minecraft at his computer all day for all we know!). With his mind constantly racing, he is infamous for coming up with unique ideas, a discerning eye for detail and an extraordinary ability to see and to think in ways that others cannot, continuing to provide a challenging and educational environment for his friends and colleagues.
Fasha despises doing what is "typical," desperately working to break all the rules in anything he does and he fosters a unique and innovative manner of doing everything—like pouncing on the chance when new opportunities present themselves.
In 2014, Fasha embarked on a new business venture based on a revolutionary innovation in blood collection. The new company Neoteryx , has developed its own forward-thinking culture as it opens new landscapes for clinical trials and pharmaceuticals, clinical research and testing, value-based healthcare, telemedicine, and many more areas within the health and wellness spectrum.
Neoteryx is built on the Mitra(r) microsampling device, the first volumetrically accurate means of collecting tiny samples (approximately a drop) of dried blood or other biological fluid. This breakthrough device brings new convenience and accuracy to collecting blood outside the clinic – without a phlebotomist - while enabling results that correlate to "gold standard" references ranges associated with traditional blood draws. It’s no surprise, that a device this easy to use and with such strong clinical utility, is already adopted in several late stage clinical trials, at-home therapeutic drug monitoring, and direct-to-consumer wellness testing.
This success once again confirms Fasha's appreciation for elegant design, calculated risk, and simple innovations that can change the world.
In 2016, Fasha decided it was time for Phenomenex and its products to reach even greater heights. Fasha and Phenomenex joined the Danaher life science portfolio of businesses, which include SCIEX, Beckman Coulter Life Sciences, Pall, Leica Microsystems, and Molecular Devices.
As part of the Danaher family, Phenomenex will operate as a stand-alone company and focus on what it does best: delivering innovative, high quality products and superior customer service to customers all over the world. And before passing the reins on July of 2017, Fasha celebrated the new venture by generously rewarding all his employees.
Aside from business savvy, perhaps one of Fasha’s most notorious and unabashed personality traits is his sincere passion for philanthropy. Forcing innocent people to see him dance in a coconut bra to raise awareness for leukemia, screaming like a baby while leaping from skyscrapers to send youths to life-changing wilderness programs, and baring his shiny shaved head for months on end to fundraise for global charities have all been part of his pursuit to support causes that mean so much to him. His desire to support hands-on giving –paired with financial backing—has moved mountains throughout the world.
Fasha has organized the making of over 600,000 meals, by hand, for hungry children in 3rd world countries with his employees in the US and abroad, and for the past 5 years, he has provided clothing, food, books, school tuition, and mentors for children in a Hyderabad, India orphanage. He even flew to the jungles of Belize with fellow colleagues to help build a school, just to name a few of his endeavors.
These days, quite contrary to his inability to stay still, or rest for even a moment, Fasha can be found doing a whole lot of "sitting" on his derrière as a Board of Trustees member for The Outward Bound Trust (UK), and on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross, Los Angeles. And as of 2017, Fasha is now sitting as a Board member for Pharmafluidics, a ground-breaking company in the field of liquid chromatography separation devices. His impact on—and love of—giving back cannot be disputed nor slowed down.
If you've met the man behind the drafting table, you’ll remember him for his unique brand of pert and self-deprecating humor that magically disarms enemies while easily winning over the affection of strangers and the loyalty of friends and colleagues.
He is beloved by many, perhaps misunderstood by a few, and those around him tend to think he’s a pretty cool guy. And aside from his loud and occasionally blindingly bright clothing choices.
Fasha can neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of the above comments. But this is mainly because he’s old and can’t even remember what he ate for breakfast.
Fasha is most relaxed and contented behind his drawing board. But seeing as he is clearly not smart enough to have become proficient in CAD after 30 years, he is happy just to be able to draw a straight line! In his spare time, he enjoys watching his favourite sport, Rugby, and claims that he played for his adopted country of England. But, after fact checking, it has been discovered that he was actually only active on his kindergarten team reserve squad.
He also loves tennis, and is most famous for his championship game role at Wimbledon… as assistant ball boy! And, when he was avidly show jumping from the ages of 17-36, he broke his nose 2 times, proving time and time again how good he really was at the sport!
Fasha is passionate about art and architecture, and has designed many of the Phenomenex and Neoteryx buildings and decorated all of them in implicit detail in ten different countries throughout the world. Additionally, he has invested in many properties, both commercial and residential, which he plans to further develop over time.