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Meet the founders

Today we are getting to know the founders of Robust IT - Darren Bilmen and Rizwan Qayyum.

Blog Image

Meet the founders

Today we are getting to know the founders of Robust IT - Darren Bilmen and Rizwan Qayyum.

Darren and Rizwan founded Robust in 2011, and since then have delivered industry-leading IT and Project Management training to more than 10,000 students!

We have managed to grab them and ask them a few questions to give you a bit more insight into our founders and into Robust IT.

Blog Image Founders: Rizwan Qayyum (left) and Darren Bilmen (right)

What are your backgrounds, and what did you both do before Robust IT?

Darren: I started my career in the IT industry working as a Trainer, and it all went from there! Previously I have worked as a Tech Manager (at Dixon Group), as well as being a Manager at another training company. From there I started my own training organisation, and then co-founded Robust IT.

Rizwan: I completed my BSc (Computer Science) in 2006, and went on to do an MSc in Distributed Systems and Networks with the University of Hertfordshire with Commendation.

After finishing University, I started working as a Senior Application Developer managing a team of developers, designing and developing learning management systems.

Why did you get into the IT industry?

Darren: I always knew that I wanted to work in IT, and after finishing my degree at University I jumped straight into it and have not regretted it since.

Rizwan:I have been fascinated by computers and by technology in general from a very young age. From the outset, I knew that IT was the industry for me and following completing my master’s degree I went into the industry.

How did you two cross paths with each other?

Darren: We met at a training organisation that we both worked at, and from there we decided to start our own business as we share the same beliefs, work ethic, and goals.

Rizwan: As Darren mentioned, we were colleagues working in another training organisation. What I liked about Darren was that he is highly knowledgeable, and IT is his passion as well. Working in partnership with someone needs a lot of understanding and common ground. I believe our goals are similar and that is what makes this business and our partnership so successful.

Why did you found Robust IT?

Darren: From my time in the industry, I felt like other training companies were not focusing on the students but only focusing on the money. Rizwan and I both wanted to start a business that fully concentrates on the students and builds everything around them and what they need. We both wanted to start a business that we believe in, and that is trying to make a difference.

Rizwan: I knew that IT and the training industry needed a lot of revamping. The previous organisation that Darren and I worked at was mainly a profit arm, and not at all customer centric. Both Darren and I shared the same vision that we must adapt according to the customers' requirements.

Most of the other training organisations resell training from other vendors, meaning that they are at the mercy of the vendors if the training materials change. We on the other hand implement the changes on the training materials and syllabus as they change, as we are both Certified Trainers and know what changes in the material are necessary and we strive to be the first ones in the market to implement these changes.

What is Robust's mission?

Rizwan: Learn, Achieve, and Succeed with the power of the right training and hard work.

How does Robust differ from its competitors?

Rizwan: Robust IT is different from its competitors on many levels. We didn't start Robust IT to provide third-party training and make profits.

We have Certified Trainers that design and develop our training, based on the awarding organisations provided syllabus. Robust IT has gone through the rigorous process of NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) APMG accreditation. We are Microsoft Gold Partners, Pearson Vue testing centre partners, EC-council partners, and CompTIA Partners. Robust IT has also gone through the Matrix standard, which is the international quality standard for organisations that deliver information, advice, and guidance (IGA). Robust IT are also a preferred supplier on the MOD supplier list.

All these accreditations mean that Robust IT’s training standards and quality are one of the best in the market.

What are Robust’s plans for the future?

Rizwan: We have both short-term and long-term plans in the pipeline for Robust IT. Our main objective is to keep improving the quality of our training for our students. To achieve this, we continuously retrain our trainers and look to improve our training standards.

We are always striving to incorporate new relevant training modules in our package that are the need of the time. For example, we are including cloud-based cybersecurity modules in our cybersecurity training package. This enables our students to be more employable in the market and have more opportunities in front of them.

What advice would you give potential students going into the industry?

Rizwan: My advice to any potential students is that when you are looking for training (or re-training), always look for the organisation that has been in the industry for a long time.

Make sure to do your research before committing to any training organisation, and always check that they have the right accreditations and affiliations

Once you are on the right path, that's when the hard work starts. All you have to do is put in the effort and hard work, and we at Robust will be there with you making sure that you succeed in achieving your end goal

Contact us at for more information on our packages and/or courses, and get started on your journey!
  • Published, 06 July 2021
  • Founders, Community