Interviews Ariz Shafi, Co-Founder of Shafi Education Published 2 months ago on October 12, 2017 By The Asian Entrepreneur Authors & Contributors Share Tweet 25 Year old Ariz Shafi, who moved to Brampton (Canada) at a very young age with his mother and sister for a better life. He was an immigrant in a whole new country that he knew nothing about. Ariz started working his first job at the age of 14. Throughout his school years he worked several jobs, from delivering newspapers, to working in factories to working at parks and retail. He noticed his mother needed support hence he knew he had to do something different. His mother, Zeenat Shafi is very well known in the education field and has contributed to several books on higher education. Ariz teamed up with his mother and sister to start their first business venture, Shafi Education. Neither one of them had any experience in business. However, Ariz’s uncle Asim Fehmi who is the owner of Fehmilights, has always been Ariz’s go to person till date. Fehmi Lights is one of the biggest wholesaler of crystal chandeliers in Toronto. With his guidance they were able to build Shafi Education into a house hold name. Shafi Education today caters to hundreds of students from all over the city. It is one of the only academic learning centre providing students with guaranteed improvement. Shafi Education also runs summer camps and many more activities for kids. All teachers at the academic learning centre are Ontario Certified and have a passion towards helping their students succeed. From Shafi Education, Ariz started several other businesses such as Detail Legends, Aja Investments, etc. He is a high believer in giving back to the less fortunate, every year Ariz makes it a point to provide meals for hundreds of people back home. Thousands of meals have been provided till date and Ariz aims to grow that number every year. In your own words what do you do? My main responsibilities include but are not limited to Brand creation, marketing, partnerships with various organizations to help the growth of business. What led you to your current business? Shafi Education was started due to my mother being a teacher. She was teaching at another learning center. I noticed a need in the market for highly trained teachers to provide an excellent after school program. It wasn’t easy as we dint have a huge amount of money to start. However, my family believed in me and we invested all that we had. We took a big risk at that point however we knew we would do whatever it takes to make it work. Did you encounter any particular difficulties in the beginning and how did you overcome it? One of the biggest hurdle we got was finances, we got rejected for a loan from the bank due to our lack of business experience. What is your long term plan? Our long term plan is to grow Shafi Education into a brand that it will provide high level of educational services to students all over the country. Could you share with us some industry insights? The need for education after school is extremely important in the industry these days due to a high number of students in each class, teacher not giving that individualized attention. Every student is different, they have their own unique ways of learning. At an academic learning centre after school we are able to cater to their individualized needs. We create individualized programs for our students to ensure we give results. What are some important lessons you’ve learnt about business? In the business world, you need to develop rhino skin. You need to know exactly what your goal is and how you will get there. There will be friends lost, you will feel alone at times but you have to stay strong. Any tips for achieving success? One of my greatest tip would be, take advice from the right people. Associate yourself with people who have what you want in the future, people who have the experience, learn from them and that would help you grow. Never let your ego get in the way, EGO stands for Everyone’s Greatest Obstacle. If you are doing great its because of the people who have helped you, its due to your customers, your staff your team. If you are not doing great never blame anyone but yourself. Ask yourself how can you change this situation, what is it that you can change about yourself to ensure you do better. Never be scared of failure, fail forward and learn from your mistakes. Whats your connection to Asia? I was born and raised in Old Delhi (India), I completed middle school at Cambridge School in Delhi. I have a beautiful house in Delhi built on architecture. We recently renovated the mansion and also built a beautiful rooftop café called The Walled City Café. Connect Website: www.arizshafi.com Related Topics:asiabusinesscustomersdelhiEducationfailgrowthIndialifeMarketingmemistakessucceedsuccessSupport Continue Reading You may like 10 Effective Funding Models for Non-Profit Startups Malcolm Tan, Founder of Gravitas Holdings Women on Top in Tech – Pam Weber, Chief Marketing Officer at 99Designs Renata Brkić William Chin, Founder of Mummy’s Market How We Can Innovate the Legal Industry like Elon Musk Callum Connects Malcolm Tan, Founder of Gravitas Holdings Published 1 day ago on December 15, 2017 By Callum Laing Malcolm Tan is an ICO/ITO and Cryptocurrency advisor. He sees this new era as similar to when the internet launched. What’s your story? I’m a lawyer entrepreneur who owns multiple businesses, and who is now stepping into the Initial Coin Offering/Initial Token Offering/Cryptocurrency space to be a thought leader, writer (How to ICO/ITO in Singapore – A Regulatory and Compliance Viewpoint on Initial Coin Offering and Initial Token Offering in Singapore), and advisor through Gravitas Holdings – an ICO Advisory company. We are also running our own ICO campaign called AEXON, and advising 2 other ICO’s on their projects. What excites you most about your industry? It is the start of a whole new paradigm, and it is like being at the start of the internet era all over again. We have a chance to influence and shape the industry over the next decade and beyond and lead the paradigm shift. What’s your connection to Asia? I’m Singaporean and most of my business revolves around the ASEAN region. Our new ICO advisory company specialises in Singaporean ICO’s and we are now building partnerships around the region as well. One of the core business offerings of our AEXON ICO/ITO is to open up co-working spaces around the region, with a target to open 25 outlets, and perhaps more thereafter. Favourite city in Asia for business and why? Singapore, since it is my hometown and most of my business contacts originate from or are located in Singapore. It is also a very open and easy place to do business. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? Be careful of your clients – sometimes they can be your worst enemies. This is very true and you have to always be careful about whom you deal with. The closest people are the ones that you trust and sometimes they have other agendas or simply don’t tell you the truth or whole story and that can easily put one in a very disadvantageous position. Who inspires you? Leonardo Da Vinci as a polymath and genius and leader in many fields, and in today’s world, Elon Musk for being a polymath and risk taker and energetic business leader. What have you just learnt recently that blew you away? Early stage bitcoin investors would have made 1,000,000 times profit if they had held onto their bitcoins from the start to today – in the short space of 7 years. If you had your time again, what would you do differently? Seek out good partnerships and networks from day one, and use the power of the group to grow and do things together, instead of being bogged down by operations and going it alone from start. How do you unwind? I hardly have any time for relaxation right now. I used to have very intense hobbies, chess when I was younger, bridge, bowling, some online real time strategy games and poker. All mentally stimulating games and requiring focus – I did all these at competitive levels and participated in national and international tournaments, winning multiple trophies, medals and awards in most of these fields. Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why? Phuket – nature, resort life, beaches, good food and a vibrant crowd. Everyone in business should read this book: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Richard Kiyosaki Shameless plug for your business: Gravitas Holdings (Pte) Limited is the premier ICO Advisory company and we can do a full service for entrepreneurs, including legal and compliance, smart contracts and token creation, marketing and PR, and business advisory and white paper writing/planning. How can people connect with you? Write emails to [email protected], or [email protected] Twitter handle? @malcolmABM — This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’. Connect with Callum here: twitter.com/laingcallum linkedin.com/in/callumlaing Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com Continue Reading Callum Connects William Chin, Founder of Mummy’s Market Published 2 days ago on December 14, 2017 By Callum Laing William Chin set up Mummy’s Market. Mummy’s Market is the uncontested platform connecting parents and retailers in Singapore. What’s your story? After National Service, I enjoyed a rousing start to my corporate career with successful stints at events and conventions companies such as IQPC, Hannover Fairs Australia and Lighthouse Independent Media in management roles, building my experience in conventions, trade fairs and events. However, I hit a particularly bad streak of unemployment after that, facing difficulty finding jobs because according to recruiters, I was overqualified, yet too young. In fact, at one point I was struggling so badly with my family loans that I was sharing bowls of ramen with my girlfriend for our meals, to save costs. My financial pressures eventually culminated in my forced venture into entrepreneurship where I had to strike out my own path with a brief stint in Expomal. However, this turned out to be my next break that fuelled my current success. It was there I built up Smartkids (another wildly successful baby and child fair) before it was bought out by a bigger company. Inspired by SmartKids, I started Mummy’s Market and eventually Baby’s Market, outperforming established names in the business to take its current place as market leader. What excites you most about your industry? Mummy’s Market is the industry leader in baby, kids, maternity and household with 80% market share and our clients – coupled with branding, advertising and exhibiting on Mummy’s Market platforms, we are seeing a 30-60% company growth year on year despite the downturn in the economy. With attendance of over 100k consumers per fair and serving 70-80% of pregnant mums, our actual business is in data, data collection and processing from consumer fairs. I am excited about how big data analytics from Mummy’s Market can be applied at every stage of the retail process such as data segmentation – for retailers now when mums are giving birth to sending relevant content over. This will transform and innovate the industry of baby fairs and Mummy’s Market, with the huge amount of data we process from our fairs yearly, is the forerunner in this disruption. With this, we have transformed the DNA of how digital business has always been done. Global online marketplaces are burning cash quickly to achieve big data analytics, but not us. Another testament to Mummy’s Market’s popularity is that huge marketplaces have been trying to pass off as Mummy’s Market. It shows that we are heading in the right direction and the most exciting part is, we are only at 10% of where we want to be – a platform where $1 billion gross market value products are transacted annually around Asia in a niche market. What’s your connection to Asia? I was born and bred in Singapore, and intend to stay in Singapore to build the Mummy’s Market brand. Favourite city in Asia for business and why? Singapore – if one can strategically become a leader in a small market like Singapore, its grounds to show that one’s business has an opportunity to grow further in larger countries. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? “It is easy to become number 1 because the others can just copy and tweak to overtake you. It is more difficult to STAY number 1, because you have no one to copy. You have to innovate.” Who inspires you? Steve Jobs – he transformed the digital age. Without the invention of smartphones, mobile computing and mobile advertising would never have grown. He changed the way businesses and consumers communicate. Without the introduction of iPhones, mobile applications would have never existed the way we are using them today. What have you just learnt recently that blew you away? You no longer have to lick stamps to make it sticky. If you had your time again, what would you do differently? Nothing. I love my life and my family. And I love the platform Mummy’s Market has created to help businesses grow. How do you unwind? I play with my little 1 year old baby girl. Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why? Taiwan – cool weather with beautiful mountains and lake scenery. Everyone in business should read this book: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey Shameless plug for your business: Mummy’s Market has established its reputation as not just Singapore’s but Southeast Asia’s largest baby fair: Nearly S$100 million gross merchandise volume transacted on Mummy’s Market platforms annually 800,000 visitors at its fairs yearly 80% of all of Singapore’s baby product distributors in one convention 15-20% year on year increase in sales volume at every baby fair since its inception Apart from market dominance, Mummy’s Market also has the largest database of parents and the number 1 platform for MNCs and SMEs to reach out to this audience. From exhibitions, magazines, seminars to digital campaigns and roadshows. Mummy’s Market is the uncontested platform connecting parents and retailers in Singapore. How can people connect with you? [email protected] https://www.linkedin.com/in/william-chin-23910a9/ — This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’. Connect with Callum here: twitter.com/laingcallum linkedin.com/in/callumlaing Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com Continue Reading Latest Popular Money1 day ago 10 Effective Funding Models for Non-Profit Startups Callum Connects1 day ago Malcolm Tan, Founder of Gravitas Holdings Entrepreneurship2 days ago Women on Top in Tech – Pam Weber, Chief Marketing Officer at 99Designs Investors2 days ago Renata Brkić Callum Connects2 days ago William Chin, Founder of Mummy’s Market Investors3 weeks ago Deborah MacArthur Callum Connects4 weeks ago Benjamin Kwan, Co-Founder of TravelClef Startups3 weeks ago Jack Ma’s Keys to Success Startups4 weeks ago What is Design Thinking, Really? 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