Asslam Shaikh : The Young Entrepreneur Established in Business.
MyPencilDotCom: All of us are ambitious and everyone has a different story and journey. How did you start your journey?
Asslam Shaikh : It was an accident how I landed up being a businessman as it was never planned because I come from a typical middle-class family background. I worked for a few years in multiple companies; I never settled in one company, I hoped in 4-5 companies in search of a satisfactory job. Then once I got a job opportunity in Dubai and I took the interview and I got selected but instead, the owner of the company allowed me to start my own business and that was the beginning of Aliff.
MyPencilDotCom: Initially when Aliff was growing what all challenges did you face?
Asslam Shaikh : When you are not from a business class family background you are clueless in the beginning. We spent weeks deciding the logo and name of the company. Then in the middle, we faced small problems like filing income tax etc.
MyPencilDotCom: What was your thought process after Aliff started and what was your contribution to the pandemic?
Asslam Shaikh : I always had an attachment with Switzerland and I had worked with a Swiss company so Switzerland was the first country in which I recruited students. Covid has impacted all of us and like everybody else’s our business was also affected. We made use of
the Ali foundation to help the needy, we made ration items, food packets and energy drinks available to the daily wage labourers for 3 months.
MyPencilDotCom: In every field of work there is competition, what all did you learn from your competitors and how did you keep yourself updated?
Asslam Shaikh :I never gave much attention to the competitors. I always focused on the needs of my students and parents who are my customers and focused on providing my customers with the services which my competitors were not providing. We helped the students in providing answers to the questions nobody was addressing which are ‘WHAT TO STUDY?’ and then later on ‘WHERE TO STUDY?’
MyPencilDotCom: What are the important lessons of life that you learnt in this journey?
Asslam Shaikh : As an entrepreneur, you should get the right people around you who are smart, efficient and effective, the right team with whom you work and you succeed. People who are different and who fill your weaknesses. Investing in the right place is very important and should never get carried away. Correctly managing the finances and income through a financial mentor or a charted accountant is extremely important.
MyPencilDotCom: Have you ever set a goal or benchmark for your work?
Asslam Shaikh :In the beginning you go with the flow but as you learn in your life you realize that without a goal you cannot afford to take a single step in your life. Working and achieving a goal is very tough. You
have to define a goal in every aspect of life and different areas of life. You should always have a social goal, financial, personal and family-oriented goal. Having a vision board in life is supreme.
MyPencilDotCom: What is your definition of success?
Asslam Shaikh : I feel success is a relative term that differs from individual to individual. For me, I feel when you go to bed at night you should be satisfied with the day you spent. The satisfaction comes in the terms that you have projected something and you learnt something new or contributed something new in someone’s life that day. When you feel that satisfaction at night that is the definition of success for me.
MyPencilDotCom: Where do you see yourself in the next ten years? And how is it different from the initial 10 years?
Asslam Shaikh :There will be a land difference in those 2 decades of my life. In the next ten years, I see myself as a leader who is bringing a positive change in the lives of the students which is in terms beyond education. I wish to show the students that marks and studies are not everything in their life, besides this, there is a very big definition of life. Secondly, I want to bring out global mobility and that the students enjoy full exposure to travelling and learn from these experiences. Thirdly I want to help young entrepreneurs in
bringing change to the lives of students.
MyPencilDotCom: What is your message for the viewers of mypencildotcom?
Asslam Shaikh : The most important thing is that you need to keep on learning. Education and knowledge don’t end in a classroom, it ends with you. I want to break this myth that education and knowledge is not power. Once you educate yourself you also need to learn how to organize and how to use that knowledge to be successful.