Monday 6 February 2017

Entrepreneur Interview with Osmaan Mahmood, Creator of Fenice Media and Where's Funky Monkey

This Entrepreneur Interview and Inspiring Ummah Interview posts will be a series of interviews with entrepreneurs and social campaigners who are making a difference in the world. I find that Muslim women are particularly interested in both of these areas: becoming entrepreneurs or doing work that benefits society, often both at the same time. These interviews will help to shine a light on the motivation and inspiration behind creating your own product, service, social outreach campaign or charity, how to get started and some of the challenges you may face.

As an introduction, can you please tell us about yourself, your background, and what lead you to create your business/product? 
After having worked in the publishing industry for a few years I set up my own company Fenice Media. We have three core products CorporateLiveWire, the Luxury Travel Guide and iGap Travel Guide. All of these products are geared towards adults and when looking at new areas for the company to expand we felt that we could create a product for children. 

That’s where the idea for Where’s Funky Monkey was born, we publish a great deal of content on travel via our guides and websites and it’s something that I love to do. The aim of Where’s Funky Monkey is to encourage children to want to explore and see the world. 

What made you choose to become an entrepreneur? 
I’ve always looked up to successful business people and love to create new ideas and products so becoming an entrepreneur was something that came very naturally to me. I’m always tinkering and coming up with all sorts of new ideas some sensible and some quite crazy. 

What is the overall aim of your business/product? What problem are you setting out to solve and how? 
The first goal is to teach children that there is a very beautiful and diverse world out there and they should want to explore and experience as much as possible. Secondly with the proliferation of technology more and more kids today are playing games and watching videos whereas my aim with the book is to show children that reading and books are fun and enjoyable. 

What were some of the biggest challenges for you when you were starting your business? 
The biggest challenge was getting our name out there and convincing clients why they should work with us even though they had never heard of our company or product before. Also trying to recruit talented people to a new start-up company is very challenging especially when we used to work from an office that could only fit 5 people at a push. 

What do you wish you had known before you had started your business? 
Being willing to ask for help or advice, no one knows everything especially when it comes to business and rather than trying to do everything on my own or figure everything out on my own sometimes consulting someone with a bit more experience and knowledge in a certain area is the wiser choice. 

What is the most satisfying aspect of running your own business? 
Knowing that we are making a difference in providing our clients with a satisfying experience and product that is good value for money. 

Also to be able to provide work to so many of my employees some of whom struggled to find work for various reasons and were unemployed or in unhappy positions for many years. 

Where do you see your business in the future? 
Hopefully we will continue to grow, we have so far seen 5 years of consecutive growth both in revenues and profits so to keep up this trend while coming up with new and exciting ideas to continue to expand the company and its product range. 

What words of wisdom would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who may be hesitant about taking the first steps towards starting their own business? 
Just to do it, there is never a right time or a perfect moment you simply go for it. 

Also do not have a backup plan I know this sounds crazy but if you want something to succeed you have to put everything on the line, when I set up my company in the first month I put all my savings into a new house and left my very secure full time job because I believed in what I was doing and you have to be willing to make the same sacrifice, life is too short to play it safe.

Osmaan is currently looking to raise funds via Kickstarter to fund his Funky Monkey book. The goal is to raise £5,000 to pay for editing, printing and to pay illustrators. You can go here to contribute and see what you get for your pledge. The Kickstarter page also has a timeline, risks and FAQ's. It's an all or nothing campaign, so the project will only be funded if it reaches its goal of £5,000 by 23rd February 2017.

1 comment:

  1. I was searching this clips for a long.Thanks for sharing it. I am interested in Muslim Entrepreneur business setup. It seems to me a profitable business that are run in a right way according to the muslim law.