Amirology (noun): The history of Amir :).
1977 – Born, Hull, UK
1978 – Islamabad, Pakistan
1979 – Karachi, Pakistan
1984 – Los Angeles, United States
1986 – Brussels, Belgium – International School of Brussels, International Baccalaureate
1995 – Manchester, UK – University of Manchester, Computer Science with Business Management
1998 – London, UK, Accenture
1999 – Dublin, Ireland, Accenture (eircom)
2000 – Las Vegas, United States – first self funded internet business (failure!) – TheWickedSite.com (no longer there)
2001 – London, UK (Back at Accenture)
2003 – Txtfo.com, Second startup
2005 – European Prize for innovation
2007 – Sell Txtfo.com
2007 – MBA at IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland
2008 – Make move to education sector. Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai, UAE
2009 – Abu Dhabi Education Council – Abu Dhabi, UAE
2010 – Webpreneur University – Dubai, UAE
British/Pakistani currently living in the UAE. Have lived (i.e. had an apartment or bank account) in 13 cities in my 33 years: Hull (UK), London, Manchester, Brussels, Karachi, Islamabad, Los Angeles, Dublin, Nottingham, Las Vegas, Abu Dhabi, Lausanne, Dubai.
Currently living in a place with 85 % foreigners so suits me well – comfortable moving to any part of the world.
Since about the age of 15 I saw the opportunity of computers. This was before the internet was popular but I saw that computers were something that impact every sector.
When the internet came about and after a few years I saw how it was truly going to change the world. My first startup was in 1999 unfortunately a little too ahead of the time but quite a few ideas I had back in the day have happened a decade later – giving me confidence that I wasn’t just being crazy – but the world takes some time to implement.
The internet makes the world a fairer place and that is why I am passionate about spreading the word about the web.
You can have the best ideas in the world – but unless you know how to communicate those ideas, not many people will know about them. I learned about marketing at an early age through running for student council in high school for instance (first attempt was a failure, second attempt was fruitful). Also invented something which won the 2005 European prize for innovation out of 560 entries and yet made less than $100 from it.
I study/read as much about marketing as I can. I also see people as brands so countries/skin color etc are all brands and hence I am also passionate about marketing.
My journey into entrepreneurship has been a LONG one. My earliest venture was organizing the school ski trip at the age of 16. This was the first taste of “risking”/marketing and providing people with a service. I went on to organize some events at my university as well – which taught me further about business. My first “proper” entrepreneurship experience was in 1999 when I heard about the dot com boom. I was a computer science guy and really saw how much opportunity the internet was going to bring. A few weeks into getting bored of my day job – I left to start my first venture. If there was ever a book written on how NOT to start a business – than I would be a featured author. Essentially did everything wrong. Failed badly and it took me three years to pay off all the debt I had accumulated in my failed attempt. I was 22 at the time.
My second attempt was in 2003 (age 26). I worked my behind off on an idea which ended up winning the European prize for innovation but made me less than $100. This time though I was able to change the business model around and made something which was able to give me an income until I sold off the company. It wasn’t a huge hit but it wasn’t a major failure either.
After my MBA and figuring out I wanted to do some “good” to the world, I went into public education working in the government sector. On the side I was continously developing ideas – mostly to help education industry. In 2010 I went full-time again working for myself. I’m working on various projects but my focus is on Webpreneur University, an online learning platform, and ShopMarkaz, an ecommerce platform.
After running my own business for a few years, I developed a passion for personal development. Most entrepreneurs continuously invest in their own learning. I sold my business and moved into the public education sector so that I could spend a few years to learn the sector. I know that education can be greatly improved, especially in the developing world, which is still using VERY old methods of teaching. In the internet age change can happen quicker than at any other point in history. And my commitment is to innovation within the education sector for the next decade of my life.