A student’s journey to entrepreneurship
Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity just a few months ago, Hussain Mehdi had already gained recognition as a budding entrepreneur in his community.
His story is one of inspiration and persistence. Having been exposed to his father’s business as a 12-year-old, he saw the hard work and effort that it took to build something from scratch; and the impact it has on the lives of employees and their families. The entrepreneurship bug bit him and he knew he needed to fast track his studies and work on a side hustle to build his professional experience.
Mehdi took classes during his summer breaks, allowing him to complete his studies in two years instead of three. Unlike the general stereotype of a child in a family business taking it easy, Mehdi hit the ground running. He made sure his portfolio and CV were well-rounded by enthusiastically joining clubs at university. He was a member of the Arabic and Finance clubs, and was inspired to start his own Tech Club. As the founder and president of the Tech Club at Curtin Dubai, Mehdi learned a lot, taught a lot, and proudly wore the hat of heading the largest student club at university with over 60 students.
Mehdi received an opportunity with OSN the moment he graduated. After working there a few months and being exposed to different departments, he felt something was missing and decided to embark on the journey of self-employment.
His start-up, Gold Fixers, came into existence as a solution for the everyday person who is in need of accessible and affordable jewelry repair. Most jewellery repair is either not offered at stores or is expensive due to the complexity and lack of in-house workshops. In due time, Hussain established his own outlet and workshop in Dubai’s Gold and Diamond Park and has three in-house experienced goldsmiths to carry out the work. The majority of his customers are sourced through digital marketing channels and to keep things competitive, his price points start as low as Dh15. In the near future, he hopes to have a store or kiosk in malls across Dubai and a central workshop where all items are sent to be repaired.
Hussain’s road has not been without turmoil, with his biggest challenge being able to network with older and more experienced business owners. Most people find it risky when they hear of an entrepreneur going out on his own at the age of 22 and this even holds true for other entrepreneurs. Hussain’s advice to fellow members of his generation is to go ahead and start their own business instead of overthinking, but recognising that there is a lot of research, thought and hard work behind the scenes.
When asked to describe his day, Hussain says: “Recognising that my main source of revenue is from social media and digital marketing, I start my workday by checking in online and recording content, everything from stories to static posts. I then type out blogs for my brand’s website and post everything that I need to for the day. I do all this till about noon, after which I check on all the repairs that the workers are working on and make sure all of our processes are moving along smoothly.
“If there is any work that is required to be outsourced, I then take care of that. I answer phone calls and manage incoming orders, for example, organising specific stones for specific clients. Throughout the day, I get calls from potential customers and handle all communication with them. After 7pm I work on making our workshop better, cleaner, and more organised. I do everything from touching up the walls with paint to changing light bulbs and all kinds of electrical/aesthetic work. I work till 9pm and head home for dinner.
“At 11pm I start working as a software developer and do everything from building websites to full stack apps for other companies. I have a stake in a digital marketing company where we handle the entire digital presence (websites to socials) for multiple businesses and I oversee the software building/maintenance aspect. My day comes to an end at 2am when I go to sleep while thinking about how I can grow my company faster and more effectively.
“I live, breathe and sleep my brand everyday, and that’s what entrepreneurship is all about. I hope to make it big one day.”
The link to Hussain’s company can be found here: https://linktr.ee/goldfixers