#5 Hasib Shaikh - A Million Millionaires

Hasib Shaikh shifted from being a founding member of a fashion brand in Pakistan to work for an investment group in the world's tallest building - The Burj Khalifa.

His vision is to create a million millionaires throughout his journey.


Episode #4 

Sello Rathete - Champion Of Change


Episode #6 

Dr. Tufail Patankar - The Doctor From Dongri


Hasib: Everything frightens me, bro. Everything frightens me. Everything frightens me. But every moment the fear comes. You have to make a decision that whether you want to move forward or you want to let fear stop you with anything and everything. Anything and everything. Whether it is a business decision, whether it is a family decision, whether it is anything, there's fear always there, at least in my life. I don't know about others, but at the same time there's always a courage that we bring out, I bring up to take the decision and move forward and trust God with the right outcomes. 


Aamer: That was a Hasib Shaikh. A senior relationship manager at Aix Investment Group, he is at the very top of where he wants to be, both figuratively and literally. He works from the 144th floor of the Burj Khalifa and it's going to be quite interesting to see how he got there. This is his story.

Hello there and welcome. I'm Aamer Khan and this is the Zed Medium Podcast. A podcast that talks to people and about them too. We narrate people's journeys in the simplest way we can. If you haven't checked out the previous episode, please do. Sello Rathete has an amazing journey. It is honest, it is very inspiring and one that will make you want more in life. 


We begin this journey in Pakistan. That's where Hasib was born and that's where he lived most of his life before shifting to Dubai. Hasib comes from a business family. His father was a well known handmade carpet manufacturer and exporter, which is where he learnt what it takes to run a business. The entrepreneurial spirit was instilled in him there as he watched his father deal with and handle all kinds of employees and clients. 

And picking these traits up early in his life made him extroverted friendly and a people's person, which he used to his advantage. Later on, he was schooled at Aitchison College in Lahore, which is where he also completed his A levels. You know who else studied in this college? Well, it's a fascinating list and we have to go over a few of those people. Former President of Pakistan, Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari Former Prime Minister Mr. Feroz Khan. Famous cricketer Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataud and the current Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Imran Khan. Impressive. No? Hasib was about 18 years old when he completed his A levels. 

At this age, some students go on to do internships. Some do their bachelors right after. While the chosen few take cares and figure out what they really want to do. Very rarely has someone gone on to start something so early in their career and achieved success while they were at it. 

Hasib took on the challenge of getting associated with the creation of a fashion brand at the time. Let's hear what he has to say. 

Hasib I was heading a local fashion brand in Pakistan. Yes. So some of our friends joined together to make a fashion brand for local fashion, the Pakistani Ware fashion brand. And we made it the fastest growing fashion brand in the country. And Alhamdulillah, I was one of the founding members of the brand and took it there. I had just completed my A levels at that time. We were doing Pakistani Eastern wear, formal wear, as in Chardiware. 

We were doing perfumes, shoes, a lot of things. It was called J Dot. It was named after Janet Jimsheet, the famous singer. 


Aamer: Creating something out of nothing and growing it so fast was and still is not a piece of cake. It's not that easy. And what we conveniently forget is the process Hasib had the energy and the determination to stick with the process. Maybe because he felt like he didn't have a choice, but he did benefit from the experience nevertheless. 

Hasib: Not everyone has the guts to go through that. I know if out of my 1000 friends, all 1000 would have given up at that time, maybe I did not have a choice, or maybe I never thought that I had a choice to quit, so I went through it. But those hardships in every chapter of life, the hardship that comes is painful at that time. You don't know why it's there, but it's always there to teach you a good lesson if you want to take the lesson from it. 

And as soon as you take that lesson from it, you move on to your next challenge. So I was very young and sometimes I used to work 20 hours a day. Sometimes it used to be like I would be locked up in the office for a couple of days till I would achieve my goal, whatever it was. Whether it was getting the inventory audited, whether it was getting the financial audit, where it was getting the production completed on time, whether it was getting the distribution done on time. So, yes, it was very painful. 

But once I got the hang of it and when I came into a multinational company, there ten hour working on the weekends was a piece of cake for me. While everyone else was crying, I was flying smoothly. So, yeah, the tougher the training it is, the easier the rest of the years for you. 

Aamer: Flying smoothly, he was, and he would have lived a pretty comfortable life had he stayed back and continued with J. But as they say, ambition can take you places. And for Hasib, that was the buy. 

Hasib: So after I left the fashion brand, I moved to Dubai. I was planning to get into banking, but God had better plans for me. I met a friend who introduced me to real estate while I was waiting for my induction process at the bank, which was taking quite a long time, and by the grace of God, I made a decent amount of money. At that time, real estate was really high, so it just clicked. 


Aamer: Real estate in Dubai at that time was a game changer. It was like being at the right time at the right place with the right mindset. Hasib took advantage of his trades from childhood remember them? Extroverted friendly and a people's person. All of which helps when you're in this industry. He climbed up the corporate ladder fairly quickly given that twelve hour work days were not a big deal for him and became the vice president of projects for Aqua Properties, a position he still holds today while doing what he does at Aix Investment Group. They say you should build habits. Smaller habits are long lasting, they're less taxing and easier to do and eventually turn into routines. These are the routines that lead an individual to success. Well, Hasib had a habit that was relatively unheard of. 


Hasib: What I used to do was since I was business minded whenever I would make some extra money I would start a new business enterprise, I would find somebody to partner up with, I would invest, I would start a magazine, I started a sign board company, I started a tech company, I started multiple such projects so I wasn't content. I was always looking for something new, I'm always looking for something new. But then my definitions over time like you said after 35 40 people change. So when my kids I started seeing them growing up and stuff and I realized that family time and health and hobbies and friends time and these things matter more, these bring more contentment than a couple of extra dollars. 

So the balance started to come in. 


Aamer: Mind you, some of these projects failed, some succeeded and are doing well. But the point is he tried. He didn't care about success or failure. He gave it a go and saw what worked for him and what did not. That's all that was needed. Think about it, if you don't start something because of the fear of failure haven't you pretty much failed already? 

And for someone like Hasib failure was more part of the process than the beginning or the end of it. 


Hasib: My biggest failure is, brother, have been many. Nobody reaches success without failures. Nobody reaches success without failures. It's good that you brought it up. We all see these beautiful videos and interviews and stuff all over the media people talking about the success. Success equal part to success is all the failures because nobody can reach success without failures. I have had failures where I told you, I mean from top tier income earning professional in the buy to a time where I had to sleep in the lawn one night, only one night, but there was that time as well. I don't know how, but I always got up because I knew that after every hardship comes ease. 


It's just been programmed in my mind since maybe I was in school that after hardship comes ease and if you keep on persevering then you always end up with a result. So no matter how bad things were, I would get up in the morning, get dressed and go out. So, yes, there have been failures. I've seen setbacks, I had to face it. 

My family had to bear those times with me in those hardships. But if you're ambitious and you want to achieve big goals, don't think you will get there without failures. Absolutely not. If you want to taste success, you need to learn how to manage failures. Absolutely. 100%. 


Aamer: If you want to taste success, you need to know how to manage failures. Well said. It's life's way of testing whether you're ready to handle what you're about to be given or not. Haseeb at this point, was looking for a new challenge in life and he needed a switch. While he was at the peak of his career, or so he thought, he was motivated by people around him who really cared for him, were worried. 

He wasn't at the traditional age of switching to a different career altogether. It was a big move, especially when a lot of people were dependent on him. 


Hasib: Some of my closest friends actually, were very against this because some of them, when they graduated from college, they've been doing the same thing since they left college. And Mashallah, they're doing well. But with me, yes, fashion retail, I was heading that and did fantastically well. Switched over to real estate before that, I was also managing TNT Express worldwide retail for Pakistan. So managing retail, then to real estate and now to this industry. It was always a feeling,

I would say either I was getting bored of it or my growth was stagnant and I wanted to feel that I was improving or growing. So when I had matured my potential in one industry or one field of work, and I felt that I could not go any further, then I was contemplating ideas and thinking, where next? What next? So not exactly where next, what next? How can I grow further? Slightly bigger challenge, because where I thought was my peak, I've reached that. But I can't stop here. I mean, if I've reached here at, let's say, 30, then what's my next goal? I should stretch myself.

Then when I was 37, 36, then I stretched my goal again. So, yeah, when I thought I've reached my limit of growth, I would set another, higher target.


Aamer: It is understandable on the outside why Hasib needed to switch. He had his reasons and they pretty much don't need any further explanation. But there's a deeper, more meaningful, more driven reason for him to start a new journey this late in his career. 

Hasib: I was not a big thinker initially. How would you say? Very satisfied with what God has given you, a very content personality. Winning? Yes, I would like to win challenges sometimes, but over the years, I think it would be my bid. This is, one of my best friend pointed this out about me. You always achieve your goals, so that means your goals aren't big enough. So it kept on ringing in my head. I didn't understand at that time, but over time I realized that what he meant was yes, then I should be doing bigger goals.

So yeah, I started stretching myself even further.

Aamer: And that's exactly what he did for himself. He set bigger goals and set out to achieve them. It was really that simple. And he got that opportunity as a senior financial advisor to one of the fastest growing investment groups in the UAE, AIX office location the Burj Khalifa. 


Before we move any further, there's something important to be known here. The amount of time that Hasib was successful and the amount of time he was content are way off. The calculations don't add up. If success equals contentment, the math was wrong somewhere.


Hasib: If I tell you mathematically, so if you consider what the world thinks successful I've been successful 70, 80% of my time because I was always working in the company and made it a success and it was a superstar. But was I sort of contented? But I was in a hard struggle at that time. I was putting in good 15 to 20 hours a day work. Was I content at that time? 

I was satisfied with the achievements but I was not at peace because I was working really hard. 


Aamer: So what is balancing out the ratio of success to contentment? Now this Hasib says he found out pretty late in life and he just wished he discovered it earlier. 


Hasib: This is something for all the youngsters out there who are making their place known in the world. Well, if you learned about financial independence and you can get yourself free from the corporate rat race and you're financially independent, the sooner that you are, then you'll be able to see things from a different perspective. You can do much more with your life, much bigger things with your life. If you're financially stable from investments in passive income. 


That is one of the biggest, hardest lessons that I've learned in my life, one of the reasons why I passionately do what I do as well. Sometimes the company says I'm a senior manager and I'm supposed to meet high end clients and stuff, but I push myself and I make myself available for regular clients as well. 


And they asked me why. Because I'm doing it for the lesson that I've learned. I've learnt it the real hard way. How to save money invested in trustworthy investments. Get passive income to have financial independence because when your life expenses are covered from income coming from your investments. Then if you want to go on a journey of spirituality. 

Chase your hobby. Spend time with your friends. Travel. Learn new skills. Go into a different industry. Educate yourself. Whatever you want to do. You have a choice. But unless you reach that financial independence you're just earning and paying your bills and you're stuck in that so that is one of the biggest things I would say that the sooner the younger generation learns and puts away their money into good investments and have passive income the better quality of life they will be able to live financial independence is not having a lot of money financial independence is. 


Let's say. Whatever your living costs are $1,000 a month. $5,000 a month. 10,000. 50,000. Whatever your living costs are you're not paying your living costs out of your salary or your business income that should be coming from passive income which is coming from the investments that you've made into sources of income where you don't have to spend time or attention to earn that money buying a shop and giving it on rent.


Having some machinery that you've given on rent or such sources of income where you don't have to actively spend time on them so once you have that amount coming to you which is enough for your living costs to be covered right now that's what I call financial independence second thing is perseverance commands don't give up no matter how bad things look. Don't give up.


Aamer: Hasib has met a lot of people in life thanks to the long and fruitful career he has had and one of the ways he managed to achieve what he so dearly talks about financial independence is through cryptocurrency. This might be a topic of debate. It might be questioned at times and frowned upon by certain individuals but we're not here to remark on that. We're here to tell you, well to let you know, of all the options available to you at this point of time in the world.


Hasib: See the first rule anybody all the billionaires in crypto the first rule they say is only invest that money that you're willing to lose in crypto because anything can happen in crypto. Anything on the planet you can probably find the best project on the planet and it will be going fine and next morning you will wake up and some debt has stolen the liquidity or the project source code was stolen or something happened or the exchange crashed it can happen the higher the reward comes with. 


The higher the risk, so investing in crypto should be done. The best way to do this is to find experienced investors who successfully done it and follow their trend and don't look for thousands percent returns. Why not? But manage your portfolio intelligently. The other thing is to educate yourself. There's a lot of information and if you get the hang of it in front of me I've seen people who are earning $300 a month and now I called them up. What are you doing? Can you look after my portfolio as well? I own this many homes now in the city. I can't take your funds, I don't need them, thank you and all that stuff so they become dollar term millionaires in front of my eyes.

Yes, that has happened. And I've seen people lose a lot of money as well investing in crypto. Do it under a professional who knows about it. Let the professionals handle it best. If you want to do it yourself, then it's not something that you can do part time. Really, I tell you, no matter how, whatever I say, you can't do this part time because it's a 24 hours active market. Anything can happen within minutes. You need to be sitting on top of it all the time. 


Yes, for savings, you have good assets where you can put them away for a long term thing. And of course they've shown ten years of good trend. But I tell my daughter and my wife, instead of keeping money in your savings account every month, whatever you say, just buy a bitcoin. It's something safe, reliable. 


It's not going to give you 1000% a year, but it's going to grow faster than inflation. So that's a better way of saving. 


Aamer: That's what works for him and that's something that may or may not be for you, but the information is available for you to use if you do intend to go down this path. As we come to the end of this episode, let's hear from Hasib what success actually means to him after all that he has been through.

Hasib: Life success means to me is peace, tranquility, contentment, happiness, healthy life, good relations. Being at peace is success. I've seen clients who are investors, billionaires, not having happy lives, either family wise or health wise or stress because of the burden that they're working under. 


They have such a huge inertia of business that they just can't stop and they can't really stop and enjoy and cherish life. So having the ability to be at peace and enjoy being at peace, 


Aamer: For someone like Hasib. The initial struggles, the amount of hard work put in, made him the man he is, and he does not take any of that for granted. He works with millionaires and billionaires from across the world, but keeps himself down to earth at the same time being promoted to a senior relationship manager. 

He gets to make a difference in people's lives by changing the way they manage their hard earned money and is quite happy with that. Success is now starting to equal contentment. What happens at this stage in your life is that your fulfillment comes from watching others grow. 

So when we asked Hasib what was next in his beautiful journey, this is what he had to say:

I don't even know. I think I want to retire now after this job, because, I don't find anything that can be better than this. Thank God. By the grace of God. And now that I understand how to diversify investments and create passive incomes, another couple of years I'm here working to contribute back to society the hard lesson that I've learned.

I want to spill it over to young gentlemen like I am talking to right now, so that they learn that it's not only about earning more money to pay more bills, it's about reaching financial independence and living a much more fulfilled life.

That's why I come to the office, Alhamdulillah, really. Not for an additional buck, that's why I'm here.

Aamer: But for the view.

Hasib: Yes, for all the awesome things that God has blessed me. I'm very blessed. I'm very grateful for everything that I have. But really I wish and I'm actually starting on this journey to hopefully create a million millionaires by educating them. Not just a million millionaires like that, they'll make millions only, but just calling a millionaire a guy who's not needing another job or working for somebody else. 

So if they reach financial independence, I call them a millionaire.


Aamer: If you like that episode and want to receive the latest updates, go on to Instagram and LinkedIn and follow us at Zed medium. And yes, please share this with others because next up is Dr.Dr. Tufail Patankar, a renowned interventional neuroradiologist. And this is a snippet from that conversation:

At the time they were very big with vascular intervention. And that's what I do now. But because when I was there, it was a different time, there was a lot of hierarchy in the system. It was compartmentalized. My boss wanted me to do CT, so I just moved to CT and MNN and cross sectional imaging. 


But whenever I worked over the years, everybody used to ask me if I needed to do intervention. I have a natural skill for intervention and I like intervention. But it's just the opportunity wasn't there. And when I moved to the UK, the opportunity came to do it. And the practice that I do now, I pretty much love what I do. And that's probably the most important thing. 


Aamer: Stay tuned and goodbye for now. Bye.