1. What inspired you to open this business?
I don’t think there’s a better transition from music to food. I was always thinking with my wife, how do we give back and at the same time be able to meet them and take time to say thank you. So I think food was the best transition and no better than halal food. I want a restaurant where both the muslims and non muslims can sit together. I wanted something that have been there all the time and with the knowledge that I know my people want to try it. So FatBoys was always there so I met FatBoys to see whether we could do the halal version and that was how it all happened.
2. What were the first 100 days of an entrepreneur like?
I am saying this with the most humility as possible, it was crowded. We had lines as long as all the way down the block.
3. What are the challenges that you face while building the business?
Honestly the biggest challenge, but I had a really good partner and I learn this from him was the quality of food. We must not compromise that. I hate it when people start to save, start to cut corners.
4. What was your proudest moment as an entrepreneur?
In business there’s always milestones and I think we hit a few good milestones since starting this business with Bernie. I don’t know business very well but there are terms like ROI and when we need to start charging GST because we hit a certain amount of income. So those are the marks that we hit. These milestone that we hit, I was told that these are good points and it made people happy. So that is very important to me, to make people happy. If people are happy, I think it is good. That is how I judge the moments.
5. What’s your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
Visualise it. If you can visualise it, it comes out in your vision and you can see it happening, I always tell my family this, visualise it, even if it’s a simple outing. If you can see it happening, it will happen. If you can’t see it happening, if it is above your pay grade or above your limit, then it is not going to happen because you are not able to see it happening, visually. And be nice.
6. What the 3 things an entrepreneur should have in order to succeed?
Find the right people around you. Since I was an artiste and changed into being an entrepreneur, I’ve been blessed with good people. Two, you are only afraid of people doing bad to you cause you do bad. This is the normal. When you are scared of receiving something, it is because you like to give it and you are afraid you will get it back. Three, trust. The most important thing is to trust. If you cannot trust the people around you, you are with the wrong people.
Interested to hear more inspiring stories from Sheikh Haikel and meet him in person? Register now for Illuminate 2019 and get started on your entrepreneurship journey!