Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
There has been limited access to getting Halal products. Some call stores and shops and request a shipment by paying hundreds of dollars for shipping labels and packaging; others have families bring Halal products when they visit. Some even go on a vegetarian diet because they have no access to Halal products. We saw this issue and wanted to fix it. That’s when HalalWorldDepot was born!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?
The website was the main focus when we were preparing for launch. There were a lot of products, most of which had no photos online. I was still in high school at the time and would go to my father’s store after school and take pictures of the products we needed to list. I would then edit the images with Canva during my lunchtime. Many teachers in school did not believe in HalalWorldDepot, and many friends/family members didn’t either. Most large food companies getting into home delivery services published articles saying that it doesn’t work. We knew that this wasn’t ultimately true and that we were in a different niche than most other food companies. My brother-in-law and I kept our heads down and pursued the idea. We knew that there were people out there who needed Halal products.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
The number one thing I can tell you is to start. Whatever idea you have in mind, take it and start. Many people will doubt you and not believe in it, but you need to learn to tune them out and focus on yourself. As long as you believe in a vision and can see it in your mind, it can become a reality. Almost every large company out there started without an audience and with many disbelievers, but the one thing most CEOs say is that they kept their heads down and stuck to their vision until it became true.
Consistency is key. You won’t see results right away when owning a business. When starting a company, you will face a lot of hard work. Seventeen-hour workdays without getting paid a dime, and you will have to do it again the next day. It isn’t all about the money. It is about the cause and effect the business could potentially have in people’s lives. The money comes later. Innovation is why the world needs entrepreneurs. We have the drive to change the world to make it a more efficient and better place. If you keep that mindset, your dream will empower you to keep going.
Stop telling your vision to small-minded people. The validation you are looking for won’t come from others but yourself. Working hard, putting hours in, and achieving goals will show for themselves. There is nothing to prove to anyone other than yourself and the purpose of the business. Most people won’t see your vision and won’t understand it. The dreams of having a beautiful home, nice cars, private jets, and giant yachts can all be accurate, but no one is going to make that happen for you. Only you have the power to take control of your mind and life.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My family is in the Halal meat industry, from Halal deli meat brands like Sharifa Halal to Halal meat distribution. I have seven uncles, all of which are in the meat industry. Being one of the seven brothers, my father owns a local shop in Canton, Michigan, called Saad Meats, selling Halal-certified meats and groceries.
I never thought about following in their footsteps as my passion has always been in the automotive industry. I have always been business-minded growing up. My father taught me the basics of business from a very young age. As a kid, I would go to the eastern market in Detroit and tag along with him as he met with different distributors. My brother-in-law also significantly influenced my mindset and would always teach me new ways to think and look at ideas differently.
I was a senior in high school when the concept of this company came about. It was late at night, and I just got out of the shower when I got a call from my brother-in-law suggesting I launch an e-commerce website and list the products in my father’s store online. The website was intended to be a side hustle to help fund some other projects we were building. I took advantage of this idea and researched the best e-commerce platform to launch the website. A platform that has always been popular and ended up being the best choice was Shopify. I chose one of their basic templates, and we began designing logos and the website. The startup costs were relatively low because my father had already purchased and held the inventory.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
HalalWorldDepot has sponsored events such as a Ramadan festival in Houston, Texas. We have linked with an organization to give our customers access to over 300 trusted nonprofits globally. We have a lot of content created constantly to offer our customers to help learn about the importance/meanings of different things in Islam. We also provide many recipes and other videos with influencers to stay active within our community.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
Stop telling your vision to small-minded people. The validation you are looking for won’t come from others but yourself.
I kept my “big plans” a secret and worked in the dark with only sharing ideas with my team. I was able to work better and keep my personal goals intact.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Anything specific you’d like to have mentioned in the article?
Please write this in a company POV and not with my name. I like the company to speak for itself and not the people behind it.