Destined for the family carpet business, Muhammad But was sidetracked by his love of travel and created a travel management agency. But that was not enough for a foodie and he opened a restaurant. And Covid-19 was the spur to create an online business to help other entrepreneurs going through difficult times.

What’s your story? 

I was born and brought up in Dubai but moved to Singapore in 2005 when I was 18 years old.

After graduating, I was involved in my family business of Handmade Carpets. In order to diversify our portfolio, I was on the lookout for another industry to tap into. I was always interested in travel and F&B, but since some things didn’t materialize with F&B at that time, I decided to shift gears on travel and in 2010 Fayyaz Travels was born. A travel management agency that offers private and highly customizable tours and flight itineraries all over the world to individual and corporate clients. That became my major focus along with the family business. Then in 2019, I partnered with a few people and also ventured into the F&B space with my first restaurant. This year with COVID-19 affecting economies and businesses, specially startups, I saw a lot of people lose their jobs and businesses fail. I wanted to create a platform to enable people willing to take charge and overcome the barriers of entry into entrepreneurship by offering a modular model to create a digital presence for their businesses at subsidized rates and came into being. 

What excites you most about your industry? 

The digital marketing Industry is ever-expanding and highly evolving which is what makes it exciting. Being in the space keeps you at the top of your game. Your competition is the best and most creative mind and it’s not only about being analytical but it challenges you to think outside the box and be more creative. 

Technology is the future and your presence in the market is based on how well you can market it. There is always something new to learn and teach in the industry. From our clients perspective, digitization has so many benefits especially given the fact that the whole world is in the middle of a pandemic so it’s exciting to see the new things technology can bring and do. 

What is your connection to Asia? 

I have been living in Singapore for 15 years now and it’s very close to my heart. I’ve had all my professional upbringing here and thanks to the multicultural environment of this city, I learned a lot during my early days. Although I was born in Dubai, I consider Asia as home for me. 

Favourite city in Asia for business and why? 

It would have to be Singapore. There is a reason Singapore is home to some of the world’s top companies across all industries and known as a Business hub. It offers a hassle-free business set up processes with easy access to a skilled workforce and start-up resources ( being one of them). Singapore is also located in the heart of South-east Asia with close proximity to emerging markets like India, China and more, allowing it to offer excellent connectivity. 

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? 

“ If you want to learn how to swim, you have to jump in the water”. Thanks to this advice, I try to live my life by taking action. One of the reasons my first attempt into F&B did not work out was that I spent too much time trying to perfect my plan and approach. The second time around, I said yes to the opportunity and learnt on the job. 

Who inspires you? 

I would love to give you a famous personality but the fact is I draw inspiration from everyday people around me. If you pay attention to the people you interact with on a daily basis, you will come across people who may be going through hardships and adversity but they will go above and beyond and give their best everyday. Their dedication and ability to power through is what inspires me. 

What have you learnt recently that blew you away? 

“Today. Now. This moment is the right time”. Don’t wait for things to be ‘perfect’ and do what you have to do! Looking back, I missed out on a few opportunities thinking I wasn’t ready and spent a lot of time perfecting my approach and ended up missing out. I realize now that nothing is ever perfect, nor is there such a thing as the ‘perfect time’. 

If you had your time again, what would you do differently? 

I would tell myself to find happiness in the journey. Celebrate your successes and dwell less on missed opportunities. It’s all a part of your journey and that’s what makes it special – that’s what makes YOU special. I think this is something we can all agree on, when something doesn’t go right, we automatically blame ourselves and it’s very easy to lose confidence. So, if I had my time again, I wouldn’t dwell on the missed opportunities but move on to the next. 

How do you unwind? 

I am a foodie and I love dining out but that can be exhausting after a long day, so I unwind by cooking. That’s 30 mins to an hour where I am not thinking of anything else but the task at hand which is to not chop off a finger or burn the house down whilst looking forward to the end result. Other than that, I unwind by working out in the gym and reading. 

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why? 

That would be Bali. I love that you can get exactly what you want from the city, whether you are into water sports, spending time among nature, nightlife or prefer some private and quiet time in a beach villa; it caters to your every mood. 

Everyone in business should read this book: 

There are many great books out there but if I had to narrow it down, then 2 books that everyone in business should read are: 

‘The 10X Rule’ by Grant Cordone – (if you are stuck in a rut or not achieving your business goals, it gives you the push you need to take massive action to achieve success) 

‘How to be Brilliant’ by Michael Heppell – (it makes you look at things with a more positive mindset and compels you to approach it in a way to achieve your desired outcome). 

Shameless plug for your business: is the world’s first and only ‘online’ digital marketing platform offering you a modular model to create, market and grow your business. Depending on your budget and goals, you can focus on the area that is your priority. 

Our goal is simple, which is to help start-ups and small businesses navigate in the world of digitization. 

How can people connect with you? 

Social Media Links? 


Facebook: @Inncelerator 

This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.

About The EnterpriseZone Writing Team

Shining A Light on the Small Business World and highlighting Entrepreneurial Investing Opportunities.