A week in the life of…

Founder and CEO of ASA Ven­tures and Cal­lix

Gulf Business - - FEATURES LIFESTYLE -

ARIF SAIYAD

Founder and CEO of ASA Ven­tures and Cal­lix

SUN­DAY Get­ting up and out of bed in the morn­ing has al­ways been easy for me. I get up at 6am and find my­self in front of a screen with a cof­fee in my hand to re­view my per­son­alised dash­board. Not only does the dash­board help me iden­tify po­ten­tial com­pa­nies or start-ups that I would like to meet but also helps me keep a track of all the com­pa­nies un­der the ASA um­brella. Af­ter shoot­ing out a quick email with in­struc­tions to my team, I sit down for a typ­i­cal English break­fast with my fam­ily be­fore I leave for my of­fice in Dubai Sil­i­con Oa­sis.

MON­DAY At ASA Ven­tures we are con­sis­tently try­ing to em­power as­pir­ing en­trepreneurs to­wards achiev­ing their busi­ness goals. To­day I ded­i­cate a sig­nif­i­cant amount of time to re­search­ing dif­fer­ent tech­nolo­gies and ideas that are float­ing in the mar­ket and are very likely to be suc­cess­ful. I lend an ear to am­bi­tious en­trepreneurs, un­der­stand their goals and de­vise a strate­gic plan that will en­able them to re­alise their goals. Dur­ing the sec­ond half of the day I head out with a few team mem­bers to at­tend an in­dus­try event that is go­ing on in the city. I be­lieve it is im­por­tant for us to be meet­ing new peo­ple and keep­ing up with cur­rent dis­cus­sions.

TUES­DAY Mid-week en­tails a lot of back-to-back meet­ings, and from 10am to 12pm I meet with in­vestors to up­date them on the progress and de­vel­op­ments that have oc­curred since our last catch up. It is im­por­tant to keep them up­dated as they em­power ASA Ven­tures. I am for­tu­nate to have a strong sup­port sys­tem from my as­so­ci­ates that al­lows me to ex­tend my as­sis­tance to start-ups. I try to re­serve my

evenings for my fam­ily and I strive to teach my chil­dren some­thing new ev­ery day. I al­ways pack­age the les­son in a creative and fun way so that they can com­pre­hend at their young age.

WED­NES­DAY We have re­cently launched Cal­lix, a new tool that bridges the gap be­tween busi­nesses and their cus­tomers, in an ef­fi­cient and cost-ef­fec­tive man­ner. We are in the process of en­hanc­ing this ser­vice and to­day have our weekly meet­ing to an­a­lyse our progress and strate­gise the way for­ward. We will be launch­ing the app soon on the An­droid and iOS plat­forms, which means we are busy de­vel­op­ing the app with our tech­ni­cal team. The app en­ables users to ac­cess their dash­board on their smart­phones.

THURS­DAY From the six to eight meet­ings I have sched­uled to­day, more than half I would call ‘catch-up’ meet­ings with my depart­ment heads. We dis­cuss the sales di­vi­sion, part­ner­ships and projects in the pipe­line along with our ex­pan­sion plans. My team is con­tin­u­ously brain­storm­ing to iden­tify po­ten­tial op­por­tu­ni­ties and map out new mar­kets to ex­pand our busi­ness. I also make time to catch up on dis­cus­sions from around the world. I have var­ied in­ter­ests but watch­ing and en­gag­ing in de­bates for me is truly in­trigu­ing.

FRI­DAY Most fam­i­lies plan their week­end days in ad­vance, but we don’t. Ev­ery Fri­day we are out and about in the town and I like to have the el­e­ment of sur­prise on my side. My fam­ily never knows where I will be tak­ing them; it could ei­ther be a new at­trac­tion in Dubai or a quiet es­cape to Ras Al Khaimah. We strictly also fol­low a ‘no screen’ rule, which helps us en­gage in qual­ity con­ver­sa­tions and bond with each other.

SATUR­DAY The first half of the day I play catch up, whether it is with my team or busi­ness as­so­ci­ates. These are ca­sual meet ups to take stock of what is hap­pen­ing and what we need to fo­cus on in the com­ing week. In the late af­ter­noon, I spend time with friends that I may have over­looked and end the week­end on a pos­i­tive note. This gives me the op­por­tu­nity to look for­ward to the week ahead.

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