Art as a lifestyle
In this world, where new forms of art come up every day, imagine running a startup that fuses various forms of art to create something ‘cool’. BrothrsKeepr, a men’s lifestyle concept, uses fashion, art, and music to present handpicked menswear from across the globe in the form of pop up presentations. Started by a group of four, Mark Wehbe, Mohammad Murad, Saad Shaikh, and Shahzain Mitha, who claim that their biggest challenge in running a startup is “dealing with each other since they have been best friends since KG 1” are an inspired group of young men who are part of the upcoming brigade of entrepreneurs in UAE.
Running a start up in UAE.
Speaking about their start up experience, they lament the lack of government support for people looking to set up their own company. Shaikh while speaking about their personal experience says, “There aren’t a lot of laws, or help, for businesses which are starting up. Personally, we had a huge problem getting a credit card machine because banks wouldn’t give us one until or unless we had a proper showroom so we had to borrow someone else’s. Also setting up a trade license is getting expensive which a startup cannot really afford.” But at the same time they agree that things are slowly improving with grants and prizes like the Sheikh Hamdan prize for entrepreneurship. Stressing on the role of the government, Murad says, “There could be a lot of processes that could be implemented that could ease the setting up of small businesses and me speaking as a UAE national, feel that this sector needs to grow rather than everything being a franchise or everything being brought in from abroad or something, because lots of cool concepts with potential are coming up here every day.”
The good, the bad, and the learning.
Ask them about the good part about running a startup and Mitha says, “I get to work on my own time, not like a 9 to 6 job and that’s amazing.” They all agree that the greatest learning along the way has been how to work with each other, “I think we have all learnt that there will be struggles on the way and fights with business partners but you have got to realize that you are all looking out for each other.”, says Mitha. As for the harder parts, Murad says, “I don’t get to see my family which is taxing but at the end of the day, you do what you got to do.” When asked the best advice to keep in mind while running your own company, all of them are unanimous in their opinion that you don’t need a perfect plan, and its okay to fail, “Failure is an option, because if you don’t fail, you will not learn how to succeed”, concludes Shaikh.