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Bobir Akilkhanov & $1 Billion Dollar Mistake

Episode 30

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Hosted by
Maruf Yusupov

I help people discover their purpose in life and follow their passion to live in prosperity.

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Bobir is a Serial Tech Entrepreneur with 20 years of experience founding and scaling multiple 8 figure companies from scratch.

Currently operating an IT consultancy agency (www.jafton.com) and a remote work solutions product (Missed.com). Former government official under the administration of the president of Uzbekistan.

Interview transcript

Maruf: This is Maruf, your host. Welcome to the show, Muslims On Fire. Today, I have a friend, my countrymen. Actually, he’s the first Uzbeg that I’m inviting to the show. He’s a Muslim entrepreneur. Without further, let me introduce Bobir. Welcome to the show. 

Bobir: Thank you very much. Assalamu alaikum! 

Maruf: Walaikumussalam. So, Bobir, we will all take a journey about your life. What’s going on? What happened, where did that start all of it? So, first, we always start with the question, what are the things you remember from your childhood? What do you think about those memories or experiences that shaped you who you are today? This will be going to start. 

Bobir: So, it’s a good question. One of the things that I remember from my childhood is that I always wanted to do something, you know, it wasn’t about the education right? 

Maybe it’s not the best thing to say, but I was always interested in creating something, selling something, you know, kind of being an entrepreneur but at that time I didn’t realize that.

And the biggest thing that shaped my life was an access to the internet and I got my first internet access back in 1997. I was lucky enough that my father was very technologically advanced guy. He loved technology. I had my first apple computer back in 93 or something like that.

So, access to the internet, it was something very new and we had very slow connection, but we got connected to the world wide web and my first impression was like something from out of this world because I saw yahoo page and it was a Yahoo directory and it was so fascinating that just blew me away. Since the time I got interested in technology. 

Maruf:I see. So, what are you saying is that in childhood, you had this like early paccess. Let’s say that right, actually to the internet if you don’t want me telling. Where were you born? In what kind of family you were born? And where did you study?

Bobir: Yeah. Absolutely. I was born in the capital city Township. Okay. Yeah and up until 12 years old, I went to Uzbek local school. And then I was studying in Uzbeg language and when I turned 12 years old, my parents transferred me to British private school  and I graduated, my schooling english-language. Also my classmates were wealthy people and I was studying with people from abroad.

I had accessed with these people. I wasn’t very rich. I wasn’t from a very rich family, but I was from a middle class. My tuition fees were around $7,000 which was a lot of money. We were not living in luxury. We were very stable middle class.

Maruf: Wow, that was a lot different perspective. Because I also came from Uzbekistan like Southern quite like, you know Coastarico like I cannot imagine. I couldn’t imagine that Uzbeg kids, going to private school. But Mashaallah, your parents like, put a lot of effort in education. So, this is a lesson, right, education always pays off. 

Bobir: It does that I mean no way it paid off me in broadening my way of thinking because I had early access to foreigners. We’re from abroad and you know, I had this axis. So I’d say I was privileged and I admit that.

Maruf: Absolutely, well, I mean like we take what life gives you know, we gotta be grateful, but that’s good to know. Okay, like I mean if you think about it, right just we can always as you say that we can always connect the dots looking backwards.

And then my experience that I did the same. But I think if I look, even my own personal life today, like when I was about your age, 12 years old what happened to us? I mean, of course. My parents couldn’t pay but what did happen for me in my case was that I went to Turkish lessons. 

As if you remember, there were times that. So I went to join one of them. I just changed my life. Like totally different like I’m speaking that my first like, mind-blowing thing was having access to English, you know, having like all those people and the internet came later, much later as one of my passions, like yours as well. 

But I feel you when you have that environment and those things. It doesn’t have to be big just really makes a huge difference to your childhood and like where you are today and we are seeing this again, wow, that’s amazing. So, that’s good. 

You had a very interesting education. So tell me what happened? It was a high school, I guess this private school, right? You’ll finish that then where did you go next?

Bobir: I finished, my high school. Obviously, I did it, you know, I finished it with the English being primary language. So, I wouldn’t be able to go and study at the Uzbeg universities because I wasn’t good at writing. So I would have a bigger big difficulty and my parents were like, no, you’re not going to be studying here. 

We invested too much on you. You don’t have to. You can’t lose that and one of the first things was where we’re going to be setting us in the US. Because back 1997. I actually went to the US because my aunt was leaving there. My uncle was working here and I visited them as a tourist and I love that. 

I fail in love with the US and everything about it. And then they were planning to send me to the JS but one day when I came to my school. I saw an app showing up the Sydney Opera house and this beautiful Australian Symphony bridge and then it said hey students if you want to study in Australia call me and the number was there. 

So I took the two that leaflet and brought it to my father because I love the picture. It was a super good marketing and then the name was Michael, you know, call me, Michael. I can help you blah blah blah. So I took it to my father and my father’s saw and he called this guy. 

Apparently, his name was Mickaiel. Yeah, he actually migrated to Australia recently like three, four years ago and then came back to Uzbekistan and to recruit students which was you know, good thing to do because it wasn’t him that I wouldn’t end up in Australia. 

And then all of a sudden, he was a super good marketer, he showed us the video, he put the video of Sydney, Australia. It was beautiful. Yeah, just amazing the harbor, the beautiful view and I was like wow, and my father was like that’s good. 

And he said hey, you know that Sydney was going to have the Olympic Games in 2000. So it was the year when I was supposed to go and he said, you will see the Olympic Games and my mother said, yep, okay, we’ll do that and then I came home and I was like, yeah, I’m gonna go to Australia. I didn’t even know where Australia was like, I’m going there. I don’t care about anything else.

Maruf: I just saw the Statue of Liberty. Now, I want to see the opera house.

Bobir: Exactly, so, a few months of preparing and paying all the feast, I got my visa and in August, I think 14 or something like that, 2000. I moved to Australia. So that’s my journey to Australia Jordan begin. 

Maruf: And so this is the first time you are going out for the first time, outside was biggest or for a long time. 

Bobir: Well, it was actually, in Soviet Union. I went to Tunese, African country. Okay, my father was studying there, but the second time was in 1997 when I went to the US. 

Maruf: Did you go there for a long time or wondered as a tourist? I just want to understand that.

Bobir: In Tunese, I went there for one month and for the US, I went there for two weeks. 

Maruf: Okay, but it doesn’t give you time to get to know the culture and and you know, but anyways Australia is different.

Bobir: Australia shaped me in this way.

Maruf: Exactly. This is interesting to know.

Bobur:  I had some things which are lost, now. 

Maruf: Okay? Okay, I got it. Cool. I do. Yeah, we do have some Uzbegs from Australia Melbourne these days and yeah, there are people going there. So what did you study there? Like, what was your main subject? 

Bobir:I majored in information technology, software development. Ever since I’ve been working in the industry that’s why I kind of know technology inside out because since I was child, I was in it. Yeah. I read, I worked, I made my money in the technology industry, you know, so I’ve been there from four since I remember myself. 

Maruf: So, one of the things I really always interests me is that you see like in did you ever interview lime we do with the audience, especially to viewers, guess that so one thing is for sure like whenever you look at them, for example, like yourself, we know their passion is that where they really want to be because somehow they figured it out.

And they make this as a way of living right? They earn money and once they do that, life becomes not this hard, but it’s something to enjoy, you know, what I mean, you live, you enjoy. Of course. Nothing is gonna be like rainbows, but since you have the staff, fashion to the drive, is between your cases It sector, right? 

You are in it like we look at the world. You don’t see the problems. You see lime opportunities, you know, there’s a problem I’m going to get, there’s a problem gonna get it. So, the question is that like to be one of the things. 

We also want to inspire the listeners is that how did you find that thing you really care about preserving like in your case is IT, in my case is also something similar, you know, IT as well, so how did it happen to you? What was it when you look back on your life? What do you think was the main thing that guided you this way? 

Bobir: Yeah, first of all, it was the new thing, it was something new technology was evolving back in Australia and it wasn’t something new futuristic, you know  people like myself who were very curious. They always like to explore and it gave me the opportunity to explore.

And for very long time, I actually felt that I had the information like not a lot of people have like I actually, you know weakness how YouTube was growing. I actually developed one of the first social networking websites back in Australia. 

Maruf: Okay, really interesting. Isn’t facebook started in 2003?

Bobir: Yeah. Yeah. No, facebook was started in 2004 and I started 2005.

Maruf: Okay, that’s good to know. 

That’s what I want to find out. Okay, go ahead. 

Bobir: Yeah, so and because the industry was growing so fast, it allowed me to make money in the industry. So, let’s say my passion was within this industry, but the industry was not so big, not sure if I would be able to make money in that, you know some industry, some people are interested in something, it’s their passion. 

But unfortunately that the industries were way too small or it doesn’t allow them to make their money. That’s why they moved from that but in my case it was you know, huge. Exactly.

Maruf: Interesting. Okay, so you studied IT there and I guess you also finished that. I would like to deep dive with your mind. You said you made one of the social networks in Australia, right? Is that what you’re saying? Yeah, can you tell us more about it? So, what was it about and how did these go?

Bobir: So, yeah, at the time when I was graduating. I already started a small website called training post. It was a training platform and it was in 2004 and then I thought okay that’s my first website. 

I need to do something else because I’m graduating and I need to keep in contact with my classmates, my University mates. I do work in my space. Okay the other one was, classmate who I didn’t like that. Because this was all about music. That’s true. 

Maruf: The website, the whole design was a good consistent, right if you remember.

Bobit: In the Bible, it was there in UK, were available.

Maruf: High five if you remember.

Bobir: Exactly yes, but they all learn not something that I wanted to use. I just wanted something very simple, just to connect with my friends, so that it reminds me their birth dates and attention and all of a sudden, you know, I got it. 

Because of one the person who showed and said, hey, you’re interested in that, check out this Facebook. It’s growing very very quickly. I was you know, early adopters of Facebook, even my registration says 2005 and then I said, wow, that’s cool. I need to do the same thing for Australia. My visual was correct.

Basically, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. I just bring it to the country where I was living but the strategy of bringing it to Australia was wrong because it was a good speaking country. Okay. I didn’t realize that Facebook was actually coming to the English-speaking country. 

I had this gut feeling that it might happen, but I was like, well, that’s probably not going to happen. Okay, actually, I thought you know what we were building this beautiful technology exactly like facebook. 

We called ourselves Facebook low and then I said to myself we need to bring it to Russia, you know and my Russian developer, he was like oh, no Russia is not going to use that. You know, it’s not going to become popular. 

It was before VK.

Maruf: Did you have clasticky in Russia?

Bobir: It was just becoming popular but other constitute, was classmates, so we were kids. And then we thought you know, okay, let’s try it in Australia because Australia is more advanced than Russia etc. And by the time we realized that we were doing it wrong like we were pushing into the country where we’re gonna lose, anyway, VK came out.

So, this is why I decided to go to Russia and basically pushed bring back technology shift in Russia, you know wouldn’t like three weeks before me y’all I’m texting 

Hey, what’s up? How are you doing? 

I saw you just launched it and he said oh, yeah, I know you because you’re doing it in Australia because you know, I was the third person who’s calling the week Facebook because everybody knew each other. I told him look man. 

I have a lot of experience. I’ve been doing it for over a year. Now. We got a partner and he said, you know, I’m really interested. I said let’s do that. So we agreed that I would be investing and bought some about $400,000. It’s well documented in his book. If you read the book Khuddurah.

Maruf: Is it written in Russian or English?

Bobir: I think it’s in russian. So, we basically agreed on 20% and I started to check him. I start telling him that he needs to do the video, the music, the one that I already did it in Australia, who were like, sharing information all the time and I was already feeling that I’m part of the VK. 

And then when the time came that I had to fly to Russia and just you know seal the deal. I spoke to my investors and they worked out but not from the technology industry. 

Maruf: I want to ask one quick question here. So you said you were one of the like Pioneers doing the say like you know the Facebook was growing. They were going to the public, they were going to the University’s dorms, right? Wow. 

Bobir: I did exactly the same thing. I was going and bringing the Australian universities into my network.

Maruf: And you are succeeding to some extent, only the difference was probably because of the size of the circles of location, isn’t it? 

Bobir: It was in location in the English language. Because the facebook was growing quicker than myself. Australian market was small. So, it was growing slower and then when Facebook opened in Australian Network. I had some advices from people who were senior people. 

But they were not from the technological industry and they said dude. This is a young guy. Why don’t you just take twenty fifty one percent, you know, who cares, he will accept them. So to me that vices were like, oh they’re senior people didn’t know what they’re talking about. 

Maruf: So 51% like still giving him. Still giving 100k. That’s tough. 

Bobir: That was a stupid thing to do and it was a stupid thing to do but back then I was 22.

Maruf: Okay. I understand. Yeah, I get it. I see. I don’t even know where I was at 22 years old. So I see it. So you race under K. You’re going to Russia for.

Bobir: Yeah, I came to Russia and I basically changed the deal. But it was not a good deal. 

He wasn’t happy. I said I had my ego, you know, I said look if you don’t agree, I have the technology. I was feeling that I was above you because I was born more knowledgeable than him.

And I said I will do it myself. I’ll just bring my technology and I’m translating to Russian language and that’s it. You’re doomed. He said look man. It’s not a good idea. You know, we agreed, we had. I said look, you know what, I changed the agreement and then it was a wrong thing to do. So once we didn’t have an agreement, he started his competition. 

He did bring your friends and iPods and then by the time, I started translating my technology, started learning about the Russian market worldwide advertising blah blah blah. 

I lost like a couple of months and he blew up, like his numbers were blowing up and I was losing out the gate and then I talked to him and I said look, I’d be happy to invest for $200,000 20% He said no way the train just left as yeah looked up. 

Maruf: I mean he comes off the Frog. He’s a very I met blue bit about his history. Like he and his brother were really good programmers, right? Yeah developers programmers. Yeah in math as well. Yeah. I mean, yeah, it was all about him. But I think, what happened. It had him, is also very interesting. Why did Dad he was kind of squeezed out from Russia, right? 

Bobir: Yeah  at the end of the day. Well, he didn’t get what he wanted as well because we were very close talking to each other or very openly, he was promised a lot more equity and so within his company, he wasn’t the majority shareholder. 

Maruf: It’s crazy. 

Bobir: And then he basically got squeezed out later on but he’s still being shipped on some money. I mean the 20% that I would receive probably with Kazmir would be like 6 or 7 hundred dollars. And I’d probably become the richest, youngest one of the most famous tech guy in Uzbeg origin, you know. 

Maruf: You’re in your way. 

Bobir: It could have been like 10x.

Maruf: Yes. It’s okay. So, the deal didn’t happen then what’s going on your life just walk us through like what was like, I mean the lesson here is that what is the number one lesson you took from this experience like making the deal and wasn’t workout, changing the deal at the last minute. What was it?

Bobir: One of the most important lessons that I learned is that you have to listen to yourself, but you cannot rely on other people’s opinion because they don’t know them. You listen to them but you need to do the judgment of yourself. And sometimes you need to go with your gut filled. 

My gospels were telling you that I was doing wrong. Okay, but me, being young and not confident in myself. I did make a mistake, also don’t have the you know, sometimes you know, you’re granted something taking, you know, don’t put five fingers in your mouth. 

Because it’s not going to work out, you know, 20% was shitloads of equity. Okay, I could have taken it out and because of the greed in, because of not being confident in myself. I went and asked for more. It takes a lot of mistakes. 

Maruf: It takes a lot of guts to acknowledge our mistakes, you know, It’s interesting. Thank you for sharing that, saying that  lesson. That’s a lesson for all of us  I guess so. The deal didn’t go through and one of the things that entrepreneur said that they don’t stop. Don’t stop even if bounce it. So what’s going on your life at the time? What was the next thing you went off? 

Bobir: All right. So, what happened is that I got depressed and I didn’t know that I was depressed back then but looking back. I know I was heavily depressed. I went to Uzbeg. So I flew from Russia to Uzbekistan, to my parents house. 

Maruf: So, what was the time?

Bobir: It was in 2007 and then I went back to Uzbekistan. I wasn’t paying my rent in Australia. I basically left it, let go everything that I’ve built in Australia, just collapse my office, my employees, you know, I had bills coming in and I was like, feeling looser and I went home and I put six months. 

I spent six months with my parents doing nothing and then one day I realized that I was running away from my bills because I was running away from feeling that feeling of being a loser. 

If I was going to return to Australia first. I had to face the bills. I had to face that I lost it. I had to look at my equally sized and which was super difficult to build instead I decided no, I’m going to stay here. 

I don’t see anybody. I don’t talk to anybody and that’s it. I don’t even go to VK. By the way, still up until now,I haven’t logged into it. But I was one of the first ones to register there and I still have the communication with my VK messages. And then my parents told me hey, you’re wasting a lot, you’re still young. 

Maruf: You were 22 or 23 at time, right? 

Bobir: Yeah. The life is just started, yet. Yeah, but I had two huge ambitions and I was seeing VK grow and they’re becoming hero. Oh and here I am a loser. So, I was feeling very bad.

And my parents told me that life goes on. You have to face a lot in your life. And then, I realized that if I don’t go back to Australia, then probably I don’t have any opportunity, you know, I have to face the problems. So there’s a reality here and so I went to Australia and got huge loans, office problems and what I did, I got employed and my former employees got employed. 

They were getting good salary by now and they were looking at me like that. What about you, Bobir? You ain’t paying us, we had to get employment and I was like, sorry, guys, but what I applied to corporate job, I showed my articles, I showed what I have done and I had like number of offers and I’m basically, they were paying enormous amounts of money. 

I did a corporate job, it was something like, technology division working on a multi-billion dollar project and it was one of the business analysts. I was on the team. So it was start. I started to get paying off my debt, you know in one year got pretty much everything and it was a huge relief.

And then I felt like I wanted something. I got that Immunity. I went through that and then all of a sudden my life changed. It was like wow, you know, so if you have a problem and if you run away, you would be still in the problem. You have a problem and you tackle it, if you solve it. It’s like wow, it’s an achievement. 

You know, it’s an achievement of its own so I wasn’t feeling like I don’t feel like I lost. I lost it but I got up and I paid off my loans. So that helped me a lot and then because after all I’m an entrepreneur, I feel like being entrepreneur all the time. I left you the job and start small micro projects. I’m not going to mention them because they didn’t work out, anyway.

Maruf: It’s okay. That’s right. Every idea doesn’t work. You do a lot of small things. It doesn’t work, but eventually, leaded you to something you’re learning, always. 

Bobir: So, then another one point I went to Uzbekistan because my goal was okay, I need to do too small on the market, was all you know under the shadow of the u.s. Like whatever we did like, always it was happening in the US or I could take it to Russia, but then I decided to go to Uzbekistan and leave them for some time and probably move to Russia. 

So I want to just make it stop and I didn’t tell you but back in 1998, I started the small web hosting company when I got access to the internet. I started with reselling the web hosting in Uzbekistan local market. There were very few people who needed websites.

But they needed web hosting. And was doing it.

It was my school project and when I left Australia, I left it to my father just to keep it up. You don’t matter. Yeah, I’m not even get anything, just paid off some of the sellers and organically was also growing. In 2010, I took over this company and then I actually saw that it was one of the first exits of Uzbekistan which was like, we didn’t talk about it. 

Because the regime was different they liked it but I was acquired by a billion dollar Company Soft line, very big company. There was a tiny project in Uzbekistan, it gave me cash all of a sudden. I was a happy guy and I was moving to Russia because TechCrunch was happening, technology was opening its doors in Russia, and I said, I need to go to TechCrunch and then I went there. 

And I met a couple of more people from Uzbekistan in technology industry and I was like, shocked. I thought I was the only person in technology industry doing something in the entire Uzbekistan and I mean outside of Uzbekistan and I saw very young talented guys, who were just starting a group of like, the name of the project was coppie coupon.

Maruf: They are my friends. 

Bobir: Really? Okay.

Maruf: We used to study together at diplomacy. We were roommates. We were very close friends. 

Bobir: So, I met these guys who just started this project five months ago. And I thought wow, this is a good opportunity to be a partner with them. So I came up with the project called coppie hoppers and we started the coppie office and then it becomes basically, blended into coppie coupon. 

Maruf: All right, I guess you’re doing. It was Uzbegs.

Bobir: Yeah. And it basically got blended in with the coppie coupon company. I still have an equity there in this company. I’m tiny, I couldn’t but I do still have it. I couldn’t and because they were a lot of you know partners within this project. I felt like, you know, there’s too many people. I know there are too many people, too many decision-makers and Etc 

And plus they were friends and I was an outsider. That’s true. I was getting into the group. So I decided to come out from that project and do something like Airbnb, come on, but for the Russian Market, I see raise the capital. Also. I had my own Capital. We raised three million dollars in 2011 or 2012.

We started this capital. We started this project. We launched it. We had a beautiful office, nice stuff, you know, the business was growing but one thing that I didn’t take into the consideration is that you cannot just bring the business from abroad and expected to grow in Russia because the mentality, the economical differences and etc. 

We’re basing It was not what the business model. Do. You know, the model was good that people were not going to pay the didn’t want to pay the taxes.

What we’re doing is that we have listed a lot of apartment with Russia departments who are bringing customers from abroad, who wanted to get this apartment and they were paying with an American Express or whatever, you know, Visa Mastercard, but the landlord’s were expecting us to pay them the cash. If we payed their account then they had to pay taxes, which they completely avoid. 

Maruf: It’s a trade if union countries, I guess.

Bobir: Yeah and they wanted to stock me because there were few companies who were saying, okay, we will accept cards but then most of them 80% were not. Okay, then we’re saying hey we cannot work. And they were saying pay me cash or I don’t send me any clients.

Maruf: This is the culture, the tough one. 

Bobir: Yeah, and then this year but how am I supposed to be because I’m accepting the could you know, I’m a cashless company and then they won’t get what I give so it brought a lot of tension and not understanding how to proceed. Okay, and then we were doing some illegal things. We were taking out our body from our account. 

They say pay me cash.Then we say how we pay you cash. We work on a cashless company. So, we’re doing some illegal things. Taking money from the company and then paying them cash which is illegal in Russia. 

It’s really that bad thing and then we decided not to do that because I would probably end up in jail for a very long time. I had to basically kill the company that was working well, we had some tensions with investors as well. And then we basically killed it. 

Maruf: Here’s a lesson for us as that when you write, you know, there are some technical challenges you face sometimes as a founder and sometimes you face cultural issues. I think we’re technically it’s easy, fix culture as I got her something really crazy, right, you cannot change the culture. I just want to click, right?

Bobir: It’s the culture, not the technical. Now they are okay with that.

Maruf: You guys are doing it early, right?

Bobir: Yeah, we’re way too early beginning the technology at the time when Russia was a cash based economy and the people didn’t want to pay taxes. So we had no choice. I wasn’t able to sustain my business and risk my life with being jailed sometimes. 

Maruf: I understood that.

Bobir: I had to close the business and it was like a becond failure like a big failure, but I took it like I’ve been here before, it’s not that I’m dead. You know, I’m still alive. I’ll be ok. I was not happy. Obviously. I was in a bad mood, but I was not depressed and what happened is that because already I had to certain reputation within the industry Russian Tech Community. 

You know a lot of people you may be seized etc. Then people will start reaching out to me and he said hey, Bobir, you’re don’t worry, it is cool. We know what happened to you is just a you know, it didn’t work out but that’s okay, people start supporting and very wealthy people reached out to me and from abroad very well that reports, you know, billionaires and they said we want your help, you know, we know that you’re having this issue, we want your help, come and consult us. 

I was building my own products. All of a sudden here. You are getting backed up one more time. And you are being asked to be a consultant. 

Maruf: Here’s the question. How do they know? You’re like, did he know what you did or did you know you personally I want to understand that.

Bobir: Look, I was in the median Russia all the time. I was pretty well known in my industry and I was networking with very hot, very famous people in tech industry.

So, you know people know each other within the shortest truck stop. 

And then reach out to me and they said look we need your consultation and I’m like, oh man, I never thought I could consult anybody. I just lost my second business and you still want me to consult. 

Maruf: You are getting experienced. You don’t know what you have but people valued that. 

Bobir: People valued. Apparently, people valued and I didn’t know that. I was feeling a little bit not confident about myself. 

Maruf: Am I good enough? Who am I to consult people?

Bobir: Yeah. How am I going to consult these people like their ultra wealthy people and I came and then they said their problem. They had this technology business, small technology company building, a product and they hired a lot of people and they couldn’t manage and I realized wow, they cannot give these people, smart wealthy people, they cannot manage the team. 

Maruf: So, this is after the second project failed. You used to live in Russia at this time.

Bobir: Yeah. I was still in Russia with traditional people. And then they said we want you to lead this group and I said, okay in that case, I’m gonna bring my own team and that they said bring your team. So I took my team from a previous project in Russia.

 And I said, guys, we’re transitioning to consultancy in the this industry and like all wear but we’re building a product swear like into product. I said guys either you’re going to be fired or you guys going to be with me.

Like I have no other choice and then they said okay, let’s do that. So we took over a project in the UK, and we’ve built the system, everything for me. It was easy, you know, I can do it.

Maruf: Yeah, cause you didn’t have tension anymore because you’re getting paid. You don’t have the worry about the customers in marketing.

Bobir: Exactly, and I was getting paid a lot of money. I was flying to UK all the time. Every two weeks, three weeks. I was networking with a very wealthy individuals and I start getting referrals. I didn’t have a website. I didn’t have you know, a branding, it was just me. That’s it and they were referred that this guy knows technology, go to him.

And I started consulting other people how did you develop and a lot of people were valuing my consultation because I went through two failures. I built a lot of different products and they ballard them so they were very well. I was living in Russia, getting paid in British pounds, in US Dollars and I was living in Russia. 

So I was having a very very good time. Okay in 2000, very interesting thing is that the Russians valued it in US dollars then the people were wow, all of a sudden when you all of a sudden from thirty rubles to $1. It became 70 rubles. Okay to $1. 

Maruf: It was in 2014, right? There was higher than my remember that, yeah, all of a sudden everybody left and right will complain, all of my friends who were making money in Russia and I just realized shit. I just doubled my revenue in Russian, everything was cheape.

So I was like pretending to be in a very bad position, just to support my friends because I don’t be stupid but I was living a very good life. So fast forward, I made money, you know, I was doing good money with consultancy business, was flying all over the world and then you know, I had this Russian Australia residency. 

So I didn’t need the peace or anything like that. It was very easy for me to travel and so what happened is that people start reaching out to me to invest and I invested in plub.com. This is super exciting project. They are basically Uzbeg food, but you know it presented in the modern style. So the slogan was, develop love and what must go on. God bless the bluff and etc. 

Because of the creativity these guys were featured everywhere the Russian TVs, no money spent but they were super growing. This guy’s reach out to me and they said we know you. And if you go to the website the features are really good and I invested that was my first experience investing into project. I invested some money. I got there quickly. 

Maruf: It’s in Russia, this projects in Russia, right? 

Bobir: Yeah, it became the number one project by Forbes in 2016 and still going well.

Maruf: It’s not only Russia so far. 

Bobir: It’s only in Russia but we have a lot of requires for franchising but the people outside of Russia. We have a lot of distributions places across Moscow. And then the second project that I invested, was in Uzbekistan and it’s called T-Chica.

It was super cool project, but it was ahead of its time. You know, it was at the time of the old regime. Tracking down with when there was a lot of people gathering. 

I invested. We have to shut it down but it was the first co-working sentiment and based on and ending ground zero and the other co working center that open because of us. So, I know they were working very well. He was consulting with us and what kind of mistakes not to do etc.So, I can’t start investing in other small projects as well. You can stop me if you have questions.

Maruf: Just don’t worry about it. I’m just enjoying it. We give him so far but don’t think to stop right now. It doesn’t make sense.

Bobir: In 2016, I felt like I was not doing it. I was traveling.

Maruf: You are being consulted and you did everything, was small. But now you want something big

Bobir: Yeah. I was feeling like I had investments, I was making good money, I was sitting at the comfort zone in Russia. It’s not what I want. I was a English speaking guy. I wanted to grow a competitive market and all my friends were saying, dude, do not make this mistake, sit here because you’re doing very well. And I said no.

Maruf: This is not the time for comfort. And you still have this ability, right? It didn’t work out whether something.

Bobir: Yeah! I saw a person who was doing very well and I’m here just consulting. I’m not a very competitive guy. It had been a way. But It distracted me sometimes. So I’m not a competitive guy and I’m saying like, I need to change my location. I’ve spent six years in Russia, but I need to change. 

So, we decided to move to the US. I had no idea how much I was going to settle down. So what I’ve done is I got the student visa for my wife and then she came here to Russia and I was basically sponsoring here and while I was in the US, I was thinking what am I gonna do. Like, how am I gonna settle down here.

Maruf: Was that in 2017-18 you came to the US, is that what you’re saying? 

Bobir: It was in 2016. I came to us. But in between them I was coming to US like every month just as a tourist business guy and by the way in 2015, I did 20 trips in one year. So, all across the world every three days. I was moving, flying and flying. So at 16, I was moving to US. My wife was on student visa and I was at the dependent visa and then I was basically networking with people.

Maruf: You were in New York. Where are you?

Bobir: I was in New York.

Maruf: This is why things happen. 

Bobir: Yeah, then I was networking with people. I spoke to a few migration laws and one of them was a very smart young lady. She consulted and she said look, Bobir, you know your stories are actually extraordinary. These are like extraordinary pieces. No, I’m not an extraordinary guy. She said trust me,l  just prepare all the documents, you know, I’ll help you out. She’s a very smart lawyer. 

And we prepared all the documents I needed. You know, I was at the cover magazine of Australia and etc back in 2005, 2006. I collected everything, even my biggest failures, my interviews and we applied and within seven days, I was granted the Visa called individual with extraordinary ability in business and then her mind was impressed. She said like it’s very quick. 

And officially I was acknowledged to be an extraordinary which was a good feeling and I started my consulting side. I started pushing my consultancy and then at that time a blockchain was coming up. It’s a very interesting story. A luncheon is coming out and then my employee, Ronin, he said, hey  why don’t we explore this? I said, I don’t even understand what the hell is that.

Maruf: Yeah. It’s interesting in business. 

Bobir: Yeah, once we had done it, I was  very good at regenerating. I have this knowledge of how to do that. I said to my employee to go and get all the press releases and that are related for blockchain.

And then write them an email saying that we are a blockchain consultancy company. So this is what we did. First, a lot of press releases and we blasted a lot of emails. It’s not stuff. We’re sending it to corporates. It’s time extend and after sending those emails within twenty Millions. He called me. He said to hear something weird has happened. A lot of people are applying to us. 

And I said what are they saying? They said they want to talk to us. What am I supposed to do? A blockchain consultancy company and he goes we got to come to them and we have this UNESCO, we had UNDP and the team we have this big Corporation wanted to talk to us.

I said, all right. Let’s talk to them. I picked up my phone. And one of people saying that hey, you, blockchain consultancy company, if you know the solidity and I’m like, oh, yeah, we know that I didn’t know that yet we know that but my developers to produce now we come, you know, can’t connect you. 

Oh really? You guys are one of the few ones out there who are doing the consultancy, so please reach out to me when you are free. I said, Okay. The next, same thing. They were talking about the color. 

Maruf: You were in the market before you got into it, right? 

Bobir: Yeah. I had no idea what they were talking about, zero knowledge.

Maruf: There’s a demand, someone is calling you.

Bobir: Basically I was collecting leads. The leads were coming in. We literally had like hundreds of potential leads and then so what we did. We made a list of keyboards. Okay solidity, what is that? We need to learn, you know, smart contracts Etc. So we made a list and then we learned that it took us like 30 to 45 days to actually learn what people were talking.

We’ve been promising everybody to provide them service and we made an impression to other people that were super busy company loaded with a lot of people and I was saying hey, my developers were busy, he’s gonna finish his things within two or three weeks  Then, what are we gonna do, we have so many leeds, we need to provide them services and we reached out to a company one of the company in Canada. 

They were like a small company, you know growing up very quickly and we said we’re going to give you leads. You know, let’s do that. We just established brand block crunch.com. We start giving the leeds and all of a sudden, you know, business start generating pretty good money. 

And then within four half months, we got our first of being acquired and the guy called from Los Angeles. And we presented that staff already in the industry. And we are attending the events. Everything is happening very quickly how to grow and then we had an offer and then you know, it was a good offer then we spoke to our colleague in Canada. 

And he said the guy who was resetting the clients to and he said he wants to buy us out as well. We made the bill and we got two investors and we sold ourselves one with the equity, you know, they gave us their Equity that we can sell in the stock as in a stock exchange and the other one paid us in cash. 

So within five months we had an exit, that’s it. 

Maruf: That is a very short one with a good one. When the market is growing?

Bobir: It was ten million dollars.

Maruf: Not bad for the five month. Probably nothing. I remember that period everything was just going faster than I don’t follow that market any longer, but I know where they’re going. But I remember the moment it was going really really crazy.

Bobir: It was insanely crazy. We’re becoming millionaires overnight. We were there right there, but it was a strategy because if we were scared of actually offering something we didn’t have, we would not make it. We’re very confident. Yeah, that’s what happened.

After some time the market crashed everything was going down but all story was already published on bluebirds, you know other places. I was reached out by bloomberg and they said they want to make a documentary about me. Unfortunately, it it didn’t work out because I went to Uzbekistan and got employed by the government of Uzbekistan at that time. 

Maruf: Oh, that’s gonna be interesting. So it’s coming out now. 

Bobir: Yeah. 

Maruf: I didn’t know that you were coming back. You were going back, it went up like all sideways. So, what’s going on? 

Bobir: People started reaching out from them. 

Maruf: So just to give a background information as saying to people understand I think we both know what’s going on, but people may not understand because listener so what happened is that I think 2016, we’re talking about right after the the previous president passed away and you present comes and like I’m not in too much politics to be honest, but what I personally I can feel like I can see the positive vibe going on. 

So I think probably someone which had because they were calling people like they were calling people, inviting. I remember I even know a couple of people even from Denmark. Because then when I went there, so probably you’re one of those people do I reach out to us, right? 

Bobir: I was third. We actually got employed by the government of Uzbekistan. And what happened is that the new regime said we want smart people from overseas to come back and work for us and then I wasn’t flying to work for anybody. 

I was planning to move on with my business and I had just moved to success right now. I’m planning to be shocked. I have a documentary with a blue book. But anyway, they’re miss calling me. It was 18. So I went to Uzbekistan because I had this idea. Okay, let’s do one project in Uzbekistan.

Maruf: Something gets you back right, something like what’s called? 

Bobir: Well, you know when people are calling you and they want to talk to you especially at the high level, you feel you know, you feel good about that. So I decided to go and talk with them. 

Maruf: Yeah, I mean you were talking to a lot of high people all the time. It’s not doing anything. There’s something else that may be used in Uzbekistan, you know, you want to help your country and in some way, you know what I mean? Like, I really want to know how you’d end up. So go ahead and tell me.

Bobir: I was meeting with tht Prime Minister, at the top of the head of the state. You know, they invited us for events. So I was already talking to big guys, here you are, whose back in Uzbekistan is done as opening. 

And they wanted some help and I felt like okay, you know I can go and maybe help them. So I went there with no intention of being employed by the government. I just went there because of some of the projects but I started painting with the president’s administration within a few minutes etc. 

I ended up being introduced to an agency which was under the president of Uzbekistan which was involved and who’s better rockler republic to the president of Uzbekistan and there were responsible for the tech industry, for the blockchain industry. 

And when they were riding actually gave a lot of input. So a lot of you know things were given from my side so I brought my guy from the US as well. And I propose them to do one business project. It’s called get your bella government PPP public-private partnership project where the government is going to be evolved and the private sector is going to be involved. 

And they said oh, yeah, that’s going to be cool. Write a letter to the president, you know offering him what you want and I actually did it and apparently, he said, cool, this is a good idea. Let him do that and then I’m going to Europe to talk to some of my investors, partners and then I’m coming back to Uzbekistan. 

And all of a sudden they were showing me a decree saying hey, where have you been, you’ve been nominated, you’re now going to be pulled by the government. I said, well, what do you do? 

I’m going to be working for the government. I have a trip to Miami with my heart with my family in two weeks. We’re talking no. No, you gotta work Luke. He approved you project. He wants you to do this project, but he also wants you to work for us. Okay, so they basically give you five minutes to think and within the split of a second I said why not? Okay. Let me try.

Maruf: Okay interesting. I was going to say this ain’t no way. I’m always free. I just want to do my things but that’s interesting. Go ahead.

Bobir: I was talking to some of the decision makers of Uzbekistan. It was kind of like they were pressuring and I said, okay, we’ll do that.

Maruf: I remember this trend that happened like when you were 22, right? 

Bobir: It’s like, I called my wife and she said oh, what are you doing, you are a freedom loving person, you’re an entrepreneur. You don’t have to do that. I said look I get it. I already said yes, I can’t move. I got to blow that I was the deputy of the digital trust fund which was a pretty big organization.

And the next day, I was meeting with all of the senior people coming from abroad and I was flying to Korea to meet this big people from Hyundai, Dale. All of a sudden my into a billion dollar projects, you know government projects, not private projects. And so I feel good because the way you know at this level when you’re disabled, you cannot have a lot of government privileges and their perks are really cool. They’re really good. 

You know, some of the perks are probably you will only get it if you’re peeling your okay, so doubt that was cool. The bad part is that I’m an entrepreneur and when investors were coming to me and I had official delegations, there were you know people talking to me, they were saying we want to invest in these some doubt and that and I was representing Uzbekistan. 

I was thinking about dude, this is a good business opportunity. I have to be able to be on the other side, you know, I shouldn’t be on the government side. I have to be on the other side and all of a sudden, all of the time I had this conflict of interest conflict in context. I wanted to be able to be.

And so, I realized that I could not be a government official. You know, it’s way to be erotic, well bunch of bureaucracy, way too small, way too slow. Even though I built my team of very smart people my team was people coming from abroad three. I brought a lot of people and I told them even though we are a governmental organization when the investors were coming. We need to sell them. 

We need to be a lot of beautiful bureaucrat who’s stopping the investor, but we need to sell them and we need to serve them. So I was treating my organization as a business organization which wanted to attract investors. So which World Bank loves, which other organizations love but I personally was attacked so I decided to quit. 

Maruf: I have like so here’s a question. I think for that especially, if anybody good for governor listening like what would be the best work scenario between a person like you like, entrepreneurs like us at the government? How? What is the best way do you think the current can get benefit of entrepreneurs still giving them the freedom? What is it? What was it? What would it be?

Bobir: First of all, even though they were offering me by their standards a good salary which was 2000$. That wasn’t anything attracted to me. 

Maruf: So  it doesn’t make sense, right? 

Bobir: Okay, my expenses were way much higher. So I was subsidized.

Maruf: So  you wanna do it for the money, but no they’re going for the money. Let’s put it this way 

Bobir: On the other side, I don’t think a true entrepreneur is going to be happy in the government because the entrepreneur mindset is always to create something for businesses. You have to be well, the guy not to not think about the money anymore and just be very patriotic, just work for the sake of the government.

But I think you can do that when you are at a certain age now, we’re still very ambitious. We were way too ambitious. So you have to be at the circuit level certain of you know have a certain security and then you can do that. It’s because I was bringing, you know, big projects into the government. They could be a hundred million dollar projects and Etc. 

But then you’re not getting anything. 

Maruf:  No, it doesn’t make sense of exactly where I was going back to what I was saying, is that what if the car won’t start offering guys look with the project right? The project is only like X percent by us y percent by you. You do the job. We allow you to open the doors for you  and when you get something as well.

Bobir: That would be super cool. But Allah doesn’t allow us. Not only does you cannot even have a business but when you’re in the public sector. That’s crazy. I mean, I wasn’t allowed to do business. 

They were telling me, you know, they said, hey look, you can do that. But it’s illegal and you can adapt its time when you’re in That position. That position you can rocks, okay, and if you do that one time, you’re not going to get out of the system. 

Maruf: I know, I feel you. Now you’re back in US.

Bobir: So I said sorry guys. My project is not moving on. You know, I couldn’t even do it illegally, you know. I wanted to do and they said, hey, you can do that but I wasn’t able to do that. 

And not to do anything in Uzbekistan. Let me go. I came back to US. I met my family and I was super happy. And felt like, where’s my driver, the person hear everything that I say. I had the cool team. 

I was the senior guy. I had this who arranges the meeting, the guy who does like everything. Like senior guys administration. And then I went back to New York with my kids, a good driver, you know with all this stuff.

And I feel like lonely all of a sudden and then some of my friends who were acquiring the government is that this is a normal thing, you know, you feel that you will have to transition. 

When I went to Belarus. I was provided by the body guards. I was provided secure devices. I was provided the helicopter to transform so I’m talking about this level.

And so now I’m back to business and I’m like, okay, we need to do old business and I always have that out sourcing, the consultancy business in 2013, the British company. I still had it. It was serving my clients. It wasn’t growing. 

So, I said, ok, now, I need to push this company and back to consultancy. I was 19 at that time. So, I went to Uzbekistan 18 June or July and much I stayed like 9 months. Then I went back to US. I was working for outsourcing consultancy and I employed more people there. Started advertising and my business started growing again. 

But I’m a product guy. I always wanted to build a product. And I knew one day we are going to be working in a world where everything is going to be distributed. 

Everything is going to be over the video conferencing and you know before pandemic zoom was used only by technical people at you know, Geeks, you know, that’s right before that and very corporate senior level people but I was already managing. My team distributed teams in 2005. 

So I knew how to manage that. And I was closing deals on the video conferencing in one of my interviews in Uzbekistan. I said look, I close 200-300 thousand dollar deals without seeing my client over the video conferencing and it was before pandemic and people were shocked. 

They would say, oh no way video conferencing no away, but now we’re like doing the interviews over the video conferencing. So I started to go to the video conference and start building the technology.

And I have this domain name mis.com. I invested a lot of money into that product.And by the time when, you know at the time when pandemic came, we were still under the development stage, we rolled out.

Maruf: So, I won’t understand something. You actually said workers before that pandemic. I want to understand that how you are gonna make money by this cause it was like your price was a bit different. I checked out as free all I understand where you’re making money and if I tell people as well.

Bobir: Initially, we wanted to do, we wanted to become something like Zoom, but widely just go and white lie, we decided not to go with that because Zoom is just an explorer. Okay, we didn’t have enough time. We had to come out like four months before that. But what envision, is that okay. This is what we need to do. 

People now are going to lose their jobs. People are now going to be doing a lot of freelance work and etc. Some people are going to offer their services online. Even the teachers, the lawyers etc. So what they mean is they need video conferencing to facilities, which is zoom and they need the calendar. Which is calendly, okay? There’s a lot of people who are using calendly or google calendly.

And they need the payment which is tribe or can be anything else. My vision was like I need to do everything in one place. Anyone can register with mis.com. They will have a video conferencing, payment system, calendar, integrated into the system and then they will have the unique URL which they can post on their website or on their Instagram. 

And then if they want to say, if they want a client people just go to the URL see their Pages what kind of service they offer, book a service, pay their service and video conferencing is also going to be facilitated within one ecosystem. 

And then the system will call you on your phone both of you on the phone. So it’s a work automation tool and this is the thing we wanted to build. There is a demand for them. It’s just that we are and we have limited resources or development developer resources. It’s kind of difficult because I’m financing everything myself. So what we’re trying to do.

Maruf: Okay. Yeah. It will be interesting to look at and we win one of our status. I was looking at modeling and I was at you after the talk. We’ll figure this out. So is that it or we have more.

Bobir: You know being an entrepreneur you have so many ideas in your mind. So the other thing is that what we’re building we thought okay. Now how people are promoting themselves. They’re promoting themselves by instagram. Okay, but they don’t have their website and they don’t need the alloy. It doesn’t work, the teacher doesn’t even have a website. 

So what we’re doing is we’re creating an expert euro project. It’s called expertior.com. It’s not live yet. So you don’t have to go there and you will have your own page.  We’ll get that from every expert. You’re a very good teacher, we will say, okay, you’re a good teacher. You can be an expert here. 

Oh, you’re going to get your own relp’ gonna have your photo and you know all of the feedbacks a detective you basically we’re creating an e-commerce page for your personal branding and then we’re going to integrate the bookie missed outcomes booking system and then you can that’s it. You have a website also don’t it will be better you are a vented expert and you can promote this page. 

Yes, this person is endorsed by an expert. You know, they say this person is an expert. It could be a chief trainer. It could be a teacher. It could be anyone else anywhere, just like so and we’re going to build the biggest network of experts. 

It’s doesn’t you come and say I’m an expert that’s it. You know, I’m the best guy and you’re trying to promote yourself. No, we bet you we’ll look. Hey, have you been doing this show for a long time? Have you done some things? And then once you are approved that’s it. You’re going to be an expert. 

Maruf: Revenue was, I guess. So whatever they get paid, going to cut.

Bobir: I think about that. It’s going to be free at the beginning. It’s gonna be, maybe it’s going to be subscription-based. Maybe it’s going to be cutting the revenue or something like that. 

We will have to decide what’s the ultimate goal when you have thousands of experts different experts, having their own unique domain URL then what I became a lead generator for them.I just built on top of that a search thing that you need the best teachers, okay, just one of them so I become a lead generator for them as well. 

Maruf: So you’re inside came to this because of chemicals that all people working for themselves and you created to build something for them. How did it come? I want to understand that inspiration. 

Bobir: So, one thing that I learned from my own experiences. I can foresee some of the things so I have this gut feeling already and I trust my gut feelings and the world that we know right now is going to change from offline which is going to be transitional, you know, even the people who are working offline right now.

And I was thinking once the financial crisis comes in and they will lose their job and they will start providing the services somehow. The platform to provide them and they can go to work but, you know, too many people and etc. But let’s say you are a very good expert and you need a platform. So here you are building your platform.

Maruf: I think that in your ideas, if you can actually deliver that promise, it’ll lead the people and that will be the key changer, right? It doesn’t people go better with like, I mean what we’re looking into like.

Bobir: Here it is. We are not gonna bring them. Because we’re not going to bring them the leads at the beginning. I would say if you open up an ecommerce store shopify, okay. Shopify doesn’t give you the client. 

You have to promote it yourself, but now as well you need to present. What kind of present do you have? You’ve instagram, which is a lot of photos, you have LinkedIn, just which is a good platform. It’s a good platform to get leads. But some people need a website, you know, some people do need a website. 

What do you do? You create a website for yourself. You don’t have to cheer you up where we are going to give you a website and it’s going to be in and you are going to be induced by the expert hero. You are going to be slow. 

We will say this is the guy who’s an expert and you’re going to be proud to share this link. Even on your Instagram because black me we look up in a bitter 2/4 Tech Council recently. I’m proud to share the link. 

You know, I’m the same way for saying this is the guy who’s an expert, you will be proud to share.And that website is going to be accepting clients, you know, booking payments, video conference, everything.

Maruf: Interesting. Okay. I am looking forward to seeing it. So where did you guys go to launch this one? 

Bobir: We’re working day and night on that hopefully within one or two weeks. Okay. 

Maruf: Well, that’s a lot far away, yet, little in the middle of September. Bobir, I spend the amazing time with each of you. I had to be honest like it’s like your whole life. So I have some couple of questions. I was asking yesterday. Hey, I’m talking to my friend Bobir and what questions were asked, there’s some questions came for you. If you don’t mind our last.

Bobir: Yeah, absolutely. If you have any questions, I’m here to answer them.

Maruf: Sure, some people from Uzbekistan as well, especially about what’s going on is by sea, you’ll be I just want your opinion, I guess. So, one of the question is from Camilla. She’s a good friend. So she was asking if the question is, you know, what makes well, of course, they would identify his life.

So, how can we enable more girls and women into entrepreneurship, business, education in a space where any sign of empowerment is shamed with the name of Allah making your development more polarized. I think she means it was back in Uzbekistan, probably because the question is what’s your take on this? 

Bobir: Yeah. It’s a very conservative Society. 

But from my own experience, I know that girls are actually very good entrepreneurs. They’re very good people, employees and etc. Some of my best employees are girls and if they are better than boys and they are very focused.

I do really like that and I think with the time we need some time. We need some time with the girls. They don’t need to be afraid. They don’t eat. They don’t need to care about the other people’s opinion. Just do it. You know, you are very smart. You have nothing to be ashamed of. We’re equal.

You know, that’s why they need to go to a big city to try by themselves as entrepreneurs. 

If a lot of people are doing that, you know, the mindset is going to change. Look, you are from Uzbekistan, I’m from Uzbekistan. Back in 19, if you saw a girl driving a car, it was a girl driving and it was like nonsense, a lot of girls went to drive cars right now. It’s okay. 

Maruf: It’s normal.

Bobur: So, if more people want to go to be entrepreneurs. The mindset is going to change as well.

Maruf:  Absolutely, that’s very useful insight. And you mentioned what you wanted to with Airbnb to Russian market right, like a new culture issue so over time now the okay with that because this is exposure to see everybody’s working as I made us all work. 

Okay, I have to get something to tax. But I guess I got to pay something, you know to come with. Okay. I mean, it’s the same scenario. I think one of the things she was asking, is that like, my tent was August 1 I agree with you a hundred percent like the more examples like the see more examples from the girls. 

You know ladies they’re doing that. It would be except the second one of the questions you would ask you like. What do we what was that in the name of Allah made in the name of God. I think it is a reality some people, especially men, what they do is that they say don’t do that. 

That’s not the son, doesn’t want or God doesn’t want but the reality is that to be honest with you like and she actually go back and look over the history, we see that Islam never downed entreprenureship. Even our Prophet (S) was an entrepreneur. He was a tradesman. And he was a businessman. A lot of Sahabas were entrepreneurs. 

And they were selling and buying stuff and it’s nothing done. But this and next question was if an education like a minute not many people may notice that the first known University like in the world is actually founded by a Muslim lady called Fatima in Morocco, you know what I mean? We don’t know that. 

Now unfortunately, we understand where we see the women sitting in the house and stay homes, do nothing else if the problem is. Here our mentality not Islam because if you go to the source The source doesn’t say that, you know, that’s the problem. 

Bobir: We are definitely more knowledgeable in religion and myself and I completely agree with that.

Maruf: I’m just telling the fact. That’s the way it is. Our ladies learn that and when someone can say where’s Allah, bring your proof. Don’t tell me your opinion and this is proof. And it’s gonna be hard. It’s not gonna be easy like but that’s the way, just perseverance and eventually it goes better. 

So that was the first question and the next question was you Okay. So one question was what opportunities do you see if someone who immigrated to US, compared to all those who were raised there in the US, you know little bit. Cause this is from Isha Nichole and l I think she’s an US citizen, she’s asking but you are an immigrated entrepreneur, right?

Bobir: Look, as an immigrant, we have perspectives like we can compare to our own countries and other countries. We can bring something new, right. That’s why if you look at even the job on TV the yogurt? It’s a bunny. Yeah. Sure buddy, buddy. The yogurt was built behind the Immigrant Turkish immigrants his yogurt from turkey and maybe very  big thinking in Us.

A local guy came up with this kind of idea if you never tried it, don’t you ever tried it? It was something new but this guy grew up with this yogurt. You know, he thought okay. Why don’t I bring you to make it big here and it worked out. So for us we can bring something new to this country and it doesn’t have to be a super huge billion dollar business or whatever, but we can bring something new.

So, if you’re entrepreneurial, you can make money out of it. Okay, that’s advantageous. Okay, then we also have our own disadvantages because we’re not a native speakers. We don’t have the duct connections. You guys have the local person and you know, there’s a lot of other disadvantages. 

Maruf: If someone I mean this from my personal experience that if someone really goes out of their comfort zone home to another country like maybe went through a lot. You see the different world like your eyes open to different perspectives and you see the opportunity, you just grab it and do it.

Many people said they won’t even look at it. For example, if I remember I came to Denmark in 2003 like I would go and deliver papers, you know, like in the morning 4:00 a.m. And I saw it like, wow, we’re taking this so much money. And I compared this to Uzbekistan , but this is what BC but Yeah, you’re right like perspective.

Bobir: Not everybody. But most of the people who possess you said we came out of our country and our comfort zone and we’re kind of, you know, we get filtered, okay, from our own society. The most active people class right now. When we come here with being very active. 

So, we need to build a network. We need to build, you know a future for our kids. So we need to bug a house. I’m not saying every local person is granted the privilege. No by no means but it’s just my observation that at the beginning at least we’ll try more.

Maruf: That’s right. Thank you. So one more I think this is the last question is that the question is, how should we support other entrepreneurs while maintaining our success. 

Bobir: How do we need to support all the businesses while making out? 

Maruf: Yeah, how are the other intrapreneurs while maintaining our own business success? 

Bobir: I do have an answer for that, give them small projects. That’s it. If I have a business, it’s growing. I’m doing well. Then there’s probably some sort of services that I need to get or I can Outsource. 

And that’s how you can do that. Let’s say you are providing a podcast service or whatever. I don’t know whatever work you had to take service I could do in house myself why I could just get it to you. If you’re good at that but uh, I just give it to you. This is how I support you. 

Maruf: This is really good advice. 

Bobir: You can support with good advices, but at the end of the day, you know, everything is related to financial aspects. So the best thing is to help them with the business. 

Maruf: So yeah, I think this was a debate of the question. So is there a question it’s saying I should have asked but I did not ask that you would like to ask yourself an answer. It’s the last one. 

Bobir: No, I actually would love to ask you because I guess I just became whose Beauty to work state Council and I need to come up with the article. I’m thinking we’re going to do that. Well, I’m not a big writer. 

So I would love your audience if they watch this podcast short, please tell me what you guys are interested in because I don’t want to come up with something. Maybe not with something that is not interesting. So if you guys help me out with the first article, that would be good. 

Maruf: Okay, so you’re looking for what people are interested in.

Bobir: It has to be technology related. So I’m going to be publishing.

Maruf: Okay. We’ll ask the network and see what they say. Yeah. Thank you very much until we see you next time, Assalamu alaikum.

Bobir: Walaikumassalm.

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Episode 30