How did you get started in your career?
Graduated in comp sci…but back in 2005, Finance and trading was the hot sector to be in, so I applied for an internship at Morgan Stanley in trading….and Alhamdullilah got my first (and only job) after that! I rose up the ranks, and just as I was due for promotion as Executive Director I decided to leave the world of banking and start muzmatch. Banking never really did anything for me, and working in that world over the financial crisis was eye opening. I quit my job, learned how to build apps, and from the bedroom of my home, launched muzmatch on both Apple and Android in six months. I wanted to be sure that I was the first modern Muslim marriage app out there – and indeed we were.
What is a highlight of your career?
For sure, hearing of the first muzmatch marriage. I am still in touch with that couple, and seeing their family grow is still quite special.
How do you unwind?
If only I could…I have always had a hyperactive mind – ask anyone who knows me. I don’t sit still. I do need to force myself to take a break more often…when I get time 🙂
What does an average workday look like to you?
Get up at 630am, breakfast, try and read some quran, cycle 13 miles to the office. Take care of any important emails, catch up with the team for any important things we are working on. Then its digging through data – learning from our users and seeing how we can grow. Focusing on growth is my daily obsession. As a startup, if you don’t grow you die. Usually finish around 630/7, cycle home, have dinner and try and read something or watch question time if its a Thursday (yes I am sad).
What has been the greatest hurdle for you to overcome in your career?
Running a startup is never easy. More due to the demands we put on ourselves. Growing a team, raising funds and ensuring everyone works well together and focuses on the mission is essentially the core of what my role has evolved to. Making that shift away from me physically coding is always a learning exercise.
What is the best thing about your job?
Being in control of your destiny. Ever since I got my first job, I knew I couldn’t hack having a boss. I just wanted to do things myself. Now there are no excuses – no one to hide behind. It’s on you and your team to make it happen. I guess I love that simplicity.
How would you describe the type of work that you do each day?
Hugely varied. I have a motto of never being too snobby to do anything. I get involved where I am needed and where I think I am needed with a view to helping us do better. I have had the fortune of doing every single role in the company at some point, be it marketing, customer support, engineering, design etc. This foundation definitely helps me have an opinion and hopefully some good learnings I can share.
What are your plans for the future?
We are the biggest Muslim marriage app globally in 4 years. However – in my eyes the market is huge – there are 1.8B Muslims worldwide – we’ve only just gotten started.