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Growing Huge Businesses Young Then Losing Millions And Bouncing Back

Asad Hamir


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Growing Huge Businesses Young Then Losing Millions And Bouncing Back

Asad Hamir



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Asad Hamir Klyk Nolii Ocushield
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About Asad Hamir

The BAE HQ welcomes Asad Hamir, who is a portfolio tech entrepreneur with brands including Ocushield, Klyk and Nolii.

Asad came from a family of opticians but money was hard to come by. He forged his own path by running an O2 franchise and created an empire.

He learned so much on that journey before a god delusion caught up with him and he lost millions.

This gave him his hunger to learn back and he went on to found and invest in many more companies.

Now his passion is sustainable tech and design which blend together perfectly through Klyk and Nolii.

Asad Hamir




Dhruvin's episode

Show Notes

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From the first time founders to the funds that back them, innovation needs different. HSBC Innovation Banking is proud to accelerate growth for tech and life science businesses, creating meaningful connections and opening up a world of opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors alike. Discover more at https://www.hsbcinnovationbanking.com/

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Asad Hamir Full Transcript

Asad Hamir: [00:00:00] It was hard, like we didn't have money. And seeing my parents struggle and, you know, family struggle. I sat down with mom and I said to mom, I, I love you and I'm gonna work with you for a year, so then I'm gonna go into phones. And she, she didn't understand it. Like, and there we grew it to like, what, 16, 17 shops?

Asad Hamir: You gotta just have that hunger right. Like no one is gonna stop you. Right? And that's that mentality that I think every entrepreneur needs to have is that resilience, that you're gonna break walls, you're gonna make stuff happen.

Amardeep Parmar: Hello, hello everyone and welcome to The BAE HQ, where we inspire connecting guide the next generation of British Asians. Smash that subscribe button if you're watching us  on YouTube. And give us a five star review if you're watching on Apple or Spotify. Today we have with us. Asad Hamir, who's a portfolio Technology Entrepreneur.

Amardeep Parmar: His brands include Klyk, Ocushield and Nolii. His passion about sustainability, design, and innovation.  How you doing today?

Asad Hamir: [00:01:00] Yeah, really good. Real pleasure being on podcast. Thank you so much for inviting me on. 

Amardeep Parmar: So we had a good chat before this started. And I've had somebody you've invested in before driven on the podcast before.

Amardeep Parmar: So you've heard some of the Ocushield story. 

Asad Hamir: Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar:  But you've like, as we said, like you've got a portfolio now, you've done so many different things. 

Asad Hamir: Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar: But where did this all start from? Like where, what did aside, when he was a kid, what did he think he was ever gonna grow up and do?

Asad Hamir: Yeah, so my dad was an IT engineer.

Asad Hamir: So my, my dad was, um, from that world. Um, mom and dad both came from East Africa, so mom from Uganda, dad from Tanzania. Dad was super smart and so is mom actually. Mom was actually, I think the first optometrist. Asian optometrist in our community. So we're from a community called Khojas, and she kind of started off a kind of revolution in our community of optometrists.

Asad Hamir: Like probably one in three people are optometrist. We actually hold the world record in our family. I believe this is kind of self-proclaimed. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. 

Asad Hamir:But like 45 optometrists in our family, and I'm obviously an optometrist. Well. 

Amardeep Parmar: Oh wow. 

Asad Hamir: Yeah, so, and, and so mom was optometrist. I remember seeing photos of her with a her in her Sari and [00:02:00] university and stuff like that.

Asad Hamir: And so mom won, won the argument between, clearly between her and dad about what I should do and yeah, 

Amardeep Parmar:  you, you your opinion didn't come for anything in this, I guess

Asad Hamir: Clearly not at that point. I'm more interested in Man United and like gaming and stuff like that, but being around like tech all the time and like I'd, I'd go with that.

Asad Hamir: Dad would be the IT guy and you know, he'd go to people's houses and repair stuff and I'd hold the tools and I used to love it. He'd open up the PC and you'd see the motherboard inside and you know, I'm gonna say it was beautiful. Like, you know, it's quite sad saying that, but like, you know, seeing all the little chips and I just got a fascination for tech from a young age really..

Asad Hamir:  Had, I had my first phone at like 15, 16, begged dad for it. And I remember like at that point, like we weren't, we weren't wealthy. Yeah. Like mom, mom actually the family got in into optics and they had opticians in the family, but no one really made any money. Like, 'cause it was a way in which everyone got educated, everyone then, you know, to get jobs.

Asad Hamir: Like they'd come into the family business and have a job there and, and it was [00:03:00] like, you know, when you've got too many family members in a business, it's like, you know, too many cooks spoil the broth and all that kind of stuff. But yeah, I did Optometry University and then third year uni, Steve Jobs got up on stage and said, look, here's iPhone.

Asad Hamir: And I was reading all the blogs and you know, everything. And I was like, I, I can't do optometry. And I sat down with mom and I said to mom, uh, you know, I, I love you and um, you know, I'm gonna work with you for a year. So the plan was basically, I finished my degree. You do a one year pre pre-registration.

Asad Hamir: I'm gonna work with you for a year, but I'm gonna go into phones. And she, she didn't understand it like, Bless mom. Uh, she says like, everyone needs, uh, you know, everyone needs glasses. Everyone's got a phone, right? Why does everyone, no one's gonna need a phone. Are you like, you sure the mom like, don't worry, it'll be fine.

Asad Hamir: And actually, at the time, O two had a partner program and in our mosque it was the only mobile phone network. That worked. We were, we were at the top of, uh, Stanmore Hill, and it was a, it was an area which basically was a black spot for all mobile phone networks, but the only [00:04:00] network that worked was O two.

Asad Hamir: So I was like, I went and saw the commercial terms and I, and I kind of thought to myself, I, I could sell this and I could sell it. If I just do it in my community, there's like 5,000 people I can sell phones to and everyone's gonna want this thing. And that was the beginning of a fantastic journey where like, you know, to start a business at 21, 22 with the backing of a big brand and also like the support of a big brand was just amazing.

Asad Hamir: And I, I like, I think in that program there was like 4,000 applications and stuff like that. Somehow they saw something in me, like, um, 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah, that's what I was  gonna ask at 21. What experience did you have? Did anything in past that maybe convince him that yeah, you're the one to give the contract to? 

Asad Hamir: Yeah, so like growing up, like that same tech background, I did like websites, so I fixed computers, use some of that knowledge.

Asad Hamir: I used to go to like uncle's houses and fix things and it's funny 'cause they'd go, right, okay, what, like, let me give you 50 quid. And I'd go, oh, buy me a scanner or buy me like another piece of text. [00:05:00] I was that I. In like, you know, that, that into tech, that I just wanted more and more tech. And then like actually at uni, I started a website called Sunglasses Express.

Asad Hamir: I used the families Luxottica and Phylo accounts, so, so basically like the likes of RayBan and Armani and all these kinds of guys, they don't actually make their own eyewear. They use a big coner called Luxottica safflower. You may have heard of it. Um, and so I used their accounts to then sell sunglasses online.

Asad Hamir: So I set up a website at that point. And at that point there was like very little e-commerce, right? So we were one of the first companies in sunglasses doing it. And I still remember we discounted Chanel. And you're not, it's one of those areas you just don't go, you don't discount Chanel and I remember the first month we generated about 20 grand of income 

Asad Hamir: Yeah. Revenue. And it's like, wow. Like, you know, I was 19 years old. Uh, Luxottica sent us an email saying, if you don't shut this website down, and the next 24 hours we've traced the frame, we bought a frame, we've traced it, we're gonna trace it back to the account. And once we find out which [00:06:00] account it is, we're gonna shut that account down.

Asad Hamir: That's my family's business. So I was like, oh crap. And at that point, you know, didn't have the experience, all that kind of stuff. They probably were playing my bluff, right? 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah.

Asad Hamir: But I shut it down. So, but like amazing experience, right from at that age generating some income and stuff like that. So lots of hustles, basically.

Asad Hamir: Lots of little hassles, failures, successes, all kinds of stuff. 

Amardeep Parmar:  So did you always just have, I guess with your, like your experience with your dad, right? Was that kind of what made you think. Why not just try, let's do this, let's do that. Is that where the mentality came from or was it quite common in like your community as well?

Amardeep Parmar: 'cause you said about, or you the guy who was doing that. 

Asad Hamir: Yeah. Do you know what like amongst my friends, like growing up like none of them really had that business mindset. But I think like going into mom's opticians all the time and going there and, and you go in and you see their hardship, you see their hustle and like they start you off in like when you go in you have to work in the family business, right?

Asad Hamir: And they start you off selling, uh, kids glasses. Yeah, so kids Glo kids are really hard to sell glasses too, right? Because like all [00:07:00] different shapes and sizes and like, yeah, fittings and then you've gotta contend with mom and dad and they go, oh, I like it, don't like it. All this kind of stuff. So you learn how to sell from a young age, being in that environment and, and I think,

Asad Hamir: I got the love and the buzz of a deal and I still, I still love a deal, right? Anyone that knows me that I love a deal. And so, you know, like when you get that buzz, I think then like it stays with you, right? And then you want more buzzes and, and at that point you, it, you are playing. Right? I always describe it as like, you know, it's, you gotta be in this playful mindset when you're in business.

Asad Hamir: And at that point I was playing, right? I loved tech and I was doing websites and you know, and then I was getting a deal and making money. So the making money was like part of the fun, right? So, yeah, I think it's all these kinds of experiences that kind of like have led me to doing what I do now,I guess. 

Amardeep Parmar: You know, with the part about the website getting shut down. Right. 

Asad Hamir: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar:  Because it's one of the things I think as well, whenever it's something to do with legal stuff, that's when I get freaked out. Or even like the tax stuff. Right? Anything to do with where it's a bit [00:08:00] like that kind of area. 

Amardeep Parmar: It's all the other business stuff is I, I'm comfortable with. It's nice, like, it's just fun, like you said, playing, but when it comes to somebody sending you that kind of letter . And saying they're gonna shut you down. Did that like sort of disrupt you for a bit? Did it put you off your game thinking, oh, do I do something like this again?

Amardeep Parmar: What I get in trouble? 

Asad Hamir:  Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: Or did you able, were you able to overcome that quite quickly and start something new? 

Asad Hamir: Good thing was we made our money back for the website. The website was about three four grand. Right. So I kind of moved on from it quite quickly. I think what I'd learned now, reflecting back on it, I've always been quite resilient and that's like, like telecoms is a, is a tough industry and we can talk about that.

Asad Hamir: But going through that, that industry, you have to be bloody resilient. And I think I get that from my upbringing. It was hard, like we didn't have money and you know, like all my friends had. Like stuff that I wanted and, you know, and seeing my parents struggle and, you know, family struggle and, and all that stuff.

Asad Hamir: And like my next door [00:09:00] neighbors were drug dealers, you know, and, uh, they've, you know, uh, yeah, I'd like to play loud music ‘till weekends and night and you go through all of that and a tough upbringing and it builds you, you know, it's character building and you know, public school, you learn to survive and you know, so I think all of those things, like they're laying little seeds, right?

Asad Hamir: So when you do get these torpedoes coming in, you're like, It's not that bad, right? 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. 

Asad Hamir:  But yeah, legal stuff is, is is always like, you always gotta look at it very diligently, right? 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. Because, so you  mentioned with the O two shops, right? 

Asad Hamir: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: Because obviously that they expanded quite significantly.

Asad Hamir: Yeah 

Amardeep Parmar:And it's a different type of entrepreneurship, right? What you're doing before is you're, you're doing lots of different things in the hustle. 

Asad Hamir:  Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: But then to go from that to then scaling something. 

Asad Hamir: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: How was that adjustment? Like, how did you once you got that first contract with O two..

 Asad Hamir: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: How did you take that? From like one shop to what you then took it to? 

Asad Hamir: Yeah, so like the first kind of part of [00:10:00] the O two relationship was the kind of franchise relationship and there we grew it to like what, 16, 17 shops and there it's literally, you just gotta perform. Telecoms is an industry where if you perform, you'll get rewarded and people.

Asad Hamir: Your numbers talk your numbers, do the talking. And for me, like I just sold like crazy. So I would go to my community, I'd come in in the morning, I'd do all the contracts, and then I'd literally leave at two, 3:00 PM bags. Uh, my car full was a VW Polo at the time, and I'd drive around to all the uncles and aunties and drop off our phones and I'd set them up and, and all that kind of stuff.

Asad Hamir: So we had that nice blend of, we were performing in store. I had a motivated team in store. And then, you know, separately I was doing lots of external business. Um, so I think that combination of the two and then like. Then you, then you can go from one to two, to three to five stores. You've gotta learn to lead, right?

Asad Hamir: And you've gotta learn to like manage people. And Wow. That is like a, that's a real step up, right? And that is, you have to go on that journey, right? Of what is good leadership. And I was very lucky that I [00:11:00] hired some really good people who actually I learned a lot from. And you know, at that age, 21, 22, 23, everyone's older than you, right?

Asad Hamir: So I was ma like, I still remember I had the sales director once who was like 50 and I'm like 25, 26 year old, and he had me wrapped around his little finger. You know, and you learn from those situations, right? You learn from those leaders. Those, those people on that journey. So like I think a big thing that

Asad Hamir: the O two stuff taught me was that leadership element. 'cause ultimately there's no U S P, right? You are selling the same phone that everyone else is. Prices are, we can get probably a better price online. Right? You're selling service. Right? And, um, I learned that from my, my mom and her opticians business and I kind of carried that forward into here.

Asad Hamir: But the leadership bit is the bit that, you know when you go from like just you and another dude on the shop floor to 200 people in four, five years, you gotta learn, man. You gotta learn very quickly how to lead people. Like even I remember I couldn't public speak and like things like that and getting very [00:12:00] nervous, you know, and you just have to throw yourself in the deep end and, and you, it's either kind of sink or swim.

Asad Hamir: But then from there, we then evolved that because we were such high performers, we went into other areas of O two. So it's amazing how in an organization like that, if you perform, you do well. Opportunities open up. Everyone wants a piece of the pie, right? But they also want to protect their pie. Right?

Asad Hamir: So it's really interesting how those dynamics work where they'll want to avoid you getting distracted with something else, right? Because then you're gonna be not focused on their thing that's making them money. And so there's all these types of things that start to happen when you start working with these corporates.

Asad Hamir: Super interesting 'cause you start to learn about corporate behavior as well, which also has helped stand me in good stead now, I think now is selling to corporates or you know, whether it's in Ocushield and we're selling into corporates. That kind of understanding of how a big corporate behaves and you know, all those

Asad Hamir: funny nuances. 

Amardeep Parmar: So mention that about like being so young and having to manage so many people. 

Asad Hamir:Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: And was there any times where you, did you doubt yourself at any point during that time where you'll think, [00:13:00] like you said, the 50 year old sales manager, actor, and a singer? Yeah. About like. It must have been so overwhelming, right?

Amardeep Parmar: 'cause you went from what, like you said, two people in a shop floor. It's like 200 people. Was there any point where you're like, oh, am I the right person for this? Or how did you keep that resilience going and keep that belief like, yes, I can keep doing this. Yes, I can, 

Asad Hamir: yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar:Lead this because it's often a different type of leader who can run a single shop.

Asad Hamir: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: Versus somebody who can run 200 people and and you said it's very different skills. 

Asad Hamir: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: So like how was that journey for you? Did you..

Asad Hamir:Yeah

Amardeep Parmar:  just take it on. Or was it sometimes like, oh, actually, I dunno about this.

Asad Hamir:. Yeah, so I had, uh, I actually early doors. I merged my business with another O two partner and I had two mentors, two brothers actually Amar and Adash, uh, Radia.

Asad Hamir: And they were from Kenya and, uh, Indian boys and like, and, you know, very similar values like, you know, uh, upbringing, all, all of that kind of stuff. And I learned a lot from them actually. Like they were a few years ahead of me. Like, uh, I think Amar is. 10 years older than me. Adarsh is like seven years [00:14:00] older.

Asad Hamir: So they were both co-founders of dishoom as well, the restaurant group.

 Amardeep Parmar: Oh, yeah. 

Asad Hamir: Yeah. And so learning from them, seeing them and seeing how they approach things and being a sponge from everyone, right? Like, you know, seeing O two, I mean O two was the mobile network, right? Like I remember when they first announced

Asad Hamir: themselves that in Arsenal, the Arsenal guys came out with their O two and they're like, what is this O two and like..

Amardeep Parmar: And did that  make you wanna stop selling O two? 'cause you spot..

Asad Hamir: uh, Arsenal became my second team. So yeah. So we used to being, being one of the top performers, we'd always get box seats at Arsenal.

Asad Hamir: I used to love it. 'cause I used to then go and sell to everyone at Arsenal. So all the stewards and all the players and we, yeah, we've, we did all of that, every opportunity. Right? Every single, every single person you speak to. Because I had a product everyone needed. Right? So I was like, every person I speak to is an opportunity.

Asad Hamir: Right? But obviously you don't sell to them. You build a relationship and you know, and it goes from there. But coming back to your point, I think it helped. I was young, right? So you have that fearlessness and I didn't know anything better. Right? [00:15:00] But of course you have those days where you're like, God, like I've been destroyed and I've, I did a bad pitch or whatever it is.

Asad Hamir: But I think I was able to just dust myself off and go again. And I kept going and I kept going and I kept going and kept going. And that's what got me to that point. And I think Amar especially, he has this belief, he has this thirst for learning. Yeah. And I really got that from him. Like he's that thirst and that stayed with me.

Asad Hamir: I like, if I'm not good at something, I'll keep going and I'll keep learning. And I'll keep trying and something I've just learned that you can improve yourself in anything. Right? Of course, you're naturally skilled in a certain area. Right. But you can improve your skills in anything. You just gotta keep practicing.

Amardeep Parmar: What's the main way  you learned today? Because like, and it's, for me, it's changed. I, before I used to read a lot. Whereas now this is how I learned. I'm talking to people like you all the time. definitely. And I'm asking you the questions I wanna know for myself and I learn that way. Righ? 

Amardeep Parmar: How do you learn now? Because you've got, you've got to a position now where I guess you are further ahead than some of the other people you might have previously looked up to. [00:16:00] Where do you like, where, who do you learn from or what. Do you used to learn? 

Asad Hamir: So definitely like you said, like meeting other people, learning from them, you know, meeting people on LinkedIn, grabbing Zoom, calls, a podcast, you know, all of that kind of stuff.

Asad Hamir: I even like trainings. I went to a training course recently with a guy called Momo Maji, like phenomenal sales and leadership coach, the p, not only for what I learned off him, but his coaches and the people that are on that. That course. Yeah, like. Just, just be a sponge in every way possible and always look for those opportunities to learn, right?

Asad Hamir: Like I'm not a big reader personally. Like I, uh, I get really bored of books and I always have done, so I like podcasts. I like, just like tube, tube drives, like, you know, I always download stuff and try and avoid Spotify music and you know, try and try and get a podcast in. Right? So it's just replacing those, those moments, right.

Asad Hamir: Dinners, lunches. Use it as an opportunity to learn. And, and you know, like I learn from my staff, I learn from, [00:17:00] from everyone, right? And I think if you just have that mindset that you know, like you're never finished, right? You're never finished. And this is a, like a, this is all a journey and an experience and I kind of think of myself like, I shouldn't be doing what I do right now if I'm honest.

Asad Hamir: I'm an optometrist, right? Like I come from a background where neither my parents really were in business, right? So I haven't learned this from like my family, right? But I've learned, right? And I've learned and I keep learning, right? And I think finally I'd say is you gotta just have that hunger, right?

Asad Hamir: Like no one is gonna stop you, right? And that's that mentality that I think every entrepreneur needs to have is that resilience. That you're gonna break walls, you're gonna make stuff happen.

Amardeep Parmar: With the hunger as well. 'cause obviously, You're doing so well at O two. 

Asad Hamir: Yes. 

Amardeep Parmar: You could have just happily been like, okay, I'm just gonna do this now.

Amardeep Parmar: This is easy.

Asad Hamir: Yes.  

Amardeep Parmar: I know what I'm doing. I'm a high performer. But you've expanded and gone into other things too. 

Asad Hamir: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: And what was behind that decision? What was the motivation to keep going and trying out other things too? 

Asad Hamir: So  interesting. I had godlike [00:18:00] tendencies. 'cause I think when you get to that point and everything's going right, like everything.

Asad Hamir: You think like you can take, do anything. Right? And I actually started an eyewear business called Kite, and I actually failed at it. And that was a real kind of, uh, you know, Mike Tyson punch in the face moment. And I forgot at that point actually everything that I had learned that got me to that point, which was I hustled, I did everything myself.

Asad Hamir: I drove everything from the front leadership. I just started throwing money at things, recruiting this leader who's like done something in some major company, bringing them into the position, paying them a super salary 'cause they were like the super smart person that's gonna, you know, deliver me all this value.

Asad Hamir: And I put my, took my foot off the pedal and yeah, like it's amazing how when you have money, yeah. You start to make stupid mistakes. And that's exactly what happened. And I lost money. I lost serious personal wealth, like three to 4 million pounds. Yeah, of per my personal cash, my personal money. Luckily it happened to me at a [00:19:00] point in my life where I could recover, right?

Asad Hamir: And I did, you know, at that point I had lost everything, right? I'd lost a sizable chunk of my wealth, but at that point I was like, I'm gonna make sure this never happens again. And I'm also gonna make sure it never happens again to anyone else. Righ?. And so a big part of what I love to do as well is work with other startups and scalers are working with Dhruvin and a couple of other ones.

Asad Hamir: Um, and yeah, like, you know, you know, it's really painful when you lose your own money, right? It's really humbling as well. And it still, however, many years later, four years later, I still feel the pain. But you've gotta use that pain. right, and, and that's what I do now. Like I've, I make sure that I don't make those mistakes and look, you will still make mistakes, right?

Asad Hamir: I still make mistakes, but it's like making sure that you don't lose some of those basic principles of business. Like there's some basic things that got you to that point. 

Amardeep Parmar:Yeah.  I love that you voluntarily shared that because sometimes people get to a stage where they are like, where you are now, where they'd like to create this illusion that[00:20:00] 

Amardeep Parmar: vverything they did is perfect. 


well, it's not right. It's like even people who are very, very smart and done very, very well, they still make mistakes.They can still lose money. It's not everything you're gonna do is perfect. But like you said, you learn from those mistakes and you keep going.


Amardeep Parmar: And so obviously now you're focusing on, you said like, say you've got Ocushield, you've got Nolii, you've got like Klyk.. If we go for like, Ocushield, we come from Dhruvin,  so people listening wanna know more about Ocushield? Probably like you can listen to that Dhruvin episode podcast. 

Asad Hamir: We do a much better job than me.

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah, because like obviously you're a part of it and you've people watch Dragon's Den that would've seen you there as well. Yeah. But you've got other things to cover, so like listen to Dhruvin about that one.. But tell us abouKlyk, like what's behind that? What. Why do you care about that? Why is that a company you created?

Asad Hamir: Yeah, so like Klyk as, I mean, just starting from where I believe Qlik started from is, is our upbringing. So like coming from East Africa, like parents had nothing, right? Sustainability was actually built into our D N A and we just didn't know at that point come to our houses. You got cellophane on the [00:21:00] sofas and cling film on the remote controls, and mum would like

Asad Hamir: put the ketchup bottle. Mom's gonna hate this if I say this, but I'm gonna say it anyway. Uh, put water in the ketchup bottles and you know, use every last drop. And like, so you know, you're taught to do more with less from a young age. Righ? And then like, growing my businesses, it's the same principle, right?

Asad Hamir: Like, I remember our first shop, like I did it in like 25 grand and everyone's like, we all spent like 60 grand on our shop. How did you do it with 25 grand? I was like, 'cause I hustled. Right? So you have this mentality of doing more with less and all the way through. My business career, I had that. And with our tech, I made sure from the beginning anyone that needed a laptop, I always used refurbished tech, right?

Asad Hamir: I'd always buy it because my dad had this IT background. He taught me how to repair, and so I'd bring the devices in, I'd repair them, get them ready, and even up to employee number, I think a hundred plus. I used to do it all right. I used to get it ready, let someone leave. Then someone would say, oh, let's buy a new laptop for the new.

Asad Hamir: I was like, no, we've got this laptop. I'll just, I'll sort it out on the weekend. You know, I'll, I'll change all [00:22:00] the stuff. I'll reinstall it. Don't worry. Yeah. For me, it's like a little hobby. And so that was all happening. And then the business was growing In 2018, I had an employee join the business. Her name was Nita.

Asad Hamir: And Nita was a financial controller, and I'd personally hired her. Yeah, really passionate about her financial controller. We could communicate. She was good on her numbers. She was commercial. She's like a find right? Like, she was amazing and I was so excited about her. She joined and she actually called me a week later.

Asad Hamir: She had her laptop. I didn't set it up. She got it from, um, Ben, who's one of my ops guys, and got the laptop. And basically she called me and she said, my laptop has, uh, you know, no, she, she actually called me and she said, I need to, I need to speak to you. And so we sat down and um, I was like, oh, oh, like, you know, something's wrong here.

Asad Hamir: Yeah. And she slammed the laptop on the table and she goes, you don't care about your stuff. Look at this laptop. It's got sticky keys. It's got U S B, ports not working, all this kind of stuff. She says, I'm resigning. Yeah. I was like, what? I couldn't believe it. And she, you know, [00:23:00] like any high performance candidate, she's gonna have another offer from something.

Asad Hamir: And what she's realized is this is a red flag and something's not right here. They don't, they can't even sort out my tech, right? And I'm gonna go for this other job. Now the other job was paying out an extra 10 grand as well. Right. But that was, That's another story. So she ended up resigning, going on job, and I was reflecting on it.

Asad Hamir: I was like, Jesus, like this has actually generated such a large trigger moment that she's left the business right for me. I've lost some of my recruitment fee. Yeah. I was like, Jesus. Like why is, why? How has this happened? I started looking around and saying like, who is solving this kind of issue? Can't be that every business out there needs someone like me in it to like repair PCs and help them be more sustainable and all that kind of stuff, and I couldn't find anything.

Asad Hamir: And so at that point I was like, I'm really well placed to do this. I know the industry, I know everyone. Apple had just had a profits warning in 2018 as well, and that was seen to be the slowdown of the hardware market. And I started putting dots together. I was like, I. I could do [00:24:00] this. Right? And we could basically create a business model which is there to service business customers, help them be more sustainable, unlock the potential sustainability in business.

Asad Hamir: And the UK is actually the worst nation in the world per capita for El electronic waste. Which is like crazy when you think ahead of the u s a ahead of China. Right per capita. Incredible. And we are just a sucker for Apple launches. We're a sucker for new tech here. European nations are so much further ahead of, of us when it comes to refurbished tech.

Asad Hamir: And so, yeah, at that point I was like, I'm gonna do this. Uh, November, 2020, we started the business and lockdowns hit so.. And yeah, and, and it was hard at that point to start a business. Um, but yeah, with 2021 we started getting going. We built the workshop, so we built our own engineering team. And I, I, I felt that was really important because no one else in the industry was checking devices.

Asad Hamir: It was clear. You buy stuff from music magpie in places like that, you get them in 20% of the time there'd be [00:25:00] issues with it. No one was checking anything and we were like, we have to deliver. Industry leading, uh, technology that's reliable, yet equivalent to if someone buys from Apple.  Apple's return rate was like 3%.

Asad Hamir: I was like, we had to deliver the same. Right? And to do that, we have to invest in engineering. So at that point, we opened our workshop, we started hiring engineers. Um, I. And yeah, that was the start of the kind of hardware side and then started looking at, um, it's not just the hardware, it's actually the IT infrastructure, the cybersecurity piece, and all those things.

Asad Hamir: And actually in 2023, Zahid uh, joined as my co-founder and Zia's background. He is 15 years in Accenture. Five years in Deloitte and he's led some of the largest cybersecurity teams globally, like of the F C A London Stock Exchange. So what we're doing with Klyk is bringing that kind of reliability and that enablement when it comes to the circular or sustainable hardware, but also combining that when it comes to the IT infrastructure, cybersecurity, and all those types of things, so that when you are got your employees hybridized, you know that they are secure, [00:26:00] you know, that they're, you know, they're gonna be looked after.

Asad Hamir: So yeah, it's really, really exciting. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah, it  is like even just listening to that, I can tell how excited you are about it.

Asad Hamir: Yes.

 Amardeep Parmar:And it's great when that comes across. 

Asad Hamir:Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: Because like the listeners can obviously tell when you listen as well, right? But when I'm sitting in the room, you, your eyes are lighting up.

Asad Hamir Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar: Like you're smiling. You're just saying it. It is really clear. If you quickly tell me like what's the ambition of click? Right? Where do you want it to get it to? 

Asad Hamir: Yeah. Yeah. So,  to, to date, we've been completely bootstrapped, right? So I'm just reinvesting profits, right? And the key thing was I need to build the infrastructure.

Asad Hamir: I need to be able to deliver the service, right? That that business is like my business, right? So their employees are like my employees. I need to be able to deliver that quality of experience right? At scale, right? So we've made sure that we invest first and get that right? We are now ready to scale, so run rate is about 130, 140 K a month.

Asad Hamir: We're profitable. We are now gonna do a fundraise and really scale this business. I wanna take this, I wanna, I want to solve the e-waste problem in the UK first. Yeah. So this is a significant issue. E-waste [00:27:00] is the fastest growing domestic waste challenge this earth faces. It's crazy how bad it is right now.

Asad Hamir: And look, it's just been caused by proliferation of tech. You've had the pandemic, which you know, has led to hybridization, deployment of tech, laptops, monitors, and all that kind of stuff. And as a result of that, it's just out of control. It needs to change. And so I really believe that if we can transition the UK to sustainable technology, if this can be a, you know, um, a blueprint for the world, right?

Asad Hamir: For how businesses should enable with sustainable technology. That would be amazing. And then after that, I'll go after the world.

Amardeep Parmar: Because Klyk is so exciting. We haven't had much time left for Noli. 

Asad Hamir:  Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: But could you give us like a one minute overview of what Noli is and like why that's important to you too?

Asad Hamir: Yeah. So Nolii is a real passion project for me as well. 'cause I love design and like probably tell my hat and glasses and whatever, right? So I love I'll cool glasses 

Amardeep Parmar: if people are watching this on YouTube. 

Asad Hamir: Thank you. Thank you. And lik a lot of tech accessories in my view is very black and white, very boring.

Asad Hamir: And I really felt at the [00:28:00] time when I started Nolii that there's a space for a brand which is much more playful, that is intelligent and has accessories, which are gonna, you know, improve your daily life with your tech, right? But also are beautiful. Righ? Why can't you combine those two worlds? Right? Also, why is it not sustainable, right?

Asad Hamir: Why is there no talk about carbon emissions? Why is there no talk about materials and all those types of things? So we're bringing together those things. Um, ly sits under click as well, so when we supply our devices, we do it with ly accessories and stuff like that. So I'm building a little ecosystem there and

Asad Hamir: I think it makes, it, it, it helps the click brand as well. It kind of gives it a differentiation in that world as well. But also it gives me that passion, uh, for that stuff 'cause I really, really like that stuff. Um, you know, I love designing products, love being in China, love being in factories, and, you know, pushing people to like, deliver high quality products for me and for our customers.

Amardeep Parmar:So it's really  exciting to see. What I think even I can tell from this is that you obviously had [00:29:00] very success at a very young age. And then you built and scaled, and then you had different varies along the way.. But then now you've got this completely new project. But it's like almost a kid again.

Amardeep Parmar: And the way you talking about it, like this whole new challenge.

Asad Hamir: I understand. 

Amardeep Parmar:And I think for people listening, they listen from that. It's just that sometimes people think they get passionate about one thing. 

Asad Hamir:Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: And then when it's not, they don't get passionate about it anymore, but they think that's it.

Amardeep Parmar: Right? It's like you can pick up something later in life and be really passionate about it. It could be a new thing. Hundred percent. And it doesn't even see your thing forever. It could be like in 10 years time you can make another idea that you really love as well and you build that too. A hundred percent.

Amardeep Parmar: But we're gonna have to go through the quick fire questions now. Oh cool. So first one? 

Asad Hamir: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: is who are three British Asians that you'd love to shout out, you think people listening right now should be paying attention to or following? 

Asad Hamir: So I'm gonna start off with Salim Juma. He's not someone who's got a public profile, but he's someone that's been a mentor for me from like when I started my business career.

Asad Hamir: He is also my brother-in-law, but he's a phenomenal entrepreneur. Um, more of an old school entrepreneur. The [00:30:00] principles of entrepreneurship are, you know, universal, right? It doesn't matter which, which, um, area you're from. So, yeah, he, he started, he was the founder of Eye Emporium opticians, so retail business.

Asad Hamir: And he just, he's all about integrity, customer experience, and just he, he's the most hardworking entrepreneur I've ever met. So that's the first one. Second one is Dhruvin, so Dhruvin and not because he shouted me out as well. Um, so, so Dhruvin. Dhruvin is someone that I really get a lot of joy from because seeing him develop on his journey and what he's doing for his business and how, how I believe he's gonna change eyes, you know, the eye category with what he's gonna do is just someone that I really love.

Asad Hamir: I, you know, love to have him part of what I do and as a bro, and like, you know, I just wanna say for him, he's, he inspires me now. You know, like, and he always has, but like, he's superseded me in many ways, you know? And it's amazing to see it. Number three, I would say it's a, it's a guy called Amir Mko. [00:31:00] Yeah.

Asad Hamir: And Amir Mashkoor  is a, is a friend. He's someone that I've met on the entrepreneurship journey, but he's, he's, um, he's, he is on Instagram. He's, he is on LinkedIn just about as well. Um, and he is, He's a no nonsense entrepreneur, right? He's just someone you can sit down and like, talk about stuff and he'll just tell you as it is.

Asad Hamir: Right? And you know, Amir, Amir said to me recently, you just believe in yourself because, you know, like going through some of the hardship I have, uh, had with, uh, the previous failure, you sometimes lose that kind of, you know, Like, oh, I need to get funding and I, you know, I don't think I could do this. And, and you know, you need those people in your life who are not only there to like make sure that you stay on the straight and narrow, but also there to inspire you and give you a slap around the FLA, face and you know, all that kind of stuff.

Asad Hamir: So those three.

Amardeep Parmar:  Yeah. Well obviously I've met Dhruvin before is like amazing and 

Asad Hamir:  Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: But next question is if people listening right now, like looking for hope or guidance 

Asad Hamir: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: What could they come to you about? 

Asad Hamir: So,  I love meeting on other entrepreneurs, right? And I [00:32:00] love to help, right? So I feel I've got a really wide experience of retail e-commerce, Amazon B two B.

Asad Hamir: Um, I don't profess to be an expert in all of it. Definitely not an expert in crypto. So if you're in crypto or something, don't, don't come to me. But like if you love to make things which are gonna do things differently, and you want someone who has those white hairs and give will give you that experience.

Asad Hamir: Definitely. Come, let's have a chat. I'd love, love to, from an entrepreneurship point of view, you know, um, if there's anything I can help with network, you know, ideas, whatever, it's, I'm just keen to meet other entrepreneurs. You know, for me it's, that's the, the biggest thing. Of course, if you need sustainable tech or some refurbished tech or anything like that, recycling your tech, give us a shout as well.

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. So the flip side I was gonna say is anything that you need right now that somebody in the audience might be able to help you with? 

Asad Hamir: Yeah, like, um, Like for, for us now, like we're really looking to scale the Klyk business and for us there it's gonna be how we chart and manage that journey for this to [00:33:00] be one of the circular businesses in the uk.

Asad Hamir: And we've got a lot of challenges.  Coming up for sure, like scaling a business like that. I mean, I've scaled businesses, but this is, this is an IT and a technical business. And so yeah, if you've been in it or you've been in those kinds of environments where you've scaled tech businesses, love to have a chat.

Amardeep Parmar: So enjoyed  chatting to you so much today. 

Asad Hamir:  No, it's been a real pleasure.

Amardeep Parmar:  I thought we could do this for double amount of time as well. 

Asad Hamir:  Yeah, for sure, man. 

Amardeep Parmar: Have you got any final words to the audience? 

Asad Hamir: No, just, um, it's been a real pleasure, honestly, and I, I feel like I've been here, like having watched like a lot of these binge them.

Asad Hamir: Um, and yeah, just wanna say thank you, thank you for inviting me on and uh, just, you know, for everyone watching just keep doing amazing things.

Amardeep Parmar: Hello. Hello everyone. Thank you so much for listening. It makes a huge amount to us and we don't think you realize how important you are because if you subscribe to our YouTube channel, if you leave us a five star review, it makes a world of difference. And if you believe in what we're trying to do here, to inspire, connect, and [00:34:00] guide the next generation of British Asians.

Amardeep Parmar: If you do those things, you can help us achieve that mission and you can help us make a bigger impact. And by doing that it means we can get bigger guests, we can host more events, we can do more for the community. So you can play a huge part. So thank you so much for supporting us.

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