My philosophy in life has always been never say never to anything, always give everything your best shot before hanging up your boots. That way you’ll never look back and have any regrets. You’re not expected to be a master of all trades, very few can claim that title, but never giving something a try is like claiming defeat from the outset. There’s no shame in having made a bad decision in business because each setback hopefully teaches you something important. They act as life’s little lessons which you can apply towards your next venture.
Failing with great success
I’ve made many wrong decisions in business but I don’t regret a single one because they’ve all brought me a step closer to success.
Failure is a valuable lesson if learnt from it and the taste of success that follows can taste sweeter than honey. The key is not to give up dreaming, it’s not neccessary that your original dream was your final destination, often dreams shatter and we see new ones and business ventures are very much the same.
I started Flukemart.com in 2001 at the height of the dotcom boom as an online retail product exchanging website, the concept was great but the industry lacked the technology at the time for us to build something amazing out of it. To be fair we were all in our late teens and early twenties, cash flow was a serious luxury at the time even if the technology did exist.
King Khawaja Models I Britain’s Top Model Event 2011
Few years later in 2008, I set up King Khawaja Models, an online model & actors management agency. It was one of the first modelling agencies to hold over 300 models, actors, artists on its books promoting Asian talent within the media & entertainment industry. Our models participated in the ‘Miss Pakistan’ competition in Canada, the ‘Miss India’ contest in America and many ‘Asiana’ Magazine features in the UK. Our talented actors took part in many British films like ‘The Infidel’, ‘Naachle London’ and ’51 Degrees’ to name a few.
This led to our new venture in 2009, a music management company called K2 Music. The idea behind the business was so popular we were signing up new acts and well known asian artistes on a daily basis. The music contracts offered astistes alot of freedom which they loved. When setting out the contracts we offered artistes a number of options, one option was that K2 Music would fully own rights to their music and royalties in place of funding their whole career, managing them and marketing them globally. Unfortunately in the long run it didn’t work out, we made a considerable loss.
K2 Music I Celebrating launch of our first album release, ‘Talaash’
It served as an important lessson for us, we took the view that if we could set up a successful model management agency with so many talented actors and models in our portfolios then surely we could replicate this with a music management company. We couldn’t be more wrong, they were two seperate businesses Worlds apart, working on two very different business ethics and dynamics.
It is my failures that have spurred on my success.
The setback didn’t stop my desire from expanding the King Khawaja brand, as it grew I trademarked the business with internaional intellectual property law firm, Mathys & Squire in London to protect the brand name. We expanded from being just a small entertainment company, into retail & fashion, import & export and leisure & hospitality. From our single UK base we branched out into Europe, Asia & Africa, becoming a truly global brand.
King Khawaja Collections I Our flagship store in Alicante, Spain
2014, saw us set up Action-hub.org, an ambitious two year project under the King Khawaja Group. A not for profit organisation bringing the most talented minds in the world together under one roof as part of a forum for discussing global politics, human rights issues, climate change, womens and childrens rights and refugee concerns.
The project’s huge success came as a surprise, within 24 months we had discussed 1,200 subjects, interacted with members from over 110 countries and had daily visits of over 300 hits a day- thats well over 100,000 visits in a year. In two years we had to upgrade our servers three times to meet the demands of users on the wensite.
Today I ensure that we sell successful businesses when they’re at their height, but always holding on to the King Khawaja brand name to use on other ventures. As important as it is in the business world to sell successful businesses, it is just as important to ensure that when selling your business, your brand doesn’t become tarnished by someone elses business ethics (or lack of) once you’ve sold it. That’s why we never sell the King Khawaja brand name with our businesses unless they are trusted King Khawaja sources.
In 2017, King Khawaja will be launching our new Fluqe brand range with the launch of Fluqe Chic, an online luxury retail branded store.
It has always been a long ambition of mine to set up a charitable organisation, and in summer we’ll be releasing further details of the cause to the public.
You can also read more about my business ethics and how I believe 21st century businesses should be run in the ‘Vision‘ section.