Munaf Samji is a 27-year-old businessman who embodies the entrepreneurial spirit. As the CEO and publisher of The OGM (the Oil and Gas Magazine), Munaf and his team have created a toolkit around oil and gas and new energy. He also started Blanc Cosmetics, which now has global distribution. Find out more about this young entrepreneur in today’s YEDaily.
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
The OGM is a comprehensive global industry publication that uses a 360-degree marketing approach which puts the client in the driver’s seat. The OGM focuses on four key mandates: Oil and Gas, New Energy, Business success and Lifestyle.
My other business, Blanc Cosmetics, started with one retail location and now has global distribution channels. We primarily distribute cosmetic teeth whitening products, among other cosmetic products.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
I was born into a family of entrepreneurs, so business was always a part of my life. All I knew was routine bore me and I could not do anything that didn’t motivate me to get out of bed.
I guess you can say I have a vision for where I want to be in the next 10 years, and I look at every day as a step toward that goal no matter what I do. I started all the businesses based on what I can create from them. Whether it is helping clients with branding regimes or providing the treatments for a bride to achieve her whitest smile. All my businesses have one thing in common: they give me the satisfaction of satisfying others.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of my day-to-day is being creative and coming up with solutions for my clients. I like to think of my ideas as being unique and creative, and portraying that to an individual who may not have seen the solution to a marketing need or a sales objection overseas is what motivates me. The ability to use my creativity everyday is what I love about all my businesses.
The most challenging part of business is the obstacles you face that you have no control over, or did not foresee. Usually these circumstances arise when a third party is involved. Even then, you have to just go with it.
Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
Global Expansion. My goal is to have a team of like-minded entrepreneurs in every country we do business. Working with a team who “gets it” is truly hard to find but when you do, nothing is impossible. The right team truly makes up the success of your business. You cannot do it alone even if you think you can.
What does success look like to you?
Success to me is defined by how others relate to me. I will be satisfied with my success when I can inspire young entrepreneurs and pave the way for their future successes. Success is not measured by the amount of money I have or the cars I drive. Rather, spreading the entrepreneurial spirit and helping others achieve their potential is when I will know my vision as an entrepreneur has truly paid off.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Starting any business in the hopes of it turning global is a milestone in any entrepreneur’s career. I am lucky enough to have seen two of my businesses go global. I believe globalization is the way of the future, and the world is only becoming smaller with communication mediums that allow entrepreneurs from around the world to collaborate. Why wouldn’t we take advantage of this opportunity?!
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I have always been a preacher of optimism and positivism. I live every day with the best in mind and I think everything happens for a reason in life, no matter how negative a situation is. Finding a solution for an issue is always a step ahead rather than dwelling on the problem itself. This mindset is the only advice I have for young entrepreneurs. Otherwise the harder days – which occur frequently – the 17-hour work days, and what feels like constant struggle will lead to failure and diminished dreams very early on.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Yes, I support two charities that are very important to me. The first is Operation Smile. If I can help people in countries that can afford it to cosmetically enhance their smiles, then I can certainly help, say, underprivileged children receive cleft lip surgery and give them an actual smile. Our goal this year is to give 42 children a smile!
The second is the Aga Khan Foundation. I have grown up with this charity and believe in its core competencies. It has one of the lowest administration fees, which means donations go directly to those in need. Also, the charity’s global humanitarian efforts inspire me. One day, I would love to take six months off and actually go and help develop a project.
What is Notable to you?
Notable is a movement set out to connect like-minded individuals who have a passion for something they do that makes them successful. Business is nothing more than a network of conversations, and Notable is a conversation that I joined!