A BRADFORD-BORN entrepreneur has gone from stacking shelves to running an international business in 25 countries around the world.
Asif Masood grew up in a working class household in Thornbury, starting his working life earning £3.98 an hour at a sports shop.
Determined to dream bigger, he hustled for experience and a first class honours degree in business management before launching his thriving consultancy firm, AG Consultancy.
The former Laisterdyke High School pupil is now hoping to inspire Bradford’s youths not to “go down the wrong path” by offering advice to those wondering which career path might suit them via social media and email.
As he looks back on his teenage years, he remembers finding it hard to “stay motivated” as he watched youngsters in his area tempted into unlawful lifestyles with the promise of big money.
Asif, who now lives in Wrose, told the Telegraph & Argus: “It was difficult growing up. There’s a lot of poverty in the area.
“You’re looking around and struggling in poverty. There’s a lot of individuals in flashy cars selling drugs and (you’re) trying to stay motivated on top of that.
“I speak to people who’ve applied for 200 jobs saying ‘We haven’t got a single email’. It’s really difficult at the moment.
“The digital age is disrupting a lot of markets. The recruitment agency hasn’t been immune to that. I invested a lot of time taking courses about social media and combining it with more traditional experience.”
The international jetsetter, who has successfully recruited for and signed clients worth over £100 million pounds, has since set up offices in Dubai, Paris and Canada among many more locations.
The entrepreneur feels Bradfordians have a natural gift for business which sets the district apart from anywhere else in the country.
He says a lack of jobs in the industry means people decide to create job opportunities themselves by opening independent businesses.
He said: “I genuinely believe because there’s a lack of job opportunity, you don’t go down the traditional career path. That gives you motivation to start up your own business.
“I went out myself to achieve it. It’s 100 per cent realistic. I didn’t have any connections. I didn’t come from a rich background.
“I’ve grown up reading the Telegraph & Argus, it’s the Bradford newspaper. It’s to encourage the youngsters to stay motivated. At times it can be difficult.”
Asif shares images about his lifestyle and belongings on social media to encourage people to “hustle” instead of wasting their potential.
Anyone who would like to contact Asif – whether it’s post-education guidance or career change advice – should message his Instagram, @ceoasif, or email him via firstname.lastname@example.org