I always focused my career around my parents, I never wanted to leave them for any career opportunity. Whenever I got a career opportunity, I would always take my mother with me. This helped me to be better focused than getting worried about how my parents would be doing alone. This sounds spiritual but in reality, this was a great motivation and comfort.
Whenever I was stressed or facing challenges, I would just hug my mom and dad and share with them, their love and care helped me refocus and face the challenges and emerge from the victorious. Wherever I worked it helped me create new ventures whether it was the branding of IT companies through recruitment campaigns, the first PR Agency and Press Club of Oman, the iconic environmental campaign in UAE, co-founding a digital marketing company with India’s no#1 Pop Star Lucky in 1998, establishing World’s 1st Muslim Spelling Bee.
Tragedy struck when both my parents got a medical condition in the USA, my father passed away due to a heart attack and my mom had major spinal cord surgery. I decided to move back to India from America and established All India Muslim Business & Startup Network and MAHAbfic to promote the state of Maharastra as an ideal destination for future technologies such as blockchain, fintech, ICO consulting & crypto mining.
The reason I wanted to promote crypto mining was that the youth of the country don’t need to move to cities for employment but they can become their own boss by doing crypto mining from the comforts of their homes. India could have become the next Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency mining hub of the world.
Hence, the theory of reverse migration started taking seed, I researched but I never found a research report or theory of creating employment in the villages. Hence, my idea of crypto mining had an answer.
In the year 2018, I launched a project to create job or entrepreneurship opportunities in rural India. It was the summer of 2008 when I read CNN report that Italian villages launched an initiative to sell properties at 1$ an incentive to repopulate the dying Italian villages. Approximately 7600 Italian villages started offering the same scheme to invite new residents. Many people bought and refurbished the homes they purchased in these Italian villages, but guess what majority of them were holiday homes and this didn’t trigger economic activity.
Hence, I started toying with the idea of creating an economic system and blending my knowledge of Reverse Migration with the Italian villages and thus the idea of Startup Villages, I started documenting.
I met Stefano and Karim founders of Omar Business Development, Italy and we signed up for a strategic partnership for Halal Angels Network (an Angel network established to tap the 5 Trillion USD Halal consumer market). As confidence grew, I proposed to them my initiative Startup Villages with them and they were all excited. We agreed to start pitching my Startup Villages idea Mayors of villages, in Italy that instead of selling houses to holidaymakers, let’s pitch and sell to the startups. That the Italian villages offer, beautiful landscapes, pollution-free, no traffic, access to the European market, and North African market, cost-effectiveness, and most important more leisure time with family & friends.
We also researching other locations, which can also be leveraged to attract startups and entrepreneurs. Then I proposed this idea to my Japanese strategic partner Taisuke Alex Odajima founder, EDGEof INNOVATION. Alex said that this is a fantastic idea and there are a lot of Japanese villages going through similar problems of depopulation of villages.
The advantages for the villages were:
- Creates a new brand image for villages
- First-time villages to promote as a startup hub
- Startups get investments
- Startups generate economic activity
- Attracts news residents and organizations
- Incentives the rural youth to stay back at home
- Generates revenues & taxes
- Generates positive media and public relations
The COVID-19 pandemic proved my theory of Reverse Migration that working from home is the new normal and individuals and organizations can benefit from the work-from-home advantages.
The Startup Village ecosystem is developed to get maximum awareness about advantages for individuals, investors, businesses, and governments.
The Startup Villages ecosystem has the following:
1.Events & Meet-ups
3.Incubation & Acceleration
4. Research & Development
5. Programs Investors
As I have been researching for a few years, I also identified that villages across Europe, America, and Japan have been experiencing an exodus of residents to cities for better career opportunities, hence I have developed a plan to create an umbrella platform to promote the villages and encourage sustainable development through reverse migration and help families spend together.