Saadiq owns a fish shop where Colin lives. Colin used to see Saadiq interacting with a lot of foreigners living in the area. Colin knew instantly that Saadiq loved connecting with people and wouldn’t turn down Colin’s request for an interview. And of course Colin was right. Saadiq gets candid about his education and career in this interview, leaving behind an important food for thought – education does not mean working in big companies and wearing good clothes. Read more about what this wise young businessman had to say.
Saadiq Pasha, 25 years, fish shop owner, Bangalore
Interviewed by Joseph Colin
Why did you decide to give us an interview on education?
To me, education is more than just going to school or college. When I was in primary school, I started helping out my father with his business. He used to sell seasonal fruits. I helped him through my school and college days. Education doesn’t mean working in corporate companies and wearing good clothes. Education means giving respect to other fellow humans. But education helps you to become a better human being.
What did you study in college?
I did my MBA. I completed it in 2013, and then worked for two years. But I wasn’t satisfied. My salary was okay, there wasn’t too much pressure, we didn’t have any targets to meet neither was it a night-shift job. It was in fact an awesome job. But I didn’t like it because I didn’t want to become an employee.How did you get into selling fish then?I wanted to get into wholesale fish business. I didn’t want to take my father’s money to set up my business. I wanted to earn some money, build my savings and start my wholesale business from that money.
I would like to add something here. Earlier I was paying cash and bringing fish from the market. But people didn’t respect me. But now I have suppliers who come to me on credit basis, and I think I have earned their trust because I haven’t cheated anyone. Even if I don’t have the money, they supply very good items to me on credit-basis. I now have 10 to 15 parties who supply fish and chicken to me. I have different varieties of fish…Bengali-style, Kerala-style, and fish from local lakes in Bangalore. I also have very good customers. They call me up every day to ask me what’s fresh. My business is doing well, but I think there is scope for improvement.
Do you think the respect you earned is also because you are educated?
Yes. I can say its education and the values that my parents taught me. Your father is also a businessman.
So you learnt business skills from your father?
Yes…that was part of my education.
I will give you a situation – you want to employ an assistant in your shop. You have two applicants and both of them are equally good. But the first one is more educated, and the second one is more experienced in, say, cleaning and cutting fish. Who are you likely to employ?
If the under-educated guy is experienced and does good business, I will employ him to help me with the fish cutting etc. I will employ the educated one to talk to the customers.
The last question has nothing to do with your interview topic. But we ask everyone we interview – what does love mean to you? (Saadiq pauses)
I know it is a difficult question (Colin laughs)
No, it’s not a difficult question. But I can’t tell you what love is exactly. I will tell you one thing. Whenever my girlfriend is not in the city, I miss her. When I ask myself why I feel this way, my heart tells me it is love. When I am out late and not home yet, my mother calls me and asks me where I am. My mother tells me the others are having dinner and she is waiting for me. That is love. When I am tensed about something, my dad asks me what’s wrong. He speaks to me with kindness and that is love. When my sister and I have something to talk about or share, we sit together and discuss. She won’t share our discussion with anybody. That is also love.