#FollowTheEntrepreneur: Faizal Sayed

Faizal Sayed is a TV Talk Show Host and the CEO of Deen TV.

1. What inspired you to start a business?

Many years ago, around 2000 or 2001, my brother and I decided that we need to get into the film and television business because I was cast in a TV commercial and what we learnt from that experience sort of opened our minds to that as a possible exciting future. We learnt that although the actor was the star of the show, it was the production company, producer and director that made lots of money. Lots of staff, catering and vehicles and we thought, wow, here we go. Prior to that at University, I had acquired about 10 or 12 Sony Play Stations which I built up from one unit. I was hiring that out making tons of money for a then university student. The important thing in starting a business, is having vision. It is the vision that essentially inspires one to start a business.

2. How did you get your idea/concept for the business?

Film and Television has always been a passion. So that’s where it all started. I have climbed the ladder within the industry over 15 years and now I am the CEO of Deen TV, a channel broadcasting 24/7 on StarSat and Openview HD, an ETV sister company. So it was taking my role as a producer then to the SABC and ETV and converting and evolving that experience into an ultimate vision of operating the broadcaster itself. So it was flipping the coin. The channel is almost four years old and I was approached by current partners and board members to develop the then open space allocated to a TV Channel, into an operative one.

3. To what do you attribute your success?

I attribute my success to many factors and the distinct combination of these factors and how they work in tandem. I will mention a few. Strong partnerships. I have a board of four members. Mr. Farouk Arieff, Mr. Hassim Jogee, Mr. Ahmed Mohamed and I. The first point of call to success is to ensure that you have the correct partnership in place. People who understand you, the industry, where we are and where we are going. People who have the ultimate passion for what we do and how we do it.

I also attribute my success to having immense patience in adversity and having an ability to be able to cling onto a vision no matter how difficult some days may appear. Those challenges are innate in building brands and comes with the territory. My personal success is also embedded in the support of my mother- counselor, motivator, supporter and ultimate fan.

4. What is unique about your business?

Deen TV is unique in the way that it operates. It is a TV channel that has an on the ground approach to its interaction with viewers, yet maintaining a high quality output on screen and a high level of corporate governance. The channel is also unique in its programming approach offering something for all.

5. Name your favorite business book/s and why?

“Skrew it, let’s do it”, by Richard Branson. It is on my favourite list as I have the same attitude. Jump right into it and try to swim to shore later. Sometimes there may be sharks, sometimes the waters are rough and cold but you aint knowing until you jump. So jump, for if you swim out, you may be pleasantly surprised at what you as a person or company can endure thus thereby knowing what you can achieve.

6. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what
would it be?

Remain true to your vision. Never be deterred by people who may lead you off course. Pretend to listen to them, but don’t.

7. What are your future plans?

To take my TV Talk Show, The Faizal Sayed Show, along with Deen TV into new zones on higher stratum. I see the world and I want to be there with the intent of effecting positive change for all of creation.

Follow Faizal on Twitter
Visit his website
DeenTV: Twitter; Website

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