Fam Mirza is a 27-year-old self-made millionaire with a wealth of lessons to share. Best known as the founder and CEO of charity watch brand, 1:Face, Mirza is a serial entrepreneur with several successful brands under his belt, including Azaan Shoes, named after his son.
Born in Qatar, Mirza was raised in India by his aunt, while his parents worked to support the family. Growing up in the slums, he experienced extreme poverty first hand. This made him resolute, not only to better his station in life, but to change the lives of others around the world.
“Resilience is the core quality of an entrepreneur." - Fran Mirza
Settling in the United States at the age of eight, and following the inspirational example of his father, who showed him that anything is possible if you put your mind to it, Mirza was empowered to pursue a path of entrepreneurship. One that would make him a lot of money and allow him to give back to people less fortunate than himself. “Resilience is the core quality of an entrepreneur,” he firmly believes.
Setting an Example for His Generation
1:Face Watches has been a popular hit with millennials, a demographic with a demonstrated preference for socially responsible products. Millennials are cautious about what they buy and care about how they spend their money. In fact, 70 percent of them will pay more for a product made with sustainable materials or in a socially responsible manner.
Through his fashionable timepieces, the 1:Face consumer receives an affordable and stylish fashion accessory. They also get the chance to select the charity of their choice. They can give back through one of Mirza’s eight different causes that have changed over one million lives so far. This business model has proved so successful that Mirza is applying it to Azaan Shoes as well.
Mirza sets a true example for his generation. Not only by embodying the American dream and entrepreneurial path, but by building a brand around philanthropy. Through a deep understanding of his customer, Mirza has made over $10 million with his brands and donated millions to multiple charities.
Understanding the Need for Transparency
94 percent of all consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that demonstrates complete transparency. Millennials in particular, the target of Mirza's watches and footwear, are concerned about brands that operate ethically.
A study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business showed that nine in ten MBA business graduates in North America and Europe showed a preference for working with organizations committed to social responsibility. Ethical operations and transparency are high on the list for this powerful demographic.
And Mirza practices what he preaches. Customers can monitor where their money is going through social media, blogging and video marketing updates. Whether they choose to support HIV, cancer, world hunger, or sustainable development, they can actually see what their money is used for. Mirza is also meticulous when it comes to his selection of charities, personally vetting each one he gets involved with and following those that resonate more deeply with his customers.
A Passion for Giving Back
Without doubt, Mirza’s formative years were a catalyst for creating his brands, his desire to change the world, and the lives of others in need. You won’t find Mirza with his feet up behind a desk in his Los Angeles office. More likely, he’ll be involved at a grassroots level with one of his projects. Whether that takes him to remote parts of Africa or India, he’ll be overseeing the development of drinking water wells or sustainable farming.
“We’ve changed more than a million lives so far with 1:Face and are set to do the same for the next million and the next."
This social entrepreneur has also taken influence from successful mentors who have good before him, including TED speaker, Joe Madiath. Mirza sought advice and counsel from a man famous in philanthropy circles, who could teach him the best way to bring sustainable sanitation systems to life.
“We’ve changed more than a million lives so far with 1:Face and are set to do the same for the next million and the next,” he enthuses.
Whether you admire Mirza for his grit determination, success against all odds, or strong dedication to doing good in the world, this is one young entrepreneur to watch. Not only has he got his business head screwed firmly on, understanding how to make use of social channels and tools to build a loyal customer base; but he also taps into the mindset of a generation. Continually innovating to change the world one face at a time.