Danish Farhan and I share very similar journeys. We’ve lived all our lives in the U.A.E. and have seen its transformation before our eyes. There’s a certain shared understanding when two natives talk about the country. One that doesn’t exist when talking to an expat.
Danish is a serial entrepreneur. Started his first business at 19. Had an Exit that made him a millionaire overnight. Went bankrupt over the next year. Then built back up gradually to one of the most prominent businessmen in the U.A.E.
His flagship business, Xische, started off as a marketing consultancy. Today, the Xische brand is an umbrella for a number of initiatives – marketing, strategy, innovation, education, entrepreneurship, and more – working together for a singular purpose.
I sat down with Danish to find out what that purpose is. Here is our conversation.
Time-Stamped Show Notes
- [00:23] What made Danish Farhan the man he is today?
- [02:20] The stories of Dubai through the eyes of a native who has spent his entire life here.
- [04:50] The highest responsibility of government.
- [07:51] How Danish and his team developed the story behind the “Year of Tolerance” initiative.
- [09:13] The common thread between tiny nations like Dubai, Singapore, and Estonia.
- [13:16] How the “Happiness Meter” went from just an idea to Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid pressing the button in only 9 days.
- [15:48] The revolutionary side-effects to governance caused by the Happiness Meter.
- [21:20] Danish tells a story about his niece, who has a disability, representing the U.A.E. on a world stage.
- [22:31] How will Dubai practically adopt, on a large scale, technologies like Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence?
- [26:30] How putting just one government function, submitting official documents, on the blockchain will save Dubai enough money to build a Burj Khalifa every single year.
- [29:11] How blockchain tech took the government payment reconciliation system from 45 days down to 4-5 seconds.
- [30:36] Is our personal information secure on the blockchain or can it be “hacked?”
- [33:36] The Dubai Paperless Strategy.
- [35:06] Why the average joe doesn’t care about buzzwords like blockchain and AI, and how to make them care.
- [35:43] Xische Academy: How Danish’s team went from storytellers (i.e. marketers) to strategists to educators, teaching the next generation of the U.A.E.’s leaders how to be bold and innovative.
- [40:16] Tough love from a serial entrepreneur to his peers and those who aspire to be one. “Cupcake entrepreneurs” better listen close.
- [42:56] The difference between passion and purpose, and why you need to build both.
- [45:36] The practical, real-world approach to experimenting with entrepreneurship.