danish is a dubai-raised artist, speaker, DESIGNER, sailor, father, investor & ENTREPRENEUR. he heads hybrid advisory firm xische & Co.

Who Dares Wins

Who Dares Wins

This article by Hisham Wyne featured in 4Men Magazine and Gulf News, September 2010, and profiles local entrepreneurs, including Mohammad and Peyman of WildPeeta, Danish Farhan of Xische, film maker Ashraf Ghori, the GoNabit duo and Mohammed Abedein of Foo Dog.

An except from the article has been included below:

Who Dares Wins

Entrepreneurs, and the small businesses they engender, are the lifeblood of the new economy where emphasis is slowly shifting to the hyper local. With products and services specifically targeted to the communal markets they serve, startups are often responsible for catalysing not just pecuniary well-being but also cultures and sub-cultures. Despite the cards being sometimes stacked against them, several young entrepreneurs in Dubai have started viable businesses through dint of competence and persistence.

Danish Farhan CEO, Xische

Ask Danish Farhan why he chose to become an entrepreneur and he shrugs wryly, saying "I knew how to do little else." The autodidactic CEO of Xische may have a point. He did the rounds of the London Film School, American University of Dubai and American University of Sharjah before realising academia was perhaps not his forte. He worked with Emirates Airlines for three years, after which he took on a research and forecasting role with IBM at 18. According to him, Xische was set up to "help businesses answer the very questions I had been asking them in my role as researcher."

But Xische was almost the victim of its own success. It expanded rapidly, and was acquired by once-client Future Pipelines. Soon, Farhan found himself being marginalised and the company he founded being taken in directions he did not like. Eventually he decided to exit, keeping the brand name he had legally registered. In 2004, Farhan decided to rebuild Xische. He had learnt his lesson and decided to grow organically. He has never had more than 20 people on the payroll since, and is anxious not to lose the intimacy and flexibly his small business offers.

While Xische may have the soul and spirit of a small boutique consultancy, it boasts a healthy turnover of over $11 million per annum. With concerns including a technology house and an interior design company, the group does over $20 million in business a year.

Farhan is determined to keep thinking big by thinking small. He makes clear that Xische is not a supplier for its clients but a representative that manages suppliers on the clients' behalf. He says, Xische is a hybrid consultancy because it combines three basic tenets of business: the strategy that is the core of the business, the brand, which is the strategy manifesting through tangible and intangible artefacts and sprinkles of facilitating technology.

Fellow businessperson, ex-client and former senior vice-president of Internet Pictures Corporation (iPix) Tim Brookes, says that Farhan, originally from India, has been impeccable in maintaining a people-centric innovative streak.

"It's been interesting to say the least watching this young man and his firm consistently stay ahead of the curve for almost a decade now."

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