EP 006 / 18.11.2020
THE REBELLIOUS NATURE
Farah Nanji: 0:00
You're listening to the Mission Makers show, a podcast that inspires humans to get into the mindset of success. My name is Farah Nanji, and I'm the founder of a business in the Motorsports industry that explores leadership lessons from things like Formula One. I'm also a DJ and music producer in the underground electronic scene, and a public speaker on key topics like resilience, building high performance teams, overcoming learning difficulties and stimulating creativity. And to tie it all together, I love writing thought provoking content as a journalist for these industries, which is so unique in themselves. On this show, I'm sitting down with some of the most inspiring and driven people I've met around the world to talk about their processes, their failures, the lessons they've learned, and how they're truly making an impact for this world.
My guest today joins us from a beautiful island in the Indian Ocean just off the southeast coast of Africa. He's located in Mauritius and I had the pleasure of meeting him a few years ago when I was invited to DJ for one of his venues on the island. His name is Javed Vayidand to many in Mauritius he's known as one of the first pioneers that brought electronic music to this remote island running beach clubs, restaurants, nightclubs, and festivals. As an entrepreneur, His story is one of ambition and rebellion. And in this episode, he shares with us why Mauritius is so much more than just a beach resort, his views on preserving his country both in the political and natural spheres of life, and his journey towards entrepreneurship. Just before we begin, if you're interested in watching the video version of this podcast, head over to YouTube and type in Mission Makers Javed Vayid to see if the show will drive it. Thanks so much for coming on the show today. I think our guests will have so many interesting things to learn from you. You've definitely been a very innovative entrepreneur. I'd love to start from the beginning. Tell us who Javid is and how you got on the path that you're on today?
Javed Vayid: 2:04
Okay, thanks for inviting me, Farah. I'm 36 years old. From Mauritius Island, one of the only COVID free countries in the world right now. I am involved in the entertainment, food and beverage and technology sectors. So we own and operate a few chains of urban food outlets that are original creations. We organise the pure Festival, which is an electronic music festival in private islands resorts or unique venues. And we also run the only Irish pub on the island. So basically how I got there, if you ask me, the source, I would say is because I love human interaction. I had no idea of my future career plan when I was younger, even as late when I was when I was at university. So you know, I started to have free parties with my friends, and already started from them. And amusement is the basis of everything I do today. Contrary to my friends at the time, I had not a defined path where I would study in a field, then work in that field for the rest of my life. I had no clue. So I would say I am part of the late bloomers category. It takes me a lot of time to digest, nearly like a simpleton. But when I start, I never leave. So that's my introduction.
Farah Nanji: 3:58
Fantastic. Well, it's not too late because you're only 36, like you say and you've achieved quite a lot in a short space of time. I know that growing up, you were not the biggest fan of school. You felt that the rules were a little bit restrictive. Do you feel like that rebellious streak played a part in you pursuing a career as an entrepreneur and do you believe that in some ways it's a necessary quality to have in order to succeed in business?
Javed Vayid: 4:23
Well, I actually love going to school, but not to study anything which has something to do with rules or codes. Still today makes me uncomfortable. Yes, I would say I was a rebel. And I learned so much as cool outside the classes. I met a lifetime friend and built an incredible network, which is still valid today. I meet all comrades in the business or they come to enjoy my events. So networking is the strongest skill I learned at school. I went to a French school, it was very mixed with all cultures, people from various backgrounds, ways of thinking, and you hang out with a lot of experts as well. And, you know, my teachers were both local body experts. And the school was mixed. I mean, boys and girls together. And I've realized that because most public schools in Mauritius are gender restricted to good schools, especially for girls or boys. So to answer your question, rebellion, yes, rebellion is a necessary quality, there's no question about that. I can't see anybody 16 as an encore p&l, without breaking the rules, without skiing, or fruit. The main difficulty for an entrepreneur is to deal with issues, you never learn as cool, because he won't teach them. How, for example, to deal with anxiety, when you get cash flow issues, or how to deal with unfair competition, or how to build power and influence. Those are life skills that you learn when you play outside of the comfort zone. And to succeed in business, My own view is that your emotional quotient and your spiritual quotient must be greater than your intellectual quotient. Whereas cool, mostly focused on your IQ. In some countries, now adding those skills, this is the cooling of tomorrow. And I'm sure I would have felt more at home. If those classes were already included. During that time I was a student. And the rebellious spirit is still very strong today. Even in business for you, I have no I have no title in my group. I'm not the CEO, anything, I just have no title. I go to meetings with top executives in my pyjamas. I don't wear any fancy watch, or any code accessories, which would make me a corporate person. I like to stay simple. So people, they have only to focus on my ideas and performance. And whether people like it or not, I do not care. So that's about Yes. How I was a rebel at school. And still now I think,
Farah Nanji: 8:10
haha, that's so funny and definitely so true. I'm sure that you've probably developed a company culture around some of these values and beliefs. You mentioned something quite interesting there about school, not teaching you the necessary life skills to be an entrepreneur. I definitely agree. I think, on the one hand they can teach you more of the soft skills, like the networking that you touched upon but even that could be a luck of the draw because I definitely didn't learn about networking at school because I was a bit more introverted, and it took a bit longer to come out of my shell. You mentioned something there that was quite interesting about the fact that you can do it when you have cash flow issues. Today, we're dealing with the pandemic. I think that would be a really interesting topic to maybe talk a little bit more about because a lot of people around the world are obviously facing cash flow issues, and there must be a lot of anxiety that comes with that. So any tips ? How do you approach these things?
Javed Vayid: 9:14
Well, I will speak only about my own experience because I'm not in the shoes of everybody. We when we build the when I build the group, I try to have a balance between my own investment, an investment from over parties, in forms of dabs, but also in forms of equity, or which means that I have people who invested in your project against shares and others who invested to get interest that we hate that we have to pay first and because of that Balance. Because the foundations, the foundations are very important is the basis of everything. Because in times of crisis, if your foundations are solid, then you can find solutions. And in my case, my shareholders were very comprehensive, they understand that we have issues etc, they are giving me time is the same thing. We have an investment fund, which has invested a significant amount of money last year, you just have to be hundred percent transparent with them, you go and see them, you see, look, we have an issue. It's no one's fault, we will get out of them. And you show the solutions and the strategy, and you ask them for a delay. So now we don't have to pay this year, we'll pay until next year, as from next year, I mean, so that gives us time to rethink our business model, find new solutions to get fresh cash flow, including find new investors. And you know, we are in restaurants and even business. So businesses and worldwide, they are among the activities, which are the most affected. And in Mauritius, fortunately, because we are covered free. It's definitely a hit. But it's not as bad as it could have been. So now we were changing strategy. And going into a merger, we have a strategic partner. So just to summarise, it's all about foundations, when you create a business is to put not all eggs in the same basket, and to mitigate your risks, and not to take too much depth, of course. And second is to readapt when things go wrong, just to rethink your business model in order to get out of it. Even if you take a hit that doesn't mean you will fail completely. So you must keep the spirit high.
Farah Nanji: 12:25
Yeah, absolutely. And when it comes to investment in an island, like Mauritius, do you feel like because it's a small island, do you feel like there is a wide pool of investors that you can go to?
Javed Vayid: 12:40
Okay, there are many kinds of investors in Mauritius, of course, the first one must be based on merits. So for example, for an investment fund, they will ask you to come with a strong business plan, and show that you have the skills to make the projects as successful. And then we invest in the person more than in the project. So you need to be very confident about what you are doing. And you need to put on some skin in the game and invest yourself. If let's say in the case, you don't have any money, then you should have a strong network. This is the second thing. Because we have a strong network, I mean, we have biassed type of people, you must find some of your friends who could be your own investors. And that happened to me, some of my friends invested in my projects. And further Of course, you must be good at what you do. Because if you're not good, then one will invest in you or no one will believe in you. So, yes, and all those types of investments. I don't, I don't have any banks with me. So they are solutions that are non traditional, I would say you know, traditional loans at the bank we have when you put your house in guarantee and stuff like that. So it's mostly about your personality, your network, and your, the way you're succeeding at things at your own projects. You must prove yourself first, to get some credibility. And when you get credibility. I don't know why people won't invest in you.
Farah Nanji: 14:33
Yeah, absolutely. Definitely proven track record is always a great thing. And so what do you think makes a good entrepreneur?
Javed Vayid: 14:44
Look, the first thing is rebellious. You thought you told me about rebel rebellion. I think a good entrepreneur must have that kind of spirit. Sagan that would be The network network is one of the most important skills for an entrepreneur. Because even with no money, you can make great money out of a great out of a good network. And you can have contacts, open those, you know, kindness, ladders, etc, etc. By using your network correctly. And the third, the third thing, I think would be passion. So if you're, if you're passionate about a project, you will be five times more productive than the average Joe. So those are the three most important skills I would say.
Farah Nanji: 16:01
Yeah, absolutely. I think passion is definitely one of the most important things because you'll find you want to do your work at all hours of the day, because it's just so addictive to fuel your passion into enjoying it. That's the ultimate thing, right. So what were some of the key things that you learned from your parents?
Javed Vayid: 16:23
Um, look, first, I come from an unusual family background. My parents got divorced when I was 10. My dad is still single, my mom has remarried since then, since I was 10. So I am close to my stepfather. So I would say I have two fathers. My biological parents come from a Muslim background. And my stepfather is Catholic Chinese. I would say I built the foundations of who I am with those differences. My stepfather is a successful entrepreneur in Mauritius. And I am lucky to have him as a mentor. Most of the things I know in business, I know them through him. And you know, when you learn from a Chinese, you must be grateful. And from my dad, I kept his sense of humour. And he's cool. My father is a super nice guy. He likes a simple life, watching movies, eating good food, you see. And from my mother, her kindness, generosity, and openness are qualities I've appropriated, which helped me to build my network. She always has friends at home, organise dinners, parties, while at the same time keeping some space for the family. And I am lucky because my parents never forced me into religion, and allowed me to hang out with people from different backgrounds and a lot of time on the streets and never told me anything. And that was their biggest contribution, my freedom. I made a lot of mistakes. I leave the wildlife at some point. But I learned from this. And today because I lived all different kinds of experiences. It has developed my empathy skills. And I can literally feel people before they even talk to me. And that's very useful in business.
Farah Nanji: 18:55
Yeah, absolutely. What are the streets of Mauritius like?
Javed Vayid: 19:00
Oh, when I was young, it was, you know, I was taking even my bicycle or my rollerblades at some point. And you just walk around you with your neighbours, or people from the same neighbourhood. You make friends with them. You play basketball. At the time we played a lot of PlayStation, Mega Drive and stuff like that. At the shop, coming back home. Yeah, it was playing outside at the time. Really nice.
Farah Nanji: 19:35
Seems like a very peaceful country. Seems like the streets are slightly different to what the streets of East London are like here in the UK. So you touched upon it a little bit earlier, about not turning up to work in a suit and not having a title, which I think is super interesting. When you have a vision? How do you empower the people around you to bring it to life?
Javed Vayid: 20:12
Yes, of course, the way I you practically, I call everyone in the boardroom, I present the plan for a maximum of one hour, because I don't, if I can't present it in a maximum of one hour, it means it is not clear in my mind. So it is maximum for one hour, then they can ask any questions or a maximum of 30 minutes. And we see what I mean when I am convinced we have a project, I can activate the vision in all people around. Sometimes they think I am lunatic. But gradually with time they start soaking up into the idea. And if your colleagues don't think you're a lunatic, from time to time, because if they think it permanently, this is an issue. If they don't think you're a lunatic from time to time, that's also an issue. Because that means you start to think like everybody else. And my team will challenge my ideas. And I will listen to them. And I'm not always right. But if I have a strong intuition on something, I will go against all odds, nothing will stop me.
Farah Nanji: 21:36
That's phenomenal. So what do you think, then, are some of the misconceptions of what you do and your job?
Javed Vayid: 21:47
Okay, people tend to confuse businessman and entrepreneur. And I was confused too, before being an entrepreneur, what's the difference? And those aren't exactly the same type of people. Both can be both, of course. But the main difference lies in the purpose. The entrepreneur wants to change the world, to improve the community to disrupt the status quo. And when he succeeds, the money comes naturally. Whereas the businessman is a trader, and profit is everything, his main purpose. So it is a subtle difference. But the difference nevertheless, you don't need passion to be a businessman, but you need passion to be an entrepreneur.
Farah Nanji: 22:40
100% So what would be some of your advice for people who actually want to pursue multiple passions like yourself? Who are in a variety of industries?
Javed Vayid: 22:52
Yes. Go ahead. Because, as I told you, when you're passionate, you will be five times more productive than the average Joe anyway. So we are in the era today, where most people work smart, you know, at the time of our parents, it was the time to work hard, now is the time to work smart. And that would give one plenty of time to be involved in multiple activities, particularly in the career era, we have seen that diversification is key to sustainability. If I didn't have my technology branch into the group, we would be dead is very important to have diversification. So I'm a hard believer that you can be focused on different activities, if they are well structured. So there's no problem about pushing multiple passions.
Farah Nanji: 23:52
Definitely. But do you think that you need to master one and then start enhancing others? Or do you think you can do it all at the same time?
Javed Vayid: 24:01
Of course, there's a you can't. I mean, there's a structure there must be a plan, a plan, some type of planning, and organise your time accordingly. But nothing's nothing will. You don't need to wait for years and get to maturity before going to the next project. I think you can push through different projects or startups at the same time. And it's respect risky, but not as risky as wasting a lot of time and, and, and losing and losing the opportunity.
Farah Nanji: 24:45
And so when everything changes, like it has now and people there might be in a situation where they are very used to being comfortable. How do you think that they can push their boundaries and step out of their comfort zone because you've been quite vocal about it. Seeing people in positions of power who just cannot get out of that comfortable mindset?
Javed Vayid: 25:07
Yes, yes. People excel in their comfort zone. But when you put them outside, they are completely lost. So, to answer your question, there is always a way to progress. So no activity is finite. innovation and technology are by definition in movement. So there is no way one would feel, whoa, honestly feel they've reached the limits of their boundaries. Comfort Zone in entrepreneurship, is when your company reaches the maturity phase, when there is a strong stability, low staff turnover, great financials, just like a comfort zone and humanity is when you find stability in your life, then what's next? Spiritually, spirituality is the answer for me, because it is the ultimate step of life. And everything is the source of everything.
Farah Nanji: 26:14
Definitely, and it's clear that you have developed spiritually in the last few years as well. It's been many years since we met but from afar I have seen you be quite vocal about going deeper into that aspect of your life. So how has that new founded spirituality helped you stay focused on your mission?
Javed Vayid: 26:37
Yeah, it's. So I had the first awakening in 2008. As time goes fast, it is only 12 years. But it is true that I had a boost. Three years ago, when I discovered Osho, I was just watching videos on YouTube. And then he appeared to use that and and I watched his video was, oh, who's this guy taking. So he's talking so much sense. And it is the first time in my life that I've connected so much. We were spiritual masters. And I spent the past years reading his books and listening to his talks. It completely changed my life. Since then, um, I feel I'm on the right path. And it did not only help me to stay focused on my mission, it made my mission on earth much clearer. And around the same time, I also met my now wife, and I don't believe in coincidences. Spirituality is at the root of everything. When a master when you found out my final mouse Master, is a true the master finds you something I learned.
Farah Nanji: 28:04
Talking about marriage, it's something that seems to have given you some perspective as well. No coincidences, because both things appeared around the same time. So how important do you think it is to find a partner that is either working towards a similar mission or can truly find their way to support you through what you're doing?
Javed Vayid: 28:32
Yes, in fact, I don't care if marriage is just a piece of paper, you know. But what really counts is love. And indeed, it has put everything in perspective. Love gives me a permanent boost for everything I do in my life. It gives stability, happiness, which are critical to succeed in our mission. I don't think my wife has a similar life purpose or mission, but the compatibility of our two souls gives a tremendous boost to our individual missions. compatibility key in Mauritius, we have a saying for that. Or stale bread, have their mouth lead cheese is in Creole who today gbrc in audio format got it. That's a horrible saying but describes it well.
Farah Nanji: 29:38
Definitely. Compatibility is what leads to the longevity of something. I know you spend a lot of time conducting speeches and talks at schools in an effort to inspire the next generation. Maybe you can share with us a little bit more about you touched upon earlier in relation to your mission here on Earth. So what is that to you? What's been one of the biggest lessons that you've learned since you've started and what do you want to ultimately relay in these schools?
Javed Vayid: 30:14
In schools is completely a pure sharing, which means yes, I have been invited in, in many schools and universities, including my own school, and I love to share experiences with the young generation. And I learned from them that the biggest lesson learned from me was that the aspirations of the new generation do not look at all like the aspirations our generation had. When we went to school, this generation is not as materialistic, they are interested in ideas from the planet, they are very different from our generation. And this rebellion, earlier, he grew up faster. And we've the good and the bad side, of course, this is the generation who grew up in the world of information and technology. And I think the current education system is outdated for them. This generation is the one who must turn around the crisis created by the past generations. So now we have an environmental crisis, economic sanitary. And so I was created by us, so I believe in more than I really am in my own generation, actually.
Farah Nanji: 31:55
You've been quite critical about what you see as failings by those in power around you and from what I understand you do have political aspirations yourself. So what do you think would be key to ensuring that you don't fall into the same trap as perhaps those leaders that have preceded you?
Javed Vayid: 32:21
Okay. Yes, I do have political aspirations. But you know, you can still do politics behind the curtains. And I think that is even more powerful than being directly exposed to politicians failing because the system is failing. All around the world leaders, which are succeeding in big countries share the same trade. They are corrupt, arrogant, sexist, racist. And people seem to like those trades, because if they are elected, they would particularly Have you noticed that good. Politicians rarely get exposure. For example, the ones in Scandinavian countries where they have the best political systems in the world, they have the best economy, they have the best everything. No one thought about them. Only Jacinda Arden from New Zealand is getting a good exposure, which has boomed during the lockdown, and because of the way she handled the pandemic. It's like the media, you know, but us sales and fake news are more popular than real news. I've watched a recent documentary on Netflix. I don't remember the name. Yeah, I think it was five times more popular. And then and real news. Human human behaviour is like that. So the system is like that. And it is just natural that we got the politicians we deserve. Good people don't make good politicians, because they aren't as attractive. So a good way is either to pull the strings from behind or be an advisor. Good people in the front line become bad people. Because the system is rotten, unless you're a Nelson Mandela, or Mahatma Gandhi. So if you're a super exception, somebody who will change the world, then you can go ahead. Otherwise, I think it is wiser to be behind the curtains. I haven't made my choice yet. Politics in Mauritius is very complicated. We have a Hindu majority. It's communal people like, tend to divide us, instead of putting us together as mauritians. It's not that simple. It's not an easy decision. And it depends on many, many factors. And one week is long in politics, and my ambitions are for four years. So we have time.
Farah Nanji: 35:29
What would be some of the things that you'd want to do for the country?
Javed Vayid: 35:39
The first thing, I think that the issues at the root of the country are first corruption, it is extremely corrupt. Second is to protect nature because there are too many constructions and we are becoming not as natural as before. So it must be really unattractive for tourists who come and see buildings everywhere. And so first, corruption, second, ecology. And third, I would say, full transparency in all decisions and accountability, transparency and accountability go together. Because then you can put professionals at the head of institutions and get real results instead of having politicians, pure politicians, I mean, without any backgrounds, or provisional backgrounds, in their own ministries. So yes, very crazy.
Farah Nanji: 37:01
And talking about the second point, you mentioned about the biological side of things. Mauritius is an absolutely stunning and beautiful place, and it needs to be protected. So when the oil spill happened recently, how do you kind of reflect upon this time? And what can people take away from what happened?
Javed Vayid: 37:27
Yes, there was this catastrophe in August, with the URL spiel, which gave us bad publicity around the world. 5% of the coast of Mauritius has been affected. And this has triggered an awakening of the population. And for the first time in history 100,000 people went on the streets to rebel against the government. That was the first the population has also demonstrated solidarity to clean up the lagoons. And thanks to them, we expect the recovery to be quicker than originally planned. So it gives us hope for the future, and for the potential birth of a new political party, which can gather mauritians instead of dividing them. So at least some things positive out of this.
Farah Nanji: 38:28
How did the politicians react when the country was coming together and protesting towards them?
Javed Vayid: 38:37
They had a bad reaction, because all politicians from I mean from government to opposition, because then it was a pure, pure crowd of Mauritian musicians motions without any political affiliations. Everyone was here for the country as patriots as a reject of the system, the political system in Mauritius because it's an accumulation of everything of arrogance on the populations and so we had an accumulations, accumulation of many things, which happened in Mauritius recently, which just exploded into a peaceful manifestation. So yeah, you did. I think that it was a wake up call for the political politicians in general.
Farah Nanji: 39:37
So how can mauritians and other islands similar to yourself, protect their biodiversity? Do you feel like it's slipping out of control? Or do you think that it's still within your reach to protect and preserve the island?
Javed Vayid: 39:55
I am not a scientist, but I would say first Let's, let's boots sink into our lagoons that will help. Second, stop building everywhere and destroy the natural ecosystem. And further include ecology in the heart of the development of the country, because eco tourism and blue economy should be the way forward for islands to protect them by their diversity. That would be logical for me. And I'm not an expert. I don't know.
Farah Nanji: 40:35
Yeah I think it takes everybody to make the change. It can't just be skewed towards one particular group of people, it has to be, like you said, at the root and the heart of every decision that you make. Let's change gears a little bit, because you and I met because of dance music. I get asked this question a lot, where have you played that has been surprising? I reference Africa quite a lot because a lot of people would never imagine that there's a dance music scene in Mauritius, Kenya, Uganda or any of these places. It's absolutely fascinating, because you're one of the key people who bought the scene and the underground electronic music scene, particularly, to a small island in Africa. That's not an easy feat. I know you weren't one of the first people but you're certainly part of that early, early adopters that kind of bought the music to the island. So what were some of the strategies in making that happen? Did you start out with only local talent? Or did you start immediately like trying to book in headliners to come to the island? How did you build the scene up where people started kind of gravitating towards, you know, electronic music?
Javed Vayid: 41:59
Yeah, from my side, we started very small. So it was very hard at first, because people didn't understand the music. Me first. So I was hosting an Iran party in my club with other organisers. But when I went to Ibiza for two weeks, I understood, so I was myself inspired. It started very small, we have the crowds, who are part of the higher categories. Markets, because they travel a lot. And we're already used to this kind of music. And little by little organises all over the island went into the same direction, and it just broke through. Today, for our last festival, we had nearly 4000 people, we've local people, do you imagine? So education work is important from the initiators. And now it's working because we started walking before running.
Farah Nanji: 43:10
Definitely, I mean, how do you educate people towards that? Is it about empowering DJs and getting the equipment for them?
Javed Vayid: 43:18
But another thing, you must fail a lot, you must fail a lot, accept that some of the parties you make, there will be only a few people coming, sometimes very, very few people. And you just don't let you continue. You just use continue and be patient and innovate. And you see and attract people with different things. So if for example, if it was my first festival, I always saw them as conceptual festivals, but when you come it's not only about the music, it's about the venue. So a nice venue, I don't know private islands, nice resorts and places like that. Sega and about the decoration as well. Nicely decorated, and I was selling a vibe, I wasn't selling music. So people came for the vibe, and then got accustomed to the music little by little so that was my strategy for education. You see. So if you and I think many people tried to attract clients only with music, but you can't force people, you can't force them. Just putting a DJ here and a nice sound system and just closed doors and nice no tech No, no like techno you won't come. You have something else to make people come to your parties. That's what I did. And today the community is big.
Farah Nanji: 45:04
And what is that vibe? What is it like at one of your events?
Javed Vayid: 45:09
Positive energy is like pure happiness. You know, the first reason I organise events is for me, because I love to party, I love to meet people, my friends, you know, networking, I told you, networking is the first thing and it's just increasing the network, not only my network, but it's a place where people meet for everything, and when you come to our parties, it's always it's always happiness everywhere, people are here, enjoy, you can feel as from the beginning, we play different types of music, we change places, often, we host a lot of international artists before COVID of course, and and the whole thing about partying on the beach, or in special places, we've a boutique format of 1500 to 2000 people you keep quality and and this quality in terms of mix city of my crowd is very mixed. You have everybody coming. It's a nice mix, like in London, you have about the same period of mixing different kinds of people, it's fun and creates the X Factor. So does that's how I would describe our events. very eclectic and positive.
Farah Nanji: 46:47
You mentioned that there's a few different types of music but are there any sub genres that really stand out?
Javed Vayid: 47:02
Yeah, I think each organiser they have has their own crowd. So my crowd is more about melodic techno exactly Progressive House Music yeah more about like positive sounds but dynamic so they can dance and jump on great music. When we start we start soft, usually Deep House progressive, we go techno sometimes we go we've heard cortex as well. It all depends on many factors. You know, we don't, we're not stuck in. In one drawer but euro we try to open our boundaries to many types of music. But of course we won't play. For example, Sega in Sai is a typical American Mauritian music in our festival.
Farah Nanji: 48:01
Yeah, of course. So what was it that you experienced in Ibiza all those years ago? What events? What clubs? To put the seed into your mind?
Javed Vayid: 48:12
That was a full story. I was invited by CÎROC by Diageo which is the biggest spirit company in the world. So I was the influencer in Mauritius. And they invited the only African influencers for a trip in Ibiza for one week. And we stay Yeah. Then I stayed a week additional with my friends. So two weeks in total, that we were completely invited for one full week going to the best places in Ibiza in all the best beach clubs, Lucia and you know, at Pasha, etc. We had the best tables we drink for free the whole night, Polly. So actually, I don't know it would have cost me I think 10 or 15,000 euros a week. It was all over that invited us to New York. So that was a high level. I fell in love with Ibiza with the whole thing. I stayed an extra week because I loved it so much. So I called one of my best friends, he joined me and my sister also came to join me. And after those two weeks, I can assure you had no energy left. So I came back to Mauritius. I slept a lot, and I had my nightclub at the time. And so then I started to organise under one part, these every week had at least 40 which was the name of the club. And that was the start of my introduction of underwear music in Ibiza and Mauritius.
Farah Nanji: 49:54
That's awesome. Yeah, it's hard to see how you wouldn't love it with that kind of introduction to the islands. Sounds like the dream man. It is quite sad because the islands have been really affected by COVID. Just to think that one person, like yourself, can go back to their country and become a pioneer and expose thousands of people is a phenomenal thing. You mentioned that Mauritius is COVID free, which is amazing. I know you organise a Music Festival, what are your thoughts then on the future of Mauritius nightlife?
Javed Vayid: 50:59
Okay, from my side, I am the most grateful person on Earth right now. Seeing all festivals being cancelled around the world, I can only be happy to be able to continue organising festivals in Mauritius. This is giving us an edge compared to over highly touristy countries in terms of exposure. I am hoping to get us artists to come to Mauritius in 2021. This year I tried but they are all afraid to travel. But at some point they will need money. And I guess they will miss playing for people that Mauritian even saying is looking right. As long as we stay COVID free for sure. For now we can cope with local people. We have the critical mass to be sustainable. But of course, to open just to be open musically. We need we need we need we need to bring international artists and hopefully tourists Of course who was
Farah Nanji: 52:10
And what do you look for in international artists when you look to bring them to the island?
Javed Vayid: 52:16
Many factors, it depends on the vibe and the month on the availability. So we are stuck, we contact different agencies to see if X, Y or Z on that date. For now, we've conducted the biggest one, at least because they are available, obviously. But they don't want to travel the least they did they tell you they can stay one year in lockdown if they want, because you have so much money. You know, it's all about money now, unfortunately.
Farah Nanji: 52:50
Do you think they are willing to take a slight pay cut because of the situation? Do you think that those fees for the top level guys would stay the same?
Javed Vayid: 53:01
No it will decrease for sure. Because it's the law of demand NOFA it's a basic economics principle. So no differently, we have to get to review their fees. And this is the reason why they don't accept to come now because they don't want to lower their fees. But at some point, you know, they won't have a choice. And the prices have increased dramatically. For the past few years, for the big electronic music artists, some of them are crazy 50,000 euro 100,000 euro for electronic artists. It's crazy. Though, the small clubs or organisers like me, it's just not doable, because so they're working just for big, big nightclubs in Las Vegas, so big festivals. Today, it's not about pleasing people or the crowd or the scene it's about making money just like any mainstream artist and EDM artist, you know, I understand them of course, it's a business I'm doing business too. But you have to have some kind of stability and also work for smaller countries and small organisers because otherwise it's not fail
Farah Nanji: 54:24
No of course I don't think that those clubs that in the past we're paying that level fee are gonna really exist anymore. I think whoever survives this pandemic in the music industry can't expect things to go back to how they were. There are also underground artists who can still connect with the crowd and I think that with COVID there'll be more demand for local DJs because they can do the same jobs as headliners. Mauritius has a fantastic local DJ scene. How do you see the island changing in the next five years? And what's what's next for you on your side?
Javed Vayid: 55:40
Well, tourism has taken a big hit. And I just see a recovery anytime soon, you see airship recovery, so it might be very long or not recover at all. So the first big change in Mauritius will be our tourism of many hotels will close and unfortunately, we will need to change our strategy to attract long term tourists, digital nomads, millennials, multimillionaires and billionaires. If we stick with it, we assure you multimillionaires and billionaires will come because their health is more important than their money. And we need to have a strong focus on ecotourism. And because becoming sanbao is difficult because we are perceived as a middle range destination, we were perceived as a luxury luxury destination 20 years ago, but now you know, it's my leaves, it's a shell, and we're in the middle range. And I don't see any other option to become sustainable quality over quantity, this is the other option, the only option. And I also see Mauritius becoming a technological hub for the Indian Ocean and in Africa with the political will and the right contacts, we can make it happen. But for that we need professionals in the institutions I was talking about transparency and accountability. Maybe I am dreaming too much. And and. And for us. For me, we are getting into the food security sector. Because at the beginning of our interview, I told you we are changing our business model. We believe food security will become one of the main sectors in the next few years. The idea is that we would control the full value chain from farm to procurement, food processing, distribution, and on our own restaurants. So it's a bit abstract maybe. But basically, we would own fish factories, goods and sheep farms. And we'll do the food processing and will have a store for food and logistics companies. And we will distribute to supermarkets, hypermarkets of our restaurants and our own restaurants. So it's more stable this way. Because even if COVID COVID is back, we would be more diversified, even if we stay in the food business. So I am now in the middle of a merger acquisition with a South African entity.
Farah Nanji: 58:52
That's awesome. I wish you all the luck. So finally, Javid. What do you want to be remembered for?
Javed Vayid: 59:05
I want to be remembered as someone who brought up positive contributions to this world as simple as that. So just a nice person who did nice things for people for his country. For the world, maybe. So we'll see.
Farah Nanji: 59:25
Awesome, well, Javid, thank you so much for taking part in Mission Makers and coming on the show. And yeah, wish you the best and hopefully see sometime soon, wherever it may be. It's been super interesting hearing about Javid's experiences with entrepreneurship and bringing entertainment to Africa. It's clear that the same principles for success apply globally no matter what industry you're in. And I think it's so true what he says about there being a link between a rebellious spirit and entrepreneurship. You do need to challenge the typical boundaries set by our world and have a comfortable appetite. Taking risks in order for revision to succeed. That being said, I also do agree that you shouldn't feel the pressures to have all the answers. Because at the end of the day, as he says, none of us can fully predict things that are not in our control. And as long as you keep your foundations and network strong that there's always a way forward. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to listen to this episode. I hope you're leaving with some great inspiration that can help you with whatever you want to achieve in your life. If you enjoyed today's episode, be sure to subscribe to your favourite podcast platform so you can be notified when a new episode is posted. It would also mean the world to us if you could rate and review the show and share it with your friends so we can reach as many people as possible. If you want to reach out to me as well you can get in touch directly @DJ.1nja on Instagram and Twitter. That's @DJ.1nja and also @MissionMakers on social media. Thanks so much again for listening. Until next time, Mission Makers stay safe and have an amazing week.