Taking risks out of his comfort zone, jumping into new opportunities and rapidly adapting to market circumstances, while coming up with instant plans that turn to be strategic rules, are keywords that can describe the young Syrian businessman Nadim Zidan,
The enthusiast who decided to follow his dreams in establishing his own business, passing through dramatic situations in his journey, that was enough for anyone else to surrender, but not Nadim Zidan
Meet this inspiring gentleman, and get the best out of his journey where the first question takes us to his homeland Syria
- Shall we ask what was the reason for leaving Syria, or the answer is obviously due to the war?
- I’ve been in dubai for 16 years, and that’s way before the war in Syria started, I had not yet graduated from the faculty of economics in Syria where I was doing my BBA, but I decided to see my chances in what I used to call, the land of thousand dreams, Dubai.
So I left Syria searching for a worldwide experience, and a chance to learn more, and enhance my skills, taking in consideration that Dubai welcomes hundreds of nationalities, and forms a solid base for anyone that seeks to interact with global cultures.
- How was your life in Syria before your decision to relocate to Dubai?
- Syria is one of the most beautiful places on earth for anyone to live in, a real heaven that I always remember in a good way, and it was never an easy choice to leave my beloved country and family and live abroad, but having my sister in UAE, and being focused on gaining international experience, helped me concentrating on my goals, and allowed me gather all the needed tools for the success that I always seek.
- But despite the great nature in Syria, it seems that opportunities to work and earn good money was not an easy task to achieve during your college life there, was it?
- Syria was always under sanctions, and we were forced to live in a closed economy policies until the early years of the millennium when the strategies implemented since the 1970s were no longer a right thing to do, and it’s been decided to move to an open market strategies, with telecommunication companies hiring fresh graduates with very high salaries when compared with government sector, followed by the birth of the renewed banking industry, where private banks were allowed to operate, creating thousands of chances for graduates, especially in my domain of business and economics,
So everything was sending the world a clear message that the Syrian economy was getting stronger, and the individual income ratio was jumping to new highs, as you started to see the latest cars in the streets owned by mid to low class people thanks to the new banking system that also allowed youngsters and limited income individuals to enjoy mortgages,
Indeed, Syria was turning into a heaven, not only by nature, but also by way of living, until the war decided to destroy everything, and the rest is clear to everyone regardless of their belongings or views that we are not here to question or doubt.
- What was the first impression you had when you first saw Dubai
- I’m staying here, was the first thing crossed my mind, when I saw the originality of UAE’s culture, the tradition that forms a solid base of this inspiring union that we are all proud of, I decided to live in the land of thousand dreams, and from day one I wanted to run here and there to waste no time in my rally towards the success that I always dreamt off.
It is true that Syria and everyone I know there were pulling my heart towards cutting my visit and going back to my water tank, but my mind got over my emotions, and the help of my sister and brother in law here in UAE putting me on the first step of my career in Dubai, and guiding me with limitless support, all of that gave me the push that I needed to know that yes, I belong to this city.
- We know you had turning points that shacked your life and changed your world, tell us about it
- The first one was losing my father when I was only 16, the world looked so dark where no sunshine could be seen or felt, I always thought he is a mountain, and seeing that mountain no longer exists was something bigger than my mind and heart to understand, I was forced to let go the teenage fun, and way of living, and star thinking and acting like a man at early stages, especially when my brother decided to move abroad, searching for another sources of income to support our family, allowing us to resume studying and join university, and graduate from it, that period was no candies and rainbows at all, but we passed it as a family, with love, and faith, and it helped me becoming a better person, more mature and rational if I could summarize, but it also paused that young heart that was shining in craziness and joy.
The second turning point was losing a tremendous portion of my investments during the world economic crises, followed by losing my real estate and savings in Syria during the war, a situation that affected me by all aspects, and forced me to almost start from the zero again, and again, especially that it came in a period where I left my job as a banker, and started my own business.
- We will come to this point and talk more about this huge leap of faith that you took leaving a very successful banking career and starting your own business, but first, let’s talk about the third turning point in your life which you always describe as the one that almost cost you your life?
- Indeed, losing my beloved Sister was and still something that melted my heart, and caused my mind to surrender as nothing in this life started to have meaning, and nothing after that loss was worthy for me to stand up again and fight for it.
I lose the meaning of life itself, I surrendered to my financial loses, and to the idea that I just want this life to end as I was in deep sadness, to the degree that my body stopped listening to me, and I felt that I am totally lost for the first time in my life, but that status didn’t take long, because of the support of my family, and my other sister that got me to the UAE first place, their love, and especially hers (as I moved to stay with her during the hard times) all of that opened my eyes to the greatest lesson that me, or anyone can ever learn, I realized that, you can’t waste your life moaning what you lost while you should be thankful of what you didn’t lose, and be blessed of what you are still having, whether in life or business, I realized that God was always by my side even when I wasn’t, and hat my family deserves each minute of my time as their love is the real motivation to me in this life to keep on moving, and being the successful person who makes them proud, and so I pulled myself back together, and started a new chapter of my life, stronger, and wiser.
- that is an inspiring way, to learn from our weaknesses and it is one of the many reasons why you are considered an idol and a role model for young businessmen, which leads me to the following question about your success in the banking career
- I started as a teller, and learnt that to succeed in this career, you have to be fast and accurate, and so I did, and I scored an unbreakable record of working more than a year with zero errors whatsoever, and that gave me a great push into my banking career, knowing that I can achieve what others may see it as impossible, when I have the right mind set, and the right dedication to what I do, until I master it, and do it in my own way.
This success moved me from operations to sales, to retail, getting promoted regularly until reaching the wealth management sector, where I decided that in order to succeed in it, I have to know everything about it, and so I did my MBA in investment from the Robert Kennedy College in Swiss – a partner program with University Of Wales.
All of that helped me winning banker of the year 2013 where my numbers spoke about itself, setting higher records each month of that journey that I am proud of, until reaching the Million Dollar Round Table in USA, a prestigious association that gathers the best of the best around the world from the baking and investment sectors.
- What a journey! To start from the very basic teller job, until mastering the investment and wealth management risks, how did you motivate yourself, and why did you decide to quit all of that?
- To me, I always consider that success is rented, and the rent is due every day, when I looked at my sales chart being the top, I always knew that tomorrow is a new start of the month or the year, and that chart will have to start again from zero, so I always prepared myself for a new round of this long fight against ego, and joy of victory, being convinced again that what others see as impossible, I prove it achievable, and when I do achieve it, I try to double it, and set a new record time after time, until this success started to be a burden on everybody else, and the work environment wasn’t as friendly and welcoming as It was for over ten year, I decided it is time to jump of this comfort zone, and start my own business, to win or lose was not the equations, to do it or not, was a life time decision, and I will surely make it again and again, should you bring me back to the same point where I quit that banking career for good.
- And here where you started your first steps towards Hollywood Stars, the brand that you created, and believed in
- Hollywood Stars is not only a brand to me, it is my heart beat, I eat breath and live by its progress, and I am giving all my experience, and passion towards its success, from the day that i started in 2014 focusing only on medical tourism, I decided to have a flexible long term strategy, that allows me expand vertically and add different activities under this umbrella, as I know the market can let you down while you are having your afternoon nap, taking lessons from the previous crisis that shocked us all, and so time passed and proved my point so true, as medical tourism that used to form around 70% of the company’s business, almost stopped in 2018 due to another crisis.
- So how did you survive this new crisis, and what is your advice for young businesses that face their first crisis?
- From day one in establishing Hollywood Stars as a medical tourism provider, I included the possibility of strategic changes in the feasibility study, and the business plan, so I started adding new activities to the business, as the company expanded to include, event management, fashion and modelling, celebrity management, social media management, and marketing, all under one umbrella, but with dedicated teams of freelance experts on each of the five activities, so when there is a drop in the market of one activity, another one will cover, and the overall business can survive, and get into solid profit.
And for young businesses, you have to be flexible in your planning, and have a supporting activity that can give you a push when your major business gets a hit, and you will have to know that sometimes, cutting your lose is better than waiting a future predicted profit, however, you will always have to get to the basics, and see if you can reply that same question that you asked yourself before opening your business, ‘is this still a demand in the market, am I still providing unique product or service’.
- How do you rank Hollywood Stars now in Dubai’s market and international one?
- I think we can ask our clients and fans such questions, as they will be in a better position to describe us, but if I will have to reply, then I always see us taking the first steps in our journey to be a remarkable brand, as to me that standard is always high.
- You won best medical tourism agency for the past two years, and best celebrity management agency for 2019 by MEA MARKETS LONDON, how does this encourage you to achieve more?
- What matters more than winning, is what are you going to do next, and our plans for 2020 will be a bit surprising for everyone around us, as next year we are reading a real recovery to the market and economy around us, creating new chances to invest and succeed.
- My last question will be a personal one, to further know Nadim Zidan the kind gentleman away of the serious businessman
- My personality is the same whether in a business meeting or a friendly gathering, I am always a positive person, that respects others, and treat them with kindness as my family raised me, in love with sports and music, and my passion is always to travel, and learn more about the world’s cultures and traditions, and yes, still single, as chasing corporate success kept me away from personal life, but who knows, this might also be a surprise that 2020 brings along.