A week in the life of... Siddiq Farid, founder of Smart Crowd
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A week in the life of… Siddiq Farid, founder of Smart Crowd

A week in the life of… Siddiq Farid, founder of Smart Crowd

Smart Crowd is part of Sharjah’s Entrepreneur Centre’s (Sheera) seed programme

Gulf Business


I’m in the office before 8:00am to plan the week and what goals need to be achieved. As a tech start-up, we are a lean team and most of us work remotely, so it’s important our responsibilities and expectations are clearly laid out. I email the team to set the agenda and update my calendar. In the afternoon I’m off to Sharjah to meet with Sharjah’s Entrepreneur Centre’s (Sheera) venture team. Smart Crowd is part of their seed programme and we have a weekly one-on-one coaching session. I squeeze in an Instagram story before heading to my weekly football match with friends in the evening.


Sunday is about planning, so Monday is for executing. Even though I run a tech company, I’m old fashioned with to-do lists and checklists. The feeling of crossing off something on a piece of paper can do a lot for your psychology. I join my design guy to create and edit content for our social channels and website, and meet the tech team to test and develop our platform. I then catch-up with my dear friend and fellow co-founder Musfique Ahmed. He is our tech lead, and we have a fantastic working relationship. We spend some time working on innovation and how we can future-proof our business.


I have breakfast with the kids this morning. It’s important for me to spend time with them, as they are my biggest motivation. I recently started a financial literacy series on YouTube – SmartCrowdAE – with my friend Binod, so I plan the topics and script for it. Then I catch up with our real estate investment team lead by one of the co-founders, Abdul Kadir. We have developed our own proprietary 100-data-point screening criteria that each property goes through to get a score. We look at quantitative and qualitative characteristics, and then do a deep dive before making a decision on qualifying the property.


I spend most of the day with Binod shooting videos. We tend to cover multiple topics in one recording and edit later to build a library of content. After this, I catch up with my compliance team to discuss a few outstanding items with the regulators, and discuss ways to improve our compliance and regulatory infrastructure. This is one area that is very important to our business – more so than the tech. We are building a business that allows people to put their hard earned savings to work in real estate, so we wanted to build the trust and ensure their investments are safeguarded.


Thursday is our ‘team and experiment’ day. Being lean and working remotely for the most part, Thursdays give us the opportunity to come together to have fun and come up with new experiments to help our business grow. This could be as simple as creating different versions of our homepage to test which design or messaging works best, or running a social viral campaign. No idea is a bad idea, especially on Thursday. It’s a great opportunity for the team to work together, have fun and be a big part of the company’s success.


This is the best day of the week as it is family day. I try not to do any work unless we have a hard deliverable. I take my two little ones to their weekly football classes, followed by Friday prayers and lunch at home. Now that the weather is improving we could be at the beach, park, in the mountains hiking or getting ready for a camping trip. But this week we stay in to play some board games, have a movie night and do some craft projects. One Friday I built the kids a castle with drawbridge and hidden tunnels from left over packing boxes.


This is also family day, but a different family – Smart Crowd family day. Some of our team members are part-time and have other jobs or obligations during the week, so Saturday gives us an opportunity to sit down and work together. This day is usually focused on current tasks and deadlines at hand, but also to plan for the weeks ahead. We are a young start-up so we are very much focused on the present and our next milestones. Saturday evening is when I try to find time for myself to mentally reset and prepare for the week ahead.


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