Pepsi co-heir and entrepreneur Asghar Akhtar Khan tells all in interview


Thank you Mr Khan for this opportunity to ask you a few questions , you are one of the brightest businessmen in the Middle East and Asia at the moment, congratulations on your new project Bio Lab Exotique together with Ollia Tzarina .

What are your views on Coronavirus ? Do u believe in any theories ?

First of all I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the families of all the victims and kindly urge people to carry out all necessary precautions very seriously to avoid further spreading this contagion and inevitably costing us more lives.The Coronavirus has shaken the global world order and should not be taken lightly.People need to keep practicing social distancing in order to keep the more vulnerable people in our society healthy.By not doing so national healthcare systems would be put at risk of being overwhelmed and I also hope that a vaccine and widespread testing come through soon as well. The majority of theories we have been hearing unfortunately all happen to be conspiracy theories which is causing misinformation to spread and cannot be backed by reality or rational argument.

Do you think we should ban China in some way? Maybe start producing more goods domestically?

No absolutely not. It is completely immoral and unethical to single out any nation or its people in any situation or circumstances whatsoever. China are important players in both large scale manufacturing & production and rank amongst the highest diaspora in the world in terms of consumer spending power globally. Their participation in trade & commerce is essential to global economic recovery. With China’s YOY industrial output being at all time lows due to Covid-19 we are already witnessing global GDP growth forecasts falling to disturbingly lower levels as China happens to be at the heart of the global supply chain. If a country wanted to start producing more goods domestically in theory that would sound appealing but the reality is that your cost of capital and doing business would be significantly higher as that would drive up your raw material costs as procurement from China is relatively much more competitive and cost efficient.

How did you decide to go from banking into the celebrity world with Ollia Tzarina ? Are you not scared of publicity that a working relationship with her may bring you?

During my tenure in corporate & investment banking I was exposed to various segments of the financial and industrial sphere, It really gave me the insight and practical experience that I was hoping to gain after completing my higher education. During the course of my banking career I spent a lot of time researching various industries and conducting valuable due diligence regarding their financial metrics and future growth prospectives. It was during this research that I stumbled upon the beauty industry where skincare cosmetics in particular stood out to me. I would often describe it as a sector with exceptional potential for growth and development. Eventually after concluding my career as a banker a few years later Ollia and I got in touch with each other who at the time was experiencing massive success with her faux fur jackets brand “Tzarina” .She eventually went on to sell the brand and that is when we foresaw the idea of venturing into the cosmetics skincare industry together. No doubt this new venture will expose me to publicity and the celebrity world but at the end of the day what holds the most value to me is the knowledge and experience that I will undoubtably gain along the way.Its the same mindset behind why I worked in corporate & investment banking. So I am certainly not scared and excited for what the future has in store for us.

How do busy entrepreneurs such as yourself take care of their skin?

Generally I have always used regular skincare products for men, but only up until recently have I started using organic Argan oil. Being a heavy user of aftershave products I decided to apply Argan oil to my face once when I was done shaving and it certainly made my skin appear fuller and healthier. After all Argan oil has been used as A herbal and medicinal remedy across Africa for centuries so it did not come as a surprise to me.

Name 3 top locations to relax in Dubai

In a city such as Dubai, it is difficult to narrow down so many great options. But If I were to choose it would surely come down to The Al Maha desert resort, The Jumeirah beach hotel, and lastly The Holistic Haven retreat & spa.

What is your advice to the young guys who dont have a lot of capital but wish to start a business?

The current phase we are all witnessing is one day going to be defined as the scientific revolution, and I say this because at no other point in time as mankind had such unprecedented access to information and knowledge nor have we ever simultaneously seen such rapid advances in technology and AI. This current scenario has spawned numerous opportunities for people who would have once considered it impossible to raise capital, which also explains why we see so many startups with multibillion dollar valuations propping up so frequently. There truly has never been a better time to start a business as now an average person has much easier access to capital in the form of VC’s,Incubators,Accelerators and many Angel Investors who are all seeking to be the financiers behind the solution to a problem or need. The most important aspect is to point out a niche or industry trending in your country or region and how you can further improve and innovate within it.Once you know what to address start to scale it out and build a sustainable business model which will appeal to both the masses and also the individuals or entity you will be presenting your plan too. There is so much more I could elaborate upon regarding this topic but Ive tried to make it as brief as possible.