DAD.CEO had the pleasure to sit down with Mohammad Zahoor, a well-known philanthropist who happens to be the CEO of ISTIL Group and proud father to twin girls Arabella and Mirabella.
What is the best advice you have received on being a father?
Mr. Zahoor: Respect your father and all your elders.
What lessons are you hoping to instill in your children?
Mr. Zahoor: Be hard-working and dedicated in all that you do. Set yourself high goals and if you achieve them, aspire to even higher success.
Mohammad Zahoor vacationing with his daughters
What would be your top 5 tips for being a successful DAD.CEO?
• Wake up with the kids and see them off to school.
• Help them do their homework.
• Be strict about their use of gadgets and social media.
• Be present in every aspect of their lives.
• Do not be afraid to find your inner child and enjoy their play.
• Aspire to be a hero for your team.
• Be strict in setting goals.
• Listen to the advice of those who work for you but don’t be stubborn and if their advice makes more sense than yours, take it.
• Don’t push employees too hard; acknowledge their rights for rest and relaxation.
• Take care of your employees by providing a good workplace and respect their wider needs. Work isn’t just about money.
How do you balance work versus family life? Do you have a system that works while mentoring as a father?
Mr. Zahoor: My weekdays belong to my work. This is must when you are operating at my level in business. You have to be 110% focused.
But my evenings, weekends and holidays belong to my family. I never compromise when it comes to being with my children and wife, otherwise, you are cheating them and telling them that work is more important than they are. Your children should never be made to feel like they are the second choice in after your business. You are the center of their universe, so you need to act like it and give them everything you can in return.
"Your children should never be made to feel like they are the second choice to your business."
Has your approach to being a Father changed since raising your first children who are now grown up, and now have 2 young daughters?
Mr. Zahoor: Absolutely. This is because when my first two children were born I was struggling to make a success of my business. Consequently, I had very little time to devote to family matters. However, now that I have built my business I have much more time to spend with my two little girls.
What top 3 lessons did your father leave you that are still relevant in today’s world?
• Never take a bribe under any circumstances.
• No matter how wealthy you become never forget your relatives and friends and always try to help if they haven’t been as fortunate.
• Work for the betterment of the community. Learn to give it back.
Mohammad Zahoor with his daughters Mirabella & Arabella at the Kamaliya Charity Event in Kyiv, Ukraine
About Mohammad Zahoor
Mohammad Zahoor is a British businessman of Pakistani origin. He is the founder and owner of the ISTIL Group, the former publisher of the Kyiv Post, the co-founder of the Ukrainian Music Awards (YUNA) and a well-known philanthropist.
In 1996, Mr. Zahoor bought a Steel Mill in Ukraine as well as other steel mills in various countries. From these acquisitions, he built his business ISTIL Group into a successful business. As an authority on financial matters in Ukraine, Zahoor has been interviewed in the Financial Times and has written for many international publications.
In 2003, Zahoor married Ukrainian singer Kamaliya. They have two daughters, Mirabella and Arabella. He has a daughter, Tanya, and a son, Arman, from his first marriage.