Ammar Ahmad is the young founder of AMR Hair and Beauty, whose dedication to his craft has left other businesses in his wake. His story begins at grassroots, in South-West Sydney with five siblings and a mother who raised all six children on her own. He remembers the financial struggle of his childhood with a painful familiarity but for him, it is an incentive to keep striving forward – not a form of self-pity, but a deep, personal brand of motivation.
Ammar’s journey embodies the rags to riches trope; a story of hope, and determination, and a refusal to give up. “I went through a great deal of hardship and I didn’t want my mum to have to worry about me anymore, which has been a huge factor for me when it came to my business. I wanted to be able to provide a better life for my family; to prove to myself that I could prevail through adversity,” he tells ECX.
Success certainly didn’t happen overnight. It took many years of hard work and making plenty of mistakes along the way.
“Witnessing my mum raise six kids on her own inspired me. I made a promise to myself that no matter how hard things got, I would keep pushing until I had successfully achieved what I had set out to do. Once I complete one challenge, I create a new one and use the same motivation to fulfil the next task.”
His spark for entrepreneurship developed from a young age, where his interest in business gave him the desire to venture into various business avenues. “In high school, I purchased MP3 players from Alibaba and sold them at school to other students. It didn’t work out, needless to say. But after working within the beauty industry for some time and getting those glimpses of success, it just made sense to move forward within this industry.”
Having noticed a gap in the hair and beauty industry for quality products that were still affordable, fourteen-year-old Ammar worked hard to compensate for his youth and inexperience. “Age was one of the key barriers for me when trying to get loans, signing leases and buying from suppliers. No one wants to fund a fourteen-year-old with no business experience. I was still in school at the time and my mother insisted that I finished Year 12 before I leave school to pursue my business. I had to work hard to balance work life and schooling for a few years.”
“There are always times where you feel like giving up. You sacrifice many things for success and things aren’t always easy. I reinvested every cent back into the company and didn’t have a social life, while still living at home with my Mum. My company failed many times before I finally got it right. One of my very first businesses burned to the ground after many years of hard work. At times, I thought I couldn’t move forward due to my age and the struggles that came with starting a business so young. I just kept pushing boundaries and finding ways to overcome the misfortune. Every time I felt close to quitting, I thought of my family and how I wanted to prove to myself that I could do this.”
Editor/Writer for ECX.