It’s the stuff of fairy tales and perhaps what every impoverished child in a third-world country dreams about: getting out of poverty and turning their passion into a multi-million-dollar enterprise. For Arham Muhammad (today a 28-year-old technology developer, AI specialist, and advertising guru), growing up was no fairy tale. “My traumatic childhood is something that I can, unfortunately, never forget. Yet I live with the knowledge that I’ve managed to overcome difficult personal and business obstacles to achieve my biggest and boldest dreams.”
Big and bold were Arham’s dreams, indeed. At only seven years of age, he was dissecting electronics to understand how they worked. Before Twitter and Facebook became a thing, Arham founded Zstash, an interest-based social media platform built from scratch. “I remember being so obsessed with it, and I would prioritize working over necessities in life such as eating and sleeping,” said Arham. Unfortunately, by 2009 the enterprise didn’t take off as expected, and Arham later decided not to take it to the world stage.
Between 2004 and 2007, Arham developed an interest in reverse engineering, cybersecurity, and forensics, and helped find vulnerabilities on the websites of Microsoft, Sony, EA, AOL, and ESPN. Most of his knowledge and skills, such as devising pen testing applications and writing a proof of concept, are self-taught. “I didn’t have a tutor or receive instruction on computers or programming. My interest and skills developed from my curiosity, which led to my learning everything about code from online sources and books.”
Unfortunately, Arham had to leave school due to financial constraints. “I felt so embarrassed,” noted Arham, “and for two years, life was a struggle to survive. My dream of becoming self-sufficient and buying my mom a good home felt more and more out of reach.”
Fortunately, Arham never doubted his inner entrepreneurship. “No matter how hard things got, I knew that if I didn’t take my future into my own hands, my options would be limited. So, with next to nothing, I started my second business in 2012, just as I hit twenty.”
Arham’s business developed from an advertising concept he’d been working on. At the time, organic reach and digital marketing were booming. Knowing nothing of business or sales, Arham reached out to celebrities and public figures via cold emailing. “Those first couple of emails were tough! No one responded. But I persisted until I landed my first client.”
In 2016, at the age of 24, Arham was a multi-millionaire, consistently hitting the 9-figure mark and to date grossing over $100M+ through his various ventures. Arham attributes a large part of his business success to his knowledge of scalability. “I completely understand and appreciate that business is not linear, but I have quite often used that to my advantage to ride waves, focusing on aggressive scaling right off the bat.”
Four years on, this remarkable young man is working on developing ground-breaking AI automation tools to help revolutionize the digital marketing industry, simultaneously awaiting patent approval for a new proprietary technology he created. “At the end of the day, I was just a nobody from Pakistan. Completely broke at one point in my life and stuck in an endless cycle of despair. But as the saying goes, ‘The harder you work, the luckier you get.’”
To learn more about Arham Muhammad, or become a part of his businesses, contact him via his LinkedIn page.