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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Video: Generation Start-up: 'My employees' made the first investment

Propertyfinder chief on beginnings and big dreams

Propertyfinder’s founder Michael Lahyani talks about his start-up experiences and outlook:

Who first invested in you?

My employees. All of my key staff, when they joined, took a cut of what they can get out in the market for a share of the business. For me, that’s an investment in myself. They believe in what I am building.

What other successful start-up do you wish you had started?

Airbnb - it’s right down my alley, I understand it very well and think it’s a brilliant business. It’s not something like Google where you need to be some kind of Stanford nerd PhD to build an algorithm that is going to rank all of the Web pages. Airbnb is just common sense.

What is your next big dream to make happen?

More transparency in the market. To get brokers and developers to understand that transparency is in their best interest because transparency drives foreign investment and foreign investment drives real estate. There is billions of dollars lying abroad waiting to invest in Dubai. The only thing that is stopping people from investing further is the lack of transparency.

What new skills have you learnt in the process of launching your business?

To understand that one sees a problem in a certain way, and there are 359 other ways of seeing it. If you can understand that, you solve a lot of things.

* Michael Fahy

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