CEO, Mindful Muslim Ltd
Postgraduate Diploma in Communication Studies
He was always a businessman, says communication studies alumnus Mohamad Akhtaar bin Abdul Ghani (Mohd) who is now the CEO of Mindful Muslim Ltd and founder of Mindful Muslim, the world’s first Islamic mindfulness app.
“Mindful Muslim was developed to be a source of inspiration and comfort for Muslims around the world, and help them improve their emotional and mental wellbeing through guided sleep talkdowns of Islamic stories. Since the app was launched in 2020, it has been downloaded more than 120,000 times, it’s rated as a five-star app and we now have subscribers from all over the world.”
Inspired by his own struggle to wind down from his busy job, Mohd pitched the business idea for Mindful Muslim at AUT’s entrepreneurship competition X Challenge while he was studying at AUT. The idea won the Supreme prize and more than $20,000 in cash and prizes. Mohd attributes the app’s exponential growth and success to his participation in AUT’s entrepreneurship programmes like X Challenge.
He is proud of what he has achieved in his career so far.
“In my role as the CEO, I’m responsible for managing teams, raising start-up funds, looking after investor relationships and steering the ship forward. In addition to the success of our app, I’m also proud of becoming an author for some of the stories on the app, and I’ve also published and distributed three motivational books.”
Meant to be
After building a successful career in digital marketing, Mohd came to AUT as an international student from Singapore to further develop his skills through postgraduate study in communications.
“When I was living in Singapore, I built a digital marketing agency from the ground up. I was running the agency successfully but felt that it was time to expand my skillset. AUT’s Postgraduate Diploma in Communication Studies looked like a good way to achieve this goal.”
While he thoroughly enjoyed his time at AUT, one experience was the obvious highpoint for him.
“Winning the X Challenge competition was definitely the highlight for me, and I appreciate the business relationships and networks I gained from this experience. When I was in college, my nickname was X so when I saw the X Challenge competition, I knew it was meant to be. I gained so much from the experience – X Challenge brought me into the world of entrepreneurship, tech start-ups and venture capital. It was my rocket forward.”
A passion for entrepreneurship
Mohd says he knew fairly early on that he wanted to be an entrepreneur one day.
“When I was 16, I read the Richest man in Babylon and Rich Dad Poor Dad. That’s when I first realised that I wanted to do something related to entrepreneurship.”
He has some great advice for other students who are interested in becoming an entrepreneur and creating their own start-up.
“My advice would be to read the books Mastery and The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. Then start your own journey and don’t look back.”