September 2017

Tourism Alumnus with three major businesses in the Maldives shares his secrets to success

Read time: approx 1 mins

After coming to the UK to study at UCB in 2007, Abdulla Yasir returned to his home country of the Maldives with a dream of one day running his own business. Little did he know ten years on he would have three companies on the island to call his own.

Despite already holding good positions within high-end hotels before starting his master’s, Abdulla decided to come to UCB after being enticed by the hands-on modules available on the University’s tourism and business courses.

“I searched for postgraduate qualifications everywhere: both in my home country and overseas,” said Abdulla, who now sits on the board of the National Bank of the Maldives on top of his hectic work schedule. “But UCB’s master’s degrees really stood out to me because of the way they link classroom learning to the real world.”

On his return to the Maldives Abdulla worked in management roles for a string of highly successful hotel companies and suppliers, including Kerzner International – one of the leading operators of destination resorts, casinos and luxury hotels worldwide.

There he learned the ropes of the hotel industry before eventually becoming Managing Director of not one, not two, but three major hotel supplier businesses in the Maldives:  Simdi, Watermark and SuperSupply Ltd. 

“While I had good jobs before coming to England, it was studying at UCB that really opened my eyes to the world of business,” said Abdulla. “I think what best prepared me for running so many of my own companies later were the modules I studied in my degree – they taught me how to deal with every eventuality.”

Entrepreneurial Abdulla is currently on a fleeting visit to England as, following in her father’s footsteps, his daughter has come to the UK to study for a degree.

The advice this ambitious business mogul has for anyone taking up a business course at UCB is simply to do their very best – as talent will get you nowhere without hard work.

“If there is one thing I have learned in the ten years I have had since leaving this University, it is that you will never be something special if you don’t put in the hours. Lots of people have big ideas, but very few follow through on them. If you do that, and put everything you learn at UCB into practice, you will go very far.”

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