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Cardiff character: Muhammad Yasir Yaseen

Muhammad Yasir Yaseen, a phone accessories sales person, recalls his road to success that begun with one pound in his pocket

Yasir's store in St Davids Centre

Moving across half the world to fulfil a dream surely demands courage and faith. Muhammad Yasir Yaseen, a phone accessories sales person in St Davids Centre, hides both of those attributes behind his warm but shy smile.  Seeing him everyday serving dozens of customers in his unmistakeable blue sweater and black trousers, you can barely imagine how hard he had to work his way up.

Coming to Birmingham in 2001, Yasir studied at college and than IT at the University. More than one year ago, he received an opportunity to set up his own business and he didn’t hesitate to move to Cardiff where he is taking up his Masters degree in computer science at the same time.


Roots and faith

He left his family in Pakistan with one pound in his pocket, at just 19. He was persistent in achieving his goals, “My father always told me – work hard, do your best, don’t cheat with anyone and remember that if something is not yours it does not belong to you.” Indeed, parents mean a lot to Yasir who is also married and father of two children, four and two years old respectively.

“It was very difficult for me when I came to Britain, I missed my family”, he sighs. Despite the fact that he spoke perfect English since he arrived here, it took him a long time to forge new friendships.

But even after ten years spent in UK, Yasir did not forget his roots and he draws his force from his culture and faith. “As our Prophet says, live your day as if it was your last day,” he says.


Warm heart, feet on the ground

Yasir loves his job and he always tries to do his best to help his customers. “ I remember that old lady who came to me one day to unlock her mobile phone but then she didn’t know how to use it. So I told her – you will sit here and I will teach you how to use your mobile phone. And so while I was serving other customers I explained to her how to use her mobile. In the end, she wanted to pay me but I said no, we have to help each other.”

He always finds a way to motivate his employees and the best way to do it is to give them an example. Waking up in the morning, he is looking forward to a new day, meeting new people and helping them. “When you wake up and already you think “I don’t want to do this or that” the day will never pass by.” Yasir knows how important it is to work hard and he doesn’t give up his ambitions. “Keep your track – run if you want to run – but keep your track and hit your target.”

Despite his eventual success, Yasir keeps his feet on the ground. “Success means a lot to me, like to everyone, but once you reach the success, than it means nothing to you,” he jests.