The beat of his own drum

Visit the Tin Drum across from Aderhold Learning Center any day of the week and you’ll see the building teeming with students and local businessmen stopping for a hurried lunch break.

Asad Mazahir, a 21-year-old senior finance major at Georgia State, climbed his way to the top of it all. This is Mazahir’s first year as a business owner after being in the restaurant industry as a dish washer, busboy, server, cook and manager for seven years.

“I’ve learned to make every position a learning experience,” Mazahir said. “Regardless of what your pay scale or status, take pride in what you do and make it a worthwhile experience while it lasts.”

Mazahir learned most of what he knows about business operations from his jobs at IHOP. He says he has always wanted to own a business, and Tin Drum is just the first step.

“There are two reasons I decided to purchase Tin Drum,” said Mazahir, who bought the restaurant from its previous owner in January. “The first is that it’s a lucrative business investment and, secondly, it is fairly convenient for me to operate as I’m always on campus for school.”

Mazahir saw that Tin Drum’s appeal is that it is a relatively new idea and has bright opportunities in the future.

“I just could not give up the opportunity to jump on board,” said Mazahir.

And the leap of faith paid off. It is very difficult for young entrepreneurs to gain enough trust from angel investors, who invest in on-going businesses and start-up businesses, so Mazahir relied on his family and friends to help him finance his purchase.

Asad Mazahir in front of Tin Drum.

“I love my work and I love my family even more,” he said. His family is the most important aspect in his life, as they’ve been with him through the good and bad times. And now that he is a restaurant owner, he is feeling the benefits of his hard work.

“It is so rewarding to have your own business because you get to control your own destiny,” he said. “As an entrepreneur, you take the risk and reap the rewards to feel the pride of building a business through your own leadership, ideas and efforts.”

Tin Drum is only the first step in Mazahir’s business plans, but for now he says he has a simple goal for the restaurant: “Grow, then grow fast.”

Mazahir has advice for students who wish to go down the same path as him.

“First, do your homework,” he said. “Do the work to know the markets, the competition and the capital resources needed to succeed. Second, if you have an idea, put it into action and stick with it. Lastly, do what you love; if you do what you love, you won’t work a day in your life!”