Interviewed by: Simran Kaur, Shehnaz Ghadiali
Halal Angels Network was launched in May of 2020 with an aim to tap into the $5 trillion Halal consumer market. First of its kind, the global investor group was established with the vision to promote innovation and entrepreneurship and startups in the Halal market.
We interviewed Dr Tausif Malik, an Indian American serial entrepreneur and founder of Halal Angels Network
What is Halal Angels Network?
Tausif: It is an international network investing in startups which are Sharia-compliant. Shariah-compliant firms are those which have a social impact, are environmentally sustainable, deal ethically with stakeholders such as suppliers and employees, and follow CSR (corporate social responsibility) practices.
The network will be investing in startups belonging majorly to the cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, modest fashion, education, agriculture, healthcare and financial services in the halal space.
What exactly are Halal Firms?
Tausif: Halal does not only mean a set of Islamic rules about meat, but it incorporates everything from medicines to cosmetics. It also includes food, catering, and clothing such as sportswear. Halal products are typically known for being pork-free, alcohol-free, and for the specific method of slaughter. Halal also means how you treat your employees. Additionally, it includes the concept of “No Interest”, any loans that require repayment with interest added are not permissible.
How did you come up with the idea of Halal Angel Network?
Tausif: I have been an entrepreneur all my life. While doing my research, I came across the Muslim consumer market. I founded America’s second-largest competition Muslim spelling bee and received a few awards for the same. Having completed a PhD in Muslim consumer Market, I founded Halal Angel Network after meeting entrepreneurs from Pune to help and support them.
Who is a part of your team at Halal Angels?
The team at Halal Angels Network comprises Dr Tausif Malik as the founder, Prof. Asad Zafir Hassan as the Chairman of the Board of Advisors, and Bhaskar Negi as Director of operations among others.
Why angel investing over VC?
Tausif: Venture Capital is costly in terms of distribution and maintenance. Every Venture Capital is compliant to a particular country’s legislation. There are a lot of bureaucratic issues dealing with cross-border investments. Angel Investing involves zero compliance and does not involve endorsing anyone to give money.
The halal market is substantial in Islamic economies of the Middle East and Southeast Asia. However, Halal Angel plans to be the first to enter the African Halal market with a strategic partnership with SSC Capital of Tanzania.
Can you give us more details about your partnership with SSC Capital?
Tausif: Halal Angels Network has primarily focused on Africa as I believe that Africa is booming in terms of the Halal market and has great opportunities. My aim is to make Halal Angels Network a Global Angel Network (not country or city specific). I want to help Venture Capital firms and family practices to get on board for a particular country. To accomplish this, we have partnered with SSC Capital.
SSC Capital is a corporate advisory and investment management firm in Dar es salaam, Tanzania. SSC Capital helps Halal Network Angels with due diligence and has a background check of a particular start-up and gives a report. This helps keep the entire process authentic and compliant. Halal Angels Network and SSC Capital work together to co-host events in Africa, help connect investors with businesses, entrepreneurs & startups & offer consulting services.
What other strategic partnerships can you tell us about?
Tausif: In addition to SSC Capital, we have formed more strategic partnerships in various countries to increase our presence. We have teamed up with UK based fintech company, Delio. This innovative tech partnership with Delio would provide an opportunity to showcase Halal based startups to a global audience, increasing the deal flow.
We have also joined forces with Halal Board India and Halal Laboratories to evaluate the startups for being Halal and Sharia-compliant. This partnership is necessary because Dr Najm Rehan founded and promoted Halal Board India offers an exclusive combination of Islamic, business and scientific expertise.
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