The story of Ibrahim Nasir- Managing Director of Guraabu Trade & Travels
12 September 2017
Ibrahim Nasir has steered his life towards a road of success. At the end of a journey through hard work and patience he is now successfully the Managing director and founder of Guraabu Trade & Travels. He shares the story behind his company inception and some of his experiences that has shaped his career up to be where he is today.
Guraabu Trade & Travels cater to different fields of the travel & tourism industry but the companies primary focus is on rearing and managing sea vessels targeted towards the live-aboard and luxury safaris of the Maldives. Mr. Ibrahim has operated four safaris throughout the company history and is presently working on his fifth sea vessel, a luxury cruise liner.
The idea behind Mr.Ibrahim’s latest project is to build a luxury cruise line aimed at pensioners and people enjoying their retirement. The boat which is now in its final phase has already been reared and is awaiting the completion of the necessary legal documentations needed to have it shipped over to the Maldives.
Ibrahim started his career in the early 1990s working on multiple cargo fleets and ships doing handling various tasks and positions on-board. He used this time of working on ships as an opportunity to explore and to see the world.
“As a young man, My main motive for working on the cargo fleets was to see the world and to experience life outside the confines of our small, developing country” Mr. Ibrahim explains.
At the end of one of his travels as he was relaxing at home when one of his close friends approached him with a proposition to stop travel and offered him a job at Fihalhohi Island Resort as an airport representative which he ended up taking.
As Mr.Ibrahim continued working as an airport Representative for Fihalhohi Island Resort, He sparked the interest of LTU, A German Tour operator that also offered him the position of an airport representative. The company at the time only employed foreign workers and Mr.Ibrahim was the only local representing the company. As such a host of opportunities were presented to him and before he knew it he was catering to over 300-400 guests per day.
“My popularity within the airport continued on an upward trend, and while working for Fihalhohi and LTU another resort had also asked him to be there airport representative. Sure the workload seems heavy for one person to bear but as it so happened most of my clients from LTU were being transferred to the resorts that I was already representing which made this more than manageable”
Later in 1994 while still working as an airport representative he was inspired to open and register a company for himself. This company was named Guraabu Trade & Travels. He observed through his experience with guests that operating safaris would not be a big hassle so long as one had two or three operators to work with.
“Initially I began by managing a foreign couples safari until later it became my own. Afterwards I ended up renting a few boats before deciding that I would rear my own. In my earlier days I remember thinking that rearing a boat by myself would prove to be a difficult task but as I got into it and started rearing my own safari I soon realised that this was something I could manage by myself ”
Balancing work between an airport representative and the growth of his business he worked on getting clients for Guraabu Travels by passing his business card to guests that he received which made up the bulk of customers for Guraabu Trade & Travels.
In 1997, Ibrahim had a fateful encounter with a Portuguese Guest who would later become his business partner. He went to receive his client like any normal day but as fate would have it his transfer got delayed leaving Mr.Ibrahim with the guest at the jetty for some time in which they ended up bonding and discussing their lines of work.
As it so happened this particular guest had a keen interest on the live-aboard and safari industry. The guest promised that if he were to come back to the Maldives again, Mr. Ibrahim would be his point of contact. He also suggested focusing more on his own business and even offered to invest in it. It so happened that this particular guest frequented twice if not once every year and sure to his word kept in touch with Mr.Ibrahim. As such Mr.Ibrahim made sure that the guest had access to the latest offers by safari and cruise operators and this continued for the next twenty years to come.
“He was always like a father figure to me, a man filled with wisdom. He would always advise me to start thinking of the future and start paying more attention to my own work and that he was ready to invest on me whenever I was ready to take my business to the next level” Explained Mr.Ibrahim.
It wasn't until just last year when Mr.Ibrahim realised that in-order to achieve the success that he wanted within this industry, he would have to develop his business a bit more aggressively and finally took up on his long running friends offer to be an investor, from this point on he began work with his business partner and has now began work on the rearing of his fifth boat.