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Saad Khan : Must-Have Skills for Entrepreneurs in 2024

Saad Khan is the Founder & CEO of GameCentric & Gamers Hub Media Events. With over two decades of experience collaborating with renowned brands such as Intel, Dell, HP, Acer, Lenovo, Samsung, and Apple, Saad possesses profound insights into brand dynamics, consumer behaviour, relationship management, and a keen understanding of the MENA region. Today, they share their tips on the must-have skills for entrepreneurs in 2024.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what got you into entrepreneurship?

I'm a passionate sports enthusiast who has enjoyed playing tennis, football, and cricket since my teenage years. This love for physical sports and competition naturally led me to the world of Gaming and Esports, where I discovered a similar sense of passion and community.

Although I wasn't initially a big fan of gaming and had limited knowledge about the industry, a unique incident changed my perspective. While working in e-commerce, a colleague proposed the idea of offering a smartphone as a tournament prize. Intrigued by his enthusiasm for gaming, I decided to explore further and soon realized the potential within the gaming industry.

Motivated by this discovery, I made the entrepreneurial leap into GamersHub Media Events, and we later expanded into GameCentric. Through dedication, brand building, and networking, we successfully established ourselves in the gaming industry. It all started with a simple idea and a profound passion, demonstrating the untapped opportunities that lie within the gaming landscape.

What are the top three skills you think are crucial for entrepreneurs today?

The three skills that I think are crucial for entrepreneurs today are adaptability and agility, resilience, and effective communication.

- Adaptability and agility are really important for entrepreneurs to navigate the evolving markets and technologies. They have to constantly re-strategize, stay agile in their learnings, and innovate their products to stay relevant in the market.

- Resilience is another important skill that enables entrepreneurs to learn from experiences and stay persistent in pursuing their vision.

- Lastly, effective communication is really vital for conveying ideas, inspiring teams, and striking a good relationship with investors, partners, and customers.

How do you think the role of technology has impacted these skills in recent years?

The rapid evolution of technology has had a significant impact on these skills. It has increased the demand for constant adaptation and agility that drives people to stay ahead of the curve. New technological tools have also emerged, with the help of which entrepreneurs can now access real-time data, market insights, and automation tools from anywhere and make important business decisions based on emerging trends.

It has also enabled entrepreneurs to leverage virtual collaboration tools and cloud computing, driving resilience through flexible, remote working options and boosting their productivity. A lot of new communication platforms have also come up, from social media to video conferencing, enabling entrepreneurs to reach broader audiences and engage with stakeholders globally.

So, the impact of technology on these skills has only emphasized the need to master these skills and cut through noise to reach your target audience effectively.

Could you share a story with us about how you used some of these skills to overcome a challenge in your journey?

There are quite a few challenges that I have faced along the way, and my adaptability and resilience helped me majorly at the time. A key challenge that I had to tackle was to pivot the business from an e-commerce loss-making unit into the world of gaming. Cut losses and redirect energy and resources to build a new venture from the ground up. This required a great deal of courage at the time, especially to adapt to a new way of thinking and acquiring industry knowledge to start building the initial foundation of what the complete journey has finally come to fruition.

Each step and month of adjustment required me to demonstrate a state of resilience as the key investor had to be convinced along with my team about the new direction we were venturing into. I had to lead the team in changing how we set up GamersHub Media Events to communicate consistently with stakeholders and internally. Just as we were settling into this change, the pandemic hit. We had to adapt again and lead the team in creating an online platform to ensure we keep engaging with brands, running gaming tournaments, and sustaining our revenue to keep the business going.

In your opinion, how important is it for entrepreneurs to adapt to changing trends and what do you see as the biggest trend in 2024?

Adapting to dynamic trends is crucial, especially in the ever-evolving gaming industry. This sector witnesses constant changes in player preferences, technological advancements, and market dynamics all the time. Entrepreneurs need to proactively stay ahead of the curve to remain competitive and meet the evolving needs of the gaming community.

One of the most significant trends currently shaping the gaming landscape is the rise of Virtual Reality (VR) gaming. With continuous improvements in VR technology, immersive experiences are gaining popularity as they seamlessly blend the virtual and real worlds. The growing acceptance of VR among gamers and developers presents a promising niche for gaming companies to explore. This involves delving into new gameplay mechanics, innovative storytelling techniques, and inventive monetization models to capitalize on the expanding realm of VR gaming.

What's one common mistake you often see new entrepreneurs make, and how can they avoid it?

Particularly in the gaming industry, I think new entrepreneurs often underestimate the significance of user feedback and playtesting. It's crucial to involve players from the early stages of development and consistently throughout the process to ensure that your gaming platform resonates with the target audience and meets their expectations.

To sidestep this mistake, it is essential to prioritize the establishment of a loyal community for your platform from the outset. Actively engage with gamers through various channels such as forums, social media, events, and playtesting sessions, ensuring the continuous gathering of their feedback. This iterative process not only refines your brand but also enhances the user experience, significantly increasing the likelihood of success upon launch.

How do you keep learning and growing as an entrepreneur?

I consistently prioritize my learning and growth by staying abreast of ongoing trends and actively engaging with industry leaders.

Direct engagement with gaming communities, forums, and social media platforms is a cornerstone of my approach to staying connected with the pulse of industry discussions. Equally crucial is attending industry events and conferences, providing valuable opportunities to network with peers, explore new technologies, establish partnerships, and gain deeper insights into business strategies. These events not only allow me to contribute to shaping the latest trends in the gaming landscape but also offer a platform to showcase our expertise and stay at the forefront of industry developments.

In addition to personal growth, I foster continuous improvement within my team by encouraging participation in training programs. Whether attending workshops on game design, programming, or marketing, investing in ongoing education ensures that both I and my team maintain a leading edge in the ever-evolving gaming industry.

Finally, what advice would you give to someone just starting their entrepreneurial journey in 2024?

For those embarking on their gaming entrepreneurial journey in 2024, I'd emphasize the importance of fearlessly embracing new ideas and technology. However, before diving into innovation, make it a priority to engage directly with your target audience. Understanding what resonates most with them will serve as a solid foundation for your endeavours.

Quality should always take precedence, both in terms of your brand image and when building your team. A strong, dedicated team is instrumental in navigating the challenges of the gaming industry. Prioritize collaboration and expertise within your team to ensure a resilient foundation for your venture.

Continuous learning and adaptability are key virtues for young entrepreneurs. Each experience, whether a success or a challenge, provides valuable lessons. Stay open to learning, stay adaptable, and use every experience as an opportunity to create something even better in your subsequent endeavours. This mindset will not only foster personal growth but also contribute to the success and longevity of your gaming entrepreneurial journey.


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