We haven’t covered Muxlim at ArcticStartup in the way it deserves to be covered. So, what better way to do it than have a talk with the founder and CEO of the company, Mohamed El-Fatatry. El-Fatatry isn’t your usual startup founder in Finland. He’s of Egyptian background and went on to start the world’s largest muslim-oriented site when still in school. Muxlim grew immensely fast in the early days they didn’t really have any competition. One of the drivers of their growth can be attributed to excellent media coverage.

In the first part of the interview we dig into the backgrounds of Muxlim and how it all got started. Muxlim isn’t today exactly what it started out with – the online service, although being in the core, is just one part of their business. In the second part of the interview we talk about the Muxlim after the pivot of their business.

I was glad to have such a long talk with El-Fatatry. He is an exceptional entrepreneur on many levels. Not only does he stand out with great speaking skills, but he sees opportunity everywhere. He explains this best in the video, but one of those times was when the company ran into a difficult situation a few years back. Lehman Brothers had just collapsed and their business back then dried up completely – with just a few months of runway left, El-Fatatry decided they needed to change direction. Not everyone shared this view in the company, but he managed to move things to a completely new level.

Today, the company has offices in Helsinki, London and New York. They work with some of the most interesting companies of the world, from the Fortune 500 list. Mohamed El-Fatatry has also been named one of the 500 most influential muslims of the year, for a second time.

Below is the first part of the interview where we talk about the origins of the business and everything in the run up to the pivot. The second part of the interview will be published later this week.

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