Ismail Gafoor: “When You’re Passionate About What You Do, It Never Feels Like Work”

So you’re sitting at your desk feeling drained out from the 100thmeeting you’ve had this week, and the stack of reports on your table is taller than the empty coffee mug beside it.

Here’s a motivational pick-me-up that might just change the day for you. Or better yet, impact some major life decisions.

Humble Beginnings

“When you’re passionate about what you do, it never feels like work”

Ismail Gafoor started life in a family of 6 siblings, whose father started a small local grocery store. Even at 7 years of age, he was tasked with waking up at 4am every morning to do newspaper deliveries with his dad. Being late for school was a norm, having to rush from his paper route to classes by 6.30am.

Post-school activities didn’t involve anything else accept going back to the shop to help out till 10pm and this grind lasted everyday of the year, accept on days when the newspapers didn’t print.

Needless to say, his days in school weren’t plain sailing. Money was hard to come by and every cent that he had, he scrounged and saved. He also didn’t enjoy the normal luxuries or lifestyle that other kids his age had, including even simple things like having time to socialise a lot or go out.


His First Solo Career

“Property investment should be for the long term. When you invest in the right one, your tenant pays for your instalments”

At 20, he started a career with the Singapore Armed Forces, where meeting a myriad of soldiers from all walks of life exposed Ismail to a new world of opportunities and information.

Making a bold decision to purchase his first private property, he bought an apartment at Normanton Park. This was an expensive purchase, given how he was still just a young officer and not making a huge salary.

However, Ismail believed that contrary to what it seemed, properly planning and executing a property purchase was not extravagant, but rather an act of prudence.

This followed yet another private property purchase just 3 years later, and it was this unwavering faith in the property market that led him to start his own business.

Striking It Out On His Own

“I’m confident of Singapore’s prospects (in property) and that of ASEAN. It will be positive in the long run.”

Seeing the potential of property investments led him to start his own real estate agency with his wife, after nearly 13years in the SAF. Together, they started Nooris Consultants Pte Ltd which today, has grown into the largest local real estate agency in Singapore, PropNex Pte Ltd.

Attributing his success to hard work, proper financial planning and the right insurance choices, Ismail’s story is one of humble beginnings not unlike many of us. Growing a capital base off of your salary and purposing that towards sound and well timed investments can and will yield good results.

So keep your spirits up, focus on the future and be disciplined about planning out your finances and sticking to your plan with a view to the future.

If you want to learn more about Ismail’s story and how he has taken some extremely valuable lessons away from his tough beginnings, you can hear him speak in person at this year’s Wealth Management Seminar organised by SingCapital.


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