Out of a passion for hip-hop music, 27-year-old Fares Masharawi founded online news platform ParraTV nine years ago. With its website, social media channels and news releases, Fares reaches millions of young people every month with ParraTV and has become a true household name. This year Just Another Media Company took over his ParraTV and with it the young entrepreneur wants to work toward something much bigger...Text: Fleur de Jong
Image: Marijn van LaerhovenFaresdid not just hand over his ParraTV , however, as the young entrepreneur is himself co-founder of Just Another Media Company. Fares says he has spent years conquering online territory by consistently capitalizing on new trends in social media, but noticed that for many companies, reaching young people through a platform is still a challenge. Together with co-founders Marko van Kampen, Ferdi Buijsrogge and Danny Membre , Fares aims to close this big gap and bring reach, talent, content, data and sales under one roof. So far, names like RUMAG, Convo and Complex have also joined and the network reaches 6 million unique people every month. But the network for and by young people was created to not only reach young people en masse but to empower them and develop their talent, something Fares believes in tremendously. But who did the 27-year-old entrepreneur himself actually empower? MASTERS goes into conversation...
What is your personal USP?
"I never really thought of myself as an entrepreneur. The choices I've made in my career have all been based on a certain feeling. I think I lack a lot of the 'qualities' of a successful entrepreneur. I am very sensitive, emotional and can be very explosive and impulsive. I also take many things personally and can almost never get thoughts out of my head. Working with people I don't like is almost impossible for me. In addition, I very much want everyone around me to feel comfortable at all times. I doubt those are USPs, but I do think they set me apart."
What can the older generation of entrepreneurs learn from you?
"The online world knows no boundaries and youth is the future. Empower the new youth and bet (even more) on all the new online trends. We try to try something new on social media as often as possible, to stay nice and innovative and sharp within the team. Dare to experiment online. We have made over 26,000 posts on Instagram, not all of which are perfect or have worked at all."
Who is your teacher or inspiration in the entrepreneurial field?
"There are not necessarily entrepreneurs that I have been inspired by. I see rapper Lil B as my biggest inspiration ever. He showed me during 2011/2012, when I was kind of in a hole, that optimism conquers all. He also showed me that it is possible to go completely against the grain and thereby create hype as yet. The real power of being yourself, no matter how people react to it. Above my desk hangs a giant picture of him. I draw strength from his work to this day.''
What is your motto or quote?
"Always try to stay sincere and close to yourself. As long as you know deep down that the choices you make and the things you do come from a sincere heart, you can't really make any mistakes at all. The rest points itself out."
What is the biggest entrepreneurial risk you have taken so far?
"Hiring my first staff two years ago was very exciting. For years I did everything on my own. As a matter of fact, this is also immediately the best risk I have ever taken. Without my amazing team, I never would have had the time to work toward something bigger. I worked 7 days a week for 4 years straight, 365 days a year. Therefore, the time I have left now feels like a true blessing. "
Where will you be in 3 years?
"In three years, I hope to still be working with cool people I have a good click with. I also want to help the people close to me make great strides as well. Doyou know or are you a successful young entrepreneur who also deserves a spot in the spotlights? Then email Fleur de Jong(email@example.com) for the possibilities.Click here for Highflyer Bo Enthoven.