July Issue 2010

By | People | Profile | Published 14 years ago

“I have made more mistakes than anyone I know,
but I have zero regrets”
– Adil Moosajee

“You must listen to the story,” Adil Moosajee says as soon as I enter his office. He’s eager to tell me how Ego, his fashion retail brand, came about. Adil at once mesmerises and engages while he recounts anecdotes about breaking out on his own and candid tales about, well, everything. His friend, who had just finished having lunch with him, stays on with us. With the remnants of their lunch still on the sitting-room coffee table an hour later, the casual atmosphere of his office and his own carefree style become more obvious. Despite being part of Moosajees, his established family business that specialises in high-end fabric and tailoring, Adil prefers the jeans-and-t-shirt combo.

Not one to conform, Adil didn’t join the family business after college simply because there wasn’t much room to manoeuvre. “From day one, I wanted to do something different with the business and I had plenty of ideas. When I couldn’t convince my family to implement these, I ventured out on my own.” He launched his high-end tailoring store, M2, in Zamzama in 1997. The night before the launch, the walls of the store still hadn’t been painted, and so Adil and a group of his friends picked up the paintbrushes and completed the job themselves. But M2 didn’t go over well with his family, and so he closed shop, left home and headed to Lahore to seek work.

He returned home soon after and dabbled in fashion by working as a faculty member in fashion schools and managing departments in textile companies. Along the way, he suffered his share of bumps and bruises. “I have made more mistakes than anyone I know but I have zero regrets.” As he says this, his smile is at its brightest.

It is this unbridled enthusiasm for life that has kept him moving forward. Wanting his own brand, the fiercely independent and outspoken Moosajee launched Ego towards the end of 2005. Ego was another departure because this boutique wasn’t about custom tailoring. But this time, he had his family’s support: his father helped him with the seed money. “Before Ego and FnkAsia, mothers and daughters dressed alike. This is what changed with prêt.” All those years of risk-taking and trial-and-error learning have paid off. Today, Ego boasts 14 outlets with the fifteenth on its way — the target Adil had originally set for himself. For a guy who likes to prove people wrong, the resounding success of Ego has helped him silence his sceptics.

And it’s not only his clothes that are popular: Adil’s friends enjoy his company immensely. But while he was once extremely social, he gave up on it about two years back and now works even on weekends. However, that is likely to change. Adil is awaiting the return of his wife, who has just completed her medical residency in the US, and he admits that he’ll soon have to figure out how to balance work with his personal and family life.

In fact, despite blazing his own trail, he doesn’t trivialise family duties. Besides operating other businesses and thinking of taking Ego international, he plans on being more involved with the family concern since he is the only male of his generation with the Moosajee name. “I realise that the family is dependent on Moosajees and I can’t play games with it. This endeavour comes with responsibility.”

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