Teacher Shiraz Ahmed has developed a thriving fish tank business in his spare time, winning him an accolade from Standard Bank.
Durban - Shiraz Ahmed practises what he teaches at the Phoenix Muslim School.

The 30-year-old business studies teacher has a thriving fish tank business at his Verulam home which he grew from a hobby and has won him a Standard Bank entrepreneurial award.

“My cousin came to me and said he wanted a fish tank. So we shopped around and I discovered that what he would have to buy for R100 000, I could make for R60 000.

“I saw an opportunity and turned it into a business,” he said. “If you don’t take it, somebody else will.”

In time, Ahmed diversified from tanks to importing coral and fish from Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Indonesia.

He started his venture with R5 000. Now he has a turnover of around R400 000 a year but has reinvested most of his profits into the business. He has clients all over KwaZulu-Natal and his social media pages have attracted attention from as far afield as Zambia.

Back in the classroom, he uses his enterprise to explain what he teaches.

“I try to use the business concept as an example to my students and give them an opportunity to hear how things happen in real life.

“Next year I want to implement a market opportunity and I've come up with the concept of a business idea to implement at the school on a market day."

Earlier this month he was one of the week’s winners of Standard Bank’s My Fearless Next campaign for budding entrepreneurs.

The Independent on Saturday