Interview with Amar Latif | Knowledge Guild: Leadership under Pressure
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At our recent Knowledge Guild showcase, we caught up with blind adventurer and successful entrepreneur, Amar Latif. He shared his story of suddenly going blind at the age of 18, and instead of giving up Amar found a way to achieve his goals. Skydiving, skiing, climbing, or acting, whatever he wants to do, Amar just does it.
I know that you love challenges but what piece of advice would you give to someone else to overcome their own challenges?
When I lost my sight when I was 18, I woke up and couldn't see. People all around me kept telling me that "you can't leave the house, you can't do this". And so, I became what us Scots call a stubborn old sod. It's very important to reject negativity, to have a positive mindset and put to one side other people's preconceptions and your own. And what you'll realize is, yeah, things may be hard at the beginning, but as you start to climb your own summit, once you get up there to the top, you'll look around, and the views will be stunning, and you'll realize what a beautiful world we live in.
Is there a common misconception people have about disabilities?
I am blind. When people first find this out about me, they ask me, what's it really like to be blind? And I get asked this a lot, and I could never resist the old answer. Oh, I don't know. I suppose it could be worse. It's better than being Asian or bald.
Amar, what inspired you to start Traveleyes?
I was inspired to start Traveleyes because I was a professional. I had money to spend and wanted to see the world. But every time I approached mainstream tour operators, I faced rejection. They said that I needed to bring a carer with me, and I didn't think I needed a career. I was a professional guy. So, I realized that in this life, if you want something that doesn't exist, either you do without or you build it yourself. So I set up the world's first international tour operator called Traveleyes which takes thousands of blind and sighted people all over the world on holiday, oh and we bring them back too.
And what's next for you, Amar?
I'm going on Celebrity Mastermind. I'm really petrified because I'm not great with general knowledge. But also one of my ambitions in life is to fly a plane solo around the world. And that's such a beautiful challenge. And I want to work with technology companies out there. I want to work with pilots out there. I've connections with the Red Arrows, people in the RAF, and commercial pilots, and I want to design a system that will allow me to fly solo across the world. So, if you're out there and you want to be a passenger with me flying, let me know.
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