Connect with us
Apply Now

Executive Voice

How Imran Md Ali Started and Launched an Art Gallery in 14 Days with Less than $500

Many believe that people think you need to have a lot of money to start a business, especially a business that seems to require a significant equity and asset stake, such as an art gallery. But sometimes, the best stories of business come from people who risked it all – down to their last dollar. Thus was the story of Imran Md Ali – and how he started and launched an art gallery in 14 days with less than $500. 

He had only $500 left in the bank – which is when many might panic and look for a job. He lived with his family, but they had invested enough in his ideas and had put their foot down on this one. So, he did a bit of a “hail mary” – he booked a plane ticket $200 dollars (Singapore currency) to find 10 pieces of art each worth $30, spending the final $300 in his account. “No one believed I was going to be successful, so I only had himself,” he explained. 

Once he got home, the question became where to host the art gallery. “Again, I had already asked my family for too much money in the past, so I had to get creative and figure out a free option.” The option he came up with? His mom’s living room. 

He lined the paintings around the perimeter, framing each one and making the living room look nice. Then, he ran some advertisements for free on the Singapore equivalent of Craigslist. It worked. The ad got inquiries, and suddenly people started to flood his Mom’s living room like crazy, buying the paintings for… a whopping $300 each. Yes, that’s a 10x markup. “But I didn’t stop there,” Ali shared. “I re-invested that money, bought more from ali baba and kept going.” With the money and the proven profitable business model, he then started a total of three art galleries all around Singapore.

When it comes to what to look from this story, aside from the remarkable confidence in his last-ditch effort, Ali says the biggest takeaway readers should find is finding a “low cost, high-value business.” After all, maybe it was a blessing in disguise that he couldn’t borrow the money to rent a gallery space – because his Mom’s living room did the job just fine, and he got to keep any money he would’ve had to pay back to his family. He didn’t get fancy on the website – he just used weebly.com for free hosting, and he did all his own copywriting and traffic generation techniques by learning for FREE, then applying free practices – such as the Singapore “Craiglist” rather than investing in Google Ads.

“This business model – the low cost, high value one – is easier than ever due to the proliferation of the Internet,” Ali told us. “You can learn how to do just about anything for free thanks to YouTube videos and free online courses – then apply those skills to using the internet for free to market your business and drive traffic!” 

And while Ali certainly makes it sound easier than most people envision, it can really be that easy – with a little grit, a vision, and, as it turns out, just $500. 

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2022 Disrupt ™ Magazine is a Minority Owned Privately Held Company - Disrupt ™ was founder by Puerto Rican serial entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Delgado who is on a mission to transform Latin America using the power of education and entrepreneurship.

Disrupt ™ Magazine
151 Calle San Francisco
Suite 200
San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00901

Opinions expressed by Disrupt Contributors are their own. Disrupt Magazine invites voices from many diverse walks of life to share their perspectives on our contributor platform. We are big believers in freedom of speech and while we do enforce our community guidelines, we do not actively censor stories on our platform because we want to give our contributors the freedom to express their opinions. Articles are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by our community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Disrupt or its employees.
We are committed to fighting the spread of misinformation online so if you feel an article on our platform goes against our community guidelines or contains false information, we do encourage you to report it. We need your help to fight the spread of misinformation. For more information please visit our Contributor Guidelines available here.

Disrupt ™ is the voice of latino entrepreneurs around the world. We are part of a movement to increase diversity in the technology industry and we are focused on using entrepreneurship to grow new economies in underserved communities both here in Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America. We enable millennials to become what they want to become in life by learning new skills and leveraging the power of the digital economy. We are living proof that all you need to succeed in this new economy is a landing page and a dream. Disrupt tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real-life experience. Disrupt Magazine was designed to give the world a taste of that.