How an Expensive Watch Turned Shaun Abdi, a Dropout Student Into a Famous International Designer

How an Expensive Watch Turned Shaun Abdi, a Dropout Student Into a Famous International Designer
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Following the success of Iranian car designer Kourosh Mansouri, who gained international fame with his Mansouri car designs, another talented and famous Iranian artist named Shaun Abdi, has now created success as a global automotive designer. 

Shaun, at the age of 19, holds the esteemed position of founder and Chief Executive Officer at ABDI Designs, an automotive design firm renowned for its expertise in crafting body kits for the most exotic cars available in the market. The company provides extensive customization options, catering to clients seeking minor enhancements and comprehensive transformations.

During an interview with CEO Weekly, Shaun recounts his remarkable journey to success, sharing how he defied conventional expectations by reaching his current stature.

How did you start your career path?

I started studying technical and vocational engineering but left that behind because my true passion was automotive design. Honestly, the university didn’t do much to support my ambitions of becoming a prominent figure in the world of automotive design.

So, instead of wasting my parents’ hard-earned money on a university education that wasn’t fulfilling my dreams, I decided to say goodbye to academic qualifications. It was a bit nerve-wracking at first. However, looking back now, I can say without a doubt that it was one of the best choices I’ve ever made in my entire life.

Before diving into this profession, I spent my free time drawing car designs for fun. Whenever I attended car exhibitions, I was utterly captivated by the stunning designs of the cars on display. And you know what? I wasn’t just a passive observer. I went up to the car designers and shared my suggestions with them. Admittedly, being young at the time, not everyone took me seriously, but some did listen and appreciate my input.

When exactly did your success start? 

Last year, at the invitation of one of my friends, I participated in a coaching session with Mehdi Ariafar, a famous personal coach. In that session, he discovered my talent and intelligence in car design. Since then, he created that great inspiration in my mind and played a vital role in my success.

But that’s not all. During this meeting with Sir Ariafar, I received one of the most important pieces of advice that still resonates with me. He emphasized that if I truly wanted to attain tremendous success and gain global recognition in car design, I needed to let go of my current life and embrace a new path. Those words have been etched in my mind ever since.

What was the story behind Sir Ariafar and your watch? 

During a conversation with Mr. Ariafar, he questioned why I wasn’t actively pursuing my dream. I explained that I had been waiting for the right opportunity and didn’t have the capital to start, wanting to rely on my efforts instead of my parents’ money.

In response, he shocked me by pointing out the expensive watch in my hand. He asked if I was willing to sacrifice it to achieve my goals. It wasn’t easy, as the watch was a gift from my father. But Mr. Ariafar profoundly stated, “Excuses and resistance hinder success. To truly succeed, you must seize opportunities, take action, and prioritize your goals.”

Inspired by his words, I followed his advice and sought his guidance. He also gave me some excellent tips and methods for getting a job in car design that played a significant role in my professional life. From the next night on, using those techniques, I started designing for my job. 

What was your first job?

In my first job, I had the opportunity to design the iconic G wagon. It took me a year and a half to complete, and its success opened doors for me. I was invited to showcase my design at the prestigious Canadian International Auto Show, which featured renowned car brands. The G wagon design I created received significant attention, leading to orders for body kits and custom car designs.

Selling my designs brought in a substantial income and allowed me to repurchase that expensive watch I had sacrificed earlier. Within a year and a half of completing my first design, I started receiving more orders for body kits from international clients in Canada, America, Europe, and even Dubai.

How did you expand your work internationally? 

My first international project took off when a prominent brand owner, known for collaborating with renowned companies like Keyvani and Mansouri, embraced my body kits in America. They ordered several body kits, which I had the privilege of installing on their cars. That moment led to more people noticing my work and purchasing my designs. Through them, I was able to expand my work internationally.

What motivated your decision to live in Dubai?

One aspect that genuinely appeals to me is the presence of discerning individuals in the automotive industry in Dubai. The city thrives on a love for uniqueness, where competition to enhance one’s quality of life is exceptionally high. Having my cars showcased in a place where exceptional people strive to stand out is fascinating.

What are your plans and aspirations?

I am very interested in entrepreneurship. I intend to launch the global business holding of Abdi and am currently researching and conducting studies in this field. Alongside my activities in designing automobiles, I also plan to expand it. One of my primary goals is to start a production line for self-driving cars.

What advice would you give young individuals seeking their path to success?

It’s interesting that even now, when I no longer face financial difficulties and have established a solid position for myself, I still find myself sitting idle and questioning, “Shaun, why are you wasting time?” Taking action is the secret to success, so getting up and doing something is essential.

Our time is limited, so we should not waste it on worthless activities or interfering in other people’s lives. Most importantly, we should muster the courage to follow our heart’s desires and convictions while moving forward with self-assured confidence toward the success that we build for ourselves.

Unleashing the power of dreams

Shaun’s story is a compelling testament to the power of dreams combined with dedication and courage. Through his remarkable company, ABDI Designs, Shaun has carved out a prominent position in the industry. His ability to create exceptional body kits and captivate the attention of discerning individuals worldwide is a testament to his talent and expertise. 

Shaun’s advice to aspiring young individuals seeking their path to success is crystal clear: take proactive steps, make the most of every moment, and have the confidence to pursue their heart’s desires. His journey serves as a powerful reminder that with determination and self-belief, extraordinary accomplishments are well within reach.


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