New York, New York, United States
Paul Azous, is a native of Brooklyn, NY. He a former writer for the business plan firm BusinessplanQ.com, and now works in the Boro Park area of Brooklyn at a restaurant venture.
JTA_R, New York. November 20, 2009-11-24.08
Interview with Paul Azous.
I recently had the pleasure to chat with Paul Azous at a venture capital forum in New York City prior to Thanksgiving. In his talk to a group of investors he managed to make 50% of the room despise some of his thoughts, while the remaining half couldn�t stop applauding him. Indeed, it is quite rare these days to hear an insider speak frankly on matters such as the economy, international investment strategy, and global politics, all in the context of a changing global environment. Dr. Azous, a young, well spoken investment strategist has much to say, and many are listening. What follows is an excerpt of an �interview� I had with Paul Azous. I met him in the Ritz Carlton foyer, and found him sipping a cup of coffee. He was wearing an Armani suit that, he told me, was given to him as a gift by a wealthy investment firm in Saudi Arabia. He tells me that he only wears such a suit for meetings in front of \\\\\\\'powerful people\\\\\\\'. But the suit, he says, is just a suit.
M.R.: You recently received an award from the League of Extraordinary Authors in Washington, D.C., but you refused to show up to the event. It was rumored that you opposed their politics. Any truth in this?
M.R.: Care to elaborate?
Azous: Not really. But I will say this. My firm represents many international private investment groups. The number one priority of my job is the protection and privacy of those that rely on my team and me for guidance. Yes we are young, but not that young, and the League has been critical of our influence because of our claimed lack of experience. But we are honest.
M.R.: So you thing the League is dishonest?
Azous: I am not saying they are dishonest, just disingenuous. When someone questions my integrity because of my age, they not only insult me, they insult the high net worth individuals and groups I represent. They essentially call these people fools, when in fact the wise man keeps silent, while the fool continues talk.
M.R.: Okay, we will stop with the League, for now (smiling). Tell me about BusinessplanQ.com. What is the mission?
Azous: Two things: To learn and be involved in startups, love that sort of thing.
M.R.: And this is mainly accomplished by writing proposalsl?
Azous: I do, but I am bored. However, I make everyone of our employees keep up with global news, but only because it effects our work and decisions. There is something called a PEST Analysis in business plan and feasibility studies that we conduct. A PEST Analysis stands for the following: Political, Economic, Social and Technological Analysis. Our investors rely upon our research and connections in order to make the most solid investment. For instance, if one of our groups wants to dump money into Iran today, what are our recommendations based on the PEST Analysis? Factors such as long term political stability of the Mullahs, short term factors such as the potential bombing of Iran over its nuclear policy and much more all come into play. We have many issues with our investors for Taiwan these days as many are fearful of an eventual Chinese takeover. In the US the PEST Analysis is employed in proposals mainly for the economic sector.
M.R.: Is that because you hold that the US economy will bounce back?
Azous: Absolutely. Many are fearful that the BRIC nations are now going to take over the economy of the planet. We disagree.
M.R.: BRIC nations?
Azous: Brazil, Russia, India and China. A large part of the world�s wealth is being dumped into these countries, and it is assumed that this will continue.
M.R.: And you don�t?
Azous: I do, but it should be called the BRICS-A nations, or the ABRICS nations, for America. Its naive to think that the US is will not be a global player for years to come. I am tired of hearing this, but if people want to fool themselves into such beliefs I will not stop them.
M.R.: But you are not an economist. Why should I believe you?
Azous: You shouldn�t. I don�t answer to you or the public.
M.R.: New topic. Did you really throw knives as a hobby, in competition?
Azous: No comment (laughing)
M.R.: Oh come, tell me about it.
Azous: Yes, i used to dabble with weapons of all kinds when i was younger. Won many 'competitions', if you could even call them that. I once won a free dinner for throwing a 7 inch knife at 40 feet three times in a row into a basketball. Actually, that wasn't the hardest thing to do. I did that at 50 feet with a throwing star a few times (laughing)
M.R.: Interesting. A throwing star? You mean from the movies, what Ninjas use?
Azous: Yes, but i am NOT a ninja of any means, nor did I train to be one. I did train in aspects of the art, but not in the full art itself. That is an exclusive club. But I did train in other methods that is comparable to ninjistu.
M.R.: How many others like you are there out there? Others like you in business or martial arts?
Azous: My buddies in martial arts joined the police or FBI or other law enforcement agencies, but I enjoy writing. I dont know any except my mentor. He is the best in the business at raising money, too. This guy could walk into a room full of millionaires and say I need three million from you, six from you and forty from you and within a week those funds would be sent. It was sickening. But that was another economy and time.
M.R.: Who is your mentor and where is he now?
Azous: My mentor, Jack, is having fun. He now focuses his time on space tourism. He has linked his investors, who have since become some of my best contacts, with many great scientists with the goal of developing space tourism. Jack made millions in less than 10 years representing his clients.
M.R.: You hope to do the same? I mean Jack is your mentor. You want to be like him?
Azous: Jack is a man without any character flaws. He is honest, trustworthy, and probably the most intelligent person I have ever met.
M.R.: That cannot be your whole goal of running BusinessplanQ.com returning to the classroom?
Azous: Actually, one of the major goals was to originally afford a round trip ticket to space on one of those tourism ships. But now my goal is to spend a week on the Mir Space Station, among several other small goals. It will cost around $20 million, but I am working on it (laughing). Maybe with the help of Jack it will cost less. But either way, we are taking our business to space and having fun trying.
My interview was interrupted by a tall, pretty, well dressed woman with an English accent. We exchange hellos and she asks me if Paul is being helpful in answering my questions. She bends down and whispers something in his ear and hands him a cell phone. He excuses himself for about ten seconds, and then returns and tells me he is sorry but he must leave.
�It was great speaking with you, and I am sorry to cut this short but I must go�.
�Where to?� I ask with a smirk. �London?�
�Actually I am going to Brooklyn. My best friend from college just had a baby�.
Posted by Karen Simpson
Published writer: Yes