Faisal Masood, an Indian American technology director working in New York, is not the typical consumer. He happens to be one of the approx. 3 million American Muslims who have a total spending power of $170 Billion per year. Thus, Masood who grew up in a small town in one of the poorest areas of India, used his more than 20 years of experience in sales, entrepreneurship and management consulting to create the American Muslim Consumer Conference in 2009.
That first year, barely 200 people attended the conference and they had no participation from any major company. But now 3 years later, the American Muslim Consumer Conference (AMCC) boasts well known mainstream companies such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Whole Foods, and Ogilvy, who are not only sponsors, but also speakers and delegates of the New Jersey based conference.
“I wanted to highlight the American Muslim consumer power and leverage to influence companies and businesses to develop products and services which can address the unique needs of American Muslims.” Says Masood, when asked why he started AMCC.
Recently Whole Foods featured a new halal food item (Saffron Road) in their stores which they promoted in Ramadan, so we know that American companies are definitely starting to reach out to American Muslim consumers, even though they received some flak from some right-wing Islamophobic elements in the U.S. Thus, it’s important for American Muslims to go out and support these companies who are trying to reach out to us.
For the future, Faisal wants to develop the AMCC platform into a consortium of companies who are either developing products for the American Muslim market or want to market their products to us.
“Once this consortium grows, it will be a sign reflecting the growth of American Muslim consumer buying power. It has to happen in steps, it has to be done organically and it has to happen now.” He said.
This year’s AMCC will be held on Saturday Oct. 29th in New Brunswick, NJ. Check their website for more details.