An's Bett gefesselt, aber weltweit aktiv


Company founder K. Nadeem Arif suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Most of the time, he has to work from bed. Nevertheless, he continues to guide the fortunes of his company

The IT company owner from Groß-Gerau, Germany, does not let a serious illness rob him of his vision


SOUTH-HESSEN, Germany:  “You probably can’t imagine,” writes K. Nadeem Arif, “how long a day and even longer a night can be when you can’t do anything and have to lie in bed almost all the time.”

How does one cope when one knows that a state of total exhaustion will not pass, but will shape the rest of one’s life? You can resign, or you can run a developing business from bed and plan vigorous expansion across borders and continents.

That is what Nadeem Arif does. The man from Groß-Gerau, Germany, has been suffering for 13 years from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), an incurable disease of several body systems. The causes are unclear, and there is no therapy.

“outsourcing4work with international success”


Arif was 38 years old when he developed CFS. A correct diagnosis was not made until nine years later after he had been treated unsuccessfully for a long time for supposed depression. At the time of his illness, the Pakistani-born entrepreneur had been a “grateful holder of German citizenship” for some time, as he himself writes.

Arif’s company, outsourcing4work, was founded in 1993, has it’s address in the Tann estate in Darmstadt, Germany. It places IT specialists from India, for example for programming work.

For about ten years outsourcing4work has been working “fully remotely” says Arif, i.e. without the employees being present at a fixed workplace.

“Our team consists of more than 1OO employees living in 17 countries,” says company founder and CEO Nadeem Arif.

This is how company spokeswoman Martina Stoecker reports from South Africa. Born in Mannheim, Germany, she has been living near Cape Town for the last 20 years. “My colleague in PR Gabriela is in Tunis, Tunisia,” she says cheerfully. “We have great teamwork. Since January, outsourcing4work has doubled the number of employees. We are currently expanding in the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden. Through the Pandemic of Covid-19, work has become much more flexible.”

The company does not give sales figures but says it has been making profits for years.

Working productively despite limitations


The whole team stands behind the disabled boss in Groß-Gerau, emphasizes Martina Stoecker. “The illness takes all his energy,” she says. “Most of the time, he has a cloth over his head to cover his eyes not to use up too much energy. But he has a high level of motivation. We always communicate very briefly. Sometimes it takes him two days to recover from long conversations.”

Arif answers questions from this newspaper in writing. “Today, I often can’t leave the house for months and spend most of my time in bed,” he says, describing his situation. “As soon as my health allows it, I start working until I have to recover again in a very quiet and dark room.”

Nevertheless, the 51-year-old considers himself “in the fortunate position of having meaningful and productive work despite these limitations.”

“My business has always been my work and also my hobby.” He is grateful to live ‘in the best country in the world’.

Arif also wants to open up opportunities for people in the Pakistani town of Rabwah (Chenab Nagar): With the help of his own foundation, he wants to establish an IT service Centre there and create 1,000 remote jobs.