There is an abundance of talent in Pakistan, the business industry is flourishing with innovative ideas and strong potential, however, the business industry is associated with extensive risks where some start ups flourish others fail, MediaBites got in touch with Mir Mohammad Ali Khan (Mir MAK) to share some expert advice on how to create a successful start up and distinguish between those that flourish and those that don’t, with 28 years of extremely successful experience in the international capital market, mark his golden words! if you are entering the business industry, take notes! Mir MAK has faced his fair share of setback;s from court trials to financial crisis he’s seen it all. He is the first Muslim to have owned an investment bank in wall street and is currently Co-Chairman at AMZ MAK Capital Limited.
Mir MAK whilst talking to MediaBites stated the following advice aimed towards new and potential start ups:
“Nothing in life comes easy, you have to face hurdles and strive for success, you will fall over many times, what distinguishes a good entrepreneur from a bad one is the one that gets up after every fall, brushes the dust off his shoulder and continues his strive towards success, after hardship there is reward.
I must also add, do not be disheartened by negative advice, people will emerge who have no knowledge of the business you’re getting into they will advise you and a lot of the times it will be pessimistic, don’t let this get to you! the one who is optimistic in life will succeed, just be determined and work hard, surround yourself with the right people.”
here are five success stories of emerging entrepreneurs, who have done exceptionally well in their respective fields and continue to flourish :
Mudeser Ali- online fitness coach at- Mudeser Ali FitnessPro
I had been visiting gyms around different areas of Lahore, there was something in common with all the fitness coaches I came across, they lacked knowledge, they did not obtain a proper education in regards to nutrition. They advised crash diets or weight loss pills, although these seem attractive, it’s the easy way out, lose weight in seven days instead of seven months it sounds great! but the devastating effect it leaves on your body goes unmentioned.
I noticed there was a gap of an online fitness coach. A lot of people, especially women find it difficult to attend a gym regularly, some people lack motivation they need a continuous push, I thought why don’t I become that encouragement. I initiated working towards my idea of on line coaching in 2011, i had a limited amount of money on hand at the time, so I initiated work steadily. I had to drop out of MBA because we were facing a financial crisis, my fathers business had occurred a loss and the household responsibilities fell upon me I had to get a job to support the family, my first job was in a bank, my salary was Rs.15,000 per month although my family expected it to be a lot more but simultaneously I started working online, my client base was limited but it was progressive.
I was extensively passionate about fitness coaching, I gained thorough knowledge in health and nutrition, in my free time I would sit in a library and read books on nutrition sometimes I would sit there for 7-8 hours reading every book I could possibly get hold of in the fitness section, I availed every possible resource I could to enhance my information, I was determined.
I worked at the bank for 14 months and continued my online fitness coaching program, by this time I had started earning a substantial amount of money online and from the bank, I was able to some extent support my family. After 14 months I left my job and initiated property investment, although this could be a life changing profession for some, it did not, however, work out to the best interest for me.
On my 28th birthday, it struck me that people around me have progressed so much but where do I stand? I saved up a small amount of money and invested it in to my fitness program, exactly one month after my birthday 2016 January, I dismissed all the ideas in my mind except my online fitness program, I dedicated all my passion and time to this.
In one year I witnessed a complete turn around, my client base had expanded, I faced failure but slow and steady I began to witness success, I was still at this point investing all my savings in to my online fitness program, I gained certifications which I consider my turn around point in my career, from ISS and PN and within a year I had gained everything that I was unable to in 28 years of my life
I am now doing my master level certification which would be completed in two months, I’m going to be the first coach in Pakistan to hold a master certification, I have a team of 4-5 certified coaches from Pakistan and around the world, whom I train throughout the year.
We have clients all across Pakistan.
My aim is to spread Healthy Lifestyle and I’ll remove that concept that only strict Diet Pills medicines heavy loaded exercises are the only solution.
We have tons of success stories from 100lbs 80lbs 60lbs 50lbs 30lbs weight loss stories.. also weight gain stories for relevant clients, I’m also managing stress management sessions and therapies aswell.
I never endorsed any media personalities or celebrities in my program even though we have so many but all stories are real without any strict Diet Pills Detox or Medicines. Yes this is possible do check out stories on my Page.
I’m a self made man Entrepreneur let me tell you one thing to all those Young people looking for money to start a business believe me you can start it without any support and this is only possible by hard work in the right direction.
Developing and building your super powers inside you is where you need to work at. We all have some super powers it could be specific skill passion or idea just work on it taste it, experience it and even if you fail get up and try again.
Myne Umer- Myne’s Cakery
My actual name is Mehreen Umar but my nickname is Myne it’s a name associated with me since childhood thats why I decided to name my cakery after it, I am a passionate homebased baker and ice cream maker, I make a variety of desserts, Cookie Pizza, Chessecake, Mousse, Ice cream, you name it! Even before starting a business I was always looking for new recipes, I was passionate about cooking, I have international exposure too, I look for detail and learn when I’m eating at a restaurant or at someone’s house.
I started ‘Myne Cakery’ in February 2016, it’s been a bit over a year, before that I was just a regular housewife, I have a Masters degree in Statistics and I am also a gold medallist, I knew I had potential, I’ve been baking since I could remember and it is not just my profession it is my passion, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t baking.
When I got married I had started to maintain a routine of doing practically nothing, I eventually grew tired of being unproductive and decided to take my passion to another level. I began posting pictures of my work on to my Facebook page, my friends encouraged me to do this professionally
There are many commercial bakeries in Pakistan they are doing a commendable job, in perception their food looks drool worthy but I always go in to deeper detail when it comes to food, for me some lacked one ingredient or another. I would consume a spoon and wonder how much better this could taste if it had more chocolate, or more vanilla, there would mostly be a lack of a certain something. So I would replicate the ingredients by myself at home but with an improvisation, I aim to make my desserts rich in flavours and taste also I make full dairy ice cream.
I then started to do customized ice creams, customers would ask me to make ice cream like such and such brand from USA or UK, they would describe it to me and I would make my own version of it and that’s how my ice creams became popular I now sell ice cream from home in litre boxes.
I gained a lot of knowledge with experience, Foodies R Us has helped my business grow immensely, it bought my business into the limelight, it provided me a platform to showcase my talent to thousands of people, Asad Shiekh has played an integral role in my flourishing business because of him I have been a part of numerous stalls and even appeared on a youtube channel in collaboration with Foodies R us “one Platter”. My family and friends have also been very encouraging and supportive and play a major role in where I stand today.
Allhumdulilah I have gained immense success in this field not by using any contacts but by determination and hard work, I believe if you are passionate and committed to something no force can withhold you from success, my desserts are now available at a cafe in Defence Lahore, I will be holding baking classes in September, so I can transfer my knowledge to other lets see where my work takes me from here I hardly ever plan, I just dedicate myself and the magic happens.
Check out Myne Umers page : https://www.facebook.com/MynesCakery/
Fatima Ahsan home based baker- Sprinkled -Karachi
I started because of the prolonged baby break basically….having something home based with hours convenient for home as well as to have an outlet for me to showcase my talent and be productive.
It’s more of an artistic outlet than a money making model. It Does require technicality and basic training, I’m a little laid back in regards to the business myself I’m Not pushing myself in the market because there is only so much you can do with three kids.
I need to do this at my own pace, I’m a perfectionist when it comes to cake decor and can’t delegate or trust others to do it But soon I will need to train a team. I receive many orders but I do not accept more than three a week, once I feel I can manage I’ll be running my own bakery.
Syed Hussain Raza- Sunset Car Wash
No one likes to drive dirty cars and Sunset carwash is a service particularly targeting the working class who normally don’t have drivers at home and they hardly find time to clean their cars. As a working professional I was facing the same situation and the idea struck my mind and I identified the need of such service, my business partner encouraged me and gave strength to me to execute the idea.
The next phase was how we are going to execute the idea as it is very important for a startup to have the right execution and knowledge of services which is going to be delivered to meet the customer need. After a lot of research on products and equipment, we managed to execute it correctly. It has been six month since we are working and during the initial 3 month we were hardly meeting our expense and we were losing hope and thinking of rolling it back however we did not lose hope and analyzed our weakness which was resulting in low business.
Finally, we reached a conclusion that we are not advertising our business in a proper manner and to the right target market. To resolve this issue we started researching, how Facebook marketing works and we learnt about it and identified the key points, without taking any external help of social media marketing professional we again started watching Youtube Tutorial and red research papers. After gaining knowledge we Re-launched our Facebook marketing campaign and the results were mind blowing. There was a huge surge in demand and we started booking our entire week just over the weekend and since then we have the same routine.
Currently, we don’t have much capacity to fulfill the demand and we are adding another vehicle and team
. We started off with one vehicle and the concept was to put two people on one vehicle however due to current demand’s surge we have added 2 more people which has resulted in reducing the cleaning time from 3 hours to 1.5 hours for our General Service.
Our future plan is to launch our own Car care product line, we have got the products developed and currently we are in testing phase. Once they are finalized we will roll them in the market.
My advice to all young entrepreneurs is to be patient and hang in there for a while, identify the
weakness and improve them. Our country has a huge population and there is a massive demand, you only need to identify how you can tap the potential and capitalize on it.
Raza Ahmed- Bamboo Union
I started my journey as an entrepreneur without a mapped out plan, initially. I had come back from College in Canada, and joined a troubled division of one of our family business. After some failed attempts to revamp the business model, I decided to move on in life and do something which i really enjoyed and something that could keep me going in life. I had never thought of getting into the restaurant business before but since i was very particular about what i ate and how i wanted my food at every meal, the decision to get into this business seemed like destiny. Just like any other journey nothing came easy, for starters this business required a lot of capital, just to convince my father to merely invest in a new project was not an easy task. One thing that worked in my favor was that one of my uncles was running a couple of restaurants in Dubai. I went to Dubai and worked under his supervision and ran the restaurants for 9 months. On my return, i was more clear headed as to what exactly i wanted to get into. Everything in life is like a lesson and i take every failure as a learning so i put everything in perspective before i started Bamboo Union. One of the biggest learnings from my retail experience was that location can and should never be compromised upon. So it almost took me another 10 months to find the perfect place for this project. The toughest time during construction work was Summer Ramzan period where fasting seemed like almost impossible, till the time we opened doors to the public.That’s when i realized the real intensity of running a restaurant. I can only thank God for the kind of response that we got. But as this happened me and my team just worked for almost 14 hours a day non-stop and mostly without food as we had no time to feed ourselves. During this time i almost lost 10kgs. There is no greater reward to see all your hard work pay off like it has so far. Our focus from day one wasn’t to grow our sales, honestly some days i almost forgot to check the sales figures but our aim was to serve the best Pan Asian food in Lahore. This thankfully has worked out well, and we have customers that have been coming to us from day one and they still feel great about having our food.
The great thing about this business is that you have direct access to the customers and ninety percent customer satisfaction has kept us going. The working hours are crazy in this business but as long as our customers are happy Team Bamboo Union is more than happy to put in a few more hours :). Its been almost a year now since we started operations and now we are gearing up for our second outlet.
MediaBites editorial: Zahra Khan
Pakistan First Media And Brand Website.
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