A MAN WITH MANY HANDS
“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.
He is a former director of BELA Automotive Ltd , Managing director at precision components, CEO and board member of Orange Tree foundation, team member of Children Cancer Foundation Pakistan Trust, and also a team member of Indus Hospital. He has worked with leading automotive companies like Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Nippon Denso, Massey Ferguson and San den as an OEM. .Lets gets introduced with Omer Mateen.
Q 1: I first want you to introduce yourself and the products you offer?
I was into manufacturing for 20 years but I left that manufacturing business six years back then I came into trading business of the same product that I was manufacturing. We have been into automotive parts that are used in motorcycles and cars and basically in manufacture assemblies e.g. screws and bolts and nuts.
Q 2: What is your company’s goal?
Previously, we had a goal when we were into manufacturing business because we were actually competing Japan. We were giving products to Japanese companies like Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and each and every part before we started manufacturing the products and supplying them. It used to go to Japan. Our goal was to be better than Japan. We succeeded in that. We continued supplying in Japanese manufacturing products in Pakistan like Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha. But now since I have trading business in Karachi and its much more relaxed than before. I have also increased my other commitments like Orange Tree and other products that I do with my friends. So, now my goal is to maintain a balance. I also wanted to social work and want to do my business as well.
Q 3: What were the challenges you have faced and how you lived through those?
When I started working in manufacturing business the challenges were not actually within the business there where external challenges like government policies. They were unexpected every year there was a challenge for us because we could not planned ourselves for years to come. What happens in civilized and developed countries that government policies are pro business. They make policies that are supportive for local businesses but in Pakistan its unfortunately, policies or duty structures is not business friendly. So, that was I think the biggest challenge that we faced in Pakistan.
Q 4: What is unique about your business? What made you choose this type of business?
Well, the uniqueness is I would say that I was always fond of technology and latest gadgets and equipment and we got to learn from the best. The uniqueness is Japanese people as our day to day communication was with Japanese. They got us to achieve productivity and, quality standards, Productivity within time and quality. So basically this is the uniqueness.
Q 5: What do you look for in an employee when u hire?
The most important thing to us is that they fit into our corporate culture. Whenever they learn the skills they start to plan to switch his job. We definitely can’t blame them for that so I always look for a long term commitment where a person could invest his time and skills.
Q 6: What are your responsibilities as a business owner, How many hours a day or average you work?
My factory was far away from my house they was a commute of 2 hours every day. I do ten hours job I look forward to almost everything except for accounts. I didn’t micromanage accounting although I did financial site.
Q 7: Does your company help community?
The community help is not on company level it was much on an individual level.
Q 8: How do you build a successful customer base?
One has to make good products and have to sale at competitive rates. One has to get
1. Timely deliveries.
2. Up to the mark products.
3. at a certain rates.
The most important thing is time .Japanese are very particular for timings.
Q 9: What have been some of your failures, and what have you learn from them?
It’s with everyone that sometime you learn from little problems. It’s very much individuals. I wouldn’t say that everyone learns from everything. It was a journey it’s not bad for me. I have learnt.
Q 10: What motivate you and to what you attribute your success?
I’m motivated through the sounds of machines it is used to like music to me.
Q 11: What is the difference between an entrepreneur and those who works for someone else?
It’s a mind set. I was born in a business environment where you have that attitude that there would be some people working under you. Both are challenging in their own ways. It’s not easy to take words and abuse from the boss you can lose millions over night.
Q 12: What is the best way to get long term success?
Well, there are two thing involved..
1. Your hard work
2. Your focus.
Q 13: In the last I want you to give a piece of advice for those who want to start a business?
One shouldn’t be hasty. If one wants to do anything one has to look for pros and cons of it. What is more important is the research that is realistic .you can put anything on paper, everything look fantasy on the paper but Ones the person enters the business he should make realistic decisions. If you don’t have skills don’t enter into the profession. It’s better to realize your weaknesses and strengths and plan for five year before starting.