The inspiring and adoptable journey of Mustafa Bikanerwala demonstrates bold attempts to try out different business lines, immigrate to new territories, plan and prepare while in job to transit to business in a phased manner. Read on the journey of Bachelor of commerce who after 7 years of job in Dubai and Kuwait, quits job and shifts to Mumbai to start his own business in hardware supplies.
He did his primary and secondary schooling in Mumbai, India. He completed his Bachelor of Commerce from H.R. (Hassaram Rijhumal) College of Commerce & Economics, Mumbai University in 1991.
His father Hussainbhai Bikanerwala had a shop of general store having household items, crockery and utensils in Mumbai. Along with his graduation he had joined the family business as well. In 1992 he started managing the shop on his own after his father was forced to retire due to a major paralytic stroke. In 1998 he decided to change the business line and acquired the franchise of “Flying Machine Jeans” in the same shop and operated it for next 3 years.
In pursuit of growth he left for Singapore in July 2002 for dealing in precision tools for jewelry and to serve customers to India. He gave up his shop the same franchisee on rent basis. While in Singapore, he had family issues regarding his parent’s health and had to visit Mumbai frequently and this was impacting the customer services. So faced with this changes circumstance, he took calculated decision and in Oct 2004 wound up the operations from Singapore and returned to India. As a stop gap he took a interim job in call center for a few months.
In Mar 2005, he was offered a job in Dubai in a hardware shop and hence he went to Dubai and worked there for 6 months. When he came back to Mumbai for a short vacation, the same company suggested to shift him to their Kuwait branch and he accepted the offer. Hence in Dec 2005 he joined Alifiya Building Materials as a store manager. They were dealing in hand tools, safety and gardening items. Soon he called his family also to Kuwait.
He always had a keen desire to return back to Mumbai and but he to acknowledge the overall situation of life and be practical as well. He worked in Kuwait in the same company for 5 years, but was faced the family pressure to return back to India as his parents were growing old and were unwell. The decision had to be made soon as his children were also going to school, he thought it’s good to make the decision early while still they are in junior school.
What will you do in case you want to shift to India while you are well settled with your family in Kuwait but have no business infrastructure in India?
He discussed his situation with friends, relatives and took the advice of Aamil Saheb and made a detailed araz in hazrat of Aqa Burhanuddin Moula (RA). He was granted the raza to relocate to Mumbai.
With barakat of Raza Mubarak he immediately geared up into actions. He first shifted his family to Mumbai in May 2010, while he stayed back in Kuwait and his children completed the school admission process in Mumbai. He continued with his same job in Kuwait for next 2 years, preparing and saving for the capital required to do the business.
Then comes the final day to fly off to the home country! May 31 2012 was his last day in Kuwait and on 1st June 2012, he arrived in Mumbai. While he had the required capital and also the business line in hand but the hardware market in Mumbai was new to him. After a while the same Kuwaiti company had a branch in Mumbai also and they offered him a job there; barakat of Aqa Moula (tus) Dua Mubarak. He took up the job and worked there for next 1.5 years as a sales executive. Now the action time came and the hidayaat na kalaam which he had heard from Aqa Moula (tus) had to be put in action:
“The cowardly businessman goes unrewarded, while the one who is courageous is rewarded with his livelihood”
Finally in Jan 2014, he started his own business in outdoor supply of hardware items and safety products.
During his transition to business from job he had a few challenges from planning, preparation and execution.
First was the selection of the business line and he was equipped with 7 years of experience in hardware line
Second was the required capital for the business. He had arranged the required capital (CAPEX, capital expenditure) to start the business by the means of saving and had kept 1 year of reserve for meeting his family expenses (FLEX, family expenditure). (You may want to use the Budget excel sheet on ITS for estimating your monthly and then yearly financial requirements)
Third was the market knowhow, so he took up the job in hardware line in Mumbai and worked for 1.5 years to acquire knowledge about the local market and gear up for his business.
Fourth was the place to operate the business. He tied up with his cousin who has the business for precision tools for jeweler and he then started his operation from there for the outdoor supplies.
Fifth challenge was to build the customer base and. He used all the means on hand to establish the customers and like cold calls, personal visits and using electronic media like emails, internet and build his creditability soon with his potential customers.
His hard work, courage and relentless efforts paid off and it took him about 6-9 months until the business starting giving returns.
He says since he was a commerce graduate, knowledge of many practices are helping in trade but many things read in books was not directly applicable in real life. Also while in college, he did not study with a frame of mind to use the learning in business directly. Due to this lack of focus and serious towards studies, there was a second stage of learning which was difficult and lengthy but had practical real life leanings.
Now after 4 years since he moved to India, he is very happy to work in his home country and home town Mumbai. After initial hiccups of starting the business, he is comfortable working there and says there are many more opportunities to do business in India then what he had anticipated. He says he is blessed as he gets to live with his parents who are very old now and his family regularly gets barakat of attending miqaats with Aqa Moula (tus) in Mumbai and nearby places.
In future he is looking to take up a place for retail setup and wishes to import a few items of his own to further strength and grow his business. He looks forward to further sharpen his skills with business counseling and guidance.
Mustafa Hussain Bikanerwala quotes :
“Don’t lose your focus from your goals”
“Take small steps towards your goal. You may not reach there fast, but you will enjoy the journey”
All readers please share your comments/feedback from this journey and any lesson learned to implement in your life.