Sk. Burhanuddin Taskeen, Bachelor of Science, Chemical Technology (Petro) after 19 years of job quits as senior manager-operations and joins a business line in Equipment Design and System Engineering in Nagpur. His inspiring and adoptable journey gives us excellent references of family team work, innovation, diversification of business and timely business line exits.
He did his primary and secondary schooling in Khamgaon, Vidarbh, Maharastra, India. He completed his Bachelor of Science, Chemical Technology (Petro) from Laxminarayan Institute of Technology, Nagpur University in 1977. His father M. Abdut Tayyab Taskeen managed a hardware shop in Khamgaon.
After graduation, he had been selected by 2 US universities for master’s programme in USA. Simultaneously, he also received a job of Assistant Engineer in Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd Refinery. He went in the hazrat of Aqa Moula Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) and made the araz for raza to study in USA.
Burhanuddin Moula (RA) asked him 2 questions, “Do you have your own house in watan and how will you fund your education”. He replied that his father recently built a small house in watan and he has got an educational loan sanctioned from a bank for paying the studying cost and air fare was to be borne by the Tata Trust.
Burhanuddin Moula (RA) then granted him Raza to join the job in India. He says that way back in 1979, itni marafat noti and he asked Moula that “Moula how will I again get a chance to go abroad?” Burhanuddin Moula (RA) with a broad smile, Tabassum, said that you will go abroad in 3-4 years.
He joined Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. in 1977 as an Asst. engineer in Visakhapatnam refinery. After 1 year he was promoted as an engineer. He was sent to Japan after 4 years for training in Microprocessor based Process Control System, barakat of Dua of Burhanuddin Moula (RA).
In 1986 he was transferred to HPCL headquarters in Mumbai as deputy manager-corporate planning and during this time he attended many training programs in operation, financial planning, general administration and HRD. In 1991 he was transferred back to Visakhapatnam Refinery as Manager – Production was and then promoted to senior Manager-operations heading a team of 125 people.
In 1996 he resigned with raza of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) Moula and joined the family business which actually was established through his concerted efforts by involving family members over the years.
In 1981 his 2 uncles were engaged in petty services, he called them both to Vishakapatnam and opened a hardware shop with an investment of about 10-15 thousand rupees as a sleeping partner.
While at the job 1982, during a qadam bosi bethak, Burhanuddin Moula (RA) farmayu, “Go to the job but be business minded and not service minded.”
Therefore in 1984, his elder brother M. Hussain bhai, who was working in Saudi Arabia then as a technician returned to India and they started an electrical shop called Taskeen Engineers.
In 1986 another brother Ellyas bhai who had done M.Tech from IIT joined along with another two younger brothers, Sk Qasim bhai and Sk Siraj bhai (engineering & science graduates, respectively) who joined after completing their studies. Now, the business got a formidable team of younger brothers and a cousin, as well as father and uncles. Under the advice of Sk Burhaan they converted the firm into Pvt Ltd in 1987.
In 1993, they had some issues with the working capital problems due to the non-recovery of payments from the contractors. Hence one brother Sk. Ellyas bhai exited with mutual consent and with Aqa Moula’s Raza Mubarak started a new firm, a business unit of designing, system engineering and fabrication in sugar factories. Later he was joined by other brothers also.
Also by 1995 their 2 uncles in hardware shop after 15 years became self-reliant in launching their own independent supply business.
When Sk Burhanuddin joined in the year 1996, he further expanded by launching design of Oil Pollution machine, jointly designed by in house skills of engineer brothers.
They introduced new and innovation processes in water and air pollution control equipment and systems to serve the factories all over India in the sugar belts . This clicked due to ingenuity, absence of competition and of course hard work of all the brothers. They created a niche market into the sugar factories and the business grew exponentially.
1998 another firm by name SMB Engineers was started by Sk Qasim bhai, while Sk Ilyas bhai along with his son diversified into building materials and real estate business.
By 1999 – 2000 all brothers, with mutual agreement totally wounded up the electrical contracting business under “Taskeen Engineers Pvt Ltd”, while continuing water pollution system in the new firm till 2002 and worked for SMB Engineers as a team, adding some more process and pollution control items in the sugar factory line.
As they were designing the process improvement and Air / water pollution control equipment’s. They had an edge in the market and they become market leaders, consequently reaping huge monetary gains.
Sk Burhanuddin looked after the market development and technical sales initially for both the companies and after 2002 for SMB Engineers exclusively as both the product lines were then merged under SMB Engineers.
Also this was the time when competitors started to copy their designs and they began loosing their lead in market and decline in their profit margins. They were not backed by patent right protection so that they could claim damages.
They had a number of challenges which they managed to overcome.
First challenge was the initial capital which was invested while other business were still running.. The additional requirement of capital of designing and fabrication of equipment was well handled by taking advance amounts along with the purchase orders and tie-up with suppliers as partners with back to back payments.
Second challenge was that until they had their own fabrication workshop, they got the job done through job works, served the customers and grew the business.
Third important challenge was to work as a team, exploiting different skills of marketing, designing, engineering, sales, finances and human resources and they did it exceptionally well by distributing different functions among themselves with a sense of accountability.
Fourth challenging was to protect their innovations in designing by acquiring patents rights and backing up with legal frame work. They did not recognize this critical aspect. In absence of patents rights of the designs of their equipment, the competition started to copy their designs and they started losing their market leadership.
Fifth challenging was maintaining & operating the business lines with comfortable profit margins. When they witnessed changes in market conditions which were not favorable for long, they timely exited those business lines and diversified and switched to alternate profitable business ventures to their advantages.
Sixth challenging was holding on to the business with several family members including uncles, brothers and cousins. When the differences cropped up, they amicably settled among themselves and with mutual consent, professionally made the decisions to separate and part ways. The guidance and hidayat of Aqa Moula (tus) which says Always maintain harmonious relations with your relatives. Never ever break communication (Qita Ta’alluq na karo) even if you have difference of opinion with your brothers.
In 2007, Sk. Burhanuddin started own firm SMB Projects and ran it for next 3 years in similar products lines. To avoid customer taking advantage of the competition, in 2010 he diversified into factory consultancy line offering project management solutions from feasibility studies to plant procurement services under SMB Environmental Projects Pvt Ltd. in Nagpur, Maharashtra.
This company offers consultancy to setup small scale industries (SSI) and Micro, small & medium enterprises (MSME) and doing facilitation to move from trading to manufacturing.
Currently Sk Burhanuddin operates from Nasik with a team of about 5 associates and a virtual online office. He says his various business engagements fully compliment to his qualifications, experience and various skills acquired during the corporate training.
After 20 years of doing business he is very satisfied making the move to the business and abiding by the farman and khushnodi of Burhanuddin Moula (tus) have given him and his family great business successes as well as deeni upliftment. His son is Hafiz ul Quran and his daughter in law who is his brother’s Sk Ellyas Bhai’s daughter is also Hafiz ul Quran. Inspite of separation in businesses the brothers and cousins now maintain very cordial relationships and frequently gather together in all their family functions.
However, Sk Burhanuddin feels that had he resigned in 1986 itself without delaying the decision for 10 years, the group would have emerged as a single and more powerful conglomerate of a “prominent industrial house” .
In the future, Sk Burhanuddin wants to bring more mumineen into the fold of manufacturing sector following Aqa Moula (tus) irshad mubarak for industries and in line with “Make in India” campaign by Government of India.
Sk Burhanuddin Taskeen Quotes :
“Mumineen of the world, unite and form winning combinations of technical skills, marketing talent and financial resources to create great business and industrial enterprises.”
All readers please share your comments and feedback from this journey and any lesson learned to implement in your own life.