Muhammad Yaseen: On a top gear

Iqtidar Gilani Our Correspondent

20th Oct, 2021. 06:58 pm

Muhammad Yaseen is a self-made man, who is successfully running three different businesses. Photo: Reporter

Muhammad Yaseen is a self-made man, who is successfully running three different businesses. A graduate from the Punjab University, Yaseen set up Khalid Autos about two decades ago. The company is now providing auto parts to various government institutions, such as the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco), etc.

Four years ago, he established another company Khalid and Brothers with the seed money of just Rs0.1 million for the import and trading of the industrial sewing machines.

Due to his love for gems, he launched another company Azizi Gems and Jewellery. He was always ready to participate in any exhibition anywhere in the world to promote the gems and jewellery of Pakistan. The annual turnover of his business ventures is around Rs1 billion.

Having an interest in trade politics, he formed an independent group to break monopolies of the Pakistan Industrial Association Front (PIAF) and founders in politics of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Though this group he has so far not achieved any significant success but its strength has considerably increased over time.

Yaseen formed the Lahore Industrial Sewing Machines Association to resolve the issues being faced by the stakeholders. He is presently serving as secretary general of LISMA, a representative body of 300 importers and traders of the industrial sewing machines.

Khalid Mehmood, the elder brother said, though youngest among five brothers, Yaseen enjoys respect of the entire family. He believes in taking initiatives and working hard for the success of projects.

Being a dedicated, focused and hardworking person, he has taken family business to new heights in a short span of time. He is always ready to give a helping hand to fellow businessmen.

Another borther Hamid Naheed said Yaseen is a seasoned businessman and a great human being. He is a man of ideas who is always ready to bring innovation in the business. He believes in giving quality time to the family and always remain ready to help the poor and the deserving people.

Following are the excerpts of a brief chat with him:

What was your first business venture?

I started to import and manufacture auto parts under the banner of Khalid Autos around 20 years ago. Manufacturing has stopped due to the energy crisis and high electricity and gas tariffs. The company is now importing and selling a variety of auto parts. It is also a vendor of the Wapda, Lesco and some other public sector entities.

What is your biggest achievement?

I have worked a lot for the rights of small traders. Industrialists and big businessmen were not ready to give small traders even access to the LCCI. Now small traders are part and even conveners of the LCCI standing committees.

What is your greatest fear in life?

Honestly speaking, I have no fear. I am a God-fearing man who believes in honesty and follow business ethics. I have taught my children to follow the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for success in life and hereafter.

Who is your inspirational role model?

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is my inspirational role model. He (PBUH) has taught me how to live life and do business.

What is your favourite sport? Have you been a player or athlete yourself?

Cricket… Like most of the people of my generation, I played cricket in streets and school/college grounds.

Who is your favourite sportsman?

Imran Khan… It is due to his leadership qualities and cricketing abilities.

Something about music?

I listen to music only, while travelling.

What are your Hobbies?

I am always ready to extend a helping hand to colleagues. I have introduced several small traders to the Chinese market. Helping the poor is my hobby and mission.

How do you take part in public welfare?

I have set up the Madina Welfare Society to serve the poor and deserving people.

How many hours do you work in a day?

I usually spend eight hours at the desk and in the field. Three to four hours are for meeting friends and colleagues, two to three hours for public welfare and the rest of the time is for the family.

Which is your favourite holiday destination and why?

I am a nature lover and fond of travelling. The Northern Areas and Kashmir are my favourites due to mountains, waterfalls and scenic beauty.

iPhone or Android phones?

Android… I prefer Samsung, as it is user-friendly. But I change phone only when the existing one starts causing problems.

Which clothing brands do you frequently wear?

I am not a brand conscious but prefer quality and can wear any brand.

What prompted you to join traders’ politics?

I desired to make my experience and expertise productive for my community. Doing politics is aimed at enabling small traders to get their due status and rights.

What can make the business environment easy and encouraging?

It is really difficult for someone to start a new business. There is a dire need to remove bureaucratic hurdles and providing a one-window facility to the new entrants. The government should provide guidance and enable aspirant entrepreneurs to bring innovations. For the existing players, minimum involvement of departments and measures to minimise and duplication of taxes must be carried out.

What is the future outlook of business in Pakistan?

I am not optimistic, as the entire government focus is on large scale manufacturing with little or no attention to the Small and Medium Enterprises and cottage industry. The textile and IT sectors are big beneficiaries of the government concessions. The future is bleak until and unless the government gives due attention to the SMEs and cottage industry, which is the backbone of any economy in the world.

Elder brother Khalid Mehmood said: “Though youngest among five brothers, Muhammad Yaseen enjoys respect of the entire family. He believes in taking initiatives and working hard for the success of projects. Being a dedicated, focused and hardworking person, he has taken family business to new heights in a short span of time. He is always ready to give a helping hand to fellow businessmen.”

Brother Hamid Naheed said: “Yaseen is a seasoned businessman and a great human being. He is a man of ideas who is always ready to bring innovation in the business. He believes in giving quality time to the family. He is always ready to help the poor and the deserving people.