From Corporate Job To Entrepreneur

Exclusive Interview with Arshad Mehmood Awan, CEO Homy Properties

Market research and careful business planning can change the entire game of a startup business!

Arshad Mehmood Awan

Homy Properties is a real estate firm that possess a team of real estate professionals, have vast experience in Saudi Arabian Real Estate market. They are adding value to Pakistani Real Estate Market through professionalism and the customer priority support!

Startup Insider Team has reached to Arshad Mehmood Awan – CEO of Homy Properties and did an exclusive interview conducted by host Saba Saeed. The conversation covers a variety of topics, including real estate business in Pakistan and the challenges related to it, lessons he learned, and his great advice for the people who want excel in this business. Indeed, his business serves as both an inspiration and a compass for the people with the similar aspirations.

Tell us about your background and how you conceived the idea of Homy Properties?

Basically, I have a background in finance. I have done my M.Com at Punjab University Lahore. After studying, I spent a few years in Pakistan and then moved to Saudi Arabia (KSA).

I have spent almost 16 years in KSA and have worked in the manufacturing industry, construction, and real estate. In 2019, I came back to Pakistan. When I was planning to return to Pakistan and start a business here, this was the time when I was figuring out in which domain or field I needed to pursue my business. I intended to adjust over here in less time because overseas Pakistanis feel difficulty adjusting to the dynamics of Pakistan’s environment.

However, mature systems and sophisticated working environments can be found in other countries. In Pakistan, the economy is not organized. My last employment before moving was with a real estate company. In 2017, I was developing a model for what would happen if I had to go to Pakistan and what choices I would need to consider in order to carry out the business there. Because I had prior experience in the real estate market, I thought it was the best option. In 2019, we opened our first Homy Properties office in Islamabad and began buying and selling. The overall experience was quite positive.

During the first two years, we also launched our YouTube channel. As an overseas Pakistani, I was aware of the obstacles that overseas Pakistanis encounter while attempting to invest in real estate in Pakistan. On what basis should they make investment in this domain?

I began accumulating and organizing that information in my Overseas Client section. That information was provided by me, if they wish to invest in both residential and commercial regions.

My mentor once said, “When you want to attempt a new thing anywhere, you must experience that on the small level.” I wholeheartedly agree with this. You must implement your business plan there, and if you see success, you can expand the scope of your operations. In my business, I also used the same approach. By doing this, we gradually increased. If I talk about my journey as a whole, I have found that Pakistan lacks effective systems. There are difficulties with regard to commitments, laws, and other such issues. Thus, if you want to run a business in Pakistan, be prepared for these obstacles and learn how to overcome them.

How should challenges be overcome prior to beginning a new business?

Everyone’s biggest obstacle is conducting business planning and research. It is crucial to do your homework and learn as much as you can about the business you want to start. Later on, you must draft a documented business strategy. If you ask Pakistani business people and entrepreneurs if they have business strategies, 90% of them will say no. As a result, doing your research before starting your firm is crucial. You must Write down every single detail, including your target clientele and the sources of your revenue.

During this phase, you must also set your time-bound small and large goals. Going this route and writing out your objectives will be better for you. You will be able to gauge your pace of development and cross-check your business progress using this method. You need a detailed strategy for your early business funds, which should cover startup costs, furniture, interior design, and the installation of IT equipment. With good planning, starting your business will be simple for you. Following that, you also take into account operational costs like team size and salary costs. This is how you can calculate any form of financial aspect to get some certain results.

Now assess the cost and determine whether you require funding for this. If so, there are various sources available, including friends and family who may stand with your business idea, and you execute a written agreement with them. For financial assistance, you can also contact a financial institution. You may occasionally be eligible for government sponsored business loans for young people. Credit card financing is an additional option.

When and why did you decide to start a business instead of a job?

If you currently work for someone else and want to start your own firm, you need to first perform some research and create a business plan for your startup. If you have a chance to run your business during your leisure time, take it at first. You will see results right away if you keep your startup in mind and put your plan into action. You will also examine the potential for profit or loss in that specific setup. You can completely transition from employment to business whenever you think your startup idea is ready to make a profit.

Which road map must you adhere to in order to succeed?

You must first complete real estate training if you intend to do business in this industry. Additionally, Homy Properties will shortly launch a program for real estate training. The advantage of training is that it will make you more conscious of potential difficulties in the road. We break down the training into several easy-to understand phases, including real estate mindset, business modelling, marketing, and lastly, how to use technology to your advantage. In this sense, training in the real estate industry is crucial.

What advice would you offer someone looking to launch a business?

There are some key ideas that young people should be aware of. You must work for businesses in related fields to get experience if you wish to succeed in your chosen line of work.

Work alongside them as a trainee to learn how the system operates. Never choose a shortcut after that. Always have a long-term plan in place. Never mislead your client. Your vision must be big because money is only a by-product. If you have a clear sense of where you’re going, you can create goals and stay on course for success. Engage fully in your business and don’t take a back seat.

What advice and motivation would you give to your younger self?

There is a greater interest in employment in Pakistan than entrepreneurship. Involvement in business particularly social entrepreneurship, is crucial if you want to see Pakistan’s economy grow. It is necessary at this point, and if such knowledge was made available to me, I believe that after getting sufficient experience, I would start and grow my own business.