Saturday, July 28, 2007

Personal Time with Investors - Part 2

The first investment for Heaven Fresh came from 5 people that included friends and family.  I became friends with Anny Firman, Kamal Anwar and Taoufik Lahrache while attending Illinois Institute Technology in Chicago for my undergraduate studies in Computer Engineering.  The first investor to invest significant amount of money in the company outside the immediate friends/family circle was Mr. Azam Gondal.

Getting Mr. Gondal to invest money in the company was quite an experience.  He was very keen on investing the money in the business yet needed more confidence that we could manage the money and the business.  Our negotiations with him for the investment did not panout at two different occasion.  We understood his concerns and even though he was not a partner yet, we kept him informed about the progress of the company.  Finally, he decided to join in at the end of 2003.  This investment was a real boost to the company and gave Heaven Fresh much needed capital to put the business on the growth path. 

Getting someone to invest in your business means bonding with them on a very personal level regardless of the size of the investment.  In my opinion, the sacrifices that an entrepreneur is willing to make to establish the business are the biggest proof to an investor that his/her money is in responsible hands.  Anny, Taoufik, Kamal and I were involved in day to day business and had known each other for long time thus had an inherent trust in each other. The investment from the family side was more for the sake of helping us out than with an expectation of a return.  This outside investment from an experienced businessman like Mr. Gondal was a real confidence booster and a genuine seal of approval that we were on the right track.

Mr. Gondal and I took a trip to China in April 2007 to attend the Canton Fair in Guangzhou.  Here are a few pictures.

Mr. Azam Gondal at Dubai International airport Mr. Gondal at Dubai International air port during our transit to China.
Imran Bashir at Dubai airport I was there at the airport with him :)
Mr. Gondal in Guangzhou China A picture in front of the old exhibition center (Liuhua complex) in Guangzhou, China.
Imran Bashir at Canton fair China A banner mentioning 'The 1o1st session of China import and export fair".
Mr. Gondal outside new exhibition complex Mr. Gondal outside the new exhibition center (Pazhou Complex).
Pazhou comples construction The construction cranes in a background are working on the extension of the Pazhou complex.

2 Comments:

Blogger Nilo said...

Hello Imran,

I happend to run into your blogs by chance and enjoyed reading about your experiences in building a business from scratch.

I agree on the importance of operating capital and would love to hear more about your work. Is there an email address to communicate through? I am not very familiar with how these blogs work so bear with me.

Regards,
N.

September 19, 2007 8:22:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Imran Bashir said...

Hello Nilo

Thanks for your message and your appreciation. Please feel free to write me at ibashir@gmail.com.

Thanks.

Imran

September 22, 2007 6:32:00 PM PDT  

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