Saturday, February 4, 2023
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Haseeb Taj: An Engineer, Lawyer, Blogger, Techie, Athlete & Businessman

Haseeb Taj with his kids. Photo Source: Provided

Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi everyone, I’m Haseeb Taj.

I’m a structural engineer, with about 10 years of building construction experience.

I am also the director of PMO (project management office) in a tech company called DAO Proptech and am involved in various other business ventures.

I’m a father of two awesome kids and also a professional squash player.

Apart from that, I’m a true entrepreneur at heart with a love for learning new things and traveling to different places with friends (jiggers).

Please tell us about your educational background.

I graduated from American University of Sharjah UAE as a Civil Engineer.

Then I completed my MS in structural engineering from NUST, Pakistan. Later I also got my LLB degree from Islamia University Bahawalpur, Pakistan.

NUST graduate engineer Haseeb Taj
Photo Source: Provided

Please tell us something about your different ventures.

I’m still in the process of learning about myself so I’m experimenting quite a bit.

Currently, I think I’m a wannabe polymath. Polymath is a person with knowledge spanning a wide range of subjects. I’m not there yet but I’m trying.

I’m a co-founder of a tech firm called DAO Proptech, owner of a construction firm “M/S Muhammad Taj” registered with Pakistan Engineering Council, and the co-founder of a structural design firm “Ali and Haseeb Consulting”.

NUST graduate engineer Haseeb Taj
Photo Source: Provided

I’m working on other ventures like the research for lightweight concrete and its usage in construction, a construction directory website (tajlistings.com), a YouTube channel (Haseeb Taj), and an engineering design firm in UAE.

Why did you start your own business instead of pursuing a job?

To be honest, I’ve been trained that way by my father. He is a strong believer in innovation and entrepreneurship.

After my graduation in UAE, I got a job for a few months just to try things out and then decided that business is something I can really excel in.

NUST graduate engineer Haseeb Taj
Photo Source: Provided

What problems did you face while starting your own firms?

There were two main problems: acquiring the right people for the job and the legal issues of registering firms either with an authority or with the tax authorities.

Apart from that, Pakistan is an amazing place to start your business because with a little bit of innovation you can set your product apart.

We are a developing nation so there’s not a lot of competition on many fronts.

NUST graduate engineer Haseeb Taj
Haseeb Taj at construction site. Photo Source: Provided

When and why did you do LLB? Did it help you in your career?

Well it’s a funny story. I had a 3 year construction project near a law teaching institute, and I used to go by it everyday.

I was already interested in learning new things so one day I went in to inquire about LLB. The rest is history.

Overall, it has helped me a lot in contracts management and taxation. I’ve learnt a lot of things about our rights as citizens and the limitations of our laws as well.

Please tell us about your YouTube channel.

It was on the suggestion of my wife that I started it. I love talking about the construction field and my wife told me to just talk about it in front of a camera.

I never knew how many people actually want to learn about construction. It has been a great experience. I’ve actually learnt a lot from the questions and comments on my videos as well.

Why did you return to Pakistan? 

I love Pakistan. That’s the main reason.

I’ve been to Singapore, Hong Kong, Egypt, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Oman, Saudi Arabia and I’ve lived in UAE for almost 5 years but overall I just love being in Pakistan.

I love the culture, the food, the people and overall freedom here. I’m not oblivious to the problems, there are huge problems, but I think it’s our responsibility to clean our home.

Photo Source: Provided

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

There’s a recent book by Simon Sinek called “The Infinite Game” in which he talks about this concept. Finite games are games that have a specific end like football or cricket.

Infinite games are games with no specific end or even rules, like business or politics.

“If the innovation is legit, finding money will not be a problem.”

I see myself as playing the infinite game of business where I’ll try to make homes for people. I’m still doing it and I think I’ll be doing the same in 10 years.

What message do you have for graduates, in general, and civil engineering graduates, in particular?

Things are tough. Be tough. You’ve spent money and time in learning theory, now spend some money and time on learning the practical skills as well to complement your learning.

Photo Source: Provided

After graduation, work for a company even if it means you do it for free, at least for about 3 months. Then decide what to do.

Try finding an innovative solution to a problem and starting a business if possible. If the innovation is legit, finding money will not be a problem.

What message do you have for graduates who want to start their own business in any field?

Starting your own business will always be difficult but it’ll be worth it after the initial dry patch.

Money will not be your biggest problem if the solution and innovation you bring is good enough. There are people willing to invest in businesses with a potential.

Photo Source: Provided

Since you have been a professional squash player, what steps do you suggest the government should take to promote squash and other non-cricket sports in Pakistan?

Pakistan has won more championships in squash than in any other sport. The current squash infrastructure in Pakistan is not bad.

We always ask the government for help but our government has their hands full at the moment. There are so many internal problems to solve that allocation of funds for other sports is almost impossible.

Photo Source: Provided

However, the government should at least use ways to promote other sports without using a lot of money. Like involving the media and the private sector to use tournaments and events in a commercial way.

Sports get players and success when it’s commercialized and brought to the mainstream media, the money usually follows.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Don’t take life too seriously. Don’t make excuses. Keep working consistently. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

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Connect with Haseeb on his social media accounts here:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

LinkedIn

YouTube

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Read More: Meet The NUST Grad Who Left A ‘Stable Job’ To Do What He Loves

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