It’s not how you start but where you have reached. Meet Nafeesathul Mizriya, the Founder and Managing Director of Minhaj Buildings. Nafeesathul has been an inspirational person with many awards and accolades received for her amazing vision and character and she has been a successful entrepreneur by starting Minhaj Builders and bringing it to such an incredible position in Architecture and Construction industry and continues to building it to greater heights.
Tell us about yourself, your background and your previous ventures.
I’m Nafeesathul Mizriya, hailing from Kunnamkulam. I’m the Founder and the Managing Director of Minhaj Builders. I have been honored enough to be the winner of the Global Women Inspirational Award in 2021. After completing my Class 10, I joined Victoria College in Palakkad for a pre-degree, but couldn’t complete it as I was laid low by pneumonia. After that I did ITC Draughtsman civil engineering course, My professional journey was marked with that, I did with my passion in the architectural and construction domain. But fortunately, immediately after the completion of my course, I was selected for government service and had been there for a significant 5 years. I was employed as Work Superintendent in Kunnamkulam Municipality, Work Superintendent in Thrissur Corporation Office, and Overseer at CADA. (Command area development authority) It was while I was working in the government sector, I did my Civil Engineering course from Maharajas Technological Institute, Thrissur as part-time. After completion of the course, my ambition ran beyond what I was doing and earning with government service. I felt that I was bound with a limited income although getting a government job at the age of 18 was indeed a big achievement to me. So with the dreams and goals set to make a bigger story, I quit the government service and decided to pursue my career with Architectural and Construction work. I began with small steps by offering architectural plans as a freelancer. But gradually as my work gained more and more clients, I decided to keep a step ahead to start my own company, which is today known in the name of Minhaj Builders
Could you talk about Minhaj Builders?
I can say that it is one of the most trusted organizations in the Architecture and Construction industry, headquartered in Kunnumkulam. Although headquartered here, we have our branch offices in Thrissur and Palakkad also. Minhaj Builders holds proudly a story that was begun in Vaduthala, near Kunnamkulam. In a very short span of life, the firm has established itself to be one of the leading businesses in the Construction and Architecture industry. Today, we have accomplished more than 2200 plans and 550 projects completion. As we realized that we have succeeded in our goals, the business was taken to other verticals too and today, Minhaj Group has under its domain, Minhaj Builders, Minhaj Cements, Minhaj Collections.
What are some of the challenges you faced while setting this up? How did you overcome these?
As you already know I’m already living with a set of challenges that have now made my overcoming more of a habitual task. Since the age of 2, when I was diagnosed with Polio and I was left with one of my legs paralyzed forever, I have been always striving to be like the other children…or perhaps my goal was always to go ahead of what was expected by myself! Anyway, that is how I began overcoming all setbacks and make things beautiful for me.
Now, while I was setting up this venture called Minhaj Builders, I still remember some of the responses I received from the bank managers or even my prospects when they found me not walking like how they do. Perhaps, the stick I carried in my hands should have given them a feeling of uncertainty about my ambitions that I discuss or sometimes, the promises I make. When I applied for a loan in the bank, I remember how unsure they were and had asked me if would be able to accomplish my goals making sure if I would be repaying them without fail. But, at anywhere I came across these, I had communicated my confidence in myself and also told them that in any way, I shall reach my goals and would make my dreams come true. Well, today I believe my portfolio speaks for them all.
How do you reach out to your potential customers?
Most of the conversions have been happening through word-of-mouth publicity and I’m indeed happy about that side. It somewhere proves to me that all the quality that we deliver in the work pays back with more customers.
Then, I use the available social media platforms where I try to impart the knowledge to the target audience who will be interested to construct residential or commercial projects. I try to make them aware of the things they should know before and while investing in construction. Maybe this together works out for bringing customers to me.
Do you have a team? How did you meet each other and what are their roles in the venture?
I do have a strong and dedicated team who contributes their skills and caliber with the goal of the group set in their minds. The company manager, Site engineers, Supervisors, 3D designers, and Draughtsmen do their respective roles as they are trained to meet our goals by keeping every bit of the operations smooth and without allowing any confusion to stay.
I’m proud and happy that all my team members are good enough to handle their delegated tasks beautifully giving me a sense of tranquility at the end of the day.
Do you have a role model you look up to? If yes, what are the qualities that you admire of that person? If no, then why?
Well, I do not have any role model that I look up to. As I mentioned earlier, that since I am a person with some challenges that live along with me, I always tried to be that person whom I wanted to be! I only looked up to the version of me that dwelled in my dreams and worked strongly to make it a living reality. I always worked on myself to empower the person in me to live a life without leaving a chance to be dependant, be it financially or emotionally. That is how I have modeled myself in my mind and gradually given life to it.
What else do you pursue outside of this? And how does a regular day in your life look like? What is your schedule?
Outside of my business, I’m passionate about motivational speaking, writing lyrics, and reading. I must mention that I’m glad that I had an immense opportunity to speak for the physically challenged people and to inspire them in every way to think beyond their challenges and rebuild their minds to be accomplished in their lives.
My regular day begins with domestic affairs like any other woman. Then I enter my work with a dedicated mind and with undivided attention. By the end of the day, I make sure that all the efforts I put gives me a sense of satisfaction and are leaving me with gratitude for living a day beautifully.
What are your future plans? Where do you see yourself in five years?
All future plans are aligned with the better version of the current operations and the results that come along. In another five years, we shall make our reach extended to different parts of Kerala other than where we are already serving now. We will surely expand our resource strength to be open to projects located anywhere in Kerala that can give the best sense of accomplishment to both customers and us mutually.
Also, I have a plan to own and operate a unique Rental Service of construction equipment that will serve as one of the best in South India. Well, that plan is being worked out now. Hopefully, we can implement it soon.
Apart from these, being a Youtuber and vlogger speaking to motivate and inspire people, I would also be working on making it more reachable and informative with more motivational videos. I believe that my videos will be helpful to the people looking out for a bit of inspiration to reach their goals by sharpening their mindset. Well, this will definitely fetch in financial benefit too.
Beyond all these, I would like to engage myself more with the women empowerment programs and activities, where undoubtedly I would find the best sense of satisfaction. In the next five years, I shall definitely be taking up projects that ensure employment for the women who are now forced to be dependent on others for their living. That class of women including widows need to be addressed. Well, my next five years will also witness the publishing of the book that I’m writing now. It is my biography in which I’m narrating the journey of falling down with a paralyzed leg in my 2 years to my standing up and ending with a strong career, winning women entrepreneurship awards and other recognitions, allowing me to meet the version of me in reality that once took birth in my dreams.
What is your message to the young generation of today?
Along my journey in motivating the youth, I have always emphasized an early income generation plan. In most of my sessions with students and even elders, I have always shared my personal side, my challenges, and my success stories. This was only to inspire them to find their caliber, sharpen their skills and live an accomplished life, like how I do with all of my setbacks kept aside. As I mentioned, I have been a person who got employed in the government sector at the age of 18. And along with working, I did my part-time course in Civil Engineering. Of course, every challenge that we take up will have its own pain to bear. I remember I had come home after the class around 9.30 at night. But today, with all of that done I have known that life has more to offer me back. The generation today and the coming generations need to find an income generation source by utilizing the part-time job opportunity along with their studies. This will definitely change the current scenario of studying courses after courses forgetting to earn for their living and depending on parents or spouse financially. I would repeat, financial freedom is very much essential irrespective of gender.
Awards & Accolades
Global women inspirational award winner 2021
Best women entrepreneur award winner 2019
Samrambhakar special mention award winner March 2019
Best women entrepreneur award winner 2017
I was able to employ a lot of People in my Company.
There are a lot of people working in my company even in the predicament of Covid 19.
I was able to buy Car, Land, and put up a House as I thought.
Through many interviews, I was able to share my life and vision with others.
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