Mumtaz Shamim takes pride to be a totally-self-made man.
Without inheriting 'a single paisa,' securing any bank loan and refusing to do
anything with interest he has built up a prestigious auto parts plant — Mumtaz
Engineering. His company manufactures and supply an array of car and motorcycle
parts to the local manufacturers. Mumtaz is a man of many faces and talents.
During his academic career he was a member of his school and college Basketball
teams and represented Karachi Division to help win many trophies. He has acted
in number of Pakistan Television plays including Shama, Tabeer and historical
serial Akhri Chattan in which he not only played the role of one of Changez
Khan's four son, Jay Be Nouvan, but also worked its technical advisor to help
design, manufacture and supply the fighting gears — swords, spears, bows and
arrows — as well as imparting horse riding training to the female cast. Though
his initial entry as a singer on the PTV did not fall through as planned despite
the recording of a song he made a smooth transition as a TV actor. He is
well-versed in the art of Qirat, the rendition of Holy Quran in its Arabic
magnificence. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of District Central
Karachi and vice chairman of the government-run Rehabilitation Centre for the
Handicapped Children which is chaired by DC Central. He was a good motorcyclist
having driven the in 'well of death' in circus for the kicks. He is a member of
Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers and has
participated in many international exhibitions. His foremost love and hobby is
collecting exotic birds and animals. His private zoo contains the biggest
collection of birds in Asia and houses some of the rarest birds under one-roof
PAGE: You take pride in starting from a scratch. How
did you accomplish what you've accomplished?
Mumtaz: I started as a street vendor selling Eid cards
on the footpath when I was in eight class during Ramadan in 1966. An investment
of 5 annas — a little over quarter of rupee then — let me earn a Rs 25
profit during the fifteen days that year. I continued the work for many
successive Ramadans and changed over to sell children's garments and chappals
still as a street vendor later. I still remember those early struggling days of
carrying 40 kilogram weight on my shoulders. After completing my Bachelors of
Commerce in 1972 I got involved full-time in manufacture of two-and four-wheeler
PAGE: What do you attribute your success to?
Mumtaz: I attribute it to the prayers of my parents
and on the years of hard work that I've put in. I've never been ashamed to do
any work no matter how lowly it may have appeared to others as long as it helped
me earn an honest living. I have been associated with the auto industry for last
32 years and have designed over 1,200 plus sheet metal, rubber and plastic parts
for the two-and four-wheelers including many precision-engineered parts not
alone by my company in the country. I am the only parts manufacturer to receive
the Best Performance award from Honda company twice.
PAGE: You have an immense fascination for birds and
animals. Will you brief us about your private zoo?
Mumtaz: I have converted the half of my two-acre plot
in F.B. Industrial area to construct a purpose-built premises to house 5,000
plus birds and a number of animals. The bird collection, which has taken me some
25 years to acquire, include 1,000 plus pairs of such exotic parrot variety as
the biggest king of parrot kingdom — Macaw- Amazons, cockatoos, parakeets,
African gray parrots, ringnecks, alexandrines and a huge variety of talking
parrots. It also houses a large variety of thousands of Indonesian Java
sparrows, budgerigars, doves, love birds, white and green pigeons, finch and
varieties of ducks, cranes, swans, peacocks, partridges, pheasants, flamingoes,
14 deer of 3 varieties, miniature berber goats. It also contains three breeds of
dogs — Great Dane, Poodle, and the vicious wild dog Rotweiller. There are
eleven workers and a resident veterinarian to ensure proper feeding, care and
protection of the birds and animals.
PAGE: Are you also breeding the birds?
Mumtaz: Yes. Not only we are breeding all the
varieties of birds and animals but I am also supplying them to numerous
exporters of exotic birds. Pakistan offers an ideal climate for the bird
breeding. According to moderate estimates Rs 70-100 million of live birds are
exported from the country each year. Commercial breeding of such birds as Java
sparrows, cockatoos, doves, and finch offers immense potential for
self-employment in the country as there is a great demand for them locally and
unlike other businesses it does not require huge investment initially. A Rs
25,000 investment can help earn a monthly remuneration of Rs 3,000 within four
months and much more later as these birds breed very quickly. There is immense
potential for bird exports provided it gets the governmental support and removal
of all sorts of obstacles.
PAGE: What's your message to PAGE readers?
Mumtaz: There is no shame or remorse in doing any kind
of work and without struggle and hard work success never comes.