By Ali Imran
But he had a steely desire to succeed, to do something that would justify his migration to the land of hope, half a world away from Pakistan.
Like the first generation of immigrants he had to do many things, work hard, put work before fleeting pursuits. But he also broke with rest of the people, as soon as he started learning the American way of doing business.
Slowly but steadily Sheikh began shoring up his business prospects. He got an automobile certification and worked for the Ford motor company. That was the stepping stone as Sheikh expanded his business to several areas.
And now decades later, the Pakistani-American entrepreneur has business concerns in areas ranging from real estate to petroleum– symbolizing a classic rags-to-riches American dream realization.
Sheikh also heads an organization of Pakistani-American business leaders.
“I believe Pakistan American Business Association (www-pabausa.org) has achieved a lot —- it has raised awareness about the potential of working together, provided a platform to entrepreneurs to discuss and advance cooperation, and above all it advocates interests of small and medium businesses,” says Sheikh, who is founding chairman of the association.
What distinguishes him from others?
“I believe in working together — with both local American companies and our Pakistani businessmen — I am in daily contact with local Virginia government leaders and private sectors leaders, I think this is the best way of doing business.”
At the political level too, Sheikh is quite active. Governors and other top state and county legislators and Republican and Democratic parties often interact with him.
In the same spirit, Sheikh says he wants to support students and envisions setting up a university in Pakistan in cooperation with an American University.
“I believe in growing together —- because together we will grow but separately we will face isolation and inclusiveness.
“It gives me inner satisfaction to help people, young people who want to advance in life.”
Sheikh also wants the US-Pakistan relations must be based on economic and trade cooperation while education should also be an important part of the bilateral ties.
“We can really see the relations between the two countries strengthened — we should not get stuck in the Afghan war controversies — we should think and act mutually in the interest of both nations.”
- George Allen discusses steps for U.S. economic rebound; meets Pakistani-Americans (myglobalcommunitytoday.wordpress.com)
- US-Pakistan relations need injection of fresh ideas (myglobalcommunitytoday.wordpress.com)