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A future as an electrician

سیاہ بالوں اور داڑھی والا ایک شخص شلوار قمیض زیب تن کیے ہوئے ہے۔ وہ طاق کے سامنے کھڑے ہو کر کیمرے میں دیکھ کر مسکرارہے ہیں۔ طاق میں ڈبے رکھے ہوئے ہیں جس میں مختلف اقسام کا سامان موجود ہے۔
Electrician Shakeel and his cousin have a workshop.

A future as an electrician

I spent many years working abroad as an electrician, but I missed my family. When I came back to Pakistan in 2018, I wasn’t initially earning enough. A friend told me about the services offered by the PGFRC. And that’s how my new start began.

My name is Shakeel. I’m 40 years old and I come from a small village around 30 kilometres from Peshawar. It’s in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. I spent 9 years working as an electrician in Saudi Arabia and decided to return to Pakistan in 2018. I wanted to be near my family again,

but sadly I couldn’t earn enough money as an electrician. So I decided to develop myself professionally. I thought that would give me better opportunities.

How I found my professional calling in Pakistan

A friend told me about the services offered by the Pakistani-German Facilitation and Reintegration Centre (PGFRC). I searched the internet and discovered the business development training that the PGFRC provides. That seemed perfect for me: I had lots of practical experience as an electrician, but I didn’t know how to build and manage a business. I applied for the training course and was offered a place.

We were taught what we need to know in just 3 days. We learned about bookkeeping and accounting. They also taught us how to make and maintain contact with customers. And I now know how to manage a warehouse. I felt confident and motivated after the training course. I'm now thinking long-term. It’s all about setting myself long-term goals for my business and how I work towards achieving these goals.

I was also given some tools and equipment for electricians. The thing I find most useful is a digital voltmeter. But I was also given screwdrivers and pliers, a drill and copper wiring. Personal protective equipment was also included, such as special gloves.

Opening up new markets: we’re focusing on solar modules

My cousin and I rented a shop in our local town. We found a good location close to the main street. We charge or repair car batteries. But we also repair washing machines and other electrical devices. We even sell uninterruptible power supply systems. People either come to our workshop or we visit them in their homes.

A tip we were given during the training was that we should constantly be thinking about how we can improve our business. And it occurred to me that electricity is in short supply in our region. Sometimes we’re without power for up to 22 hours a day. Solar energy is seen by many to be a solution to this problem. That’s why my cousin and I decided to also repair solar modules. We’ve recently even started to install the solar modules ourselves.

One lesson learned: paperwork is important

Another lesson learned from the training course: I keep records of receipts, income and business expenditure on a daily basis. I never used to record those sorts of things. I only used to issue verbal invoices. Nowadays, however, I make a point of recording all the business expenses and income. I even charge for the petrol I use when I carry out a repair on site, because petrol prices are rapidly increasing.

I explain the price to my customers, including the quality of the materials or products that I use. They really appreciate that and recommend me to their friends and family.

 ایک شخص لکڑی کی میز پر کھڑا ہے۔ وہ کوئی الیکٹرل آلے کی مرمت کررہا ہے۔
Shakeel and his cousin provide a repair service, among other things.

We train others and pass on our knowledge

Since opening our workshop, my cousin and I have also employed an apprentice to help manage our growing business. I’m really happy to be passing on my trade knowledge. And I’m also teaching our apprentice entrepreneurial skills. The PGFRC gave me very useful support – and other people can also benefit from this opportunity. Just be brave!
 

01/2023
 

 

This text is written in simple language. In this way we want to ensure that it is easy to understand for all interested parties.

The PGFRC gave me very useful support – and other people can also benefit from this opportunity. Just be brave!
Shakeel

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