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Successful as a self-employed bricklayer

Fiaz is now self-employed as a bricklayer in Pakistan.

Successful as a self-employed bricklayer

I spent eight years working in Germany to provide a better life for my family. But I missed them, so I came back home. I had no idea at first how to find my feet again. I’m now self-employed as a bricklayer thanks to the PGFRC.

My name is Fiaz and I’m 41 years old. I come from a small village near Sargodha in Punjab province, Pakistan. I used to work as a bricklayer, but left for Germany in 2013 to search for better opportunities. I worked there for the next 8 years in restaurants and in a car factory. Then I decided I no longer wanted to be separated from my family. So I came back to Pakistan in July 2021.

Preparations in Germany

While still in Germany, an advisor gave me information about the services provided by the Pakistani-German Facilitation and Reintegration Centre (PGFRC) in Pakistan. Young men in our village usually learn a trade. That’s why I already had practical experience as a bricklayer before leaving for Germany. I really wanted to expand on that experience.

So I contacted the PGFRC team in Lahore and we discussed my plan. I was invited to Islamabad just a month later where I was given a starter pack containing bricklaying tools. This meant I could start working as a bricklayer in my local town.

A new chapter in my home country

I worked with a former colleague as a day labourer over the following 4 months. We worked on various construction projects, including residential buildings, businesses and a shopping centre. My colleague was already busy in the sector. Working with him was a good idea to begin with, because it meant I could use his network.

But I wanted to improve my income and not always be simply earning a daily wage. So I decided to start my own bricklaying business. The PGFRC referred me to a training course in Lahore for aspiring entrepreneurs. This was really useful for me, since I didn’t have any knowledge in this area.

The training course covered lots of topics. We learned about bookkeeping, how to build up a customer base and how to manage a warehouse. I also learned how to spot a good business opportunity. I know how important it is to grow your contacts. It’s best to try and make contact with potential new customers. But it’s also good to strengthen relationships with suppliers.

Fiaz' services are often recommended to others.

There are lots of bricklayers in Pakistan. So recommendations are the key to getting new orders. I felt confident enough after the training course to network locally. I’ve also been visiting my previous customers. That’s a lot of effort, but it’s worthwhile. I’m currently working on a project that I found through my personal connections. I now have more customers and they often give me repeat commissions.

Another important aspect I learned from the training course is that it’s essential to deliver on time and keep bookkeeping records.

Step by step into self-employment

I didn’t have a clue what the future in Pakistan had in store for me when I left Germany. The PGFRC support gave me a route into self-employment. It enabled me to start my own bricklaying business that I’m now running successfully.

As of: 02/2023

This text is written in simple language to ensure that it’s easy for everyone to understand.

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The following organisations were involved in supporting Fiaz:

The advice I received gave me the necessary self-confidence.

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