Faizan Hussain’s about-turn: from manual jobs and three-shift days to an administrative role at Daraz
Faizan Hussain hasn’t forgotten the sting of humiliation he felt when, on more than one occasion during his school years, he was sent home for nonpayment of fees. Not one to surrender to circumstance, he took his chances.
Financial dire-straits have meant Faizan has long-known what it’s like to shoulder several responsibilities at once. His world-view has taught him, first-hand, the value of time, education and relentless hard work, lessons he now conveys to support staff at Daraz.
‘When I started out, you could say I was a helper. I wasn’t even remotely near an office environment’, Faizan says with the forbearance of one who might have left that life behind, but has not forgotten it.
Faizan’s story is one of struggle and self-betterment. He has hustled his way to an administrative position at Daraz.pk that sees him look after administrative concerns in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. Where once he worked side by side with his father, now he’s the family’s sole bread-winner. The long and winding road has seen him juggle familial obligations, financial stress and educational priorities; often at the same time, with varying degrees of success.
He might be a straight-shooter, but his journey from blue-collar hireling to Admin Officer has taken many a turn. Job hunting for months on end to no avail; dry spells without work but bills to pay; three work shifts in one day; a ‘failed’ Intermediate exam because his unaccommodating workplace at the time refused to grant him study-leave.
Faizan’s determination is the kind forged in the trials and tribulations of financial hardship and a scarce job market, with scant opportunity for people who have no means of sifarish, no source, no silver spoon at birth, and no nepotism-enabled foot in the door.
In 2010, Faizan worked two and a half years as a manual labourer at a manufacturing factory, a far cry from his current environs at Daraz.PK’s Head Office at the Executive Tower of Dolmen City, Karachi.
He had just started his first year of Intermediate, but owing to an unaccommodating workplace, was not granted study-leave.
‘Failing that Inter exam disappointed my father at the time. He was in tears. That was a turning point. I wanted my degree for him as much as for myself!’
Providing for your family and preparing for your future is challenging enough, without the pall of ‘extreme financial need’ hanging over your head. But Faizan conveys the kind of forbearance that can see one through and beyond hard times.
Right before he joined Daraz as an Admin Assistant in December 2015, Faizan worked two years as a computer operator at a tech company. His job hours here were truly grueling: working three consecutive morning, evening and night shifts to make ends meet. What do you do when you have to prepare for B-Comm exams and work unforgiving hours AND keep a household running? You bring your bag and your school books to office, of course. You do it all.
The laborious multi-tasking paid off when, in December 2015, a relative sent Faizan an SMS announcing an opening at Daraz. He applied and, well, you can figure the rest out. His career at Daraz began as an Assistant in the Admin department. Since then, he has worked his way up to Admin Officer.
‘My current 9-5 at Daraz supports me well enough for me to pursue an MBA degree. That wasn’t even a remote possibility at previous jobs where I was worked to the ground’.
Indeed, a month into his job at Daraz, newfound financial stability enabled Faizan to enroll in (and afford) Iqra University’s MBA program.
In the next 5 years, he sees himself as an Admin/Manager across the cluster of countries Daraz Group operates in. Given his mettle and his self-possession, this seems an entirely achievable goal. He has done well to heed his beloved mother’s advice: that self-reliance, honesty and integrity make for a strong bulwark against life’s ups and downs.
Faizan is the exemplar self-starter. Get used to him; for this is one of the faces of self-made Pakistan.
Join us in celebrating Faizan’s #PakistanStyle success on the 13th and 14th of August.