This interview was taken before Mr. Abdul Rasheed passed away. We offer our deepest condolences to the late Mr. Abdul Rasheed’s family and friends.
As Chairman of Rasheed Carpentry and Construction Pvt Ltd (RCC) and a successful entrepreneur, Abdul Rasheed was leading one of the most reliable construction & carpentry companies in the Maldives. Prior to founding RCC, Abdul Rasheed had gained tremendous skills and hands-on experience working with his father over a span of 30 years in the small carpentry workshop at his home.
Over the years, the company transformed into one of the most respected general contracting companies in the Maldives, proving its ability to take on large and complex projects to be completed on time, on budget, and at the highest levels of quality products. Abdul Rasheed has always been conscious of delivering quality products and services, and supervised the workforce and sites personally.
The company has developed multifaceted systems and procedures to ensure control over cost, quality, schedule, scope, and safety, ensuring the highest degree of professional services and results on all projects undertaken. I began my work with door framing and we used to get door frames from Wood of Jackfruit Trees. I used to make my own equipment for woodwork and after a very long time, I got electronic equipment. Some of the equipment was brought by Dr. Ahammadhy, and that’s how I have been able to reach this place.
You are one of the most successful businessmen in the construction industry here in the Maldives. Can you tell us how you got into the business?
I first started learning carpentry with Dhawoodhbe and later with my father. After my father’s death, we didn’t have any source of income and at that time there were six children in the family. I started working with two other people to support my family financially. We used to do all the work by hand as we didn’t have any electronic equipment. Even then I was really keen on not borrowing money from anyone even if I had to starve. And there were days when I had nothing to eat.
After I was an established carpenter, I got the opportunity to go for Hajj. As at the time my eldest son Mohamed Nazim was still in school, I asked my nephew Ibrahim Rasheed to look after my carpentry till I come back from Hajj. Since then we both have been working together and made Rasheed carpentry into what it is right now. Later on, we split our shares equally between both of us as he had contributed to the success of RCC.
I have raised ten children without borrowing any money from anyone. I have spent my whole life only from the money that I have earned through hard work. I began my work with door framing and we used to get door frames from Wood of Jackfruit Trees. I used to make my own equipment for woodwork and after a very long time, I got electronic equipment. Some of the equipment was brought by Dr. Ahammadhy, and that’s how I have been able to reach this place.
How did the transition from carpentry to construction happen? And how did the business expand from just two employees to a huge enterprise?
We transitioned to the construction industry during the presidency of Maumoon. It happened when my nephew Ibrahim Rasheed suggested doing so after identifying potential in the construction industry. The expansion of business took place due to the hard work of Ibrahim Rasheed and my son Mohamed Nazim. They both have played a huge role in RCC getting to the place it is right now. When I got sick after working for very long, and when I wasn’t able to work, my son Azim and Nazim along with my Nephew Ibrahim Rasheed and his children Visham and Usham took care of the work.
What do you consider your most unforgettable successes?
I had this dream of building a mosque in the name of my parents, and I have been looking into how much money it would take to build a mosque. After saving enough money to build a mosque, we just laid the foundation of the mosque and that was the day I have been the happiest in my entire life. It was a satisfying day seeing my childhood dream come true.
What are the challenges that you have faced in your long journey?
The most challenging time for me was when I first began my work. It was very difficult to get diligent local workers in this industry. Even though I had a few good local employees working with us for very long and still with us. it was a huge hurdle for us to find good local workers when the business was expanding. Especially when we have extended our areas of business from General Construction, Hardware, Apartments, Rentals, Aluminum and Lifts/ Escalators.
What’s the biggest asset of the company and how do you envision its future?
The biggest success of the business is the staff and team of RCC, with the consistent assurance which we have kept from the very beginning to pay the salaries on time, which we haven’t failed so far In Sha Allah.
The goal is to grow each and every day and at the same time maintain the upheld public image of the company. The trust which we have built over time has always been that we would deliver what we promise without compromising the quality and during the time we agree.
What kind of advice would you give to younger entrepreneurs?
My message to all young entrepreneurs striving to make big in this industry is to work with honesty and dignity. Be honest in everything you do; I am proof that honesty paves the path to success.