During a visit to India, I was asked by a major manufacturer as to why I was so eager to offer diverse products at low prices.
“Many of the products we import are exclusive, have good demand and the volume in which we import gives us the competitive advantage,” I said.
“Certainly you can charge a little premium to your price,” he suggested.
I pointed out that I take great pains to source my products direct from manufacturers or main exporters around the world so that I could pass on the benefit of lower prices to my customers.
“Profit is not my only objective. Whether my customers are rich or can afford is not the issue. My concern is to see whether I can make the common people happy and make them buy goods (which they would not normally purchase) and improve their standard of living,” I said.
I have always believed that beyond a certain point, each of us should strive to better the lot of others, be it through business dealings, community service or individual help.
Honesty and simplicity
That has also been the philosophy behind the establishment of Moshims Discount House-to offer products of daily use and products that embellish individual lives at prices that are within the reach of most people.
Quality of course, is never compromised.
There is a certain pleasure in seeing customers happy and contented; which is why, I have no qualms of mopping the floor of our retail outlets or driving the delivery truck to Wellington or other centres where we have branches to this day.
These simple and yet important tasks help me to be close with people-be they staff, suppliers or customers-and understand their feelings, ambitions and wants.
I have never believed that being the managing director of a large and growing enterprise means sitting in luxurious offices or driving in chauffeur driven limousines.
I would rather be with simple and honest people.
If honest dealings are a part of social and community service, their benefits should reach out to all sections of the community.
I remember the words of an Islamic scholar in this connection. “Social service that is done by a Muslim for any human being, irrespective of whether the beneficiary is a Muslim or a non-Muslim and which gets this beneficiary closer to his Creator Allah and makes him/her understand Islam better, then the reward for the performer of such service will be further multiplied.
First for the social service and second for getting the other person closer to his Creator. These acts of social service include ‘Islaah’ if the recipient is a Muslim and ‘Daw’ah’ if the recipient is a non-Muslim.”
As I conduct our daily business and travel around the world to improve the quality and range of our products and services, I see that every country, big or small, rich or poor, fully developed or developing, has sections of its population that are either at the subsistence level or below the poverty line.
My heart goes out to those and recalls those teachings of The Holy Quran: “Behave kindly, give charity, serve the poor, the orphans and the needy. Hoarders and misers are to be condemned, ill-treatment of other human beings and threatening the poor and the needy are prohibited. Work towards the welfare of the people. Striving for the welfare of any of the human beings or living creatures is an act of charity. Islam ordains you to treat all the living creatures well and with kindness.”
Community service is yet another area that gives me immense satisfaction; for the pleasure and bliss of working together for the common good is exciting. It is also rewarding to see the benefits of social and community work reaching across to a large section of people, some of whom may not be as privileged as others.
The South Auckland Muslim Association is among the organisations that have been in the forefront of community and social service.
Affiliated to the Wellington based Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, it is involved in a series of activities not only for the benefit of the Muslims in the region but the entire community.
It is such organisations that reinstate our belief in the human cause and service to people.
On the occasion of the opening of Moshims Plaza and the new Moshims Discount House Supermarket, I extend my sincere greetings to all our customers and Indian Newslink readers throughout New Zealand.
Mohammed Hasim Khan is managing director of Moshims Discount House, which has branches and franchises throughout New Zealand and two outlets in Australia. He is also the president of the South Auckland Muslim Association. He lives in Auckland. This above article is an extract from our archives and is an Indian Newslink copyright. ©