Wealth Ladder Magazine met up with Dr Reza Mia, CEO and Founder of Dr. Reza Mia & Pegasus Universal Aerospace.
What does your company do? Design and eventual manufacture of the Pegasus Vertical Business Jet. Design and manufacture of the Pegasus RoadJet. Aviation Finance & Leasing.
I decided that I wanted to design my own plane and start an OEM to produce and sell the airplane. The VBJ was what I decided on as a concept that was unique enough to capture a worthwhile market share.
What inspired you to start your company? I was looking for a name for my company and I believe that the name Pegasus called out to me. From there I thought about calling it Pegasus South African Airplanes but thought this was too limiting, therefore Pegasus Universal Aerospace came into being.
What is the story behind the name of your company? – I was looking for a name for my company and I believe that the name Pegasus called out to me. From there I thought about calling it Pegasus South African Airplanes but thought this was too limiting, therefore Pegasus Universal Aerospace came into being.
What makes your product or service different? The VBJ: Greater than helicopter convenience with true business jet speed, range and safety. 70% cheaper than a helicopter to operate with three times the range and speed. Can fit onto a helipad and land on unprepared ground including grass and wooden decks. The RoadJet: Sells for a fraction of any competitor with comparative quality. True business jet comfort and amenities on the road.
Where did your organization’s funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture? I am self-funded for thanks a lot most part. Selling RoadJets and assisting other companies to solve aviation-related problems brought in additional income to pay for the development work. I will seek investment when the time is right.
What did you have to sacrifice on your journey? Time, money, a friend, other opportunities.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company? To complete development, complete flight testing and certification, sell the airplane around the world and use the profits to fund future airplane developments as well as other novel concepts.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur? Making a real difference in the World without having to ask permission. There is little to no red tape to stand in my way of making fast decisions and pursuing new opportunities. Entrepreneurs can adapt quickly to changing conditions and use outsource services where necessary to get the job done. Being able to wake up and follow my vision.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background? I started my first company when I was still in medical school to produce and sell a Herbal Energy drink that my friend formulated, called Legend Vitality Drink. I learnt a to from that and moved on to launch and distribute Dr Robert Rey’s Skin care products. I graduated with my MBA soon afterwards and explored various other product lines with Dr Rey but for a number of reasons I moved on from there. I also worked in my father’s property company for a few years and gained good experience in the property field. I decided that I needed more financial knowledge and enrolled for a Masters in Finance and Investments, which I graduated from in 2014. I have applied much of my knowledge to Pegasus as well as to my Aesthetic Medical Practice.I have always read widely and continue to do so, currently I am reading books on commercial law, computer programming, engineering and aviation manufacturing and marketing.
Any individual/s or organisation/s that played a huge role in your success. I knocked on doors that I thought might be the right ones until I heard what I wanted to hear.
How do you find people to bring into your organization that truly care about the organization the way you do? My parents, my brothers and my friends who have worked in engineering and aviation manufacturing companies. Without my parents, I would not have been able to pursue my entrepreneurial ventures.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Problem Solving. Planning. Sales.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them? As long as you get back up, it doesn’t matter how many times, or how hard, you get knocked down. You only fail when you give up. I have learned through my experiences and challenges that no matter how much you think you know, you need to keep learning and keep moving forward. We cannot stagnate, we cannot lose focus and we cannot give up. We need to be dynamic and flexible though, not giving up does not mean being stubborn and flogging dead horses. Think big and when people don’t share your vision, do what you need to do to convince them, if you can’t convince them, do everything you can to show them that they were wrong not to believe in you.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? A pilot, a soldier, a policeman, a businessman, a pizzeria owner, an actor, the president…
What are some of the surprising things that people do not know about you? – I have trained myself in over ten different types of martial arts weapons even though I had the worst co-ordination growing up. I taught myself co-ordination through practice.
What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear? Heights & falling: I got over it by taking flying lessons. I have the same fears as everybody else, crime, losing loved ones, losing money etc, but I deal with it through my belief system of the way the Universe operates and my place in it.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other Entrepreneurs looking to start-up? Thoroughly research your idea, make sure that you are not wasting your time, protect your idea.. but in doing all of that, don’t take so long to do that that you lose the opportunity. There is always risk in entrepreneurship, but you must manage the risk, try to have a safety net (this is why studying is so important) as this will allow you to take risks you would be too scared to take otherwise. Stay on your toes, roll with the punches and adapt when you need to adapt. Experience is what helps you to effectively decide when you need to stand your ground and stay true to your path and when to pivot and take a new direction.
Out of everything you have achieved, what do you value most? I can’t say that any one achievement, experience or failure is more important than any other: each and every one of these have led me to where I am and made me who I am.
Are there any rules you’ve set aside for yourself that have helped you reach the longevity of your success? Believe in yourself and keep developing yourself.
What does Wealth mean to you? How do you define a Wealthy life? Wealth means freedom and progress. A wealthy life is a well balanced and healthy life where one is free to pursue their dreams whilst also continuously developing themselves in a holistic way and to develop other people to allow them to reach their own freedom.