Entrepreneur and CEO – Zone Group
Mehreen Raj is the Group CEO of the conglomerate that makes up the Zone Group of Companies. But a rarer distinction she holds is that Mehreen was the first female lady to complete MBA in the small town of Pakistan where she was born.
“The biggest achievement in my life is achieving the success I always wanted. I always had a belief that one day I will fulfil my dreams and for that I indeed had to study day and night but now I can surely say I am on the right direction with right kind of people in achieving all of my dreams one by one,” says Mehreen.
Both of Mehreen’s parents worked hard to provide her with good education. They always encouraged her with positive words. When she used to study, her beloved mother, who is no more today, used to tell her, ‘One day you will cross overseas, see the world, and become a Big
Man.’ Mehreen used to correct her phrase all the time: “I will become a Big Woman.’’ Today with her parent’s blessings, she is a formidable CEO and women’s leader.
Mehreen started her journey as an Accountant in Zone Group eight years ago. As she started from scratch, things were not always easy. She saw many failures before she learned to fight them and triumph. “With the direction given by my elder brother Rashid, I started learning about accounting and other things to deal with corporate life. I indeed triumphed over all the obstacles, especially with the guidance and management skills provided to me by Sir Nadeem as well as the support of my very diligent team,” says Mehreen.
Mehreen also found inspiration in Mr Imam Din, a self made man, and the Founder of Zone Group. “He’s a very hard working person from whom I have learnt many life lessons. He has built an empire for himself with his diligence and rigorousness. Everyday, he aspires me to work hard no matter how many hurdles I face,” adds Mehreen.
Mehreen has been leading her company’s financial functions along with business management since 2013. Today, she is the Group CEO of the UAE headquartered Zone conglomerate, which includes – Zone Auto Care, Kitchen Zone (FusionFoodie), HEY VIP Luxury Car Transport, Zone Auto Spare Parts, Zone Auto Electrical, Najmet Al Ghafia, Ardh Al Khaleej, where the core and flagship company is Zone Delivery Services.
She is now working towards taking big steps for Zone Delivery Services. The company which initially started as a workshop is now one of the leading logistic solution providers in Dubai. The company with six logistic partners now has 3000+ riders with bikes and cars within a short time frame of five years.
Thanks to Mehreen’s leadership and connect, today people not only recognise Zone group as a company which has received innumerous ‘best performing’ and ‘best corporate’ awards, but also an agency with a well organised work technique and proven track record.
Small town Mehreen must have possessed unimaginable grit and determination to go all the way up to a CEO. What were the stumbling blocks in her journey, we ask her. “One of the most uncomfortable realities of being a female leader is walking into a business meeting and realising that you’re one of the few women (if not the only woman) in the room among your male counterparts. The pressure of being the only one can sometimes be overwhelming,” reveals Mehreen.
However, Mehreen’s strong will helped her overcome that pressure. She shares, “In the initial days of my career, I used to think that my ideas are less creative than others. But you should never put yourself into that situation. Always believe in yourself, keep learning new things and think differently than the average person – That’s the key.”
Passionate about self-development and self-improvement, Mehreen is always looking out for and learning new and better approaches and technologies that help her do a better job. In her ‘me-time’, she likes to read motivational and inspirational books like ‘Robin Sharma: The Saint, the Surfer, and the CEO’, ‘Tribe of Mentors’ and others.
So, what has been her biggest learning in life? Mehreen answers, “In the process of reaching where I am today, I lost many people who didn’t support my dreams. But I have learnt this – sometimes when you are struggling in life to achieve what you want, you lose many people and it’s okay unless you are hurting someone. Those who stick till the end are actually the ones who truly care about you.”