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Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Fri 22 May 2020

Young gun builds on success in Fiji. (Part Two)

Concluding the story with the second part of Zuhayr Khan’s story on his life in the earthmoving industry thus far and how he became the youngest owner of this type of business in Fiji, in his own words and photos.

Young gun builds on success in Fiji. (Part Two)

By early 2019 I had managed to pay off for the Cat D6D dozer and had my first piece of equipment in my fleet. By this time dozer jobs were starting to get scarce and the competition in the field getting harder day by day. With university studies and an uncertain future, I had to make a decision to keep my new business going. I took a huge risk and acquired a $100k loan to purchase a low houred Hitachi ZX80 excavator.

Photo: Zuhayr's first "bank" purchase was this Hitachi ZX80 hydraulic excavator.

I was having my own doubts by now, not knowing if I had made the right decision or not, as it was really hard to convince people that a 20-year old guy can provide the same services as others in the industry with a lot more experience. My young age was often a factor for most customers to choose other businesses, but that changed when I landed a good size project with an international client for residential development, this became the turning point in the early stages of my business venture.

Photo: Zuhayr's recently purchased Isuzu haulage truck carrying his first piece of kit, the Cat D6D.

We went on to pick up more and more jobs and as 2019 came to an end I continued to invest in the business purchasing a multi-purpose Isuzu truck which I could use as a dump truck and also move my equipment around.

Now along with doing road construction, house pad development, land clearing and other excavation works, we have ventured into the sand and gravel side of the industry. Now at the age of 21 and still the youngest earthmoving business owner in Fiji we have served about 60 satisfied customers in a small but highly competitive country. All this from initial zero capital and assets, we now have 3 pieces at equipment and in addition we are looking to add some brand-new items including truck and excavators to our fleet this year.

Photo: Buliding farm tracks for the Ministry of Agriculture gave Zuhayr a good sound start in machinery ownership.

I must say that no part of this journey has been easy, I still find it really difficult to study, run the business and operate at the same time, but the passion for playing in dirt always keeps me going. Age is in reality just a number and no one can stop a person who has a vision to do something they love.

Photo: Zuhayr sat on his mates Komatsu D375A currently the largest dozer in Fiji.

I will never dedicate my journey to myself as it’s my grandparents who moved out of their comfort zone to start in the industry and my parents for never doubting me. I’m proudly a 3rd generation earthmover.

I have recently started to post more about how the earthmoving industry works here in Fiji on my various social media platforms.

YouTube channel: Raptor Excavation

Instagram Business account @raptorexcavation

Heavy machinery fan page @heavy_machinery_24

The Digger Man blog would like to thank Zuhayr for sharing his material with us and we wish him all the very best with his business going forward. 

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