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Tahsin S. Balkhi, President & CEO of BICI Travel & Tours

Posted by on Dec 31st, 2009 and filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

By UNVER SAAD

Tahsin_BalkhiTAHSIN Balkhi is a son of Professor Iftikhar Balkhi who was a scholar of Arabic and Islam and writer and translator of several books, booklets, and articles. His book A Mirror to the Denier of Hadith (Fitna Inkaar Hadith ka Manzar wa Pamanzar) was widely acclaimed. Professor Iftikhar Balkhi was the professor of University of Karachi. During his performance of hajj in 1974, and he died and went on to meet his Allah.  Tahsin Balkhi, an able and talented son of his father, is trying to protect his father’s intellectual legacy by continuous publishing and distribution of his books.

After the demise of his father, and being an elder brother in the family, to fulfill his responsibility, Mr. Balkhi left Pakistan in 1977 for to earn a living for his family. After spending a few years in Libya and then returning to Pakistan, he decided to migrate to Canada in 1981.  He moved with all the memorable personal belongings of his father, including his personal library.  His Scarborough, Toronto house, where he lives with memories of his father, perfectly reflects the culture to which he belongs.  He arranged a library in the adjacent house of his sister, where his father’s book collection is protected.

Mr. Balkhi pets chickens and pigeons in the backyard of his home as a hobby and spends time with them by feeding and arranging for their protection. Managing Mushaira (Urdu poetry sessions) and literary programs is another passion.

Mr. Balkhi joined a chartered accountant firm in Montreal, Canada, immediately after immigration to Canada.  He was appointed by BCCI bank in Montreal in 1984, and he resigned in 1989 (few days before the closing of BCCI bank from all over the world).

After resigning from BCCI Bank, the banking and account professional Tahsin Balkhi started his second career as a manufacturer of windshield washers. However, due to shortage of financial resources, and in a difficult competitive market, Mr. Balkhi left this business soon and entered into a more challenging travel and tour business that he operated successfully until recently.

He moved to Toronto and found a job in Ministry of Housing.  Later he was laid-off.

With a capital of $45,000, he started a business in partnership for manufacturing windshield water, in Scarborough Industrial Area. However, He realized later that the business could not offer a competitive price in the wholesale market, so wholesalers refused to buy the product. The company began its own distribution directly to the retailers, and now it manufactures  200 to 500 bottles daily and delivers directly to gas stations. As the business smoothly progressed, the city officials raised questions about the rules, laws, and regulations.  Mr. Balkhi was not  familiar with all the regulations . Health, building, and labor officials fined the business for not meeting the city qualifications. When the building department required a concrete, insulated wall built into the factory, requiring an investment of $50,000, Mr. Balkhi preferred to leave the business.

Now he is pursuing the travel business. He fulfilled the requirements to start a travel and tour business and completed all requirements for certification and licensing.  At the time when SABRE (a travel and tour software package linked to the airlines and agents) was indispensable for the travel business, he learned it himself and trained his staff.

BICI Travel & Tours

BICI Travel & Tours

BICI has started issuing worldwide tickets and is actively involved in Hajj and Umrah packages. However, it was difficult for him to cope with fast-changing new Hajj policy and complicated agents and insurance requirements. Now he has only Umrah package and arrangement for Hajj with another agent. His company issues general tickets for worldwide travel, and 30 to 35 Airlines authorized his company to issue tickets.

In 2005, Pakistan International Airlines selected 500 company executives worldwide from the travel and tourism industry to show the wonders of natural beauties and hospitability in Pakistan.  BICI travel was one of them. Mr. Balkhi was the state guest, and it was the first time he had seen the natural beauties of his own Pakistan and met one of the most hospitable populations of the world in Swat and Kaghan valleys.

“The profit margin in travel business is shrinking as the usage of internet to buy ticket is increasing day by day. However, the entrepreneur entering into this business equipped with proper technological and licensing requirement has still a scope and prospect. The emerging tourism and hospitability industry is big area to cater,” Mr. Balkhi concluded.

1 Response for “Tahsin S. Balkhi, President & CEO of BICI Travel & Tours”

  1. Hashim Syed says:

    Salaam, my dear brother Tahsin. (Ex Faruq Ali & Co., Chartered Accountants, Karachi). I searched for you for a long time, until now that I found you through google.ca

    It is inspiring to read about your struggle and success.

    Please contact me: justujutv@gmail.com

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