Building a House In 3 Hours – An Inspiring Tale Of 3 Musketeers From NED

Many believed that civil engineering students Nabeel Siddiqui, Yaseen Khalid and Muhammed Saquib are crazy and won’t be able to accomplish their objective. For starters, imagine shaping a complete house in just 3 hours. Do you think it is humanly possible? Well, if you think otherwise then these 3 NED students have something in store to amaze you.

Three wonder boys of NED

Nabeel, Yaseen and Saquib recently witnessed the destruction in Syria. They were devastated to see the frightening condition of internally displaced people. As a result, they thought about building something of a housing solution for their final year project.

One of the team, Nabeel stated:

“We wanted to build something tangible that could be used in the real world to solve problems”

However, nobody believed in their abilities that they could turn their vision into a reality.

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Another member Yaseen Khalid said:

“When we presented our housing design to our university professors, everyone thought we were crazy and we couldn’t pull off the research, material sourcing and construction design by the time we graduated”

Whether you believe it or not, one fine day they got the much-needed support from one of their teachers who trusted in their abilities and pumped them to discover the idea more.

Giving an insight into their inspiration, Nabeel added:

“If the Chinese could build a 57-storey skyscraper in 19 days, we were convinced we could build houses in three hours”

Arrangement of funds

The students of NED had the idea but did not have the funds to turn their goal into a success. To test the concept of their notion, they required quite a few funds. One of the students, Saquib commented:

“We thought we’d get sponsorships from steel and cement companies very easily to build our first house. We went excitedly with our packages and offers to company CEOs and returned with nothing but goody bags and good wishes. No one wanted to give money to students”

This did not discourage the boys as they decided to put their all in. Yaseen recalled:

“We bootstrapped, we begged our parents, we saved our pocket money, and we sold some stuff and finally got all the materials needed”

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Even though, somehow, they got hold of the funds to purchase the required material and a backyard of a friend to mix it all together, still it was never an easy job by any stretch of the imagination. Nabeel jokingly added:

“We ended up buying the wrong material for a large portion of the money and when we started building our house the walls started falling apart”

While appreciating the retailers, Saquib said:

“It’s a good thing the retailer took back the materials, otherwise we would have lost over Rs50,000 on the wrong material and we didn’t have any more money for repurchase”

All 3 individuals kept learning from their errors and customized the design as they moved forward. While speaking about the skepticism of the laborers, Nabeel stated:

“The laborers we hired would be flabbergasted at what we were doing. They just didn’t know what exactly we were trying to do!”

Tech Incubator: The Nest I/O and their selection

After getting hold of the correct material, the boys managed to develop their design without any flaw. Moreover, they did it in just three hours. In addition, they also managed to get selected at tech incubator, The Nest I/O in Karachi.

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Talking about their company’s modulus tech and their selection at The Nest I/O, Yaseen said:

“When we pitched to the president Jehan Ara and her panel of esteemed judges, we thought we didn’t have a chance because we didn’t have an app or website or anything”

However, The Nest I/O considered them and their project as the promising one. Subsequently, the tech incubator selected them in their fifth incubation cycle. At present, the NED students have turned their notion and are catering to number of industries with modulus tech.

“The mentoring and advice at the Nest made us realize that our housing solution could be great for labor colonies, tourist lodges, domestic quarters or military camps. They could even be used as health clinics and schools in slums and rural communities”

The time the boys have spent so far at the incubator is more or less like an MBA program. During their stay, they have learnt to develop a business plan, pitch to investors and how to make money from a particular business.

While their strategy, passion and idea are dazzling; however, there are still number of areas which need to be addressed for a flawless design. To reach the larger audience, they have to come up with a design that doesn’t have any loopholes.

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The students also scuffled to convince the audience that this is a ‘house’ instead of a shelter. Saquib said:

“Most people in Pakistan have this perception that a brick-and-mortar house must take time to build and it has to be expensive to put together otherwise it will not be long-lasting. Convincing them that it is just as sustainable and tough as any house is still a struggle”

At present, NED students are currently looking ahead to scale their business as they are in talks with quite a few investors. Furthermore, they are also looking forward to expand their team.

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