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Ahmed Mujtaba Razzak: an immigrant entrepreneur with big dreams

Boris Urban (Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Stephanie Townsend (Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)

Publication date: 16 December 2022


Learning outcomes

At the end of the case discussion, students should be able to:

 Evaluate the relevance of community and networks to immigrant entrepreneurs.

 Appreciate the entrepreneurial journey of immigrant entrepreneurs in the South African context.

 Consider the challenges of the socio-economic environment affecting businesses in South Africa.

 Make an informed decision regarding how creating a family entrepreneurial ecosystem can mitigate business risk.

 Critically evaluate which strategies could exploit any further opportunities and grow the businesses.

Case overview/synopsis

In April 2022, Ahmed Mujtaba Razzak, director of Montage Interior Solutions, a design, building and construction company based in Mayfair, Johannesburg, was preparing for the official opening of the company’s newly-built Clifton Mall. Ahmed, whose family had immigrated to South Africa from Pakistan in 2004, had big goals for the mall: he wanted it not only to be profitable for his family, but also to help uplift the lives of the shop owners and the members of the surrounding community, many of whom were also from Pakistani immigrant families. Thus, instead of having to rent the units, shop owners were able to buy them under sectional title. The model promised the benefits of unit ownership for the shop owners and a quicker return on investment for Montage. As he prepared for the opening, Ahmed wondered whether he had set everything up for the venture to be able to achieve his goals.

The case study provided a deeper understanding of different challenges, approaches and strategies used in immigrant start-ups. The case study included various business and entrepreneurship themes focused on immigrant start-ups, strategy and diversification, family business and business growth. It also considered both individual and contextual factors influencing immigrant entrepreneurship, insofar as family and the business are “inextricably intertwined”, where the effects of social exchange between generations meant that successful enterprising families showed tremendous respect for the sensitive relations between the business and the family.

Complexity academic level

Postgraduate Diploma, MBA, Masters, Executive Education

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 3: Entrepreneurship.



Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Urban, B. and Townsend, S. (2022), "Ahmed Mujtaba Razzak: an immigrant entrepreneur with big dreams", , Vol. 12 No. 4.



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