He Went From Poverty in Pakistan to Billions in the U.S.

povertytobillionsHow does one go from poverty to billions?  For Shahid (Shad) Khan that trick involved leaving his native Pakistan to head to the United States in the mid 60s.  He started as a dishwasher at a YMCA in Chicago making $1.20 an hour which he thought was fantastic at the time.

His goal in coming to the U.S. was to study engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaigne.

Khan worked at Flex-N-Gate, an auto manufacturing company while going to school.  After graduation he became the engineering director for the company.  He then started his own company, Bumper Works, which created bumpers for trucks.   Khan combined a little over $15k from his savings along with a business loan of $50k to help finance his business.

In 1980 Khan bought Flex-N-Gate and added Bumper Works to the company.   His company went from providing a few bumpers  to Toyota in the mid 80s to being the sole supplier by the late 80s.

In reading Shad Khan’s bio it looks like his association with Toyota and their concepts of Lean Manufacturing to have really benefited Khan’s business.   Lean Manufacturing in a nutshell is the process of cutting out anything in the production process that doesn’t provide value for the customer.   Since the utilization of these lean manufacturing techniques the business boomed from $17 million in sales to over $3 billion today!

And, as you’ll see when you watch the videos, Khan’s “smart” work has now allowed him to purchase a pro football team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.


Shad Khan’s poverty to billions story is quite inspirational.  One thing to be gleaned from it is that one of the reasons he went there was because he had heard that the streets were paved with gold.  And, as he said later, he found that to be true.  What a fantastic money mindset to start out with.  He obviously worked hard in getting his degree and worked smart in applying to buy out his own company. And, again he was a sharp guy for coming to market with a new bumper design.

Another thing to take away from Shad Khan’s poverty to billions story is the fact that he utilized the concept of Lean Manufacturing in his business to cut costs and increase value for his customers.   This immediately boosted his business to the stratosphere.   Looking at your own life, is there a way you can use the concepts of Lean Manufacturing to improve various areas of your life?   If you have any interesting ideas about Lean Manufacturing, Shad Khan’s poverty to billions story, or rags to riches info to share by all means please do so.

One of Shad’s obvious advantages was having the belief that the streets in America were paved with goal.  Now, while opportunity is everywhere, he took full advantage and went for it.  But, his money mindset and the belief that anything was possible obviously didn’t hurt either.    If you don’t yet have that belief you might want to check out The Wealth Trigger.

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