We are celebrating Small Business Month by profiling some of our most inspiring small business customers! Meet Ali Mohtashami, President of Pegah Construction Ltd. and CEO of Format Group Inc.
The big break
From a young age, Ali Mohtashami was always looking for an opportunity to become an entrepreneur and work independently. And he didn’t waste time: Ali launched Pegah Construction Ltd. in 1988, only one year after graduating from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering.
Pegah Construction is a general contracting and project management firm inspired by Ali’s goal of bringing better, faster construction to communities. But only two years after launching, the recession of the early 1990s caused the firm to struggle financially, despite support from Ali’s father. Fortunately, Ali had his first big break when TD Bank came on board to finance 100 per cent of the firm’s projects despite the difficult economy.
And that was just the beginning. After 34 years in business, Pegah Construction has built a reputation for bringing agility, reliability and quality workmanship to Southern Ontario. As its President, Ali is a leader in construction and development, delivering exceptional projects with a focus on sustainability.
Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur
But as they say – once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur. Ali kept challenging himself, obtaining his MBA from York University in 1994 and co-founding Format Group Inc. in 2011 with Babak Sarshar and Brian Soltanzadeh, who are also partners in Pegah. Format Group is the perfect partner for Pegah Construction, committed to creating eco-friendly developments that always consider the needs of both residential and commercial stakeholders.
When he’s not busy as President of Pegah and CEO of Format Group, Ali is active in the community where he built his businesses. He’s been on the board of directors of Parya Trillium Foundation since 2010, which provides programs and services for the Iranian-Canadian community in the GTA and local Markham residents. He also serves on the board of directors of the Ontario General Contractors Association.
Biggest achievement and best advice
Despite his many achievements, Ali is most proud of the team he’s built and their can-do attitude to finding solutions. But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Ali’s biggest challenge has been navigating red tape and delays in securing approvals, which ties in to one of the best pieces of advice he’s received on his journey – you can’t control everything. What Ali has been able to control, however, has led to an impressive legacy as an entrepreneur – two successful, community-focused businesses with no signs of slowing down.