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5 Questions With An Expert: Muhammad Mustafa

January 6, 2021

Muhammad Mustafa
South Central Texas Managing Owner

1. Starting with some background about yourself, can you share what type of work you do at HVJ and what you find most interesting about it?

I began my career with HVJ over 33 years ago in 1987. I was completing my masters in Geotechnical engineering and HVJ was a small company at the time. Even though I would often work overseas, I would always find myself back at HVJ when I returned. I knew this company, whose values aligned so closely with my own, was where I was destined to be. I love challenges, and the idea of owning a business excites me. I was immediately in when I discovered the company founder, Herbert V. Johnson, was creating a franchise opportunity aimed at building a successful engineering business based on a revolutionary and unique platform.

2. What is your role at HVJ, and what is your favorite type of project/work?

I’m the managing owner of the South Central Texas franchise which covers Austin, San Antonio, Corpus and the rest of the South Central Texas area. My main responsibilities include the overall well-being of the franchise such as, business development, operations, management, etc. I make sure everything works in tandem and to do that, approximately 90% of my time spent is business management. HVJ values innovative approaches in developing the skills of our people skills and our business structure. To that end, I focus on making sure processes are followed and that our progress is following the franchise model. I additionally prioritize the proper training and mentorship of my employees. My focus is on the business and employees, I consider this franchise and the business to be my project.

3. What are the common types of problems that your customers are trying to solve? What do you think draws them specifically to HVJ?

Our clients seek us out to provide solutions with our geotechnical engineering and construction materials engineering and testing services. However, what sets us apart is the exceptional experience that HVJ provides. We make it a top priority to understand our customer’s pain points by being proactive in resolving their “headaches.” Working with us is easy because we make sure they can sleep well at night, knowing the job will be done. HVJ as a system has won multiple Premier Award for Client Satisfaction.

4. You’ve been at HVJ for over 33 of years. What do you like most about being part of the HVJ team? What are your future goals?

My future goal is to scale up and expand our services to new municipalities and new sectors in the public domain while increasing the franchise’s size and revenue. Scaling up will also include more talent, which leads me to what I like most about being part of HVJ--the diversity represented in this company is quite unique. We have people from all over the world, from all races, religions and backgrounds. It gives us an opportunity to learn and be open minded. HVJ also has an exceptionally open environment for learning, encouraging people to go to the edge of their abilities and explore more. This is an excellent organization for someone who wants to discover more about themselves and their capabilities if they have an open mind.

5. What motivated you to start your franchise, and what have you found most important for being successful as an owner?

I was motivated to start this franchise because, as I’ve mentioned, HVJ’s business goals are aligned closely with mine. We build trusted advisor relationships with clients while being committed to our client’s success and peace of mind. I always wanted to take control of my own future and be a business owner. And HVJ’s commitment to growth allows me the room to take on additional responsibility needed not only for my own self-growth, also my 40+ employees. I derive much pleasure in taking care of my employees and our clients. Their well-being and the well-being of the company is extremely important to me.

Most importantly I enjoy exploring the edge and discovering new territory. Every time there is a challenge I’ve never faced before, that excites me. I enjoy the opportunity to look for new solutions and deliver satisfaction the HVJ way—reliably through listening, taking ownership, keeping commitments, and our systems approach.

I believe the reputation of the HVJ Brand and the established operating processes have contributed greatly to staying on the course to success within this short period of time. By going into business as a franchisee we immediately had multi-million dollar revenue, sizable backlog, outstanding brand reputation, and existing staff, processes and facilities. 

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