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Jamal Qureshi, JQ American Corp.

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Not many people think of oil and gas equipment exports as a home business. But when Jamal Qureshi started JQ American Corp. in 1998, he and his wife, Akila, ran the export business from their house.

Qureshi, a native of Bhopal, India, had earned degrees in both chemistry and law, and had worked for oil businesses in the United Arab Emirates.

“I had a dream of starting my own business,” Qureshi says. “And I knew I wanted to start it in the United States because this is the land of dreams.

“In the U.S. you can run a business from your house, but not in the Middle East.”

His wife, who has an MBA, had worked in the medical supply business, and so they incorporated both areas into their new company.

“It was very small when we started,” Qureshi says.

JQ American, now with seven employees in its Hayward office, exports valves, bearings, flanges and laboratory equipment to countries including Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Turkey, Russia, Nigeria and Algeria.

The company also exports hospital equipment and medical disposables.

Qureshi hopes to continue expanding his business into India and Central Asia. Oil companies are jockeying for Caspian Sea oil, and he hopes to sell to them.

“We plan to go with the U.S. trade mission to Kazakhstan,” he says.

While celebrating his success, Qureshi is thankful for the help he’s received along the way.

“We owe a lot to the Oakland Export Assistance Center, which helped us find most of our international customer trade leads,” he says.

Coming to the United States was also a part of his success.

“There is a great potential for small companies here to sell their products to international customers,” he says. “This country has a uniform quality standard, which is an advantage.”

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