Our company story starts in 1991 but our founder’s starts half a century earlier. Akbar Ali Mian was born in British India in 1941, the youngest of four children. At 22 he was ambitious and full of ideas and set out from Punjab in Pakistan to Yorkshire, intent on furthering his education. He secured his first job at Hepworths steel mill earning £5 per week and soon worked his way up to the position of foreman at Tinker Grayson Plastics.
Within five years he had acquired enough capital to start his own garment manufacturing business. But he wasn’t just entrepreneurial and exceptionally hard-working. His values of fairness, tolerance and empowerment were strongly evident; he pioneered an all-female workforce and an efficient rota. The results? His factory produced work of such quality that he secured contracts with major high street stores such as Marks & Spencer.
Two years later in 1970, Akbar decided to diversify into retail. He purchased his first commercial freehold property for owner occupation, quickly followed by many more commercial and residential property investments.
Never borrowing and always paying cash, Akbar earned a reputation for being prudent and conservative. By 1980 he divested his manufacturing business and focused on retail and property investment. Within the decade he exceeded £1million in property investments.
In 1990 he took the decision to step back and empower the next generation, who expanded the business and set up WCE in 1991 to grow the family portfolio. Since this time, there has been a steady and prudent acquisition of investment properties in both commercial and residential sectors.
In 2008, the family divested the retail business, concentrating solely on property development and investment.
Akbar Ali Mian still comes into the office every day, taking a keen interest in commercial activities and now pursuing philanthropic work as his primary focus.
Today, WCE is known for its strength and stability. Thanks to our strong family values of fairness and tolerance, empowerment, prudence and sheer hard work, the business continues to prosper and enjoy excellent relationships. We’re eagerly looking ahead, seeking out the best new opportunities as we continue to grow.