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13 November 2014

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You are in: Stoke & Staffordshire > History > Local Heroes > Mohammed Iqbal - from rags to riches

Mohammed Iqbal

Mohammed Iqbal - from rags to riches

Mo is a local boy made good. An immigrant at the age of eight, then raised in Stoke on Trent with his father working in a potbank - yet he has just sold his Tile Giant company for twelve million pounds....

Mohammed Iqbal arrived in this country from his native Pakistan when he was just eight years old.  His father, who worked in a pottery factory, established the family in Tunstall, one of the Stoke on Trent "Six Towns".  In his childhood, Mo went to the local school - Brownhills High.
An ordinary upbringing.

But this was no ordinary lad.  As he says, in the extended interview that you can hear by clicking on link in the "See Also" box to the right on this page, he had belief in himself and a capacity for hard work.
Both characteristics helped him to take the small Stoke-based Tile Giant firm (which had just two stores when he bought it) and make it into a substantial nationwide chain of thirty-two stores.

On Thursday November 15th 2007, Mohammed (better known as Mo) became a millionaire. 
He sold the now well-established Tile Giant to the builders merchant 'Travis Perkins' for twelve million pounds - though he will stay in position, as managing director, with the company.
The move makes Tile Giant Travis Perkins' seventh brand, alongside Wickes, Benchmarx Kitchens & Joinery, and City Plumbing Supplies.

As part of the deal Travis Perkins will open a new warehouse in Stoke-on-Trent.


Of course, it was not a lightning rise.

"Education is important. And - work hard. Then you'll get there."

Mo Iqbal

Mohammed's career in retail began in 1989 with Topps Tiles, in which he progressed through to become Retail Operations Director.

He then picked up Tile Giant over 3 years ago, which he had actually planned to expand forty stores before the sale.
In a very fast growth spurt, eleven of the 29 stores opened this year.  The fast expansion brought with it expected annual revenues across the group of annual pre-tax profits of around a million pounds...
The operation created over 100 jobs throughout the business.


Mo - who still lives in Tunstall -  started a foundation charity, through Tile Giant and its employees, to sponsor an orphanage in Kashmir ton provide a better environment and a brighter future for children without parents there. Kashmir is the troubled region on the Pakistan-India border, which has suffered greatly as insurgents attempt to establish a claim to the area.

Mo is also a director of the Minority Business Association and actively tries to mentor and encourage young people to set up in business.

Ventures like this have brought him to the wider attention of the philanthropic and British-Asian business community. Earlier this year, he was awarded the Lloyds TSB Business & Commerce Excellence Jewel Award.

last updated: 04/01/2010 at 10:20
created: 20/11/2007

Have Your Say


Good for him, I went to Brownhills High School and it is nice to see someone do so well for themselves from the school and area which I have been part of.All the best to him and to the young people he is sharing his knowledge with

Mr Khan
Go on iqbal saab !!!!

i think he is very well done!!!!!!

well done

Peter Girth
Travis Perkins has also aquired "Tile Magic", a tile company from the southeast which will become part of the "Tile Giant" chain. It was also sold for twelve million. I have dealt with a tile magic in Tunbridge Wells and the service was outstanding! Mo has done well for himself. Go Mo!

mrs ann hopper
tp recently aquired tile it all,a tile company which always made good on service, quality and price.since the takeover i have noticed that this has gone downhill.

Barry, Peterborough
Fair employer, but takes no prisoners!!Best advice he ever gave me was 'know your product'. Thats stuck with me in the 10 years or so since.Thanks Mo.

Gerry Robinson
Well done Mo and best of luck moving forward.

Adnan Meer
I am really impressed with his thoughts to business. I have also met him once at Master Tiles Gujranwala and found him very energetic and intelligent person who has many qualities in him.

Richard Hazell
How can I contact Mo? I am a young start up and own and our product will help Mo sell more hard tiles because we produce a kit than can cut bathroom tiles. But I dont know how to forward info to him. We are a startup and have been going 1 year.

well done that man

well done

very good

nice work mo fo

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