Nurbossyn Sybanbayev: “It’s not about where you come from, but where you’re going” (Bernard Rhodes)
There has long been an opinion in the world that America is a land of great opportunities, and it’s hard to argue with that. The United States annually welcomes over a million people from different parts of the world, who come to the country in hopes of a better life. And indeed, the country provides ample opportunities for anyone who wishes to fulfill themselves.
Our interviewee today is Nurbossyn Sybanbayev, a successful entrepreneur, owner of his own trucking company, “NUR SERVICES LLC,” a loving husband, and a father of many children. He is one of those who came to the United States to realize his potential in business, improve the quality of life for his family, and provide a good education for his children. Four years of living in America have shown that Nurbossyn is not afraid of challenges, works hard, and lives by the country’s rules. And this speaks volumes about one thing—he has serious intentions and plans, and he is ready to dynamically grow his business and contribute to the growth and prosperity of the nation where he envisions his family’s future.
Nurbossyn, tell me a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Kazakhstan in a simple rural family. My mother worked as a nurse, and my father was a farmer. I have a younger brother and sister. I spent most of my childhood with my father, helping him on the farm. Even then, I began to understand that in order to achieve something in life, one needs to work hard and be productive. I excelled in school, standing out from most of my classmates with an increased thirst for knowledge. I particularly enjoyed the exact sciences. I solved mathematical problems like cracking nuts. I was also passionate about football. After school, I enrolled in a prestigious university in the city of Almaty. Thanks to my knowledge and love for learning, I was accepted into a university on a scholarship, as my family couldn’t afford to pay for my education. I obtained two higher educations – economics (Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Production Management) and law (Master’s degree in Jurisprudence). I am married. Together with my wife, Aigul, we are raising four children – three sons and a daughter.
What was the beginning of your career path and what did you do before moving to the United States?
My work journey began as an accountant, and later I worked as a lawyer. For several years, I engaged in legal activities. In 2004, I started my own business related to home construction. I specialized in acquiring unfinished real estate properties, renovating them extensively, and then selling them. Thanks to my education and accumulated experience, I handled all the financial and legal matters myself. The business generated good income. Understanding the importance of making money work for me, I began investing in real estate.
In 2008, the severe financial and economic crisis hit, affecting many sectors of the economy, including the construction industry and the real estate market. I managed to keep my business afloat, although it became less profitable. As the crisis prolonged, the decision was made to exit the business. I came out on the positive side. During a family meeting, we decided to shift our focus to the food service industry. We purchased a cafe, which quickly became popular in the city. The business thrived, and despite another crisis in the country and high inflation that led to price increases and decreased purchasing power, we did not close down like many other establishments. Instead, we continued to operate successfully.
What helped to sustain the business and what is happening with it now?
On one hand, running a business during a crisis is challenging. On the other hand, a crisis often presents new opportunities for entrepreneurs. Yes, you heard that right. By capitalizing on these opportunities wisely, you can not only keep your business afloat but also increase your income. Drawing on my previous experience of surviving in a crisis period, I took several correct steps and adapted the cafe’s operations to the new circumstances. Firstly, I optimized expenses, reviewed the menu, removing low-margin dishes, and improved the quality of service. The closure of some competing food establishments played into our hands and led to an increase in visitor traffic.
The cafe is still operating and thriving. Due to my wife’s relatives taking over the management of the business as a result of our move to the United States.
What prompted your decision to move and establish a business in America?
There were actually many factors that contributed to this decision. It didn’t come all at once. The unstable business climate, increasing corruption risks, and raiding had an impact. We wanted more certainty about the future. We were concerned about our children’s well-being, especially worrying about the future they would face in a country where moral values are being undermined. After much deliberation, we came to the decision to build a business in America.
Nurbossyn, tell me, how did your business journey in the United States begin?
I moved to the United States in November 2019. A month later, my wife and children joined me. My eldest son enrolled in college, and the younger children started attending school. Just to give you some context, we didn’t come empty-handed. Therefore, we invested a portion of the money we had earned from our business and from selling real estate in Kazakhstan into a venture related to building 5G cell towers. To do this, we bought a truck and a trailer. However, the COVID-19 pandemic began, which hit many industries, particularly those involved in manufacturing and construction. One of the sectors that suffered the most was the emerging field of 5G. So, we had to look for a more in-demand niche.
Did that niche turn out to be the trucking business?
Yes. By analyzing the American market in the pandemic conditions and considering the availability of suitable transportation equipment, I concluded that opening a trucking business in the current situation would be the best option.
And did your insightful management pay off?
It didn’t just pay off, it worked exceptionally well. With the trucking business, I made it into the top ten. The second decade of 2020 marked the revival of the automotive transportation industry after another downturn caused by the U.S.-China trade war. We moved from New York to Florida, where we opened our own transportation and logistics company, “NUR SERVICES LLC.” My knowledge and practical skills in management helped me develop the right mechanisms and establish a working structure, which allowed us to earn a good income. We were able to save for a down payment and purchase a home with a mortgage.
Nurbossyn, why did you choose the state of Florida for your business?
There are several major ports and transportation hubs located here, making this region an ideal place for trucking business.
Today, the trucking industry is going through tough times. How is your company coping in crisis conditions?
In the last decades, crises have occurred quite frequently, not only in America but also worldwide. During this time, not only I but many business owners have learned how to deal with the challenges and consequences of financial and economic collapses. No matter what business I was involved in, sooner or later, I had to face certain risks caused by one crisis or another. I always operated with a long-term perspective, which allowed me to overcome short-term obstacles. Each time was a new learning experience.
In my opinion, everything, or almost everything, depends on the flexibility of thinking, resilience to stress, professionalism of the entrepreneur and their team, the ability to navigate in difficult situations, and find optimal solutions.
Tell me about your plans for the near future.
I would like to tell you about my plans for the near future. I have been in business for a long time and have sufficient experience, particularly in the trucking industry. Today, I can confidently say that I want to continue my business, and I have something to offer to the American economy. I have developed a specific plan for the next few years – to open branches of my company in several states with the headquarters in Florida.
I have chosen regions that can benefit from my business in one way or another. For example, my company can provide job opportunities and economic possibilities to one of the selected states. In another state, we can improve the infrastructure and support industrial growth. In a third state, we can connect local industries with national and international markets. If I have the opportunity to implement my plans, it will make a significant contribution to the growth and development of the country’s economy.
We believe that you will succeed, and we sincerely wish you success in achieving your goals. Perhaps you have some advice for those who, like you, have moved to the United States and want to start their own trucking business.
I can say that it doesn’t matter what kind of startup a person wants to open. It’s important that they enjoy the business they are going to engage in. Additionally, it’s necessary to understand that having just a business idea doesn’t make someone an entrepreneur. Certain knowledge, practical skills, and flexible thinking are required. Initial capital is needed as well. Before embarking on the journey, one should thoroughly study the chosen market niche. And also remember that every endeavor should have a goal and a mission. There is a wise saying by Bernard Rhodes, a prominent music manager and producer: “It’s not where you come from that matters, it’s where you’re going.”
Those in need of logistics services in Florida and throughout the United States can contact Nurbossyn Sybanbayev via email: email@example.com.