ISU student starts construction contracting business


Lyn Bryant

Hamza Janjua, senior in civil engineering, has started his own construction business called SSB Construction LLC.

Danielle Welsher

Hamza Janjua still might be studying civil engineering at Iowa State, but that has not stopped him from applying his current knowledge of construction to starting his own contracting business: SSB Construction LLC.

“I was working as a project manager, and I just saw a lot of opportunities around me,” Janjua, senior in civil engineering said. “I thought that instead of waiting for my graduation, I might as well go for those opportunities. That was one of the reasons I just jumped in.”

Janjua’s company has already been working on the construction of two new Burger Kings in Iowa; one in Ames on East 13th Street, just west of I-35, and the other is in Grimes.

SSB Construction is also taking part in the construction of a few IHOP restaurants which are still in the planning stages.

Janjua was born in Baltimore, Md., but he grew up in Abbottabad, Pakistan. At the age of 18, he moved from Pakistan to New York. He then attended Westchester Community College, where he took core credits and then transferred to Iowa State.

Janjua grew up around construction. He stated that that has been a strong influence in his decision to study civil engineering.

Many of his family members from Pakistan, including his great grandfather, grandfather and father, are construction contractors and own companies similar to that of Janjua.

Janjua stated that he encountered one issue when starting his business, and that was what to name it. His company’s name came to him while sitting in a class at Iowa State, Project Management 306.

Janjua said that before that class, he was thinking about using his last name for his company. He then learned the three main components to project management: scope, schedule and budget. Janjua decided to incorporate this into his company’s name, thus creating SSB Construction.

Before starting SSB Construction, Janjua interned as a project manager for Khurram Mian. Mian is the CEO of Mian Group of Companies, which is a franchisee of chain restaurants like Burger King, IHOP, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s and KFC.

After the internship, Janjua decided he would work with Mian’s company after he started SSB Construction. Now the Mian Group of Companies is a client of Janjua’s. Mian has a growth rate of two restaurants per year.

“Hamza is very motivated and full of energy,” Mian said. “Not a lot of students think the way he did about starting a business, you know, they think they can’t do much while they’re in college. I find it very interesting that he was motivated enough to approach me.”

For current engineering students, Janjua said he believes they need to be on the lookout for opportunities.

“Students should keep their eyes open and unveil any opportunity they get,” Janjua said.