Del Mar resident born with entrepreneurial spirit
Alex Shahabe, chairman of PC Housing and president of Signature Furniture, is a natural-born entrepreneur as he has always creatively pursued business development. In Germany, at 14 years old, Shahabe began stringing tennis racquets for his peers, then later tennis clubs. In high school and later in college, he began teaching tennis.During his college years in San Diego, Shahabe started a tennis court resurfacing and supply company. Feeling limited by the business opportunities in tennis, he began developing other ideas.
As a foreign student, Shahabe realized that many international students at UCSD stayed either with host families or in extended stay hotels.
Shahabe saw that these adult students needed more comfortable and home-like accommodations. He approached UCSD with the idea of furnished apartments for these students. UCSD decided to partner with a more established company than an inexperienced 24-year-old.
The next year, Shahabe, with just his wife as staff, signed a one-year contract with UCSD. Since 2000, Pasha Corporate Housing has continued to be the exclusive student housing provider for UCSD. In 2007, Pasha was recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top 500 fastest growing companies in the United States. In 2008, Pasha grew another 76 percent.
In 2011, Shahabe started his next company, Signature Furniture Rental.
1. What brought you to this area?
My wife and I have four young children and we wanted a home with land for them to run around on. Del Mar also offers both a comfortable area to live in and has a very local, cozy feeling.
2. What makes your work special to you?
I can facilitate a stress-free relocation for my clients. My companies can set up offices, provide temporary home accommodations, rent furniture — my companies do everything necessary to take away the worry in a client’s move. Throughout my life I have had to relocate to three different countries and I appreciate now the relative ease I can provide to others making a similar transition.
3. What would you still like to achieve professionally or personally?
My goal is to role model leadership for my children to learn from, as well as to be an inspiring leader in my companies and within my community.
4. Who or what inspires you?
I inspire myself: I am constantly challenged by my companies to continue growing and to be innovative. I am also striving to learn and become better than I was yesterday as a husband, father, friend or employer. I am in competition with myself to be successful. I learn constantly from what I read, or my kids or just listening to others and that helps me to better myself.
5. If you hosted a dinner party for 8, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
My paternal grandfather, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Warren Buffett, John Wooden, Ronald Reagan, Dennis Prager, Charlie Chaplin, Andre Agassi.
6. Tell us what you are currently reading.
“Wooden on Leadership” by John Wooden.
7. What are your favorite films?
8. What do you do for fun?
Playing tennis, especially with my son. Relaxing and playing with my kids. Socializing with family and friends.
9. What is your favorite vacation destination?
10. Please describe your greatest accomplishment?
I started my first company with no money and it has done well. Looking back, I feel accomplished that I did not have much money or much business experience or skill. But I worked very hard and worked hard to be knowledgeable.
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