Member Spotlight: Ali Soltani, Owner of HandyPro of Washington D.C. Metropolitan/Sol Construction
on June 23, 2021
Ali Soltani has always enjoyed helping others, and he does so by providing mobility and accessibility to those who need home modification services.
Born in 1977 in the capital city of Iran, Tehran, Ali grew up in a well‐educated family.
“My parents both are physicians and my two [younger] sisters both have their master's degrees,” said Ali.
Ali is happily married to his wife, Azadeh (Azi), since 2014, and they have a daughter, Maygol (which means Wine flower in Farsi), who was born in 2017.
Ali went to electrical engineering school and after several years, he started doing civil engineering school as well. He got his degree in both electrical engineering and in civil engineering.
In 2007, Ali moved to the United States and after receiving his degree and working as project and site manager over 10 years in construction, he started working as a project manager in an electrical company in Atlanta. After the recession happened, however, Ali shifted his career to work in sales and finance in the auto industry. Shortly after that, however, Ali moved to the D.C. metro area and embarked on a new career path by switching to business management with a specialty in foreign business development and started his master’s degree in MBA.
“I joined my friends as a business development manager. We were developing businesses for people who want to seek immigration through their investment in United States,” explained Ali. "After working a year in my friends’ attorney office as a business development manager, I decided that I wanted to start my own business.”
Ali received his master's degree in MBA from the University of Maryland in 2015.
Ali met his business partner, Mahkameh Doroud, and they later decided that HandyPro would be their next venture. The reason they pursued HandyPro was because the business had two sides that fit perfectly for Ali. One side of the business is rooted in construction, which is all Ali focused on throughout most of his career. The other side of the businesses reflected Ali's moral standards of helping others.
“I always like to help people in any way that I can, so these two [aspects] seemed like a very good fit for me,” said Ali. “And based on my business background that I had and my experience and my education, the whole bundle was a very, very good fit for me.”
Ali started the business in late 2013 and opened its’ doors in April 2014. Since then, he very quickly grew the business and succeeded in more ways than one. Every year, Ali’s HandyPro location in Washington, D.C. has received an award from their franchiser, HandyPro International. In addition, Ali’s D.C. location has the highest revenue among the franchisees every single year. Ali was also awarded the 2020 HandyPro Franchise of the Year, as well as maintaining the highest revenue among all the franchisees.
Ali continues to grow the business by managing the day‐to‐day operations, including talking with clients, providing estimates, networking and managing relationships, overseeing the finance, all the marketing, and all the job performance and billing.
He recently hired an occupational therapist to act as their outreach manager to assist with maintaining their relationships and give themselves more credit among their competitors, as well as help introduce HandyPro’s services to some partners and individuals who are seeking to have some home modifications completed.
“I'm trying to [encourage] our employees to take some roles so I can do more and make our business bigger,” said Ali.
As Ali and HandyPro continue to grow their business, he continues to find satisfaction in helping clients every day.
“We do what we do because I think there's a very, very dark road where people that especially have some mobility challenges all of the sudden, some of them like over the night, and they don't know where to turn,” explained Ali. “So, I like to be a company that they can turn to and we can help them navigate their challenges and come up with some solutions for them.”
While there are numerous projects that Ali has worked on to give mobility back to clients, there is one project that stands out to him. He and his team were installing a VPL at someone's home who lost her legs. The day that they were installing the VPL, she was all dressed up. Ali asked her if she was expecting a visitor later, but she said that she was actually going out that day because she hadn’t been able to go out for several months. Since they were installing this lift, she could go out independently without needing assistance.
“We've seen people crying when they’re sitting on their lift and going to the places of their house that they couldn't reach for several months, years, weeks, or however long it was,” said Ali. "We work all day to give people's mobility back. People need to have access to all of their areas of their home and their businesses.”
Ali credits his success to his family and team members.
“I could not do all of this without the support of my family and our team members. Also, I would not be where I am without those who support me throughout my journey,” said Ali.
Ali is a shining example of a home modification warrior. His hard work not only helped HandyPro grow, but he is also able to do what he loves, which is helping others by providing essential home modification services to customers every day.
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