Mehran Irdmousa
Mehran Irdmousa, systems engineer and certified PMP, is interviewed by C-Suite Network's Gregg Greenberg on why he decided to start his own aviation company.

Mehran Irdmousa has spent the better part of the last decade working on the technical side of aviation. As a systems engineer and certified project management professional (PMP), he's been involved with a variety of Federal Aviation Administration-related projects with multiple companies throughout his career.

With all of his highly specialized expertise and leadership experience, Irdmousa recently took the leap to start his own company, MZI Aviation. This firm provides both public and private sector clients with effective, efficient systems engineering solutions.

In a CO— interview with C-Suite Network's Gregg Greenberg, Irdmousa said he launched his business to address the areas where his industry is currently lacking or needs improvement.

"I tried to understand leadership and tried to exercise my skills in that area," he said. "That's where I found [the] most inspiration."

Starting up in an emerging industry

There's a lot happening in the world of aviation, particularly around drone technology. With many changing FAA regulations, it can be especially difficult for new startups to keep up.

Despite working in such a complex and evolving industry, Irdmousa said his biggest startup challenge was simply understanding the IRS tax system and how to classify his business.

"I had to do a lot of research," he said.

Another challenge Irdmousa is currently facing is finding the right talent to help him grow his business. MZI Aviation is a very small company at the moment, with Irdmousa handling nearly every necessary task to keep the business running. However, he is actively working to expand his professional network and make the right connections.

"[I'm] going to various meet ups and entrepreneurial ... gatherings," he explained. "I go in there and say, 'This is what I do. What do you guys do?' I even sometimes find leads that are completely outside the original domain of my intended business, which I still embrace."

Irdmousa noted that he's looking forward to being able to delegate some responsibilities when he does eventually find the right people to join him, so he can continue to grow the company.

"That's one of the things that pushed me towards this adventure," he said. "You have to realize that at some point you have to delegate. That's what the definition of leadership and management is."

However, Irdmousa also acknowledges that, right now, his primary job is to do the heavy lifting to establish his path in the business world.

"When it's established — and if it's established right — delegation is going to be the ultimate goal," he said.

You have to realize that at some point you have to delegate. That's what the definition of leadership and management is.

Mehran Irdmousa, CEO and founder of MZI Aviation

Flying toward the future

As Irdmousa contemplates the future of MZI Aviation, he has his eye on modest but significant growth for the immediate future. Although his business is less than a year old, it's already gaining some traction. Irdmousa said he'd like to grow his firm to at least five to 10 people over the next couple of years and add more staff from there.

To achieve that growth, he'll need to find more contracts, which would give him the opportunity to hire people.

"That's why you go to [networking] events where you find leads," Irdmousa said. "Then you ... work on the leads to turn them into opportunities. When you have the opportunities, then you can go out and hire people that are passionate, [and] keep it going from there."

Watch the full interview to learn more about Irdmousa’s entrepreneurial journey.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Mehran Irdmousa interviewed by C-Suite Network's Gregg Greenberg.
Published February 25, 2019