Mr Akhtar was a cocksure applicant for a job managing Mike Baldwin's new factory Phoenix Fabrics in 1990. Mike had established the company as he wanted to be his own boss again after five months working as a salesman for Ingram's Textiles. In doing so, Mike was breaking a contract with Peter Ingram which forbade him from setting up a business in the Ingram's lines for five years. To protect himself, Mike was appointing a manager who would effectively be the face of the company.

In his interview at Mike's flat No. 6 Quebec House, Weatherfield Quays, Mr Akhtar was sworn to secrecy over what was discussed and informed that Mike's involvement in the business couldn't be made public. Unfazed by Mike's strange conditions, a confident Mr Akhtar told him that he didn't mind the extra responsibility but insisted on being offered an option to buy into the business after six months to make it worth his while. Though impressed with Akhtar, Mike had to turn him down as wanted someone who was strictly an employee.

Before Mike could decide who to appoint, Peter Ingram rumbled his scheme and forced him to dissolve the company, transferring Mike to the shop floor so that he could keep an eye on him.

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