Shortly after graduating from University of Western Ontario, I was left with the daunting task of finding a job to support myself. Having previously completed internships in the realms of statistical research, journalism and advertising, I decided it was fitting to take up work for a startup in Canada dealing with discount options for retailers, through an app and physical POS device. Though the startup was short-lived, it taught me a lot about delving on to a career that required intensive communication and sound business development planning.
After I left Canada for Pakistan, Sehat was in its second year of R&D, having been formed as a project between myself and my four elder brothers. It was up to me to launch the entire operations within a space of four months – we already had the warehouse facility, procurement contracts, logistic partnerships and team in place.
However, I too had a fair share of many struggles as an entrepreneur. It’s always the most difficult thing to change the culture of a workplace. Ideally, one should be happy with what they’re doing and not focus on petty internal issues or competitors against them in the same space.
Whenever you are trying to bring something new and novel to an ecosystem, many will have doubts about your service and feel that you are simply “wasting your time”. I had the door slammed on my face many times when I was initially marketing Sehat to doctors, potential customers, and business partners. This was a mere few months before the internet boom really took e-commerce to new heights. Since then, everyone in my team has been working diligently to make Sehat a household name. I don’t see that day being that far now, to be frank. My entire journey of struggles reminds me of one quote I strongly believe in:
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you; then you win.” – Bilal Mumtaz, Director Sehat