When did you first decide to become an Entrepreneur? And what study or skills you gained to become one?
Given half of my family is in business and other half is in services, business & entrepreneurship was always considered an option. I came to Australia in 2005 and started my first business in 2008 which was a Malaysian- Fusion restaurant. In 2013, I sold the restaurant but running the restaurant gave me the opportunity to learn the “how-to-do” of business and thus I picked up on skills such as employee management, managing food waste and serving our product i.e food with no alcohol. Thus, if you are customer who is not coming for alcohol in a binge-drinking culture like Australia then you must have really good quality food to attract and sustain your customers! My wife and I ended up becoming chefs and improved our cooking whilst we maintained good relationship with our professional chefs from Malaysia & Singapore.
I held Masters in Computer Science from Pakistan and was working and running a business simultaneously. Later I started another business in Singapore in 2011 involving exporting edible oil from Malaysia to Pakistan however that business did not last. Finally, for Evacovation– my enterprise, the journey started in 2012 when I identified gaps in emergency management communication within Australia and did research to chalk out a solution which not only fixed the gaps within Australian Standard for Emergency Management but also provided a solution to emergency standards globally . By 2018 I had software tested and apps developed as minimum viable solutions. In 2019 I quit my job and dedicated full time to Evacovation, a dream come true.
What kind of services/products your business provides?
Evacovation is a service that provides emergency management solutions to businesses and organisations and is the only one of its kind in the world. We automate and digitalise emergency management. We provide advice and consultation to improve emergency management to avoid crisis and harm. And we also provide Life Skills training such as using fire extinguishers, having a proper evacuation plan and learning how to effectively respond to fire or other emergencies.
What was the most difficult challenge of being an Entrepreneur?
Our solution is quite unique and so are our challenges. We had to create a market through awareness as people are not informed about emergency management. Therefore, we had to reach out to the Australian Government and state emergency management departments to add value. This was the hardest challenge yet extremely rewarding as it gave me recognition in the Top 100 Australian Professionals 2020.
What are the 3 successful highlights of your career and business? Is there any philanthropic work you are part of in Pakistan?
My achievements include being the:
- Top Australian Professional 2020
- Recognized for my efforts by different State Law Enforcement agencies for locating and rescuing over 200 missing persons within Australia.
- CEO commendation Award of the Year 2016, and won quarterly awards in 2015, 2016, 2018.
I hope to be more involved with the Pakistani community in Australia and am expanding Evacovation to other countries whilst collaborating with other Pakistani professionals globally.
What messages would you like to give to Pakistani youth and other aspiring Entrepreneurs?
The most inspiring person in my journey is my wife who is also an entrepreneur as she managed to run two salons in Australia and one in Pakistan. Having a partner who can help you in your entrepreneur journey is a bonus for your career and home life.
The journey of entrepreneurship is linked with constant and consistent learning. Keep learning and never be afraid of taking risk. Fears may halt your progress but be focused on bigger purpose. The bigger the purpose is, the smaller the fear becomes.
Author: Rida Aleem Khan
About the Author: Rida Aleem Khan is an Australia-based Multicultural & Youth Advocate. She believes that sharing success stories of Overseas Pakistani entrepreneurs will encourage and inspire other Pakistani youth and guide them towards global enterprising trends.