You must have heard about Go!Traffic by now and that exactly Qasim Rana presented at BootCamp Demo Day. Meet Bootcamp participant Qasim Rana.
1. What ignited the spark in you to start your own business? How did the idea for your business come about?
Well I moved to Bangladesh about a year ago and you know traffic was one of the first problems that I constantly saw. Anytime we go somewhere, getting out of the airport, traffic was always there. Because it was such a prevalent problem that was always in my face, I thought why isn’t there a better way to get more information and that’s pretty much how we got the idea.
2. Describe/outline your typical day.
I wake up, I check some emails, I go into the office by about 8’clock, it is quiet for a couple of hours until people start coming to the office. Then I check with various teams and how they are doing. I have meetings set up, have some discussion with my partners, and in evening my other partner comes in; we discuss and then I leave, go home and spend time with my wife.
3. What advice would you give to young people who want to become entrepreneurs?
I would say focus on executing. I think that everyone has many great ideas and to take those ideas to the next level, they should focus on executing.
4. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Management, execution and communication. I would say focus to execute so are you capable of organizing and managing a long term process, are you flexible to adapt to different changes and communication is very important.
5. What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
One of the biggest problems that we faced is complacency; especially when we talk about the problem, the response is ‘oh it’s just how it is’. They always ask ‘how can you make this better?’ In addition, my answer to that is we are not trying to make the traffic better, it is not our job, it’s the government’s job. But we want to arm people with information so that they know the better route.
6. How do you define success?
I would say adding value. Therefore, if we can add value by saving someone time then that’s success for me. Moreover, that is ultimately, what we want like I want to spend time doing what matters and not sit in traffic for three hours.
7. Do you believe there is a formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
I think it all depends on the situation and person, I do not think there is a set formula. Most importantly even in failure there is success.
8. What book has inspired you the most?
It was my university astronomy 101 book. I forgot the name of it but it just showed me how big the universe was.
9. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
To be able put myself out there and to be control my destiny. I worked in a corporate for 12 years and while you had to be entrepreneurial to some extent to be successful, the corporate machine still controls you.
10. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
I will not say I am successful yet but just the sacrifices being an entrepreneur is time i.e. less time spend with friends and family. I was born and raised in U.S and I came to Bangladesh because of the opportunities so that was an adjustment, I gave up a career because of the opportunity I saw here so it was sacrificing the set path.
11. How are your views different now, after you’ve participated in the SD Asia 12 Week Entrepreneur Bootcamp? What changes are you going to implement after having participated in the Bootcamp?
One it was nice to be around people who were trying to do not similar things but this type of things, I got to be around entrepreneurs and I was able to bounce ideas, furthermore, some of us have become good friends because of the Bootcamp.
12. From the Bootcamp speakers who inspired you the most?