Zeryab Cheema is just 20, but he's launched his second startup and this time he's taking on Uber.
After revealing how Hop plans to take on Uber by adopting a different business model, we asked the young entrepreneur behind the venture, Zeryab Cheema, for advice for those launching their own startup.
After all, Cheema may be just 20 years old, but this is second major venture. He also founded Taxi 24/7 – a booking and payment service for licensed taxis that is now used in parts of Australia, the UK and US – about five years ago.
Taxi 24/7 succeeded largely because it provided taxi drivers with a new source of passengers, as well as a share of the transaction fee paid by passengers. He's now licensed the service to separate organisations which run it in the various markets, so at the ripe old age of 20 he can concentrate on Hop, which he also plans to take to international markets, as well as finishing his degree.
Cheema has the following advice for those who are launching, or considering launching, a startup:
- It's important to find like-minded people to work for you, not just someone that wants a job. If they fit in that respect but perhaps don't have all the attributes you were looking for, be prepared to give them a shot.
- Once you've hired someone, it's your job to manage and retain them.
- Realise that the details of your plan may or may not work out. If your product launch has to be delayed from February to August, roll with the punches.
- Create a minimum viable product and then continue to develop and improve it as you build customers.
- Funding is "the biggest challenge for most entrepreneurs". Tapping your own resources and those of friends and family can provide a start, and "if you're good enough and persistent, you'll get your idea off the ground," said Cheema.