There are a growing number of $100mil+ startups in Australia, despite widespread discussions on R&D limitations, restrictive regulations, and talent shortages.
So what exactly does it take to be an entrepreneur in the land of tall poppy syndrome, and how is Australia performing on the global startup stage?
Uzair Moosa, CEO of Hey You App, shares his views in this interview.
- In your view, what are the signs of a sustainable and reliable entrepreneur, in comparison to someone with a fleeting idea?
This one is also a difficult one to answer but I think relentlessness is a key trait in a successful entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is very hard and at times a very lonely journey. Your family, your friends and at times your colleagues doubt you and at times you start doubting yourself as well – it’s very hard to guarantee the results of your hard work but you just need to keep at it, be ready to fail, learn, evolve and continue to march on – at the end of the day it’s about who decides to persist on and who decides to call it quits. In my opinion, this is what will create the difference between a successful or unsuccessful entrepreneur.
- How do you maintain drive and ambition in the startup world, throughout the inevitable ups and downs?
I think you need to really enjoy and love what you do. It’s very hard to guarantee success and a lot of times external factors play a role in determining the size of your success and at times your failure. The only way to navigate through the ups and downs is to be really passionate about your idea, really enjoy what you do, learn a lot in the process and be prepared to fail as well. 90% of startups do end up failing and this is just part of the learning process. As long as you are learning, growing as a person and enjoying what you do, you will find it easier to navigate through the ups and downs.
- What are you views on the state of entrepreneurialism in Australia, in comparison to other regions you’ve worked in?
The Australian startup ecosystem is evolving very quickly and is definitely gaining a lot of traction. Startup evolution is a process which needs time – as there are more and more successful exits, there would be a lot more liquidity which in turn will result in attracting the right talent and the right capital and pave the way for future successful startups. It’s quite vibrant and dynamic at the moment with a lot of VC firms coming into existing, a lot more accelerators entering into the picture, as well and a lot more talent following this as well – it is a really good time to be an entrepreneur and the future of the ecosystem looks very bright.
- Any other comments on entrepreneurship?
Don’t be afraid to fail and pursue your idea. It’s going to be a tough journey but a fun one. There is no such thing as the perfect founder. Everyone brings their own unique personality and skills to the table, so don’t be scared to start your journey. Build a support community around you, be willing to experiment, learn, and enjoy seeing the fruits of your labour come to life!
About the expert
After pioneering ride sharing in Saudi Arabia as General Manager of Careem, Uzair moved to Australia in mid 2018 to lead Hey You as CEO. His major achievements to date at HeyYou include:
- Leading the company to generate profits; HeyYou is now one of the few food tech business globally to be cash flow positive
- Successfully growing HeyYou from being a Sydney-focused business to an Australian-focused business with meaningful presence in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth
- Winning merchant narrative through our focus on “Merchant Led Product Leadership”