This November, iLobby CEO Ariel Mashiyev was selected Canada’s Entrepreneurship Icon by Startup Canada. In the interview, Mr. Mashiyev discusses not only iLobby’s recent success but also what inspired him to become an entrepreneur as well as some of his biggest business lessons.
As a son of parents who are immigrants, Mr. Mashiyev learned early that determination and hard work would be the building blocks towards his success. He wanted to forge his own path and developed a keen eye for business opportunities early in his adolescence.
“My tight-knit family upbringing helped entrench a value system within me that focuses on reaching collective goals and working as a team. I truly enjoy the process of building businesses and helping others reach their full potential,” explains Mr. Mashiyev.
On Lessons Learned…
Many business leaders will tell you that it’s not always the outcome that matters, but what you learn along the way. In his interview with Startup News Canada, Mr. Mashiyev also discussed some of the biggest business lessons he’s learned to date including:
– Become comfortable with the unknown and trust your instincts
– Identify the status quo, focus intensely on changing it
– Surround yourself with the right group of people, check on this often
– Try to mitigate risks where it is feasible to do so, especially in the early stages
– Seek guidance from others, regardless of their rank or walk of life
When asked to give advice to others starting new businesses, Mr. Mashiyev stresses to not be afraid of failure, to embrace uncertainty, and be confident in your convictions because advice will not always be in support of your opinion. Especially the case in the startup world, he points out that having fun is something many people forget. With so much focus on the end result or growth potential, it is easy to miss out on enjoying the ride.
On the Future of Entrepreneurship in Canada…
Mr. Mashiyev also discussed how he viewed the future of entrepreneurship in Canada. Along with teaching entrepreneurship at younger ages to inspire young business leaders, Mr. Mashiyev also noted the importance of giving business owners the tools they need to succeed. He believes Canada needs to “incentivize entrepreneurs by offering more forums for discussion, networking opportunities, and growth potential. Make it easier for the average, non-tech-savvy citizen to discover and potentially invest in local entrepreneurs.”
With so many technological advancements being discovered each day, Mr. Mashiyev also tries to always work with—rather than against—new discoveries.
iLobby, a SaaS-based visitor management platform, was originally designed as an internal software solution for INKAS® Group of Companies, iLobby’s parent company. After changing the product’s client base, iLobby went from grossing $2,000 in mid-2016 to being on pace to generate over $10,000,000 in fiscal 2019.
A Startup Canada Award winner in 2018, Mr. Mashiyev is proud to see how iLobby has made significant positive changes in their industry. With all the attention iLobby’s success has brought, Mr. Mashiyev is proud of the acclaim but remains modest. “It’s important for a leader to be confident in their product without any external recognition–but it definitely doesn’t hurt.”
iLobby provides innovative tablet-based visitor management systems for a variety of industries. The automated visitor registration system not only enhances security but also reduces administrative costs and makes keeping track of contractors and guests simple.
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